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.
So this salad is just, like, incredible. Believe me, I needed convincing too because melon is at the top of my ‘don’t like’ list. Melon and cucumber are the two foods that I have not grown to like as I’ve reached adulthood. But somehow, in some magical, mysterious way, the honey dew in this recipe works. Maybe it’s the punchy cilantro or the fiery kick of jalapeño drawing the attention away from the paltry, watery sweetness of the melon. Or maybe it’s the tartness of the unripe green tomatoes that just seems to create such a harmonious bowl of food.
I know that the title of this post may not immediately drive you wild. In fact, the idea of sad, limp vegetables, mold and food just generally past its prime will be enough to put most people off. However, with all the waste there is in the world I think it’s important to make people aware of how transformative cooking can be for a bunch of sad old vegetables. Continue reading
There are some recipes that we just naturally leave to the experts. You know, those dishes you order every time you go out for a certain type of cuisine, but you would never attempt to make at home? Hot and sour soup was one of those for me. I just always assumed it was full of exotic ingredients and made with time honored techniques, nothing I could even think about making in my own western kitchen. Boy, was I wrong!
Light and fresh, crispy and vibrant, vegetable tempura is the perfect supper for a week night or a special weekend treat accompanied by spring onion pancakes (I use this recipe) or teriyaki tofu. The key to crispy, light tempura batter is ice cold sparkling water and mixing the batter at the very last moment before frying.
After my trip to California, I came back to England craving vegetables. Usually I would have been so packed full of vegetables after a trip home that I would come back here craving junk, but this was such a whistle-stop tour that there was very little eating at home and when we did it was what was quick and satisfying − cheese, bread and wine. So I came back wanting vegetables of all colors, all at once and right now! These tacos were the perfect antidote to a week of gout-inducing luxury.
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.
One of my newest acquisitions, Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food, has been eyeing me up since I unwrapped it Christmas morning. And knowing as I do of the treasures within, it has taken all my strength to not go methodically through it, cooking tomato salad with beef dripping dressing, then smoked haddock and créme fraîche omelette, then barbecued cake.
January is a month of cutting back and reigning ourselves in after the excesses of the holidays. Meatless Monday is a good ethos any time, but this time of year especially. Taking a bit more care about what we’re putting in our bodies is an important part of modern life, what with all the incredibly unhealthy and damaging food offered up to us every day. In addition to cutting back on what we’re eating, January usually also means cutting back financially and this recipe in particular is a great January jewel for being healthy, satisfying and economical.