December 11, 2015

Spicy Chickpeas

Jar of spiced chickpeas hand held

I am usually waiting for Christmas with much anticipation. This year, things have however been slightly different. Maybe it is the incredibly mild and sunny weather or very probably the arrival of our little boy, but for some reason it’s taken me a good while to get into the spirit of it and I don’t really realise that the big day is in less than two weeks.

But you know what? It’s actually felt good. I’ve enjoyed not being caught in the whirlwind that this time of year usually is and taken time to simply be with my little family, slow living. We’ve only just put up our handmade driftwood tree and a couple other decorations and are starting to bake Christmas biscuits and treats. What if this time of year was actually the perfect moment to pause, say no to countless to-do lists and invitations and take time to turn inwards, contemplating what the past year has brought us, expressing gratitude for it and sowing seeds for future growth?

Chickpeas on a baking tray

Today’s recipe makes for lovely nibbles: chickpeas rolled in spices and roasted in the oven. We also love these as salad or soup toppings, a nice addition to any winter dish, really. I hope you enjoy making it and wish you love and bliss for the holidays x

Spicy Chickpeas – makes one batch
•400g cooked chickpeas
•1tsp caraway seeds
•1tsp ground cumin
•1tsp ground smoked paprika
•A good pinch of salt

1.Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2.Place the chickpeas in a large tea towel and rub them in it, in order to dry them and remove any skin that would come off.
3.Place them on a large baking tray covered with baking paper. Sprinkle the spices and the salt and mix with your hands to cover to ensure the chickpeas are covered in spices.
4.Place in the oven and cook for 25min. Take out of the oven and leave to cool down. Keeps 2-3 days in an air-tight jar.

Pois-Chiches Epicés – pour une fournée
•400g de pois-chiches cuits
•1cc de graines de carvi
•1cc de cumin moulu
•1cc de paprika fumé
•Une pincée de sel

1.Préchauffer le four sur 200°C.
2.Mettre les pois-chiches dans un torchon et les frotter, de façon à retirer leur peau facilement.
3.Les étaler sur une grande plaque à four recouverte de papier sulfurisé. Parsemer des épices et du sel et mélanger avec les mains pour bien enrober les pois-chiches d’épices.
4.Mettre au four pour 25min. Sortir du four et laisser refroidir. Se garde 2 ou 3 jours dans un bocal hermétique.

November 23, 2015

Curried Cauliflower, Beluga Lentils & Fennel Salad

A salad bowl on a blue background

When putting together a salad bowl, I consider flavours and tastes as key elements, but I also think that colours and textures play an equally important part. It needs to be appealing for all the senses. I find there similarities to any creative process and although I sometimes have imagined the dish way ahead in my head, on other occasions I just go with the flow to mix and match ingredients which just feel right at that moment in time. All senses can also be stimulated during the making, touching, looking at, smelling and tasting the produce used for cooking, offering the opportunity to fully connect with the food, even long before eating it.

This curried cauliflower, lentil and fennel salad was created with these thoughts in mind. The lentils and cauli are tender, the fennel crispy. The curry powder gives a delicious fragrance to the kitchen and a beautiful colour to the cauliflower. There’s a mix of sweet and savoury flavours, warm and fresh ingredients that match and contrast with each other.

And life goes on, with each of us able to spread a little bit more love and peace on this planet, because this is all that we need right now and always...

With love and light x

A salad bowl on a blue background

Curried Cauliflower, Beluga Lentils & Fennel Salad – serves 4 to 6
•250g beluga lentils, rinsed
•1tsp cumin seeds
•1tsp mustard seeds
•1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
•2tsp curry powder
•3tbsp sunflower oil
•2 fennel bulbs
•2tbsp raisins
•Salt and pepper
•1tsp wholegrain mustard
•Juice of ½ lemon
•2tbsp olive oil
•1 green chilli, finely sliced
•A large bunch parsley, roughly chopped

1.Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2.Place the lentils in a medium-sized saucepan with the cumin and mustard seeds, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook over a medium heat for about 20min, until tender. Drain any excess water and set aside.
3.Spread the cauliflower on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Sprinkle with curry powder and drizzle the sunflower oil over. Mix well with your hands to cover the cauliflower well with curry powder and oil. Place in the oven and cook for 20min, giving it a stir halfway through. Set aside.
4.Remove the fennel tops, cut the bulbs in half and slice them finely.
5.Prepare the dressing by mixing in a small bowl some salt and pepper with the mustard, lemon juice and olive oil.
6.Place the lentils, cauliflower, fennel and raisins in a serving bowl/dish. Drizzle the dressing over and mix. Top up with parsley and chilli slices and serve.

Salade de Chou-fleur au Curry, Lentilles Beluga et Fenouil – pour 4 à 6 personnes
•250g de lentilles béluga, rincées
•1cc de graines de cumin
•1cc de graines de moutarde
•1 chou-fleur, séparé en bouquets
•2cc de poudre de curry
•3cs d’huile de tournesol
•2 bulbes de fenouil
•2cs de raisins secs
•Sel et poivre
•1cc de moutarde à l’ancienne
•Jus d’1/2 citron
•2cs d’huile d’olive
•1 piment vert, coupé en fines rondelles
•Une poignée de persil, émincé grossièrement

1.Préchauffer le four sur 200°C.
2.Mettre les lentilles dans une casserole de taille moyenne avec les graines de cumin et de moutarde, couvrir avec de l’eau froide, porter à ébullition et faire cuire à feu moyen environ 20min, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient tendres. Egoutter si nécessaire et mettre de côté.
3.Répartir les bouquets de chou-fleur sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier sulfurisé. Parsemer de curry en poudre et arroser d’huile de tournesol. Mélanger avec les mains de façon à bien recouvrir le chou-fleur de curry et d’huile. Mettre au four pour 20min et remuer à mi-cuisson. Mettre de côté une fois cuit.
4.Enlever le dessus des bulbes de fenouil, puis les couper en deux et enfin les émincer finement.
5.Préparer l’assaisonnement dans un petit bol en mélangeant du sel et du poivre avec la moutarde, le jus de citron et l’huile d’olive.
6.Mettre les lentilles, le chou-fleur, le fenouil et les raisins secs dans un saladier/assiette de service. Verser l’assaisonnement et mélanger. Parsemer de rondelles de piment et de persil et servir.

October 28, 2015

Simple Seedy Porridge with Ginger Pears

A bowl of porridge with pears

Our little boy, Kai, came into this world earlier this month. There is no word to describe how the arrival of a baby changes your life, and I guess that you have to go through it to be able to know what it is like. Parenting is both wonderful and incredibly challenging; we’re only at the very beginning of the journey, and what has struck me the most so far is the outpour of love one can feel for a child.

Those days, when I am still in my pyjamas by midday and can’t even find time to have a shower, it is needless to say that finding time and energy to write a blog post has been rather difficult. However, I didn’t want to leave this space blank for too long. It helps me to keep a sense of normality in my life that to know that Food Moods is still going. On some mornings, my little one happens to have a bit of a lie in, and this has given me the chance to get up and prepare myself a decent breakfast. A bowl of warm porridge is exactly what I am craving, especially after a night with not much sleep, to help nurture my body. It is soul food at its best, and I have been delighting in this moment of bliss quietness at the start of the day, watching the mist and colourful trees outside and listening to my baby’s breath in the room next door, while eating my breakfast.

A breakfast table wth a bowl of porridge

Happy autumn folks and see you soon on the blog x

Simple Seedy Porridge with Ginger Pears – serves 1
•A knob coconut oil
•1 pear, cored, peeled and sliced
•A small knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
•60g small oat flakes
•1tbsp sunflower seeds
•1tbsp sesame seeds
•1tbsp linseeds
•A small handful Inca berries, peeled and halved (optional)
•1tbsp runny honey

1.Heat the coconut oil in a small pan or skillet. Add the pear slices and ginger and cook on a medium heat for about 10-15min, stirring every so often, until the pear is soft and cooked through.
2.In the meantime, place the oats in a small saucepan with the sunflower, sesame and linseeds. Cover with water and heat gently. As soon as it starts bubbling, add a bit more water and keep stirring for about 3min, until the porridge gets really creamy. Take off the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
3.Top the porridge with the pear slices and Inca berries and drizzle with honey. Eat warm.

Porridge Tout Simple aux Graines et Poires au Gingembre – pour 1 personne
•Une noix d’huile de coco
•1 poire, évidée, pelée et coupée en tranches
•Un petit morceau de gingembre frais, pelé et émincé
•60g de petits flocons d’avoine
•1cs de graines de tournesol
•1cs de graines de sésame
•1cs de graines de lin
•1 petite poignée de physalis, coupées en deux
•1cs de miel liquide

1.Faire chauffer l’huile dans une petite poêle. Ajouter les poires et le gingembre et faire revenir à feu moyen pendant environ 10-15min, jusqu'à ce que la poire soit tendre.
2.Pendant ce temps, mettre les flocons d’avoine dans une petite casserole avec les graines de tournesol, de sésame et de lin. Couvrir d’eau et faire chauffer à feu doux. Dès que le mélange commence à frémir, ajouter un peu d’eau puis mélanger constamment pendant environ 3min, jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture crémeuse. Transférer dans un bol.
3.Ajouter les tranches de poires et les physalis et arroser de miel. Déguster chaud.

October 02, 2015

Plum & Fig Crumble Slice

A crumble dish and plated slice on a dark wooden background

Quickly before the season for figs and plums ends, I wanted to share the recipe for these no-fuss and very yummy crumble slices. I went on a bit of a crumble frenzy last month and made several variations of these, which definitely were a winner in our home! There is something a bit rustic about it, perfect for the early autumn days. It is also very customizable – the plums and figs can easily be exchanged for apples and pears or juicy berries, though the cooking time might change slightly depending on the fruits used.  If you’d rather opt for a vegan alternative, simply replace the butter by coconut oil. I hope you’ll enjoy making these and I wish you a very good weekend x

A crumble dish on a dark wooden background

A crumble dish on a dark wooden background

Plum & Fig Crumble Slice – serves 6 to 8
•Coconut oil
•150g whole rice flour
•80g quinoa flakes
•80g sunflower seeds
•50g whole cane sugar
•A pinch of salt
•90g butter, cut into small cubes
•4tbsp maple syrup
•6 figs, quartered
•10-12 plums, stoned and quartered
•1tbsp corn flour

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a square/rectangular oven dish with coconut oil.
2.In a large bowl, mix the rice flour with the quinoa flakes, sunflower seeds, sugar and salt. Add the cubed butter and 2tbsp maple syrup and mix with the fingertips in order to obtain rough crumbs.
3.In a small bowl, mix the fruits with 2tbsp maple syrup and the corn flour.
4.Spread half of the dry mixture across the bottom of the dish, pressing it with the back of a spoon to flatten it. Cover it with the sliced fruits. Finally, add the rest of the crumbs, in order to cover the fruits.
5.Place in the oven and cook for about 40min, until the fruits are tender and cooked through. Cut into squares and serve warm or cold.

Barre de Crumble Prunes & Figues – pour 6 à 8
•Huile de coco
•150g de farine de riz complète
•80g de flocons de quinoa
•80g de graines de tournesol
•50g de sucre de canne complet
•Une pincée de sel
•90g de beurre, coupé en petits cubes
•4cs de sirop d’érable
•6 figues, coupées en quartiers
•10-12 prunes, dénoyautées et coupées en quartiers
•1cs de fécule de maïs

1.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C. Graisser un plat à four rectangulaire/carré avec l’huile de coco.
2.Dans un saladier, mélanger la farine de riz avec les flocons de quinoa, les graines de tournesol, le sucre et le sel. Ajouter le beurre et 2cs de sirop d’érable et frotter du bout des doigts pour obtenir des miettes grossières.
3.Dans un bol, mélanger les figues et les prunes avec 2cs de sirop d’érable et la fécule de maïs.
4.Parsemer la moitié du mélange sec dans le plat et appuyer avec le dos d’une cuillère pour l’aplatir. Parsemer les fruits. Enfin, terminer avec une autre couche des miettes, de façon à bien couvrir les fruits.
5.Mettre au four environ 40min, jusqu'à ce que les fruits soient tendres et cuits. Couper en barres et servir chaud ou froid.

A crumble dish and plated slice on a dark wooden background

September 18, 2015

Oat Stuffed Aubergines

A plate of aubergines stuffed with oats, on a wooden background

The abundance of tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, etc. at this time of year has got me wanting to cook Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Today, I’m therefore focusing on a typical Mediterranean vegetable: aubergines/eggplants, of the same family as peppers and tomatoes which come in a variety of shapes and colours. They are in season from June till September (summer months in the Northern Hemisphere). To choose an aubergine, make sure that it is firm to the touch, with a shiny skin and deep purple colour. The leaves at the stem end should be green and fresh, not brown or dried. Aubergines are fibre and anti-oxidant rich, and to best preserve their nutritional value, should be cooked with the least fat possible. In this recipe, a thin layer of oil is enough to cook them, and the heat of the oven does the rest of the job, making them incredibly tender.

A baking tray filled with grilled aubergines

I struggled a bit with coming up with a name for this dish, but never mind the name, it is wholesome and utterly delicious and will make you want to come back for more. You can adapt the recipe to your liking by for instance substituting the oat for another grain, enjoying it warm or cold, topping it up with feta, etc.

A perfect recipe to try at the weekend! Have a good one x

A plate of aubergines stuffed with grains

Oat Stuffed Aubergines – serves 4
•190g oat groats (or other grain of your choice)
•2tbsp flaked almonds
•4 aubergines
•Coconut oil, melted
•½ onion, finely chopped
•½ red pepper, seeded and cut into small cubes
•1tsp ground cumin
•1/2tsp chilli powder
•Salt and pepper
•A bunch of mint, finely chopped
•A bunch of chives, finely chopped
•Seeds from 1 small pomegranate
•150g tahini
•125ml cold water
•½ clove garlic, minced
•Juice from ½ lemon

1.Place the oats in a pan of boiling water and cook for about 45min, until tender. Drain and set aside.
2.Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the almond flakes on a small baking tray and place in the oven for 5min or so, until golden.
3.Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and then criss-cross their surface, without cutting all the way through. Place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper flesh side up and rub them with coconut oil. Place in the oven for 30min, or until the flesh is tender.
4.In the meantime, heat a knob of coconut oil on a medium heat in a large frying/sauté pan. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté for 5-10min, until tender. Add the ground cumin and chilli and fry for another minute. Take off the heat. Once the oats are cooked, add them to the pan alongside some salt and pepper, the mint and chives and the pomegranate seeds. Mix.
5.To prepare the tahini sauce, mix in a bowl the tahini with the water, garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt until smooth. Add more water if needed, to make the texture really creamy.
6.To serve, place the aubergines in a serving dish. Top up each half with some of the oats from the pan. Drizzle with tahini sauce and eat with a green salad on the side.

Aubergines Farcies à l’Avoine – pour 4 personnes
•190g de gruau d’avoine (ou autre graine de votre choix)
•2cs d’amandes effilées
•4 aubergines
•Huile de coco, fondue
•½ oignon, pelé et émincé
•½ poivron rouge, épépiné et coupé en petits cubes
•1cc de cumin moulu
•½ cc de piment en poudre
•Sel et poivre
•Une poignée de menthe, émincée
•Une poignée de ciboulette, émincée
•Graines d’une petite grenade
•150g de tahini
•125ml d’eau froide
•½  gousse d’ail, pelée et émincée
•Jus d’½ citron

1.Mettre l’avoine dans une casserole d’eau bouillante et laisser cuire à feu moyen environ 45min, jusqu'à ce qu’il soit tendre. Egoutter et mettre de côté.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 200°C. Mettre les amandes effilées dans un petit plat et enfourner environ 5min, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient dorées.
3.Couper les aubergines dans la longueur et y dessiner des croisillons au couteau, sans couper complètement. Mettre sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier cuisson, côté coupé sur le dessus et les badigeonner d’huile de coco à l’aide d’un pinceau. Mettre au four pour 30min, ou jusqu'à ce que leur chair soit tendre.
4.Pendant ce temps, faire chauffer une noix d’huile de coco dans une grande poêle ou sauteuse. Ajouter l’oignon et le poivron et faire revenir 5-10min, jusqu'à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Ajouter le cumin et le piment en poudre et faire revenir encore 1min. Retirer du feu. Une fois l’avoine cuit, l’ajouter dans la sauteuse, puis assaisonner de sel et de poivre, ajouter les graines de grenade, la menthe et la ciboulette. Mélanger.
5.Pour préparer la sauce au tahini, mélanger dans un bol le tahini avec l’eau, l’ail, le jus de citron et une pincée de sel, jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit crémeux. Si besoin, ajouter un peu d’eau, de façon à obtenir une texture lisse.
6.Pour servir, déposer les aubergines dans un plat de service. Couvrir chaque moitié du mélange à l’avoine. Arroser de sauce au tahini et servir avec une salade verte.

You might also like:
Grilled Aubergines & Tomato Coulis
Aubergine Spread
Aubergine Rolls
Caribbean Aubergine Curry
Japanese-style sautéed Aubergines

September 09, 2015

Stir-Fried Millet with Courgettes - Everyday Cooking

A plate with a stir-fried millet dish

Stir-fried vegetables and a wholegrain was a very regular staple of mine in my student days. Although I don’t tend to eat that sort of dish as often nowadays, I’m still very fond of these meals-in-minutes. We’ve already stepped into September, and whether it is back to school/work time for you, or whether enjoying the Indian Summer, I am sure that simple everyday cooking ideas will always be welcome. As for me, I am making the most of the last few weeks before our baby arrives and I certainly try to keep it as easy as possible in the kitchen. Let me know in the comments what’s your favourite dish of the moment ;-)

Here are a few links to other favourite September easy meal ideas:
Sweetcorn Fritters with Avocado Salsa
Red Pepper Cold Soup
Early Autumn Market Salad
Pipérade Basquaise
Quinoa, Pepper & Courgette Galettes
Japanese-style Sautéed Aubergines

A plate with a stir-fried millet dish

Stir-Fried Millet with Courgettes – serves 4
•250g millet
•1tbsp olive oil
•2tbsp pine nuts
•Coconut oil
•3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
•1tsp ground cumin
•3 large courgettes, sliced
•3tbsp tamari or shoyu
•Black pepper
•Sesame oil (optional)

1.Place the millet in a large saucepan, heat until the millet starts popping, then add double its amount in water. Bring to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for 15-20min until all of the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat, add the olive oil, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool down.
2.Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the pine nuts on a small baking tray and put in the oven for about 10min, until golden. Set aside.
3.Heat a knob of coconut oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the garlic and fry for one minute. Add the cumin powder and heat for another 30sec, then add the courgettes. Stir-fry the courgettes on a medium-high heat for about 10min, until tender, then add the cooked millet, tamari or shoyu and black pepper and fry again for another 3min, stirring all the time.
4.Transfer to a serving dish/serving plates, sprinkle with pine nuts and drizzle with sesame oil, if using. Serve.

Millet Sauté aux Courgettes – pour 4 personnes
•250g de millet
•1cs d’huile d’olive
•2cs de pignons de pin
•Huile de coco
•3 gousses d’ail, pelées et émincées
•1cc de cumin en poudre
•3 courgettes, coupées en tranches fines
•3cs de tamari ou shoyu
•Poivre noir
•Huile de sésame (optionnel)

1.Mettre le millet dans une grande casserole et le faire chauffer jusqu'à ce qu’il commence à éclater. Ajouter alors deux fois son volume en eau. Porter à ébullition, couvrir et laisser cuire à feu doux 15-20min, jusqu'à ce que toute l’eau soit absorbée. Retirer du feu, ajouter l’huile d’olive, égrainer à la fourchette et laisser refroidir.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 160°C. Mettre les pignons sur une petite plaque à four et les y faire dorer environ 10min. Mettre de côté.
3.Faire chauffer une noix d’huile de coco dans un wok ou une grande poêle. Ajouter l’ail et le faire revenir une minute. Ajouter le cumin et faire revenir 30 secondes, puis ajouter les courgettes. Faire sauter les courgettes à feu moyen/fort pendant environ 10min, puis ajouter le millet, la sauce tamari ou shoyu et le poivre noir et faire sauter encore 3min, en remuant constamment.
4.Transférer dans un plat/des assiettes de service. Parsemer de pignons et arroser d’huile de sésame. Servir.

August 26, 2015

Summer Holiday Pasta Salad

A big bowl of pasta salad

With a bike amongst the pine trees

Let’s face it: in the summer time, when the weather is at its glorious peak, who wants to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals? My go-to option for simple meals is most often than not salads. Big bowls of nourishing salad. If they can be prepared ahead or last a day or so in the fridge, it’s even better.

Today, I’m taking you on a little escape with this video which we filmed when on holiday a little while ago. Pasta salad is typical summer holiday food, ready to pack, take on a picnic and enjoy living easy!

Pine tree tops

The sea

Summer Holiday Pasta Salad Video

Summer Holiday Pasta Salad – serves 6

I like using gluten-free/wholegrain pasta such as fusilli to put in salads. If you can’t find fresh sweetcorn, you can use a can of organic one instead. The salad can keep easily till the next day in the fridge.

•300g pasta of your choice
•4tbsp olive oil
•Salt and pepper
•1tbsp red wine vinegar
•1 tsp wholegrain mustard
•2 shallots, peeled and minced
•4 large tomatoes, cubed
•2 small red peppers, seeded and chopped
•Grains from 2 corn cobs or 1 small organic sweetcorn can
•150g feta, crumbled
•A large bunch of fresh dill, chopped

1.Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain, put back in the pan and mix with 1tbsp olive oil. Set aside to cool down.
2.Prepare the salad dressing directly in a large salad bowl by mixing salt and pepper with the vinegar, 3tbsp olive oil and mustard.
3.Add the pasta, shallots, tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, feta and dill. Mix well. Serve straight away or transfer to jars to take on a picnic.

Bowls of various ingredients to make a pasta salad

Salade de Pâtes des Vacances – pour 6 personnes

J’aime utiliser des pâtes sans gluten/complètes telles que fusilli pour cette salade. Si vous ne trouver pas de maïs frais, vous pouvez utiliser une boite de maïs bio à la place. La salade se garde facilement jusqu’au lendemain au réfrigérateur.

•300g de pâtes de votre choix
•4cs d’huile d’olive
•Sel et poivre
•1cs de vinaigre de vin rouge
•1cc de moutarde à l’ancienne
•2 échalotes, pelées et émincées
•4 grosses tomates, coupées en dés
•2 petits poivrons rouges, épépinés et coupés en cubes
•Grains de 2 épis de maïs ou une petite boîte
•150g de feta, en cubes
•Une grosse poignée d’aneth, ciselée

1.Faire cuire les pâtes selon les instructions sur le paquet. Egoutter, remettre dans la casserole et y mélanger 1cs d’huile d’olive, puis laisser refroidir.
2.Préparer l’assaisonnement directement dans un saladier en mélangeant du sel et du poivre avec le vinaigre, la moutarde et 3cs d’huile d’olive.
3.Ajouter les pâtes, les échalotes, les tomates, les poivrons, le maïs, la feta et l’aneth. Mélanger. Servir ou transférer dans des bocaux pour emmener en pique-nique.

A bowl of pasta salad

August 10, 2015

Failing Recipes + Apricot & Blueberry Tarts

Two mini fruit tarts on a wooden background

Does it ever happen to you that you go into the kitchen with an idea for a recipe, you start cooking and then the result is simply not what you were expecting? Do you sometimes prepare a meal and it turns out not right? This seems to have happened to me a fair number of times in the last few months. I’ve felt vulnerable. It’s been as if my cooking skills had been thrown out of the window and I was losing faith in my ability to cook and come up with new recipes. There’s also been many times when I’ve felt tired and had no energy to cook. There’ve been failed recipes, many times when I had planned on trying new recipes and photographing them and decided not to do so, and countless occasions when I’ve opted for preparing lunch out of bits and pieces that we had left in the fridge rather than the meal I had initially planned...

As much as I sometimes felt like crying or fighting against the situation, I’ve tried to surrender to it. Acceptance is a notion I’ve worked with since the beginning of my pregnancy, and although it’s been incredibly hard, I’ve noticed that from the moment when you decide to let go, things seem to flow and you don’t feel so upset as when trying to resist. 

A fruity tart on a wooden background

So, it took me a while to share this recipe with you, because I just had to do it over again several times before having one that was good enough to share on the blog. I first came up with the idea when having breakfast: I topped up my muesli with slices of apricots and fresh blueberries. The colour contrasts were so pretty that I knew instantly that apricots and blueberries were a perfect match. My first version was a raw tart, but it just didn’t turn out right. And it took me a couple more tries before I had a recipe I was satisfied with. Apricots and blueberries are now reaching the end of their season, so make sure you enjoy them while there are still available. I’ve tried to keep the recipe as simple as possible to highlight the beautiful flavours of the fruits. I hope you’ll enjoy it. With love x

Apricot & Blueberry Tarts – makes 4 small tarts
•160g brown rice flour
•90g ground almonds
•25g corn flour
•4tbsp unrefined sugar
•Finely grated zest of 1 lemon + a squeeze of juice
•1 large egg, beaten
•60ml sunflower oil
•4 or 5 tbsp water
•200g blueberries
•2tbsp maple syrup
•6 to 8 apricots, finely sliced

1.To make the dough, mix in a large bowl the rice flour, ground almonds and corn flour with the sugar and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and sunflower oil. Start mixing until the dough comes together. If needed, add water, one tablespoon at a time, and work the crust until it forms a ball. Wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge for 30min.
2.In the meantime, place the blueberries in a small saucepan with a squeeze of lemon juice and the maple syrup. Cover and cook for 5min on a medium heat, then remove the lid and carry on cooking for another 10-15min until thick and jammy. Take off the heat.
3.Preheat the oven to 180°C. Take the dough out of the fridge and separate it into 4 portions. Flatten each of them into a circle with a rolling pin, on a lightly floured work surface and fill 4 individual tart dishes with the dough. Prick the bottom with a fork.
4.Spread a couple of spoonfuls of the cooked blueberries in the bottom of each tart case. Arrange the apricot slices on top.
5.Place in the oven and cook for 35min. Leave to cool down for 15min before eating.

You might also like my Baked Apricots with Honey & Lavender recipe

Tartelettes Abricots & Myrtilles – pour 4
•160g de farine de riz complet
•90g de poudre d’amandes
•25g de fécule de maïs
•4cs de sucre complet 
•Zeste d’un citron + quelques gouttes de jus
•1 gros œuf, battu
•60ml d’huile de tournesol
•4 ou 5cs d’eau
•200g de myrtilles
•2cs de sirop d’érable
•6 à 8 abricots, dénoyautés et coupés en fines tranches

1.Pour préparer la pâte, mélanger dans un grand bol la farine de riz avec la poudre d’amandes, la fécule de maïs, le sucre et le zeste de citron. Creuser un puits au centre et y verser l’œuf battu et l’huile. Mélanger et si besoin ajouter de l’eau, 1cs à la fois, de façon à pouvoir former une boule de pâte. L’envelopper dans du film et la mettre au réfrigérateur pendant 30min.
2.Pendant ce temps, mettre les myrtilles dans une petite casserole avec quelques gouttes de jus de citron et le sirop d’érable. Couvrir et faire cuire à feu moyen 5min, puis retirer le couvercle et poursuivre la cuisson 10-15min jusqu'à ce que la consistance épaississe et prenne l’aspect d’une confiture. Retirer du feu.
3.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C. Sortir la pâte du réfrigérateur et la séparer en 4 portions. Etaler chaque portion en un cercle à l’aide d’un rouleau à pâtisserie, sur un plan de travail légèrement fariné, puis étaler chaque cercle dans des moules à tarte individuels. Piquer le fond à la fourchette.
4.Etaler quelques cuillérées de myrtilles cuites dans le fond de chaque tarte. Répartir les tranches d’abricot sur le dessus. 
5.Mettre au four et faire cuire 35min. Laisser refroidir 15min avant de déguster.

Vous aimerez aussi peut-être ma recette d’Abricots Rôtis au Miel et à la Lavande

Two fruity tarts on a wooden background

July 31, 2015

French Toast with Peaches

A plate of French toasts and fresh fruits on a wooden background

We sometimes buy bread but wait a bit too long to eat it, and it then turns rock solid. When this happens, I try not to let it go to waste and there are usually two things I tend to do: I will either make croutons to top up a salad or soup, or French toasts. And this is when the magic happens: transforming a hard loaf of bread into something utterly delicious. I often like to imagine how people first came up with a recipe, and I can totally relate to those situations when you’ve left an ingredient on the countertop for a wee bit too long but it is still edible. Making French toasts with stale bread is the perfect example for this, and a breakfast I am definitely fond of. It can be prepared in minutes, but nicely dressed with a pile of fresh/cooked fruits, and you’re on for a breakie similar to what you could have been served in a fancy café. In this instance, I prepared a topping by reducing peaches into a simple compote and sprinkling ruby red currants on top, making it a super vibrant plate. An invitation to slow down and savour long summer days...

A plate of French toasts and fresh fruits on a wooden background

French Toasts with Peach Compote – serves 2
•6 peaches, peeled and sliced
•A squeeze of lemon juice
•3tbsp unrefined raw sugar + 2tbsp
•2 eggs, beaten
•200ml plant milk
•6 thick slices stale bread
•Coconut oil or ghee
•A handful fresh red currants
•Honey, to serve

1.Start by making the compote: place the peaches, lemon juice, 2tbsp water and 3tbsp sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, cover with a lid and leave to cook on a low heat for 15-20min until tender. Set aside.
2.In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the plant milk and 2tbsp sugar.
3.Heat a knob of coconut oil or ghee in a large frying pan. Dip the bread slices (3 at a time) in the egg mixture until soft and add to the pan. Cook for 2/3min on each side until golden, then dish out on a plate. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread.
4.To serve, top up the bread with a few spoonfuls of peach compote, sprinkle with red currants and add a drizzle of honey. Enjoy while still warm.

Pain Perdu & Compote de Pêches – pour 2 personnes
•6 pêches, pelées et coupées en tranches
•Jus de citron
•3cs de sucre complet + 2cs
•2 œufs, battus
•200ml de lait végétal
•6 larges tranches de pain rassis
•Huile de coco ou ghee
•Une poignée de groseilles rouges

1.Préparer la compote : mettre les pêches dans une casserole avec le jus de citron, 2cs d’eau et 3cs de sucre. Porter à ébullition, couvrir et laisser cuire à feu doux pendant 15-20min, jusqu'à ce que les pêches soient tendres. Mettre de côté.
2.Dans un saladier, battre les œufs avec le lait végétal et les 2cs de sucre.
3.Faire chauffer une noix d’huile de coco ou de ghee dans une poêle. Tremper les tranches de pain (3 à la fois) dans le saladier, jusqu'à ce qu’elles ramollissent, puis les ajouter à la poêle. Cuire 2/3min de chaque côté et mettre sur une assiette. Répéter avec le reste du pain.
4.Pour servir, ajouter quelques cuillérées de compote de pêches sur le pain, parsemer de groseilles et arroser de miel. Manger chaud.

July 20, 2015

Sweet Potato Crust Pizza with Courgettes & Cherry Tomatos

A round pizza on a white background

Pursuing a healthy lifestyle is all but boring. One of the reasons is that you get so many opportunities to experiment. The kitchen becomes a bit of a laboratory for all sorts of wonderful and delicious creations (I’ll admit there are a few failures sometimes, but this is all part of the fun). I find really enjoyable to take classic dishes, and see how I can ‘healthyfy’ them – it often only takes a bit of tweaking, such as using wholesome and fresh ingredients instead of more processed ones. This is where this pizza comes into the equation. We do love a good pizza in our home, like I’m sure many of you do, and although I wouldn’t say no to a ‘classic’ pizza once in a while, I often find that they leave me bloated and with a feeling of overeating, that will take a few hours to dissipate. When I first read about vegetable-based pizza crusts (i.e. cauliflower, courgette, etc.) I thought this was totally genius, and I haven’t failed to experiment various recipes. Not only does the pizza get extra flavour from the ingredients used in the base, but it also leaves you feeling nourished but light as a feather. Here is a recipe for a sweet potato crust with a topping of courgettes, tomatoes and hazelnuts. You could of course change the topping to whatever other vegetables are in season where you live. Purists might not call this pizza, but I will dare and challenge you to try it and let me know what you think!

Have a great week!

A round pizza on a white background

Sweet Potato Crust Pizza with Courgettes & Cherry Tomatoes – serves 2 to 4
•1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
•1tbsp chia seeds
•125g almond flour
•60g rice flour
•1tsp baking soda
•Salt and pepper
•1tsp oregano
•2tbsp olive oil
•3tbsp tomato purée
•100g mozzarella, grated
•1 small courgette, cut into ribbons
•A handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
•2tbsp hazelnuts, roughly chopped
•Basil leaves

1.Cook the sweet potato in a pan of boiling water for about 20min until tender. Drain, rinse under cold water and mash until smooth. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2.In a small bowl, mix the chia seeds with 3tbsp water and set aside for 5min until it forms a gel-like texture.
3.In a large bowl, mix together 125g of the mashed sweet potato, the almond and rice flours, baking soda, a pinch of salt, oregano, 1tbsp olive oil and the chia gel, in order to obtain a slightly sticky dough.
4.Spread the dough on a baking tray covered with baking paper into a thin circle, using the back of a spoon or a spatula to flatten the disk. Place in the oven for 30min.
5.Spread the tomato purée on the pizza disk, then sprinkle with the grated mozzarella. Add the courgettes, tomatoes and hazelnuts. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1tbsp olive oil. Place in the oven for 10min. Serve with a green salad.

Pizza à la Patate Douce et sa Garniture de Courgettes & Tomates Cerises – pour 2 à 4 personnes
•1 patate douce de taille moyenne, pelée et coupée en cubes
•1cs de graines de chia
•125g d’amandes en poudre
•60g de farine de riz
•1cc de bicarbonate de soude
•Sel et poivre
•1cc d’origan séché
•2cs d’huile d’olive
•3cs de concentré de tomates
•100g de mozzarella, râpée
•1 petite courgette, coupée en rubans
•1 poignée de tomates cerise, coupées en quartiers
•2cs de noisettes, émincées
•Quelques feuilles de basilic

1.Faire cuire la patate douce dans une casserole d’eau bouillante pendant 20min, jusqu'à ce qu’elle soit tendre. Egoutter, rincer à l’eau froide et écraser au presse-purée. Préchauffer le four sur 200°C.
2.Dans un petit bol, mélanger les graines de chia avec 3cs d’eau et laisser de côté 5min jusqu'à l’obtention d’un gel.
3.Dans un saladier, mélanger 125g de purée de patate douce, l’amande en poudre, la farine de riz, le bicarbonate de soude, du sel et du poivre, l’origan, 1cs d’huile et le gel de chi, jusqu'à l’obtention d’une pâte légèrement collante.
4.Etaler la pâte en un cercle fin sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier cuisson à l’aide d’une spatule ou du dos d’une cuillère en bois. Mettre au four pour 30min.
5.Sortir la pizza du four, y étaler le concentré de tomate et parsemer de mozzarella. Ajouter les rubans de courgette, les tomates cerise et les noisettes. Assaisonner de sel et de poivre et arroser d’une cuillérée d’huile d’olive. Remettre au four pour 10min. Servir avec une salade verte.

July 02, 2015

Summer Smoothies

Three different summer smoothies

Throughout my pregnancy, I have really enjoyed snacking on smoothies. I have found that I can’t digest large meals very easily, and feel much better when spreading my food intake throughout the day. So for my mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, I’ve naturally opted for healthy options to nourish mine and my little babe’s body, and this is when smoothies have been the perfect partner.

Admittedly, with the weather being scorching at the moment, a cool and hydrating drink is the obvious option. Below you will find three different ideas, using beautiful summer produce. Don’t hesitate to share other favourite of yours in the comments.

Happy summer! x

Summer Smoothies - Smoothies d’été

A red smoothie in a jar in the grass

Watermelon & Strawberry Smoothie – serves 2
•4 ice cubes
•½ medium watermelon, peeled and cut into chunks
•2 handfuls strawberries, hulled
•A sprig of fresh mint leaves

1. Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Smoothie Pastèque-Fraise – pour 2 personnes
•4 glaçons
•½ pastèque, pelée et coupée en cubes
•Une poignée de fraises, équeutées
•Quelques feuilles de menthe fraiche

1.Mettre les ingrédients dans un blender et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture lisse. Servir.

Smoothies in small glass bottles

Cucumber, Pineapple & Basil Smoothie – serves 2
•½ pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks
•½ cucumber, cut into chunks
•A sprig of fresh basil leaves
•250ml coconut milk

1. Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Smoothie Concombre, Ananas et Basilic – pour 2 personnes
•½ ananas, pelé et coupé en cubes
•½ concombre, coupé en cubes
•Une poignée de feuilles de basilic fraiches
•250ml de lait de coco

1.Mettre les ingrédients dans un blender et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture lisse. Servir.

A green smoothie in a Kilner jar

Layered Green Smoothie with Raspberries – serves 2
•2 handfuls fresh raspberries
•Juice of ½ lime
•250ml rice milk
•2 peaches, peeled and cut into chunks
•½ avocado, stoned and peeled
•1 large handful baby spinach leaves
•1tbsp hemp seeds
•1tsp spirulina (optional)

1. Place the raspberries at the bottom of each glass with a squeeze of lime juice and muddle until mashed. Place the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Carefully pour over the raspberries and serve.

Smoothie Vert et Rose – pour 2 personnes
•2 poignées de framboises
•Jus d’1/2 citron vert
•250ml de lait de riz
•2 pêches, pelées et coupées en cubes
•½ avocat, pelé, dénoyauté et coupé en cubes
•1 grosse poignée de pousses d’épinards
•1cs de graines de chanvre
•1cc de spiruline en poudre (optionnel)

1. Mettre les framboises au fond des verres avec le jus de citron et écraser les en purée. Mettre les ingrédients dans un blender et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture lisse. Verser doucement le smoothie sur les framboises. Servir.

June 26, 2015

Growing Fresh Herbs - Toolbox

Thyme in a pot

If you’ve ever liked the idea of growing your own food but are feeling a bit intimidated by it or don’t know how to go about it, growing fresh herbs/aromatics is a good place to start. There is no need to be an accomplished gardener or to have a lot of space available; a small pot or two on a windowsill or kitchen counter is enough to start with.

Fresh Mint Plant

Why grow fresh herbs?
There are many advantages to grow your own aromatics, but number one would probably be to have a fairly constant supply at your disposal to use in your cooking. Fresh herbs are sometimes all it takes to boost the flavour of a dish, they are very commonly used in cooking and for medicine use and they come with an array of health benefits, being filled with antioxidants and nutrients. When you know that half the nutritional value of herbs is lost within 30min of harvesting, growing your own will allow you to harvest small amounts only as and when you need them. You can also make sure your herbs are grown in a totally organic and natural way, without the use of any toxic fertilisers.

Growing your own is also a money-saving option, when you think of the price tag of fresh herbs at the shop.
Finally, growing your aromatics is fun, a great way to involve children, and will allow you to reconnect with nature and where your food comes from.

Basil seedlings in a zinc pot on a windowsill

How to grow fresh herbs?

First and foremost, you’ll need to choose which herbs you want to grow! There are many different types of aromatics available. Common ones include basil, parsley, chives, coriander, rosemary, thyme, sage, tarragon, mint and dill. Depending on how much space you have available, you might pick only one or two varieties or decide to have a more comprehensive choice of herbs. My advice would be to grow herbs which you tend to use regularly in your cooking, in order to prevent waste. However, do not hesitate to get off the beaten track in terms of the varieties that you pick, and your taste buds will be amazed by what nature has to offer. For instance, did you know that there are over 600 different varieties of mint in the world?  You might want to give a try to Chocolate Mint, Bergamot Mint or Arabic Mint to name only a few...

Mint in a container

Planting & Care
You can then decide whether you will grow your herbs outdoors or indoors and in open ground or in pots. Starting growing herbs in pots is often the easiest way of having fresh herbs available year round, however, they will provide less yields than outdoor gardens.

Use organic peat-free soil-based compost, and place a small layer of clay balls or small stones at the bottom of the pot, if growing in containers, to help with drainage. If you are a beginner at growing your own food, buying already grown plants will be the easiest option. You can also grow them from seeds, following the instruction on the packet for when and how to sow them, but although I have found that some plants such as basil and parsley are pretty easy to grow from seeds, other such as thyme or tarragon have proven more challenging. Garden centres are the obvious place where to go buy your plants, but it is definitely worth considering other places too, such as farmers’ markets or plant fairs, where you might be able to find locally grown plants, a much larger choice of varieties, and most importantly will be able to get precious advice from the grower as for how to care for your plants. The internet is also a good place to get organic seeds, and you might even be able to find seed-swapping websites. When buying already grown plants, dip them (up to the rim of their pot) in a bucket of water for about 10min before transferring them to their container/soil. Then, when in place, water again.

Mint in a pot

Most herb gardens do not require the use of fertilizers; however, adding a small layer or good organic compost to the soil (when growing herbs outdoors) twice a year will provide a good amount of nutrients to the plant. Check whether your plants will need to be exposed to direct sunlight or not. Water them in the morning (ideally with collected rain water), when the soil is dry.

Some herbs are perennial such as rosemary, thyme, mint, marjoram or tarragon. It can be useful to cut the plants just above soil level in the late autumn, and they will start growing again fresh shoots in the spring. Other varieties such as basil, chervil, coriander or dill are annual and will need a new plant every year.

For specific instructions on growing different varieties of herbs, do not hesitate to refer to a gardening book or to get advice from an experienced gardener, as each plant has got specific needs.

Let me know if you grow your own herbs or have any tips to share and happy gardening!

Basil in a zinc pot

June 12, 2015

Black Cherry Scones

A circular scone cake, sliced

Going for a wander or a drive in the inland Basque Country, the chances that you will see a lot of cherry trees, wild or cultivated, are very high. Black cherries are indeed a local delicacy, and a village of the name of Itxassou has even made it its speciality, and is famous for its black cherry jam that locals enjoy with slices of ewe cheese.

A bowl of black cherries, on a bench

Cherries are a fruit which I affectionate a lot, a symbol of seasonal eating. Their season is short and roughly extends from May till early July, depending on where you live. The pleasure of biting into a plump and juicy cherry is one of life’s little pleasures which comes back as a delight every year. Cherries vary in colour, shape and taste, from tart to very sweet, and they go along savoury dishes as well as sweet ones. Cherries offer many health benefits: they are rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, iron and copper. They are also packed with antioxidants and fibres - a real powerfood!

Slices of black cherry scones on a wooden background

To say that I am slightly obsessed with cherries at the moment would be a bit of an understatement, but it is one of these foods which you need to make the most of during the short period of time when they are available. A fellow blogger posted a photo for cherry scones on Instagram the other day, and the photo couldn’t get out of my head...I had to bake cherry scones! This was easily done, scones being such a quick and simple baking project. They were at their best fresh out of the oven, smeared with a dollop of berry jam. I imagine that adding dark chocolate chunks would make a lovely addition too, but even without, this was a treat made in heaven!

Slices of black cherry scones and cherries on a wooden background

If you love cherries, you might want to check recipes from the archives such as Coconut Cherry Clafoutis, Chocolate & Cherry Muffins, Cherry & Rocket Salad with Ricotta or Wild Cherry & Fromage Blanc Verrines. Enjoy!

Black Cherry Scones – makes 8
Note: I used rice cream in my recipe, but you could very well use dairy heavy cream instead
•125g light spelt flour
•125g wholewheat flour
•2tsp baking powder
•50g unrefined sugar
•A pinch of salt
•2 handful black cherries, pitted
•125g ricotta
•125ml cream

1.Preheat the oven to 220°C.
2.In a large bowl, mix the flours with the baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the cherries, ricotta and cream, and mix until you obtain a dough.
3.Transfer the dough to a baking sheet covered with baking paper and flatten it into a 3cm-high circle. Cut 8 wedges into the circle. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20min until golden and cooked through.
4.Take out of the oven and serve while still warm.

Scones aux Cerises Noires – pour 8 scones
Note : j’ai utilisée de la crème de riz dans ma recette, mais vous pourriez très bien la remplacer par de la crème fraiche épaisse.
•125g de farine de petit épeautre
•125g de farine de blé complet
•2cs de poudre à lever
•50g de sucre complet
•1 pincée de sel
•2 poignées de cerises noires, dénoyautées
•125g de ricotta
•125ml de crème

1.Préchauffer le four sur 220°C.
2.Dans un saladier, mélanger les farines avec la poudre à lever, le sucre et le sel. Ajouter les cerises, la ricotta et la crème et mélanger jusqu'à l’obtention d’une pâte.
3.Transférer la pâte sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier cuisson et l’étaler en un cercle de 3cm d’épaisseur. Couper le cercle en 8 parts. Mettre au four pour 15-20min jusqu'à ce que les scones soient dorés et cuits.
4.Sortir du four et servir encore tiède.

A black cherry scone cake, sliced

May 29, 2015

Mango, Strawberry & Vanilla Smoothie + A Video + Big News!

Pink smoothie in a glass

This post is now long overdue and I am beyond excited to be sharing it with you today!

First, it’s been a while since I shared any sweet recipe on the blog, and it was definitely time for one. We’ve made a video for it, which is always something exciting to work on. I’d love to hear your feedback, so don’t hesitate to drop me a line to say what you think of it. We’re still complete amateurs as regard to video making/editing, so I always feel a bit nervous about posting one on the blog. Strawberries are the fruit of the moment, and it seems therefore totally appropriate to use them in smoothies (note that you could use frozen strawberries if fresh ones are not in season where you live).

Almond milk, strawberries, mango & vanilla

Second...a big piece of news which I literally couldn’t wait to be sharing... There’s a bun in the oven! We are absolutely delighted to be expecting a baby boy for the early autumn. Food blogging during the first term of the pregnancy was sometimes a bit of a challenge as I found myself having aversions for a number of foods, and simply was often not in the mood for talking about food or cooking. But these times already seem quite far behind, and more than ever I am committed to preparing wholesome and delicious meals to nourish myself and the little sprout growing in my belly. Smoothies are the perfect example of healthy snacks that I like to have: they are filling enough to keep me going and packed with the goodness of the ingredients I use in them.

View of a blender

Here is to the beginning of summer and exciting times ahead ;-)
With love x


Mango, Strawberry & Vanilla Smoothie – serves 2
•250ml almond milk
•1 mango, stoned, peeled and cut into cubes
•250g strawberries, hulled
•Seeds from one vanilla pod

1.Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Smoothie Mangue, Fraise et Vanille – pour 2 personnes
•250ml de lait d’amande
•1 mangue, pelée, dénoyautée et coupée en cubes
•250g de fraises, équeutées
•Graines d’une gousse de vanille

1.Mettre les ingrédients dans un blender et mixer jusqu'à obtenir une texture lisse.

May 18, 2015

Cauliflower Green Tabbouleh

A bowl of salad

Thankfully, the preparation for this blog post happened before my mini food-processor decided to break down. I haven’t managed to find a spare part for it or to repair it myself and I am left pondering whether I should live without one for a few months and save to invest into a proper large and robust one (any recommendation?) or whether I should get another small cheap one as a replacement...

Anyway, going back to the recipe, it has become a classic in our home: I love making it when having guests and let them try to guess what magic ingredient is used in place of traditional couscous. The salad leaves you feeling light but nourished all the same, qualities which I really appreciate when summer time and hotter days come. I call cauliflower a ‘magic’ ingredient as it is incredibly versatile in the ways you can eat it and prepare it. For more out of the ordinary inspiration, make sure to check my Cauliflower Tacos recipe posted last year.

Wishing you a beautiful week x

A bowl of salad with a wooden fork on a white background

Cauliflower Green Tabouleh with Harissa Lemon Dressing – serves 4
•1 small or ½ large cauliflower
•2 spring onions, finely sliced
•1 celery stick, finely chopped
•1 small cucumber, cut into small cubes
•2tbsp green olives, finely chopped
•A large bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
•A large bunch of mint, roughly chopped
•A large bunch of chives, roughly chopped
•Salt and pepper
•Juice of ½ lemon
•1tbsp harissa paste
•2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1.Cut the cauliflower into small florets, and put them into a food processor (you might need to do this in a couple of batches). Process until you obtain a rice-like texture. Transfer to a large salad bowl.
2.Add the celery, cucumber, olives and herbs to the bowl.
3.In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by mixing some salt and pepper with the lemon juice, harissa and olive oil. Pour over the salad. Mix well.
4.Serve or keep in the fridge for later.

Taboulé Vert de Chou-fleur & Sauce Harissa-Citron – pour 4 personnes
•1 petit ou ½ gros chou-fleur
•2 oignons de printemps, émincés
•1 branche de céleri, émincée
•1 petit concombre, coupé en petits dés
•2cs d’olive vertes, émincées
•Un gros bouquet de persil, émincé
•Un gros bouquet de menthe, émincé
•Un gros bouquet de ciboulette, émincé
•Sel et poivre
•Jus d’1/2 citron
•1cs de harissa
•2cs d’huile d’olive

1.Couper le chou-fleur en petits bouquets et les mettre dans le bol d’un robot (il sera peut-être nécessaire de le faire en plusieurs fois). Faire tourner le robot jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture ressemblant à de la semoule. Transférer dans un grand saladier.
2.Ajouter le céleri, le concombre, les olives et les herbes.
3.Préparer l’assaisonnement dans un petit bol en mélangeant du sel et du poivre avec le jus de citron la harissa et l’huile d’olive. Verser sur la salade et bien mélanger.
4.Servir ou garder au réfrigérateur en attendant.

May 11, 2015

Easy Pickled Cucumber

Pickled cucumber slices in a glass jar

I’ve really liked having a jar of these pickled cucumber slices at the ready in the fridge. I have them as an accompaniment to a lunch bowl or salad, or my favourite option, on top of a fresh ewe cheese rye toast. They seem to jazz up any food they are eaten with. Taste-wise, I would say that they are quite close to gherkins, but definitely with a different texture. What seduced me with making my own pickles like this is the easiness of the preserving process. They take a matter of minutes to prepare and will be ready to eat within a day. The good news is that if you’re not such a big fan of cucumber, other vegetables work well too such as radishes, baby turnips, asparaguses or sweet peas, so take your pick and happy pickling!

Pickled cucumber slices in a glass jar

Easy Pickled Cucumber – makes 1 jar
•1 medium cucumber
•3 garlic cloves, peeled
•1tbsp pink peppercorns
•200ml cider vinegar
•2tsp salt
•2tsp agave syrup
•200ml water

1.Slice the cucumber very finely.
2.Layer the cucumber slices in a medium preserving jar. Alternate the layers with whole garlic cloves and pink peppercorns.
3.In a small bowl, mix the cider vinegar with the salt and agave syrup, until the salt has dissolved. Pour over the cucumber slices. Top up the jar with water, all the way to the top.
4.Close the jar tightly and place in the fridge.  They will be good to eat 24 hours later, and will keep up to three weeks.

Pickles de Concombre – pour un bocal
•1 concombre de taille moyenne
•3 gousses d’ail, pelées
•1cs de baies roses
•200ml de vinaigre de cidre
•2cc de sel
•2cc de sirop d’agave
•200ml d’eau

1.Couper le concombre en tranches très fines.
2.Faire des couches des tranches de concombre dans un bocal en verre de taille moyenne. Alterner les couches avec les gousses d’ail entières et les baies roses.
3.Dans un petit bol, mélanger le vinaigre de cidre avec le sel et le sirop d’agave, jusqu'à ce que le sel soit dissous. Verser sur le concombre. Finir de remplir le bocal jusqu’en haut avec de l’eau.
4.Fermer le bocal hermétiquement et mettre au réfrigérateur. Les pickles seront prêts en 24h et se garderont ensuite pour 3 semaines.