Category Archives: blue

Wild garlic pancakes

wild garlic pancakes_mainWhere the wild things are? Everywhere! but the fantastic wild garlic can be picked mainly in spring time. So something to look forward to then, its almost winter now.
But the pancakes are easy peasy and why not change the wild garlic for chives or another herb. Basically, use the season ingredients and this way we can have 4 variations. But because spring is my favourite season I am kicking off with this one


makes 16 pancakes

250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp groundnut or sunflower oil
200ml boiling water
4 tbsp roasted sesame oil
50g wild garlic, finely chopped
garden peas
groundnut or sunflower oil, for frying

Mushroom ragout:
mixed mushrooms
tomato paste
red wine
spring vegetable stock


1.Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and water and mix well using a wooden spoon or spatula to a soft sticky dough. Place on a lightly floured working surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it start to get to sticky. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and rest for 20 minutes.

2. Lightly dust the working surface with more flour and roll the dough into a long sausage shape and cut with a knife to divide into 16 pieces.

3. Steam or quickly boil the peas in 2 minutes

4. Place a piece of the dough cut side down and roll it out to a rough 10 cm circle with a rolling pin. Brush the surface liberally with sesame oil and scatter over the chopped wild garlic and garden peas. Start rolling the dough to form a sausage, pinch both ends to sealed in the wild garlic and sesame oil. Lightly flatten the roll and then roll it up again from one end like a snail. Press lightly to sealed the end.  Set aside while you repeat with the rest. Cover with a clean kitchen towel again and rest for another 20 minutes.

5. In the mean time start your mushroom ragout. Roughly tear and chop your mushrooms. Add some thin sliced garlic to a hot pan and fry in little oil. Then add the mushroom and gently stir for a few minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, thyme, red wine and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the stock and stir well, leave for 20 minutes so all the flavours are enhanced. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer gently.

6. Place each roll flat on a lightly floured work surface and press down with the palm of you hand to flatten and roll to a 10 cm circle with a rolling pin. Transfer to a clean plate and repeat with the rest of the rolls. Stack each pancakes between sheets of baking paper to stop them from sticking.

7. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and brush with some groundnut or sunflower oil. Add 2-3 pancakes at a time. Fry for 2-3 minutes before turning and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Remove and drain on some kitchen paper. Keep warm in a low oven while you repeat with the rest of the pancakes. These are best serve immediately straight from the pan with the mushroom ragout.

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Aubergine and quinoa roll ups

11_aubergine roll ups_main

That’s the difficulty when a veg has different names in different countries. An aubergine is also called a zucchini, which means courgette in French. A recipe that meant to start with a purple egg shape thing ended up with his green alter ego. I gave up, until I moved back to the Netherlands where things are called what they are. I learned that aubergine is an incredible versatile ingredient that lends itself in many varied ways. Rolled up for example, with little kumquats on the side, nice!


1 Aubergine
10 oyster mushrooms
3 kumquats
200 g Quinoa
handful yellow raisins
handful hazelnuts
flat leaf parsley
100 g goat cheese, mixed with 30 g parmesan
handful purple sprouts
olive oil
Salt &  ground Pepper
herbal stock cube

[highlight] INSTRUCTIONS[/highlight]

1. Prepare a veggie broth and bring to boil, reduce to simmer and add the quinoa. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

 2. Slice the aubergine with a cheese slicer in thin  strips, leave out the two end pieces with their skin on.  Sprinkle the strips with a little salt and heat up a grill pan. Once the pan is hot grill the slices on both sides for about 2 minutes or when brown (not black) stripes appear. Put aside and start the stuffing.

3. Heat up a pan, cut the remaining aubergine ends to small pieces and tear the mushrooms. Add some oil to the pan and start with the aubergine. After 3 minutes add the mushrooms and stir for another 2 minutes. Then add the cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Stir to one mixture and season with salt & pepper. Fill the grilled aubergine slices by adding some of the stuffing to the thicker end (about a dessert spoon), and roll it up.

4. Once cooked transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and squeeze in some cumquat juice, then add chopped hazelnuts, raisins, parsley and finish with a good pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

5. Serve with the rolled up aubergine and garnish with purple sprouts and kumquat. No need to peel, you can eat the skin of kumquats.

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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