Saturday, November 30, 2013

Introducing Sweet Summer series

Starting from tomorrow, December 1, the first official day of summer, I'm running a guest series, Sweet Summer, on this blog, which will feature yummy dessert recipes from guest writers. Here's to a sweet summer!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Delicious spring vegetarian meal

Lots of nice vegies and herbs in the garden at the moment, and it's always worthwhile showcasing them with some meals focussed around them. Here's one we had the other day:
Entree: Fresh steamed asparagus with semi-hard-boiled egg dressing. Steam the asparagus till cooked but not too soft, let them cool. Boil an egg(not too hard-boiled but not soft-boiled either), peel off shell, then chop the egg into bits. In a small bowl mix a tablespoon sour cream, a teaspoon Dijon mustard, a little salt, pepper, a small splash of either lemon or white balsamic vinegar. Mix the chopped egg in with this and serve the mixture drizzled over the asparagus.
Main course: Chick pea and herby vegetable couscous. Stir fry some onion, garlic in olive oil, add chopped herbs(I used mint and coriander, but anything you fancy is fine), and add in the chopped vegetables available--celery, capsicum, olives, tomato, greens, whatever. Stir in the chick peas(I used tinned ones as they are much quicker.) Prepare some couscous grain. Serve with the mixture on top of the couscous, decorate with herbs.
Salad: This is made entirely of mache leaves(corn salad)from the garden and and new little tomatoes from the greenhouse. I just love mache which is a very popular salad vegetable in France and which in the last couple of years we've been able to grow really well in the garden. I dress it with my usual vinaigrette: virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard.
Dessert: simple Poire Belle-Helene. (not pears from the garden though--not the season yet for them.). For each person, take one pear, peel and core and poach in a syrup made from 2 cups water, half a cup sugar, teaspoon vanilla essence. Poach for about 5-6 mins, then set aside to cool. Meanwhile melt some chocolate, a little milk, a little butter, till you get a smooth mixture. Drizzle over poached pears till they are covered and serve with whipped cream.