I probably really shouldn’t call this a hummus, but dip just sounded so tentative, so boring. And this faux hummus is anything but boring. How can anything this colour be boring? I ask you. It would be boring if I blathered on about how ridiculously healthy it is (although it is). Or how well it goes with any dipper, from lowly tortilla chips to freshly cut market veggies (it does). But it is not at all boring to hide in the kitchen and surreptitiously eat a saved back bit with a teaspoon, while simultaneously plating up a meal for 6 people (I have). Never-mind the telltale purple moustache. Hides the real one. Continue reading
“When it comes to food, I’m inspired by the raw vibrancy of fresh produce and food markets, and that wonderful symphony of tastes, aromas, colours and sounds all teasing the senses at once. The tenderness of baby cos lettuce leaves, the perfume of peaches and mangoes in summer, the versatility of pumpkin and sweet potato, the aromatics of freshly picked herbs, and the colour and diversity of the market people and their food.” Liz Posmyk aka Bizzy Lizzy of Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things
With a philosophy like this, saying ‘yes’ to a guest post opportunity from Liz was one of the quickest and easiest decisions I have made for awhile. Although she is much more ‘hands on’ with the growing ending of things than I, Liz and I share a very similar passion for fresh and seasonal food.
Lucky Liz has shared her love of good food through a newspaper column in her hometown of Canberra, as well as her own radio show. She has also worked at the sharp end as a fresh market centre manager too. But I know her best through her fantastic blog, bizzy lizzy’s good things. Here she shares articles about food producers, fellow cooks and recipes emphasising not only the best of Australian produce, but also handed-down recipes from her Magyar heritage (including all the tricky-to-pronouce titles!).
Liz asked me to chat about my connection with food and how I use it in my work, and share it on my blog. And of course you can’t do a guest post on a food blog without a recipe to go with it So, I have shared an easy and healthy twist on the vegetable tart. Although I have stupidly given away the secret ingredient in the title! Please go visit Liz to see the recipe and look around her lovely blog. And thank you Liz, for this tremendous platform to share my work with your many readers. Follow me Down Under!
This week’s recipe is a transitional one. Much like how we will wear a poloneck jumper under a summery shift dress, or pair thick wool tights with strappy sandals (at least here in the UK), today I am using a rather S/S ingredient in a slightly A/W way. When I think of grilled polenta and beans together, my immediate thought is mmm, stew with polenta. Or mmm, a bean and polenta bake. Very wintry, very -5C. What I don’t automatically think is wouldn’t this be nice with stir-fried new season’s chard.
But chard is an early-ish, cooler-weather crop, with more than a hint of hardy wintriness about it – even when young and small of leaf. It is a robust, no nonsense kind of vegetable that stands up to rough winds, cold temps and punchy flavours like no other. I would love to persevere with more adamantly Spring dishes such as last week’s crab one, but we still need the warmth of this sort of dish, combined with the promise of what is to come. For after chard comes asparagus and watercress, then broad beans, beetroot and courgettes. And then the flashier summer crops of tomatoes, artichokes, corn and aubergines, and as many tender herbs as you can ever wish. I am already making haphazard lists and scribblings of the many spring and summer-crop recipes I want to make because, like Little Orphan Annie says, “the sun’ll come out tomorrow.” Crossed fingers. Continue reading
It can’t have escaped your notice that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Florists, candy manufacturers, card, lingerie and condom makers (!) are gearing up for one of their biggest days of the sales year. Even the most tasteful of shops will have at least one display teetering under the weight of pink and red swathed cardboard boxes. Most of it containing chocolate. Continue reading
Some folk are just too cool for words. Although not seeming to actively pursue perfection – that would be incredibly UNcool, their every move thrums with beta-test brilliance. Pile of pre-Man Booker/Pulitzer prize short-listers: check . Tickets to the next big thing in live music: check. The predicted must-paint colour: check (emerald green, apparently). All of this effortless, osmosified, probably genetic.
I was never that girl. And truthfully it doesn’t bother me. I’ve always, unfathomably, been comfortable in my own skin. Still am. I blame my parents But I secretly hate to be left sitting on the curb when it comes to food and food trends. Just not for the reasons you may think. Continue reading
You may be reading this while tucking into a sumptuous feast of cold leftover turkey, ham, goose or turducken sandwiches, and sides of cold roast potatoes, cranberry sauce and Brussels sprouts, etc. We love Boxing Day leftovers in our house – my favourite is leftover cornbread dressing, which this year I spiked with black pudding for a Scottish twist on a Southern US staple.
But this year I saved back some roast potatoes and ham to make this unbelievably easy soup. It’s no looker, at least the way I present it, which is just as I have made it, ready for serving to my family who of course don’t want to wait while I faff with styling and garnishes. The secret, I think, is the Dijon mustard, a healthy dollop of which balances the flavour of the sweet leeks and ham, and adds an extra piquancy that is often lacking in leftovers. I won’t natter on about it as I want to get back to watching rubbish telly and planning my attack on the after-Christmas sales. I am sharpening my already-pointy elbows in anticipation of the latter. Edinburgh shoppers, you have been warned.
(Leftover Roast) Potato and Ham Soup with Dijon
As you see, I couldn’t hold out any longer. My little wordpress snowfall was my unambiguous clue to unleash the festive food. And as we are well into December, and there is a layer of snow, it feels pretty official. As a matter of fact I am even sending Mr A into the loft this weekend to fetch Christmas. Continue reading
It is the first week of December and already I feel behind. Since November, newspaper supplements have practically dripped with all of the food that editors breathlessly extoll us to make; and my heart involuntarily races at the sight of those excruciatingly detailed checklists that will ‘make Christmas effortless.’ And then there are the actual presents. It is enough to make a sane person go into meltdown.
Don’t you just love it when you come across something that does double, or even triple, duty? I’m not talking about moisturiser, or Swiss army knives (which if the latter is really swish will do about a 36 jobs, including scale fish and remove the hook – cool Crimbo pressie?). As always, I am talking food. This food specifically, cocoa granola. Continue reading
Like you, I think I am pretty well up on world cuisines. This is despite being more of an armchair traveller these days – at least to on the pulse, exotic or slightly dangerous places. My favourite holiday destination is Cornwall. Not quite cutting edge. Or dangerous. Unless you count being bitten by a crab while dangling a pole over the harbour wall at Padstow. Ouch!
I am lucky that, over the years, my adopted city of Edinburgh has transformed from a culinary backwater of scampi in a basket (if you were lucky), overdone salmon (again, if you were lucky), and truly awful Chinese takeaways, to a capital city hosting not only a clutch of Michelin-starred restaurants, but also many affordable eateries, showcasing stunning Scottish produce (write to me if you want some names). Continue reading