Market haul

Just got a little excited about my market haul today and wanted to share 🙂 Here are some plans I have for them:

  • The mini cauliflowers are too cute not to keep whole, so I plan to bake them along these lines but with a saffran-yoghurt topping, some homemade tomato chutney on the side and served on top of…
  • … That beautiful lacinato kale, sauteed lightly in garlic, chili and olive oil
  • Not sure about the yellow beans yet, but you can’t go wrong with using a large chunk of that garlic head to make simple, delicious loobyeh.
  • The last of the summer zucchini are for an Indian curry-like dish I am making tonight, where the zucchini are simmered gently in a creamy tomato sauce gently spiced with a cinnamon stick, a couple of cardamom cloves and fresh coriander and parsley. A few minutes before serving, some green peas are added just until they are cooked through, and the whole thing topped with some toasted poppy seeds.
  • The beautiful broccoli along with their leaves are for spontaneous quick meals (steamed/blanched for a few minutes) or raw in a salad with that amazing butterhead lettuce and the little red-and-white radishes.
  • The exquisitely aromatic quince are going to be poached and then used in a version of this marbled poppy seed cake.
  • During apple season, when an abundance of varieties floods the market, I like to do some taste tests to compare different sorts. This time I got the darling of Switzerland — Berner Rosen, Canada’s national apple —  McIntosh , and mystery Spartan .
  • Finally, the pears and plums are not going to last long, because they are ridiculously sweet and delicious all on their own.

Aaand, those chestnuts hiding out in the background were picked by a friend in Ticino and should really be used soon. Perhaps roasted, as a snack while watching the Switzerland – Portugal football game tonight.

Quickie: hummus and pesto, a love story

Sometimes a spark of culinary inspiration lights up my every day life and I feel inspired to share it with the world, but then I think about the effort involved in writing a blog post (taking nice pictures, agonizing for hours over perfect wording, etc) and let it go with a sigh. Enter the Quickie — a post that take no more than an hour to photograph and write up. It’s a challenge, and it will mean relaxing some rules I’ve been adhering to, including taking all my own photos, but I hope it will help me capture some of those useful bits and pieces that otherwise slip away.

Today’s quickie has to do with (un)disciplined shopping, not following your own advice, forced creativity and a happy ending of the harmonious union of hummus and pesto.

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On the road

I have spent the first few months of 2017 traveling in India, which should hopefully be some sort of excuse about the quiet times here at A Long Stretch. Stretch I did, though, good and long, this time through yoga — the focus of my trip. I’m going to throw out a few musings about markets, local food and “cooking” on the road to keep you entertained while I settle down in Bern, Switzerland and ease back into food mode. A longer term project is also in the works… Exciting! Stay tuned.

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The Lolita date

Occasionally I come across ingredients that I think deserve the spotlight all on their own, not as part of a recipe. It may be something completely new, fascinating, surprising, or just plain delicious. Hence the idea for a series of of short blog posts highlighting such food I come across. Sometimes a small unexpected nudge can be a big help in keeping things fresh and inspiring in the kitchen, especially when you feel a little tired of your everyday repertoire.

So, today, I present… the date. Continue reading “The Lolita date”

A time of plenty

Summer is a time of plenty… a time to rejoice in tomatoes bursting with flavour; perfect, tiny, sweet wild raspberries; fresh, golden corn; huge zucchinis from the garden. A time when “cooking” is almost trivial. Go for a stroll in a nearby farmers’ market or produce store and you are spoiled for choice. Grab whatever catches your eye and you can toss together a quick salad, cold soup or one-pot pasta with minimal stove or oven time. When the ingredients are good and fresh and ripe, a flavourful meal almost makes itself. Here is a small collection of such summer-inspired recipes to get you started.

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