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..
This recipe doesn’t even deserve to be called a recipe - it’s more of an idea on how to make a quick and effective snack with summer heirloom tomatoes. The ombre tart is bound to get you some attention and compliments, so, in case you had no idea what to bring for the next potluck picnic/barbecue/garden party, I just solved this challenging problem. No need to thank me.
The to success is to get the right tomatoes. The more different shades you’ve got, the more spectacular the ombre effect. You could also use the ombre idea to prepare something else, like a salad patter.
Recipe: Ombre tomato tart
one sheet puff pastry
a handful heirloom tomatoes of various colours and shapes, thickly sliced
50 g Greek feta cheese
1-2 branches rosemary, chopped
one tsp olive oil
one tsp brown sugar
1/3 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Roll out the pastry on a parchment paper, forming a rectangle.
Place tomato slices on the pastry - group the colours together and try to achieve a fluent transition from one shade to another.
Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and evenly sprinkle with sugar, salt and rosemary.
Top with crumble feta.
Place in the hot oven and bake for about 20 minutes.
Traditionally served with crispy duck, this pancakes make a great vegan dish as well. Thick hoisin sauce and fresh cucumber and spring onions go great with fried tofu. Perfect snack for a small gathering.
Recipe: Chinese tofu pancakes
200 g firm tofu
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1/2 bunch green onions, cut into matchsticks
a few branches fresh coriander
1/4 red chilli pepper, chopped
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
10 thin pancakes
Slice tofu and combine with 3 tbsp of hoisin sauce.
Fry tofu slices on heated sesame oil, about one minute each side.
Steam the pancakes and keep them warm in a bamboo steamer or covered with foil.
Arrange fried tofu, cucumber and spring onion stick, coriander leaves, chilli and hoisin sauce on the table and allow everyone to help themselves.
Spread some sauce on each pancake and top with tofu, cucumber and spring onions. Sprinkle with coriander and chilli and roll up.
Recipe: Homemade hoisin sauce
7-8 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp rice vinegar
3 tsp sesame oil
one tsp finely chopped chilli
one garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a small pot.
Simmer over low heat, stirring, until well combined.
Perfect tacos: crispy, aromatic, colourful and vegan. Great for small or larger gatherings. All you have to do is prepare the toppings and ask your guests to compose their ideal snacks. I chose roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and corn, creamy cashew paste, pomegranate seeds, fresh chillies, aromatic coriander and lime juice. You can add your favourite fruit, vegetables and herbs.
Recipe: Vegan tacos
8 soft corn tortillas
a bunch coriander
one corn on a cob
one cup cooked black beans
rosted sweet potatoes (recipe below)
cashew paste (recipe below)
2 green chilli peppers
1 small pomegranate
Roast the corn at 180C for about 30 minutes, until tender.
Kut off the kernels and combine with cooked beans.
Deseed the pomegranate, slice the chillies and cut the lime into quarters.
Heat the tortillas in the oven or on a pan and cover to keep them warm.
Serve all the ingredients together and let everyone compose their own tacos: roasted sweet potatoes with pomegranate and fresh coriander or corn and beans with cashew paste and fresh chillies. Or everything altogether :)
Recipe: Roasted sweet potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
1 red onion
one tbsp olive oil
one tsp smoked paprika powder
one tsp sweet paprika powder
a pinch of salt
Peel and dice the potatoes.
Cut the onion into eitghts.
Mix diced potatoes with onion, olive and spices.
Transfer into a baking dish and roast at 180C for about 30 minutes.
Recipe: Cashew paste
100 g cashews, soaked overnight
2 tbsp plant-based milk (I used coconut milk)
1 lime (peel and juice)
a pinch of salt
Blend soaked chashews with milk, to make a smooth paste.
Add lime juice and peel, combine. Season with salt