Category Archives: lunch

Purple Matters!

Purple Kale Salad_mainIf colour means anything let purple take control. It’s always interesting to see what happens if you let a colour decide on the dish. Obviously, make sure the other ingredients go well with it. This one is colorful and tasteful like a dynamite!


Bunch of purple kale
Bunch of palm cabbage
1 Radicchio
1 Beetroot
2 Purple carrot
2 Spring onions
1 Avocado
3 x3 cm Ginger
Black sesame
Rice vinegar
Sea salt
Ground pepper


1. Bake the beetroot, or use pre cooked beets. Pre-heat the oven to 200c, rub the beets in some olive oil and wrap in foil. Toss them in the oven for 1 hour, depending on their size. Take out and let cool in the foil. Once cool enough to handle, remove their skin and cut in segments, set aside.

2. Was and discard the kale in cold water. Transfer to a pan and blanch in just boiled water for 20 seconds, finish with cold water. Squeeze out all the water, drop in a bowl and fluff with a fork.

3. Peel the carrot and ginger cut in in the carrot strips and the ginger in matches. Heat up a wok, add some sesame oil and fry the ginger for a minute or 2. Save 1/4 of the carrot strips and add the rest to the ginger and stir fry for another 3 minutes. Take out and set aside.

4. Finely slice the spring onion, slice the celeriac, grate a lemon and finely chop the red pepper. Add tot the carrot/ginger mixture and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Purple Kale Salad_done

The Almighty Miso Soup

almighty miso soupStock up on some miso paste and kombu, wack it in your freezer and you are 30 minutes away from a quick miso, all year round. Miso is easy to adjust and fits with summer and winter ingredients. The soup, back in the days named misoshiru is high in minerals and protein, so slurp away I would say!

[highlight]INGREDIENTS [/highlight]

Kombu, 5×5 cm cut in strips
handful shiitake
1 cup spinach or palm kale
1 small broccoli
1 carrot
2 or 3 shallots
2 big tablespoons miso paste
bunch celery leaves
soy, if desired
sea salt
ground pepper


1. Cut a sheet of kombu into small strips and drop them in a pan with plenty of water, about 1.5 liter, bring to a boil. This will be your stock.

2. Whilst the stock is warming up thinly slice the shallots and carrot. Tear the shiitake and spinach leaves and cut the broccoli in small roses.  Reduce the heat and drop all the ingredients, but the spinach leaves, in the soup, simmer for 10 minutes.

3. When the vegetables  are softened spoon in the miso paste and stir until the paste is completely dissolved. Add the spinach leaves to the soup and bring to taste with salt,  pepper and perhaps some drops of soy sauce. Be carefull it doesnt become too salty. When the soup is done  add the celery leaves and serve in bowls.

* You can serve the soup with kale chips! Wash as small bunch of kale, discard the core and chop it in small bits. Toss with some olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and transfer to a baking tray. Bake in a low temp oven (60c) for up to 15 minutes, or until crisp but not burned!

finished miso

Punk Kale Salad

Punk Kale salad

Kale is the thing to eat now in cities like London and New York, spiced up in a salad or as side. Here in Holland kale is a popular winter number, originally mashed up with potatoes. Our urban Rooftop in Rotterdam was overloaded with the green stuff and since the weather was still not cold enough to long for that steamy pot of mash I came up with a salad, new style. Believe me, this will make you want to skip winter altogether…

serves 4
5 to 6 bunches of kale
mint leaves
a mix of sultanas and raisins
dried apricot
red onion
roasted and salted almonds

1 tp lemon juice
2 ts  honey
1 ts horseradish
2 ts oil
3 ts cider or white wine vinegar
mixed ground pepper
course sea salt

1.Pre-heat the oven to 180 C, remove the outer skin from the onion, chop in 4 and wrap in foil. Throw in the oven for up to 20 minutes. Remove, let it cool, segment the onion and set aside.

2. Soak the sultanas and raisins in water for 20 minutes and drain, set aside.

3. Remove stalks from the kale, chop roughly and wash under cold water. Drop the kale in the sink and pour boiled water on top, stir for 20 seconds, drain and splash with cold water. Squeeze out all the water, drop in a bole and fluff with a fork.

4. Chop the apricots and almonds, set aside.

5. Prepare a dressing by whisking together all the dressing ingredients.

6. Mix kale with onion, sultanas, apricots, almonds and toss. Pour the dressing over the kale, mix well and serve. Awesome as a side dish with veggie fries or as a lunch salad.

Kale salad-done


rtichoke_Chicory saladNot one that you will spot on your plate everyday, or listed on a menu. A first recollection as a child: “is it a cactus?” A giant green sunflower?” Will I find a frog in the heart?”

Mediterranean kids did not ask such questions, they where familiar with artichoke. It is in the warmer countries where they grow but it where in fact the Dutch who introduced it to England. To get to the heart you nibble the fleshy leaves first, they are taster of what to expect from the hidden gem inside. Not to mention it looks great on a plate.


1 yellow carrot
2 artichoke
2 red chicory
1 Lemon
handful golden raisons
150 g cottage cheese
300 g couscous
table spoon honey
mixed nuts
olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 200 c

2. Mix couscous with chilli flakes, olive oil, juice of half a lemon and cover with boiling water so there is about 1 cm above the line, let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

3. Swell the raisins, shave the carrot and roughly chop the nuts and add to the couscous.

4. Cut the chicory at the roots, gently wash the separate leaves and dry them. Fill the leaves with a spoon full of the couscous mixture and place in a lightly buttered oven dish. Finish each leaf with a teaspoon of cottage cheese, a drop of honey and pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer to the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is slightly golden.

5. To prepare the artichoke, cut of the tips of the leaves. Add a slice of lemon to the boiling water and steam the artichoke for 25 to 35 minutes or until the outer leaves can be easily pulled off.

6. Drizzle some olive oil over the artichoke, add a pinch of salt and fresh black pepper and serve like a flower with the baked chicory. A simple green, tomato salad goes nicely on the side.

Loaf_artichoke salad_done                       Loaf_artichoke salad_done2

Flower & Broad Bean Salad

Broad bean flower salad_main

So here is proof that flowers are not only pretty things to look at, they can be the eye candy for your   dish too. Now don’t start picking any flower you come across, check first what’s growing in your garden.  Our rooftop here in Rotterdam still grow flowers and its november! This palette was based on flavours that go so well together. Rainbow beet with punchy black tomatoes and fresh broad beans. The flowers bring in a colour punch and give a slight lavender taste, awesome..

serves 4

200g podded broad beans, about (1kg unpodded weight)
300 g mixed cherry tomatoes
2 (rainbow) beets
1 garlic
little bunch of edible flowers
bunch of rocket salad
50 g hazelnuts
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
ground pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 180 c. Peel off any excess paper around the edges of the garlic. Cut the top part off, sprinkle with a little salt and oil and wrap in foil. Toss in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
2. Clean the beets, rub with some oil, wrap in foil and toss in the oven with the garlic for 40 minutes.
3. Boil a pan of water, add the broad beans and boil for 2-3 mins. Drain and plunge into iced water, leave to cool a little before removing the skins.
4. Cut the  the tomatoes in quarters and put aside.
5 .Once the beets are cooled, remove the skin and cut in slices.
6. Cut the garlic in two or 4.
7. Whisk the honey, olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a dressing.
8 Toss together the rocket, tomatoes, beets and broad beans.
9. Place the garlic on top, drizzle with some dressing and scatter chopped walnuts and flowers on top.
10. Serve with some Indian naan bread or on its own.

Broad bean flower salad_02   Broad bean flower salad_plate

Mashed up mash!

Mashed up mash_main

Its great to mash things up. Throw in some other chopped up bits and you’ll have a delicious mess. Its so easy and the thumbs always go up.  

The sweet potato is well shaped to be mashed and whilst it was summer I picked the super healthy chard as a side kick. Pink was sort of the theme color here so I chose beets, red spring onions and salmon for extra toppings. Result? They are a smashing team!  

serves 2

2 sweet potatoes
2 chard stems
1 beetroot
1 bunch of red spring onions
200 g smoked salmon
50 g parmesan cheese
olive oil
sea salt,  mixed ground pepper


1. Peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes, Steam for 5 minutes or until soft.

2. Rub the beet with a little olive oil and wrap in foil,  bake in the oven for one hour. Skip this step if you use pre cooked beets. Let it cool, remove the skin en chop in small cubes.

3. Wash and shred the chard in thin strips.

4. Mash the sweet patato with a drop of olive oil, grated parmezan cheese, ground pepper and sea salt.

5. Gently fold in the beet and shredded chard to one mixture. Put the lid on to keep it warm.

7. Grill the salmon in its own oil in a hot grill pan and then shred. Continue to grill the spring onions

8. Divide the mash over the plates and serve with the salmon and spring onions. Now indulge and scrape the pan!

14__Mashed up mash_post  14__Mashed up mash__post3  Mashed up mash__post



Sweet Potato CroqsIt is a habit to revamp a traditional recipe by substituting the main ingredient with a surprising alternative. Potato old fashioned side snack that you will find in the old-school buffet dinners. Next to the almost grey looking Brussels sprouts and ever overcooked carrots. Brrr, they gave me the shivers. 

Nevertheless, I had decided to make a new style of croquette.
Earlier in the week I had made mash and veggie fries, if you mix mash and fries you sort of end up with a croquette. So.. idea born.
The orange coloured flesh of the sweet potato needed a strong sidekick so I mixed in purslane which is as green as grass. Purslane is considered a weed but contains a lot of omega 3  so say hello to that!


2 or 3 sweet potatoes
50 g crumbled goat cheese
2 eggs
handful purslane or baby spinach leaves
50 g plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves
100 g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
1 litre vegetable oil, for deep-frying
paprika  powder
coarse sea salt
ground pepper


1. Peel the potatoes and boil in a pan for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Mash the potatoes in a bowl until smooth, use a little (soya)milk if necessary. Mix in the goat cheese, grated garlic, roughly torn purslane and season with paprika power, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to one creamy substance.

2. Roll the potato mixture into small ball sized balls and dip each croquette into the flour, dusting off any excess, then dip in the beaten eggs and finish in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with each croquette until you have used up all of the potato mixture. Place onto a tray and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up before cooking.

4. Pour the vegetable oil in a heavy-based pan until half full and heat until a cube of bread dropped in sizzles and turns golden-brown in 30 seconds. Deep-fry the croquettes, in batches, for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

5. Serve with a yoghurt mayonnaise and/or homemade tapenade. my cousin did, dip the croquettes in your soup! There are no rules, simply enjoy.

Sweet Potato Croqs_done2  Sweet Potato Croqs_done

Salmon and japanese greens



1 salmon filet
big bunch of wasbina
1 lime
pickled myoga
1 cucumber
2 spring onions
handful of soya beans
handful of purple sprouts
sesame seeds
almond flakes
ground pepper

[highlight]INSTRUCTIONS [/highlight]

serves 2

1. Steam the edamame beans for 2 minutes and push out the beans.

2. Wash the wasabina, shop roughly and quickly stir fry in oil with sesame seeds, almond flakes  and ground pepper.

3. Grill the salmon, leaving it pink in the centre,  in a hot grill pan and sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds.

4. Slice the cucumber in long strips, leaving the skin on.

5. Toss together the wasabina, soy beans and purple sprouts.

6. Curl the cucumber strips on your plate and arrange your wasabina mixture on top and follow by  pickled myoga leaves.

7. Squeeze over a little lime juice, some myoga vinegar and sprinkle with chopped spring onions.

8. If you dont use myoga pickels prepare a dressing by dissolving some rice vinegar and brown sugar in a saucepan.

Myoga pickels:

2 to 3 myoga
100 ml rice vinegar
50 g  brown sugar
100 ml water

Combine vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil, then add water and bring back to boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Cut myoga in half (lengthwise) and blanch in boiling water for 20 seconds. Drain and cool for apx. 15 min. Soak myoga in the sweet & sour mixture overnight or a few hours before preparing the salad.


Salmon Wasabina salad_done_02Salmon Wasabina salad_done_03Salmon Wasabina salad_done_01


Japanese Rolls



6cm rice paper wrappers
small bunch of shunguki
handful of seaweed
5 to 8 shiitake mushrooms
handful of beansprouts
400 g cooked & peeled prawns
10 shishito peppers
light soy sauce
teaspoon honey
rice vinegar
Sesame seeds
sesame oil

[highlight] INSTRUCTIONS[/highlight]

1. Chop the shiitake mushrooms and stir fry in a hot wok for 10 minutes in a splash of sesame oil and a gulp of light soy sauce.

 2. Wash the seaweed, chop finely and add in the wok with shiitake, continue to stir fry for 1 minute.

3. Take the wok from the heat and stir in the washed and chopped shunguki, chopped shrimps and beansprouts.

4. Grill the shishito peppers in a hot grill pan in some sesame oil.

5. Soak a rice paper in warm water for 30 to 40 seconds until pliable, remove and add another to soak. Place a generous spoonful of the mixture in the centre of the paper and roll up to form a cigar, tucking in the ends as you roll. Place with the seam-side down on a plate and repeat until all the papers and filling are used up.Cover with a damp tea towel if not serving immediately.

 6. For the dressing dissolve honey, rice vinegar, light soy sauce and water in a small saucepan.

 7 .Serve the wraps with the peppers and sauce on the side.

Japanese Rolls_done


Mushroom pie

Mushroom pie_home


Mushrooms are cool. Not always easy to work with, they are delicate and fragile. But once you gently prepare them for their tasty finale your efforts will be rewarded. They fit in well with the autumn because of their brown and earthy shades but for me mushrooms can hang out in the kitchen any time. Savoury pies and cakes and muffins and everything else are sort of my thing and I altered this recipe with what I had available.


300 g mixed mushrooms
6 sheets puff pastry
25 g soft butter
25 g cheese
flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves
1 egg
5 to 6 walnuts
coarse sea salt
ground pepper
baking paper

1. Preheat the oven to oven 200 c

2. Gently tear the mushrooms in evenly pieces. Take out the pastry to defrost but dont let it go soft and warm.

3. Melt butter in a hot pan, cook the mushrooms on high temp for 5 minutes so all the liquid evaporates. in the last minute add walnuts, and if you wish prunes, to the mixture.

4. In the meantime, cut the sheets in circles and carve them to create a ridge, about 1 cm from the edge. use a spoon and make sure you dont cut through the pastry.

5. Take the pan of the heat and mix in the cheese, garlic and parsley. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper.

6. Place a spoonful of the mushroom mix in the centre, inside the ridge. Stroke the corner with egg yolk and place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Make sure you have one for each guest as I am telling you…they will love you.

Mushroom Pies_done Mushroom Pies_done2

Avocado soup

avocado soupA soup that you whip up in 15 minutes and knocks you down. Forget your main after this delicate smoothy. Obviously you can customise the recipe: make it spicier,  add some chicken. I choose to use nuts and serve it with crunchy cheese slices which is a great combination.


2 ripe avocados
125 ml creme fraiche
800 ml (vegetable)stock
fresh lemon
fresh coriander
salted almonds
old cheese
coarse sea salt
ground pepper



1. Preheat the oven to 100 c. Grate the cheese and place them like rectangles on baking paper. Bake in the oven until the slices are melted and golden brown. Leave to cool before you take them off the paper.

2. Roughly chop the coriander. Cut the avocado’s in half and scoop out the flesh. Mix with the coriander, creme fraiche, a spoon of lemon juice and a little stock. Blend until you get a smooth sauce. Pour the sauce with the remaining stock in a sauce pan and gently stir. Be careful not to boil the soup or it will turn bitter. Season tot taste with salt and pepper.

 3. Heat up the serving bowls and pour in the soup. Garnish with chopped almonds and serve with a cheese biscuit. So simple but so tasty.


Avocado Soup_done   Avocado Soup_done2    Avocado Soup_done3