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Vegan pesto

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

Ingredients
  • 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
Method
  • 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..

Mulled white wine

December is a perfect month to enjoy all kinds of hot, delicious, warming drinks. Mulled wine is a winter classic! Usually prepared with red wine, it tastes equally great with white chardonnay or riesling. With an addition of cinnamon, rosemary and oranges, it tastes like winter. Have fun warming up!

Recipe: Mulled white wine

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 500 ml dry white wine
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • a few branches of rosemary
  • one tbsp brown sugar
Method
  • Slice one orange and squeeze the other one..
  • Place cinnamon sticks, rosemary and orange slices in a pot.
  • Add sugar and white wine.
  • Bring to simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add wine and reduce the heat to low. Heat the wine, but do not bring to boil.
  • Serve immediately.

Pho soup

Delicious, aromatic and wonderfully warming, Vietnamese pho soup is a perfect remedy for a spring cold and a bad mood. As you can probably imagine, there are numerous variations and regional modifications of the recipe. The one I propose is my way of quickly making a satisfying bowl of soup.

I’ve made mine with shrimp, but you could use thin slices of beef instead. If you want your version to be vegan, go for cubed tofu. You can substitute mint and cilantro with your favourite fresh herbs and spice things up with Sriracha sauce.

It is consumed at any time of day in the North of Vietnam, whereas Southern Vietnamese usually serve it in the morning. It might seem weird to have a bowl of soup for breakfast, but trust me - it really is the best way to start your day. Especially on Mondays.

Recipe: Pho soup

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
  • one piece (ok. 5 cm) ginger
  • one green chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 anise stars
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • To serve: rice noodles, raw shrimp, green chili, lime, fresh mint and cilantro
Method
  • Char the onion and ginger over an open flame.
  • In a large pot, dry-roast cloves, cinnamon, anise, coriander and cardamom.
  • Add onion, ginger, chili and stock.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer, covered, for about an hour.
  • Season with sugar, soy sauce and lime juice.
  • In each bowl, place some noodles, shrimp, sliced green chillies, lime wedges, fresh mint and cilantro.
  • Top with hot broth.

Pomegranate and rosemary cocktail

I hope you are having a lot of fun this holiday season! I would love to wish you all a beautiful new year and a magical New Year's Eve. You can celebrate with this festive pomegranate and rosemary cocktail. Of course you don't have to save it for the New Year's, it's works great for every occasion.

Recipe: Pomegranate and rosemary cocktail

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 80 ml of gin
  • 80 ml of chilled pomegranate juice
  • one tbsp. of rosemary simple syrup
  • one tbsp. of lime juice
Method
  • Mix all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  • Pour into glasses and garnish with rosemary springs and pomegranate seeds.

Recipe: Rosemary simple syrup

Ingredients
  • one cup of water
  • one cup of sugar
  • 5 rosemary springs
Method
  • Place all the ingredients in a pot and heat over low heat, until sugar dissolves completely.
  • Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Discard rosemary springs and chill the syrup in a fridge.

Duck egg and chorizo in tomato sauce

Duck eggs have been my favourite breakfast item for a while now. Personally, I don't think there's much difference in taste between chicken and duck eggs, although the latter are supposed to be more intense. I like them for two reasons. Firstly, they're larger, whiter and simply prettier. Secondly, a larger egg means a larger yolk. And I really love yolk!

Recipe: Duck egg and chorizo in tomato sauce

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 duck eggs
  • one tbsp. of butter
  • one small onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • one red bell pepper, sliced
  • 50g of Spanish chorizo, sliced
  • one tsp of sugar
  • a handful of fresh cilantro
Method
  • Melt butter in a skillet, add onions and saute them.
  • Add chorizo and red bell pepper, cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and sugar, simmer until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • In the meantime, fry the eggs in a separate pan.
  • Place eggs on top of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.
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