Category Archives: green

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!

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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


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

Oeuff Cocotte

27_Oeuff Cocotte_palette_classic_rgb

It was a Saturday morning when I left a strange house and wondered my way to the spot where I had parked my bike much earlier that morning. Whilst still trying to recollect the pieces of the previous hours I passed a  little coffee bar that oozed Paris in the spring. Without thinking I walked in and was welcomed by the smell of ground coffee and freshly baked things. Paris in Rotterdam, not bad for a hangover. The menu offered typical French things, not too many but delicious all the same. Besides a coffee, a fermented tea and fresh juice I ordered a little egg dish that makes any grumpy mood disappear in no time. Or a hangover in this case..


serves 2
2 eggs
2 teaspoons crumbled blue cheese
1 pear
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
fresh chive
coarse sea salt
ground and pepper
chipped chives
slices bread


[column size=”one_fourth” last=”no”]1.Heat the oven to 190ºC. [/column]

[column size=”one_fourth” last=”no”]2.Mix the crumbled cheese and creme  fraîche to a semi smooth mixture. Instead of blue cheese you choose whatever you like: smoked fish, truffle shaving or basil leaves for example.[/column]

[column size=”one_fourth” last=”yes”] 3.Add some chipped chive and season with salt and fresh pepper. [/column]

[column size=”one_fourth” last=”no”] 4.Place a heaped tablespoon of crème fraîche in the bottom of a ramekin. Gently crack an egg in on top. Top with a spoonful of crème fraîche. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.[/column]

[column size=”one_fourth” last=”no”]5.Set the ramekins in a baking dish and pour hot water in the dish to come half-way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until cooked, but still jiggling, 5 to 7 minutes.[/column]

[column size=”one_fourth” last=”no”]6.Serve with grilled pear and toasted bread for dipping![/column] [column size=”one_fourth” last=”no”]Based on a recipe from Memory Lane, Hoogstraat 69A, Rotterdam[/column]

[column size=”one_fourth” last=”yes”][/column]


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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