A few months ago I bought Diana Henry’s A Change of Appetite on a whim; I saw a tweet from Leite’s Culinaria about this white bean purée piled high with beautiful purple radicchio and red onions and it looked good enough that I went straight onto Amazon and bought the cookbook. I have not been disappointed.
If you’re like me, you look at every opportunity to cook for other people as an opportunity to create, experiment and just generally flex your culinary muscles. Not necessarily to show off, although I will admit to the odd twinge of pride when things work out how I hoped, but just because the thrill of creating – and then devouring – something new is almost as exciting as getting to share it with people you love. Knowing me as he does, my husband usually prefaces announcements of expected guests with, ‘Just keep it casual. Make something simple. Don’t go overboard.’. But sometimes keeping it simple is exactly what you need to do to create a masterpiece.
There is something summery about squid, even in a stew. It conjures up memories of crispy calamari, sunshine and cold beer. So the mixture of bright but chilly spring days and this subtly summery stew just seems to make sense.
I know I seem to be banging on about Jerusalem a lot lately, but if you have flicked through its beautifully photographed pages, enjoyed its history and relished its ‘foreignness’ like I have, you find it hard to think of much else when dinner time rolls around. This risotto is another complete cracker of a recipe; utterly beautiful in its simplicity.
For my birthday back in November I got Uyen Luu’s My Vietnamese Kitchen and I was so excited. I dove into it and buried myself in the vibrant colors and beautiful photography, wanting to cook and eat everything all at once. Then I started looking through the lists of ingredients. It is fair to say that Vietnamese cooking requires a lot of what we would term ‘specialist’ ingredients − but, of course, they wouldn’t be considered specialist ingredients in Vietnam, would they?
The whole Scandinavian lifestyle seems to be growing more and more popular in recent years and food is no exception. Lots of seafood and different methods of preservation are to be expected, but Trina Hahnemann, author of The Nordic Diet, is trying to give voice to the lighter side of Scandinavian cuisine. This dish is light, but still warming, and depending on accompaniments it would be just as comfortable in summer as it is in winter.
This post has been a long time coming. For months I have been reading about the food world’s love affair with Jerusalem, dropping hints to my husband – selective hearing? – and ogling pictures and tweets of peoples’ home recipe triumphs. Finally, I just went and bought it.
You may have noticed that all of my recent recipes have been an attempt to keep the summer alive and, as we’re predicted to have a really warm September, I guess I better keep them coming! This one is fantastic – low calorie, high in vitamins and protein and bursting with flavor.