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Entries in parsley (4)


a couple of sauces

we had a party at the weekend and to try and counter the cold grey weather we are having, i decided to revisit an old favourite theme for food and music – latino! i love this for giving me the whole of south america and spain to draw my inspiration from, but do have to confess to being a bit lazy and choosing some tried and trusted recipes.

mini empanadas with a spicy butternut squash and thyme filling were cooked in batches and served as people arrived and sipped the old cuban cocktails we served (a sparkling mix of rum, lime, mint, sugar syrup and cava).

the main  savoury food was slow-cooked pork, chicken tinga, sweetcorn and courgette bake, cornbreads, autumn slaw, corn and black bean salsa, chips and guacamole, yucatan pink pickled onions and two lovely sauces, both of which were particularly intended to complement the pork.

the red sauce is a brazilian style chimichurri. chimichurri is originally from argentina and is based on finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and wine vinegar – this version adds tomato, chilli, shallots (i used red onion) and lemon juice. it has a lovely freshness which means you can make it quite spicy.

a contrast in both texture and flavour was the toasted pepita (pumpkin seed) and coriander pesto. this was fabulous, with a hefty garlic kick but also a richness from the toasted pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts. the recipe gives an alternative version which also includes feta cheese, but i decided to keep it simple – this time.

sweet mexican wedding cookies, a delicious chocolate bundt cake and rose-drenched lime and yoghurt cake were the finishing touches.

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last year’s love of thick hearty soups - ribollita, minestrone and white chilli have all been cooked in rotation, at least one a week, for several months now – continues unabated. however, i need some help – can you suggest something new for me to try? i’m particularly keen to find a harira recipe that i like.

the one pictured above is a vegetarian version from allegra mcevedy but it just doesn’t do it for me – the flavours weren’t bright enough and although a squeeze of lemon juice helped, it wasn’t as delicious as i’d hoped. maybe i need to do the lamb version first, and then play with vegetarian flavours? or maybe the combination of chickpeas, lentils and rice is just a bit too “worthy”?

however, there was one thing that did stand out - the chermoula that is served with the harira to lighten and brighten it. that i will retain, whichever harira recipe i end up with.

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lamb and aubergine pilaf

roast lamb invariably results in leftovers, which can easily be turned into quick and delicious packed lunches or suppers.

this pilaf  was very simple to pull together – leftover lamb was mixed with basmati rice, roasted aubergine, chickpeas, a glug of pomegranate molasses (this has an intense sour flavour – you could use tamarind paste or lemon juice in its place) plus lots of chopped mint and flat-leaf parsley.


roasted vegetables with parsley pesto


i’m a big fan of using herbs and vegetables to make pesto – rocket or asparagus pesto being favourites as well as the simpler basil oil – so, when i saw an ottolenghi recipe for parsley pesto i was intrigued as this isn’t a pesto i have made before.


it also intrigued me as it called for kohlrabi which is a vegetable which i have never cooked before. and having tried it roasted in this salad and nibbled on it raw while i prepared it, i have to say i doubt it is a vegetable i will use again given how boring it was! the pesto on the other hand was very

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