Roasted cauliflower & chickpeas with tomato, peanut butter sauce


Roasted cauliflower & chickpeas with tomato, peanut butter sauce

1 cauliflower, cut into florets

1 can chickpeas, drained and patted dry

4tbsp rape seed oil

4 tsp garam masala

3 tsp nigella seeds

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic gloves, finely chopped

4 cm ginger, grated

500g passata 

4-5 heaped tbsp peanut butter

chopped chive 

Preheat  the oven to 180C fan.

Take a large baking sheet and toss the cauliflower and chickpeas with the garam masala, nigella seeds and 3 tbsp rape seed oil. Spread evenly over the tray and cook for 35-40 minutes until the cauliflower starts to soften and begins to char. You might need to toss it halfway through. 

For the sauce, heat the rest of the oil in a pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, fry for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the passata and remaining garam masala. Simmer uncovered 10-15 minutes. Add the peanut butter and stir. Season to taste, you might want to add a little pinch of sugar to create a deeper flavour.

Serve the sauce over the cauliflower and chickpeas and garnish with some fresh chive.


Griddled Quesadillas with kidney beans


I am a little annoyed with myself, as I do not post my recipes often enough on this blog. The reason is very simple I love cooking but I DON’T  like writing. Today I came opon  a blog where there are no stories, just the recipes and 2 or 3 photos. I myself tend to scroll down to the recipe, very often skipping the text before, so I decided I’ll try something new on my blog: Hardly any text, recipe as short as possible and only a few photos. Hopefully this will mean more recipes for you to find here and to try out. Let’s see how it works.

Recently I tried out a recipe from the magazin Slowly Veggie. It was so delishoius that I want to share it here with you.

Griddled Quesadillas with kidney beans

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp. white vine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 can red kidney beans, slightly mashes with a fork

good pinch of paprika

salt, pepper

75g cheddar cheese, grated

200g cherry tomatoes, cut in slices

2 spring onions, fine slices

small bunch coriander, chopped

8 tortilla wraps

Marinate the onion in white wine for 10 minutes. Mix the mashed kidney beans with the onions, garlic, chilli, paprika and season to taste.

Spread some bean paste over half of each tortilla, arrange some tomatoes and spring onions on the beans and sprinkle with cheese. Fold over and griddle on each side for 2 minutes or until golden brown in a hot, dry pan.




Bulgur salad with preserved lemon chicken


One of my favourite grains is bulgur. I always have at least 1 bag at home. Mainly I use it in salads, combining it with all sorts of vegetables. Recently I bought very juicy Medjool dates while shopping and once back home I had to decide what exactly I wanted to use them for. It took only a few minutes brainstorming to come up with the following recipe. Since then I have made this recipe a couple of times. Hope you will find it as tasty as I do.


Bulgur salad with preserved lemon chicken

250g bulgur

500g vegetable broth

1 red onion, halved and sliced

6 Medjool dates, stone removed, cut into long stripes

100g pine nuts or chopped pistachios

1 garlic, finely chopped

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 heaped tbsp harissa paste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil, for drizzling 

For the chicken breast:

2 skinless chicken breasts

4 garlic, crushed and chopped

1 big preserved lemon or 2-3 small ones, chopped

1 pack coriander, chopped (including stems), keep some leaves aside for decoration 

Lemon juice, to taste

100ml olive oil, for marinating 

First marinate the chicken breasts. Put all the ingredients for the chicken including the chicken breasts into a large freezer bag. Let most of the air out and close the bag with a knot. Now massage the chicken with the oil, lemons, garlic and coriander. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180C fan.

Bring the bulgur with the vegetable broth to a boil and simmer with a lid on, over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer to a big bowl and use a fork to fluff it up.

For the salad, fry the nuts in a dry pan until they turn golden brown. Keep an eye on them and shake frequently so they don’t get burned. Once done, put them into a bowl and set aside. Use the same pan putting 2-3 tbsp of olive oil into it and sweat the onions with a pinch of salt over a medium heat until soft. Add the chopped garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine vinegar. Tip the onions, dates, pistachios and the harissa paste into the bulgur and mix well.

Use the same pan to fry the chicken with all the marinade, both sides 3 minutes then transfer all of it onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Place the chicken onto a plate to rest, while mixing the marinate into the bulgur salad. Season to tase with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Divide the salad between two plates. Cut the chicken into slices and lay on top of the salad. Drizzle with some olive oil, decorate with the leftover coriander and serve. I like to eat my portion with plain yoghurt on the side.


Instead of putting the chicken on top, you can cut the chicken into smaller pieces and mix it under the salad.


It’s also very tasty without any chicken!


Warming winter soup


I just came back from a fantastic round trip in Italy. Driving through Tuscany, Amalfi Coast and Umbria, I had so many delicious meals, that I got inspired to cook a typical Umbrian soup: Zuppa di legumi. The weather here is getting cooler each day and I am longing to go back to Italy to soak up more sun, but instead I’m standing in my kitchen and cook hearty Italian food to share the recipes with you.


Warming winter soup

500g mixed dried pulses ( red, green, yellow and brown lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas, butter beans,cannellini beans, borlotti beans)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

200g smoked streaky bacon, diced

1 carrot, chopped

1 leek, sliced in thin rings

3 sprigs rosemary, chopped

5 medium tomatoes ,  hopped

5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

4 tbsp olive oil

1,5 liter vegetable stock

salt, pepper

rind of Parmesan, approx. 2-3 cm thick

Heat the olive oil in a big pan, add the garlic, carrots, leek, bacon and rosemary and cook gently for about 10 minutes. Add the pulses, tomatoes, Parmesan rind and the stock, bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add the potatoes  and simmer for further 30 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper.



Red Thai curry paste

Thai red curry paste


Some of you have asked me if I quit posting after just starting…No worries I am still here, ready to cook and post. The reason for not posting: I have been on a fabulous family holiday to various destinations in Asia. We started in Singapore, followed by Vietnam and then to Thailand, Bangkok and Koh Samui. I have seen so many great things and took thousands of photos, but this is not a travel blog, it is all about food. And yes, we had the most delicious food in all of the places. While being in Koh Samui we did a tour around the island with a guide and at the very end she showed us how to make authentic red Thai curry paste. There are plenty of different recipes for curry paste, each family has their own. I took some photos while she was making the paste and this is the recipe I will share with you.

 Thai red curry paste

2 tbsp dry red little chillies

3 shallots, sliced

6  cloves garlic

1 tbsp sliced lemongrass

1 tbsp sliced galangal

5 cm turmeric root, sliced

3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced

1 tbsp black pepper corns

1 tsp salt


Put all ingredients into a mortar and start pounding with the pestle until you have a fine paste.




You can use this paste now to make your Thai red curry. Heat some oil in a pot add 1 tbsp of the paste and fry for 1-2 minutes. Stir in 1 can of coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cut 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into pieces, add into the sauce and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until fully cooked. Season with salt, or even better with fish sauce, and a bit of sugar. Serve with steamed rice.

You can freeze the leftover paste for up to 2 months.

Asparagus and saffron risotto

Asparagus and saffron risotto


This week was Royal Ascot week, and I went with a bunch of ladies on Tuesday. What a fun event! We first had a pot luck lunch at the home of one of the ladies, which was already very nice. Lots of delicious food, a bit of booze and lots of laughter trying on our hats. We then went to the venue to wait for the queen to arrive in her open horse carriage. We had a good and close place to see her come in.

Photo taken by one of the ladiesDSC00731

After that we enjoyed the races, bet on horses, won a bit and lost a bit. It was a great day and lots of interesting people to watch. Once back at home the big question came up: what to cook for dinner. I inspected the fridge and store cupboard and  decided risotto with asparagus. I wanted a little twist on that so I took out my jar of saffron- which my son brought back from Spain- and used a good pinch of that. It was one of the best risottos we had.


Asparagus and saffron risotto

1 onion, finely chopped

3tbsp olive oil

250ml white wine or Noilly Prat

400g risoto rice (I like carnaroli risotto rise best)

1 good pinch of Saffron

1 liter vegetable stock

150g cream cheese

100g parmesan, grated

1 bunch asparagus, cut into thin rounds, leaving the tips whole

salt and pepper

In a heavy saucepan sweat the onions in the olive oil over medium heat without colouring. Add the rice and mix well so the rice is fully coated with the oil and fry for 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the saffron and stir.  Now add the vegetable stock one or two ladles at the time, stirring occasionally until all the liquid disappears. Before adding the last 2 ladles of stock, put all the asparagus into the saucepan and mix. Repeat adding the stock until you have used all the stock. This will take about 20-30 minutes. Add the cream cheese and grated parmesan and mix well. Stir until the cream cheese has molten, season to taste. Best enjoyed with a nice glass of white wine!