October 26, 2012

Lavender Shortbread (and some news)

We got married!!!

It’s been such an amazing day with sunshine, tears and laughter. A lot of emotions and a lot of fun. So happy :)

You will excuse me that I have been a bit absent from the blog over the past few months. With the wedding coming, we were a bit caught in the whirlwind of life and I found it quite hard to keep up with a post per week, creating recipes and taking pictures. But that’s life, isn’t it? So here I am, back on the blog, and with a lot of recipe ideas for the beautiful season that is autumn.

At the wedding, we gave our guests little favour bags that contained a heart-shaped lavender shortbread. 2 days before the big day, we spent the whole day in the kitchen, baking these little presents. It was a bit of a rush, but I’m glad we did it as the result was well worth it. I got the recipe from a cookbook and adapted it a little bit. I hope you like it xx

PS: we didn’t have time to take pictures of the actual biscuits, but you can see the little bags they were in

Pictures by Ian Walmsley

Lavender Shortbread – makes about 8 large biscuits

(recipe adapted from The Gluten-Free Baker, by Hannah Miles)

• 115g butter, softened (left out of the fridge overnight)
• 60g golden granulated sugar
• 50g brown rice flour
• 35g millet flour
• 85g ground almonds
• 2tsp culinary lavender

1. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and mix together until creamy. Add the flours, ground almonds and lavender and mix well. Bring together with your hands to form a dough ball. Place the dough on a square of baking paper, place another sheet of baking paper on top, and roll it into a rectangle with a rolling pin. Remove the upper sheet of baking paper, transfer the dough on its paper onto a large plate or chopping board and place in the fridge for 30min.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
3. Take the dough out of the fridge and cut shapes with a cookie cutter. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Repeat until you’ve used all the dough.
4. Place in the oven for about 13-14min until the biscuits are golden brown. Transfer on a wire rack to cool down. The biscuits keep for several days if stored in an airtight container.

Shortbreads à la Lavande – pour environ 8 grands biscuits

(recette adaptée du livre The Gluten-Free Baker, de Hannah Miles)

• 115g de beurre mou (laissé hors du réfrigérateur pour 1 nuit)
• 60g de sucre brun
• 50g de farine de riz complète
• 35g de farine de millet
• 85g de poudre d’amandes
• 2cc de lavande culinaire

1. Mettre le beurre et le sucre dans un saladier et mélanger jusqu’à l’obtention d’un mélange crémeux. Ajouter les farines, la poudre d’amande et la lavande et bien mélanger. Former une boule de pâte à l’aide de vos mains. Mettre la boule sur une feuille de papier sulfurisé, mettre une autre feuille de papier sulfurisé dessus, et étaler la pâte à l’aide d’un rouleau à pâtisserie. Retirer la feuille de papier sulfurisé du dessus, et transférer la pâte et la feuille inférieure sur une grande assiette ou une planche à découper. Mettre au réfrigérateur pour 30min.
2. Préchauffer le four à 180°C.
3. Sortir la pâte du réfrigérateur. La découper à l’aide d’un emporte pièce et mettre les biscuits sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier cuisson. Répéter jusqu’à épuisement de la pâte.
4. Mettre au four pour 13-14min jusqu’à ce que les biscuits soient dorés. Mettre à refroidir sur une grille. Les biscuits se gardent plusieurs jours s’ils sont conservés dans un récipient hermétique.

October 21, 2012

Courgette, Tomato & Pearl Barley Soup

In my little notebook, I’ve got a long list of foods and dishes I want to cook this autumn. On it, you will find various cookies and cakes, vegetable fritters, beetroot hummus and warm salads. Soups as well, because it is time for soups again. This courgette, tomato and pearl barley soup is actually the first one I made this season. We couldn’t get enough of it. It has that nourishing and comforting feel that you’re looking after at this time of year. The courgettes and tomatoes still have a flavour of late summer and the pearl barley adds that extra note of comfort. Thyme, olives, lemon juice, almonds and olive oil enchant the palate.

Courgette, Tomato and Pearl Barley Soup – serves 4

• 3tbsp cooking olive oil
• 1 onion, peeled and sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
• 1tsp cumin seeds
• 3 courgettes, cut into chunks
• A sprig of fresh thyme
• 3 large tomatoes, cut into chunks
• 200g pearl barley
• Vegetable stock (about 1L)
• 2tbsp black olives
• Juice of ½ lemon
• Salt and pepper
• 4tbsp flaked almonds, lightly toasted
• Extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat the 3 tbsp olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and fry gently for 5min. Add the garlic and cumin seeds and fry for 3min. Add the courgettes and thyme and fry for another 5min. Add the tomatoes and fry for another 3min. Add the pearl barley, mix well and cover with vegetable stock (about 1L). Leave to simmer for 35min.
2. Add the olives, lemon juice, salt and pepper, mix well and simmer for another 5min.
3. Serve in bowls, topped up with flaked almonds and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Soupe à l’Orge Perlée, Courgettes et Tomates – pour 4 personnes

• 3cs d’huile d’olive de cuisson
• 1 oignon, pelé et émincé
• 3 gousses d’ail, pelées et émincées
• 1cc de graines de cumin
• 3 courgettes, coupées en morceaux
• Une branche de thym frais
• 3 grosses tomates, coupées en morceaux
• 200g d’orge perlée
• Bouillon de légumes (environ 1L)
• 2cs d’olives noires
• Jus d’1/2 citron
• Sel et poivre
• 4cs d’amandes effiles, toastées
• Huile d’olive vierge extra

1. Faire chauffer 3cs d’huile d’olive dans une grande casserole ou faitout. Ajouter l’oignon et faire revenir 5min. Ajouter l’ail et les graines de cumin et faire revenir 3min. Ajouter les courgettes et le thym et faire revenir 5min. Ajouter les tomates et faire revenir 3min. Ajouter l’orge perlée, bien mélanger et couvrir de bouillon de légumes (environ 1L). Laisser cuire a petits bouillons pendant 35min.
2. Ajouter les olives, le jus de citron, du sel et du poivre, bien mélanger et laisser cuire encore 5min.
3. Servir dans des bols et parsemer d’amandes effilées et d’un filet d’huile d’olive vierge extra.

October 09, 2012

Early Autumn Market Salad


I spent last weekend on a yoga retreat, part of my teacher training course, where I had already stayed last year. The whole weekend was total bliss with time to unwind, reflect, share and live in the present moment. I feel so grateful to be part of that course as it has brought so much to me. I can’t praise enough the food – Andrea, our cook, treated us with healthy, wholesome and nourishing foods, which surely will inspire me to try some of her recipes.

The week before, I made this colourful salad by throwing together a mix of vegetables I found at the market. The colours of the ingredients were so beautiful and reminded me of the leaves on the trees, progressively changing colour at this time of year.


Early Autumn Market Salad – serves 4

• Grains of 2 corn cobs
• ½ kohlrabi, grated
• 1 red pepper, finely sliced
• ½ cucumber, sliced
• 2 plum tomatoes, cut into small cubes
• 2 spring onions, finely sliced
• 2 purple carrots, peeled and sliced
• A handful runner beans, chopped
• Salt and pepper
• Juice of ½ lemon
• 1tbsp tahini
• 2tbsp olive oil
• Topping of your choice (optional): basil, feta, nuts…

1. Blanch the runner beans for 5 min in a pan of boiling water. Drain and rinse under cold water.
2. Arrange all of the ingredients in a salad bowl, side by side.
3. Prepare the dressing in a little bowl by mixing salt, pepper, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil. Pour over the salad. Mix well and serve. Add any topping of your choice.

Salade du Marché de Début d’Automne – pour 4 personnes

• Les grains de 2 épis de maïs doux
• ½ chou rave, pelé et râpé
• 1 poivron rouge, épépiné et finement émincé
• ½ concombre, coupé en rondelles
• 2 tomates olivettes, coupées en petits cubes
• 2 oignons nouveaux, émincés
• 2 carottes violettes, pelées et coupées en rondelles
• Une poignée de haricots à rames, coupés en morceaux
• Sel et poivre
• Jus d’1/2 citron
• 1cs de tahini
• 2cs d’huile d’olive
• Addition au choix (optionnel) : basilic, feta, fruits à coques…

1. Faire blanchir les haricots à rames 5min dans une casserole d’eau bouillante. Egoutter et rincer à l’eau froide.
2. Arranger les ingrédients dans un grand saladier, côte à côte.
3. Préparer l’assaisonnement dans un petit bol en mélangeant le sel, poivre, tahini, jus de citron et huile d’olive. Verser sur la salade et bien mélanger. Servir avec l’addition de votre choix.

October 02, 2012

Caribbean Aubergine Curry

If you step into our kitchen those days, there is a good chance you would find vegetables roasting, a pot very slowly simmering on the hob or a fruity crumble cooking in the oven. As trees are starting to change colours and the days getting shorter I felt it was time for cooking comforting meals. My number one comfort food is a good curry. And we usually have one every week as soon as the weather turns autumnal. For this one, I wanted it to cook very slowly for at least 1 hour, to allow the flavours to develop and the aubergines to get a melt in the mouth texture. This is no authentic Caribbean curry, but rather one I got inspired by a pork with aubergine dish my Mum used to make. It filled the house with smells of spices and it just felt good to be at home on an autumn night.

Caribbean Aubergine Curry – serves 4
• 2tbsp coconut oil
• 2 onions, peeled and sliced
• 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
• 1tbsp four-spice mix
• ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
• 3 aubergines, cut into cubes
• 4 tomatoes, cut into chunks
• 200ml water
• Juice of ½ lime + 1 lime cut into quarters
• 2tbsp dark rum

1. Heat the coconut oil in a large sauté pan, add the onion and fry for 5min. Add the garlic, chilli and four spice mix and cook for 1min, stirring all the time. Add the aubergines and stir fry for 5min. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5min. Add 200ml water, cover and reduce the heat onto low. Cook very gently for 1hour, until the aubergines are really soft and completely cooked through.
2. Add the rum and lime juice and cook for another 5min.
3. Serve in bowls with basmati rice and quarters of lime.

Curry Caribéen aux Aubergines – pour 4 personnes
• 2cs d’huile de noix de coco
• 2 oignons, pelés et émincé
• 3 gousses d’ail, pelées et émincées
• 1cs de quatre-épices
• ½ piment rouge, égrainé et finement émincé
• 3 aubergines, coupées en cubes
• 4 tomates, coupées en cubes
• 200ml d’eau
• Jus d’1/2 citron vert + 1 citron vert coupé en quartiers
• 2cs de rhum brun

1. Faire chauffer l’huile de noix de coco dans une grande sauteuse, ajouter l’oignon et le faire revenir 5min. Ajouter l’ail, le piment et le quatre-épices et faire revenir 1min en mélangeant tout le temps. Ajouter les aubergines et faire revenir pendant 5min. Ajouter les tomates et faire revenir pendant 5min. Ajouter 200ml d’eau, couvrir et réduire à feu doux. Faire cuire tout doucement pendant environ 1h, jusqu’à ce que les aubergines soient tendres et bien cuites.
2. Ajouter le rhum et le jus de citron vert et laisser cuire encore 5min.
3. Servir dans des bols avec du riz basmati et un quartier de citron vert.