My boyfriend, let's call him Jacek (because that's his name) gets breakfast at work and therefore totally ignores my offers to eat the morning meal together. He then sends me pictures of waffles, pancakes and/or avocado baked with eggs and chorizo, thinking that it makes me green with envy. Well, I'm only slightly jealous. I prepare oats in the evening and soak them overnight in the fridge. They're ready to eat in the morning, so I feel as if I had a breakfast catering myslef.
Recipe: Autumnal Overnight Oats
Serves: 1 (not sad at all!)
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 tbsp oat bran
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp date syrup
a handful grapes, to serve
coconut flakes, to serve
Mix all the ingredients, apart from grapes and coconut flakes.
I was going to start with how I got up before sunrise and forced my way through the woods to come back carrying a basket full of beautiful mushrooms. Sadly, my mum didn’t allow me go to the forest by myself. Instead I went to go to the local market and bought mushroom from people whose parents are a bit less protective. To answer your questions: yes, I'm turning 30 in three months. No, I don’t live with my mother anymore.
I’ll just leave you with this chanterelle soup recipe. It tastes the same regardless of whether you bought the mushroom of picked them up yourself.
Recipe: Wild Chanterelle Soup
500 g chanterelles
350 g potatoes
1 l homemade vegetable stock*
1 onion, diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3 thyme sprigs
1 tbsp coconut oil
a handful chopped parsley, to serve
a pinch freshly ground black pepper, to serve
*To make the stock, place washed and peeled vegetables (2 carrots, parsnip, celeriac and leek) in a large pot. Top with 2 l of cold water and bring to boil. Add a pinch of salt, 2 bay leaves, 2 allspice and juniper berries, a few peppercorns and 2-3 dried mushrooms. Reduce the heat and to low and cook, partly covered for 1 1/2 hour.
Clean and dry the mushroom. Cut the large ones in halves.
Peel and dice the potatoes very finely.
Heat the coconut in a pot.
Add onion and fry over low heat for 2-3 minutes.
Add the chanterelles, increase the heat and fry, stirring, for another 2-3 minutes.
Add potatoes and continue cooking, stirring, for another minutes.
Add vegetable stock and thyme, bring to boil.
Reduce the heat and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Season with lemon juice.
Serves with chopped parsley and freshly ground pepper.
I'm sure you all know, at the very least more or less, how to make pesto. This is just to remind you that pesto is always a good idea: for a quick pasta dinner, as an addition to a sharing platter, on what to do with herbs from your garden.
Traditional Ligurian pesto is made with basil, but I went for a blend of different herbs: basil, thyme, oregano and a bit of rosemary and mint. I skipped parmesan, but kept pine nuts from the original recipe. Feel free to experiment with herbs and nuts - try almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds or walnuts.
Recipe: Vegan pesto
one cup fresh herbs: basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, mint
1/2 small clove of garlic
3 tbsp pine nuts, roasted on a dry pan
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp soli morskiej
Blend all the ingredients to a smooth paste using pestle and mortar or a food processor.
Feel free to add more olive oil, depending on what kind of consistency you like.
If not using immediately, place the sauce in a jar, top with a layer of oil and refrigerate until needed..
Tagine is one of Morocco's most famous dishes. I had it at least once a day during my trip, which could have been a bit monotonous, had it not been for the fact that there are tons of different varieties.
The name 'tagine' refers to both the dish and the earthenware pot in which it's cooked. The conical shape of the lid is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. When the water is turned into vapour during cooking, it condenses on the inside of the lid and runs down to the edges of the bottom, and not dripping on the ingredients. Because of that, they bake and brown instead of being cooked in liquid.
If you don't have a tagine, you can still make this recipe in any ovenproof dish with a lid. The effect won't be exactly the same, but it will be delicious. Tagine is traditionally cooked over hot charcoal, but we can use a stovetop or an oven. We'll cook it over low heat - slow cooking allows the tomato sauce to caramelize and reach a full flavour.
Recipe: Lemon tagine with eggplant
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic clove
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
3-4 hot peppers
2 tso ras el hanout
2 tsp harrisa
one piece cinnamon
5-6 cardamom seeds
3-4 preserved lemons
juice of one lemon
250 ml tomato passata
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Slice onion and garlic, cut the eggplant into large chunks.
Heat one tbsp of coconut oil in your tagging (or, if you don’t have one, any other ovenproof dish).
Brown the eggplant chunks so that they’re golden on all sides, but not yet soft in the middle.
Heat another spoon of coconut oil.
Brown onion and garlic over medium heat.
Add ras el hanout, harissa and whole chilli peppers.
Fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring.
Add remaining ingredients: browned eggplant, tomato passata, preserved onions (cut into halves or quarters), lemon juice, honey, cinnamon and cardamom.
Cover and place in the oven.
Cook in the oven for 2 - 2,5 hours, gently stirring every 45 minutes.