vegetables, beautiful vegetables
thank you to everyone who got involved with vegetables, beautiful vegetables! there are some fantastic vegetarian dishes here, so if you need inspiration, tuck in!
first up, beetroot carpaccio from edward at wino sapien. this simple dish looks like a beautiful way to try a vegetable which always makes me think of tom robbins: "The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious."
stuffed cannelloni with spinach and cheese is the recipe which shelly, from vegetarian foodie, relies on when needing something that looks impressive but in reality only takes moments to pull together.
apparently it can also stand up to the toughest of vegetarian food sceptics which is always useful.
a wonderfully caramelised vegetable tart is the delicious looking contribution from meeta, from the fabulous what's for lunch honey? meeta's puff pastry tart is topped with sweet caramelised courgette (aka zucchini), tomatoes, peppers, fennel and onions before being sprinkled with goats cheese and roasted pine nuts - what more could you ask for?
smita, from smita serves you right, had a bad day last week. not only did she end up in a mcdonalds (eek!) but she had car problems. however, everything turned out ok, as did her car-ma, an aubergine (aka eggplant) and sweet potato dish, flavoured with sambal sauce and red bean paste.
this dish enabled smita to try using red bean paste. i know well that need to use something that has been in the cupboard for just a bit too long!
apparently cauliflower sales have slumped so much over recent years that one of the uk's largest growers has been forced to give up producing the vegetable.
tigerfish, from teczcape disagrees with views that cauliflower isn't worth cooking or eating and offers up this delicious looking cauliflower, cabbage and pea curry.
speaking of chickpeas, they were the shining stars in the indian pulao with beans (aka rajma pulao), as cooked by madira from ahaar who is from buffalo in the usa.
according to mandira, this special indian pulao which is made with chickpeas, vegetables, raisins, nuts and rice is "just delicious". i love the idea of this spicy vegetable and rice dish as a light lunch or served as part of a picnic spread.
ruth, from once upon a feast is one of many people i know who has succumbed to the south beach diet in recent months.
however, she's not letting this stop her from missing out on "pasta" dishes and her contribution is a great-looking, south beach friendly, eggplant lasagna (aubergine lasagne from where i'm typing! i love the foibles of foodie langage).
fava beans... broad beans... yet another example of the vagaries of food names across the globe. this fava bean and cherry salad from danielle at habeas brulee is a revelation.
danielle has adopted the adage, ‘Things that grow together, go together!’ and is happily combining seasonal ingredients on the assumption that the combination will work. i've not tried this approach but, based on this recipe, i think i'll be trying it out!
johanna, from the passionate cook was the first uk food blogger that i met. in fact, i think her blog was the first uk-based blog that i read. and continue to read regularly, as much for the beautiful photography as her imaginative recipes.
johanna's recipe for Green & white asparagus salad with red pepper and tarragon looks fabulous and is a wonderfully seasonal choice.
johanna uses white asparagus which, i have to admit, i really struggle with. white asparagus is regularly labelled a gourmet food choice but to me, it lacks flavour and is both watery and disappointing compared with its british green cousin. maybe one day i will discover and appreciate its charms!
serious pasta alla norma is a cult classic. a traditional sicilian recipe, particularly popular in the 19th century, it combines aubergines, tomatoes, basil and ricotta salata. this recipe is the first time that i have seen a call for the aubergine to be peeled before cooking.
the recipe, history and significance of this dish are shared with us by fx from fxcuisine.
these beautiful peas are from les petit pois and take the place of a photograph of the piperade that shira made for us.
according to shira, piperade is "a garlicky Basque speciality of stewed peppers, onions and tomatoes, into which eggs are lightly scrambled" which, despite tasting delicious, has a "sheer ugliness (which) is hard to disguise".
i have to sympathise - it never ceases to amaze me how unappealing i can make my food look, just by getting my camera involved!
as regular readers of this blog will know, i am a fan of pizza. this is a hugely adaptable dish and vegetarian versions abound - roasted sweet potato, spinach and goats cheese remains a firm favourite of mine.
joanna, from joanna's food, chooses sultanas, capers and pine nuts to top her pizza, a vegetarian oasis amongst the more meaty and fishy choices of her family!
freya, who is writing at the kitchen table, shares with us another cauliflower recipe although here the emphasis is on the potatoes due to her love for them.
this cauliflower and potato curry uses a variety of spices to build the layers of flavour, with freya attributing much of the authentic flavour to the use of nigella, which is also known as kalonji (and sometimes, misleadingly, as onion seeds).
fellow Londoner (albeit in a different country, canada to be precise) lisa, from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen, shares with us another indian dish. this time, Lucknow rajma with sautéd chard.
rajma is not a dish that i've come across before - apparently it is a curried tomato and kidney bean dish which is made, according to local varaiations, across the indian subcontinent. i also learnt about ajwain seeds from lisa's recipe - a spice i've not used (or seen) before.
the ultimate risotto primavera, according to ulrike from kuckenlatein in northern germany, is the ultimate taste of spring.
i think i have to agree with her and confess that the combination of peas, braod beans and asparagus results in my favourite risotto. i usually add lemon juice, zest and fresh mint but then i rarely manage to resist gilding the lily!
for her first entry to a food blogging event, hippolyra from fuss free flavours, has two gorgeous looking recipes for us. first is squash ribbon pasta which uses ribbons of butternut squash in the place of pasta ribbons, making a dish that is suitable for people with wheat intolerances.
hippolyra's aubergine lasagne (not pictured) also uses vegetables in the place of pasta, this time it's aubergine.
british blogger nic, from Cherrapeño (apparently a Cherrapeño is the result of a cross between a Cherry and a Jalapeño chile pepper. i'm intrigued and want to try one!) provides her recipe for vegetable spring rolls.
both the spring rolls and the noodles look delicious and if it wasn't for my childhood memories of quite how long it can take to prepare and then then assemble spring rolls (all that fine slicing of vegetables!) i'd be making these later today!
this apple walnut salad with rhubarb compote dressing is vanessa, from vanesscipes, effort to eat more locally.
inevitably, this can be less easy when living in a large city with no space to grow your own food (vanessa lives in new york) but the increasing number of farmers markets makes it much easier to at least make the effort.
and that's it. apart, of course from my own contributions of chinese mushrooms and broccoli, pea and bean salad with almonds and feta and halloumi and asparagus with lime and caper dressing.
if i've missed anyone, please let me know but in the meantime, enjoy your veggies!