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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

Freshhhhh Pasta

19_Pasta Ravioli_mainWhat do you do when you are given a pasta maker? I took it out of the box, looked at the stylish design and put it on display. I ignored it for some days and then took the handsome Italian under my arms. ” Let’s make pasta.”  The thing is, you need to take some time to master the skills. Once you got it its quick and easy to make fresh pasta. I had made ravioli once before with an Italian friend. Her work desk was swept clean and covered in flower, eggs and another handsome pasta machine. In no time she had produced simple clean sheets of dough that we filled with different cheeses and ate with just some oil, black pepper and  fresh basil.

This time I also made rectangles and filled them with a mushroom mixture. She will be proud of me!

[highlight]INGREDIENTS [/highlight]

Fresh pasta dough
Olive oil
10 to 12 abalone mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
2 rosemary twigs
150 g parmesan cheese
coarse sea salt
ground pepper

[highlight] INSTRUCTIONS[/highlight]

1. Follow any recipe for fresh pasta dough and turn into rectangles of 6x4cm.

2. After I made the pasta strips I prepared the filling.

3. Get the frying pan hot and put in a splash of oil.

4. Add your mushrooms and rosemary and toss for up to three minutes, then add grated garlic and when slightly golden add some grated cheese. Finish with some salt.

5. On one half of the pasta strip place a teaspoon of filling, lightly brush the pasta with water. Fold the other half of the pasta over and pinch it carefully so its closed and all the air is out.

6. Drop the cushions into a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for roughly 3 1/5 minutes.

7. Gently remove them from the pan and season with olive oil, fresh basil salt and pepper. Grate cheese on top and serve with a simple tomato rocket salad and cold crisp glass of white wine. Winter or spring, this dish brings in the sun everyday!

19_Pasta Ravioli_making2   19_Pasta Ravioli_done 19_Pasta Ravioli_done2


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!

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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.

wild garlic pancakes_done3  wild garlic pancakes_done2  wild garlic pancakes_done


Baked Beetroot

Baked Beetroot

Because beets are the most versatile vegetables. They are so fantastic in whatever form or shape:  baked, steamed, mashed or in fluid. Throw them in the oven wrapped in foil for an hour or so and you will get such a juicy thing. Mash it with sweet potato or turn it into a juice with avocado, celery and apple. Beetroot is rock and roll in the kitchen!


4 mixed beetroot and their greens
200 g smoked salmon
100 g goat cheese
soya cooking cream
1/2 avocado
small handful olives
pistachio nuts
sea salt
ground pepper
2 tablespoons dutch apple syrup
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 ml tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
sea salt


1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C. Remove the greens from the beets by twisting, dont cut!

2 .Wash the beetroots and wrap individually in foil and bake them in the oven: small beets take one hour, big ones up to 2 hours. They have be soft,  check by squeezing a little. Let them cool, peel off the outer skin and shave or cut in thin slices. If you use pre-cooked beets so can slice them straight away.

3. Mince the salmon and finely chop 1/4 of the avocado. Mix well and add seasoning. Cover and put away in the fridge.

4. Prepare the vinaigrette:  Blitz together the vinegar, mustard, honey olive oil and little salt until one smooth sauce. Do you have fresh basil? Add and blitz as well. Stir in the capers.

6. In a little saucepan warm up the cream, when it start to boils take of the heat and whisk in crumbled goat cheese and if you have blue cheese to a slight stiff substance.

7. Wash and tear the beet greens and mix with other leaves like rocket or.

8. Slice the remaining avocado, halve the olives and mix them with the salad leaves.

9. Remove the salmon from the fridge

10. Pile a firm amount of salad on your plate. Use a cooking ring to make your salmon tartar. Then make your beetroot tower with the cooking ring. Alter layers of beetroot with the cheese cream, start and finish with beetroot slices, make sure you carefully lift the ring.

11. Warm up the syrup and drop a spoonful of melted syrup on top of the tower. Drizzle vinaigrette over your salad and a little on the salmon and serve up!!


Baked Beetroot_result_done  Baked Beetroot_result_done_03  Baked Beetroot_result_done_02

Salsify oh Salsify

01.Salsify pasta

The veggie man handed me a few twigs covered in dirt. ” Let me know what you’ll make with them!” ” With twigs?!” The correct name is salsify actually, miss..” I had to admit that I had never seen them before so was challenged to try them. Salsify are an old and forgotten veg so confirm the trend you’ll find them more often at your local market stall.  The other veggies I had at home  could also be leading in this dish so I gave them all a mail part.



2 courgettes
4 salsify, not to be mistaken by in earth covered sticks
1 romanesco
1 lemon
1 orange
1 pot creme fraiche
olive oil
120 g parmesan cheese
grounded all spice
coarse sea salt
ground pepper

[highlight] INSTRUCTIONS[/highlight]

serves 4
Wash, scrub and peel the salsify until the white flesh is revealed. Cut into smaller pieces of 5 cm and drop them into boiling water with squeezed  lemon juice for about 8 minutes.

2. Wash your courgette and cut both ends, leave the skin on. Cut into thin slices lengthwise, and then slice into thin strips so you have courgette pasta.

 3. Break the romanesco down into florets.

 4. After the salsify, steam the romanesco florets, for about 4 minutes, then drain them under cold water so they reamain crisp. Finish with the courgette pasta, steam for up to one minute and put aside.

 5. Grill the salsify in a hot griddle pan until they have a golden brown pattern.

6. Start with the pasta sauce. Preheat a pan, add some olive oil and then some freshly squeezed orange juice. Bring to boil, then add creme fraiche and let it simmer for a minute. Mix in half of the steamed romansesco and continue to stir, add herbs like all spice. Then add 2/3 of the grilled salsify and grate parmesan cheese over the sauce, stir and add salt and pepper.

 7. When the sauce is almost done grill the steamed courgette until they have a light brown pattern.

 8. Pour the sauce on a big deep plate, divide the courgette pasta over the sauce and follow with the remaining romanesco florets and salsify. Finish with some grated parmesan and orange peel. Serve with warm baked bread and a simple tomato and vinegar salad.




Shungiku and shiitake stew



big bunch of shungiku
10 shiitake mushrooms
handful of fresh seaweed
1 spring onion
handful of beansprouts
250 g sticky rice
1 chilli pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 table spoon black sesame seeds
200 ml ight soy sauce
100 ml rice vinegar
20 g brown sugar
150 ml sunflower oil
salt, fresh ground pepper


[column size=”one_fourth” last=”no”]1. Start by marinating the shiitake mushrooms: Prepare the garlic oil: in a wok heat up 125 ml sunflower oil and add the grated garlic cloves. Stir until brown, then sift and cool.[/column] [column size=”one_fourth” last=”no”]2. Dissolve the brown sugar, rice vinegar and light soy sauce in a small saucepan.[/column] [column size=”one_fourth” last=”yes”]3. Mix the shiitake with 2/3 of the sauce and a table spoon of garlic oil and marinate for 45 minutes.[/column]

[column size=”one_fourth” last=”no”]4. Transfer the shiitake to a saucepan, bring to boil with 500 ml of water and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile cook the sticky rice according to the instructions on the packet[/column]

[column size=”one_fourth” last=”no”]5. Wash the fresh seaweed, shop finely and quickly stir fry in little oil, mix with the sticky rice and a gulp of rice vinegar. Wash the shunguki, chop roughly and stir fry for 1 minute with some grated chilli pepper, salt and ground pepper.[/column]

[column size=”one_fourth” last=”yes”] 6. Arrange everything on one plate: start with the shunguki, add a broth spoon of rice in the centre, follow with a brothspoon of shiitake mixture and sprinkle with some fresh beansprouts, shopped spring onion and sesame seeds.[/column]

Shungiku with Shiitake_result_02_done


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