That’s how we started (picture below). With a slightly completely adjusted Ottolenghi recipe in order to veganize it…
We knew that probably the little cakes wouldn’t come out like in the photo of the cookbook, but having in mind the delicious Tuscanian chocolate cake with a similar ratio of ingredients we began the experiment.
The result after 20 minutes in the oven? Very crisp, very oily, utterly flat (let’s say concave) uhm.. tarts?!? Hard to name a thing that had never been seen before. We ate 2 of them with coffee; the flavour was great, but not great enough to ignore the ugliness and oiliness. After much consideration we only saw one solution, to combine the whole mess and make a new dough. Final outcome, hopefully: cookies. So we decided to go ahead by adding more hemp flour, by re-kneading, re-forming and re-baking.
Hemp and red currant cookies (improved recipe)
100g coconut oil
100g brown sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of a mashed banana
120 g hemp flour
a handful of red currants
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Put the nuts, flour and sugar into a food processor bowl. Work to a coarse, bread crumb like texture. Fill it into a mixing bowl and mix it with the coconut oil, lemon zest and mashed banana. Work it with your hands to combine. Finally fold in the red currants.
Let it rest in the fridge for 1/2 hour. Form little gnocchi or Matterhorns.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Final taste: delicious. Final texture: pleasantly rough.
Here’s how to make the gazpacho. For the salad take a pointed cabbage (much softer than its big round brother), slice it finely and knead it a few times with your hands to crush the structure. Finally toss in the following dressing:
dressing for the cabbage salad
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a generous amount of heated olive oil
Start seasoning the raw sliced cabbage with salt and pepper, add the vinegar and finally pour over the hot olive oil. Toss it well and let it rest for a while.
Tiger nuts -also known as earth almonds- aren’t really nuts. They are tubers growing under the soil’s surface. Tiger nuts are loaded with vitamins and minerals, especially with vitamin C and E. Besides this, they are rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus.
Tiger nut milk is already creamy and sweet without any supplements. I usually add vanilla, sometimes cardamom or cinnamon, when I want to give it a special flavour. For more sweetness you may add a spoonful of honey or maple syrup.
The original Spanish horchata de chufa is sweetened with sugar and contains a pinch of salt.
tiger nut milk (horchata de chufa)
200g tiger nuts, soaked in water overnight (at least 8 hours)
1l cold water
vanilla, cinnamon or cardamom to your liking
Drain the tiger nuts from the soaking water and rinse thoroughly. Put the tiger nuts into a high speed blender with 1l of water and add your sweetener and condiments of choice. After blending pour the milk through a nut milk bag and squeeze it into a jug or bowl.
Pour the milk into a bottle. You can keep it in the fridge up to 4-5 days.
The simplest things, like a tin of sardines, can be the most delicious when paired with a crispy baguette, quick pickled shallots and a bottle of champagne. Add a lemon to squeeze over the sardines and some fresh herbs to spread on top. Enjoy!
quick pickled shallots
3-5 shallots, sliced
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt
Slice the shallots and put them into a jam jar. Douse with the vinegar, add sugar and salt. Cover with the lid and give it a shake.
Another tart of Eric Kayser’s book Tartes et Gourmandises. It truly never fails! Any red berries work for this recipe; if you choose groseilles or red currants as in the original recipe I suggest you increase the amount of sugar to the original 300g.
Tarte au Thé Vert Matcha et aux Fraises
10 egg whites
200g icing sugar
130g finely grated almonds
2 teaspoons matcha powder and some more for sprinkling on top
strawberries for topping
2 tablespoons strawberry (raspberry, gooseberry) jam or jelly
Preheat oven to 170°C.
Melt the butter in a saucepan until it turns golden brown.
In a bowl beat the egg whites with the sugar. Add the flour, the finely grated almonds and the matcha powder. Finally mix in the warm butter.
Pour the batter into the mold and bake it for 30 minutes. Let it cool down.
Liquify the berry jam or jelly in a saucepan on low heat. Add the strawberries and move them gently until evenly coated. Arrange them on the tart bottom. Before serving sprinkle with some more matcha powder.
For my spring pesto I use bear’s garlic (Bärlauch), sorrel or even ground elder (Giersch) from the garden. Be careful in case you go foraging for bear’s garlic, the long and slender leaves can easily be mistaken by leaves of lily of the valley, which are super toxic.
1 big handful (or a bunch if you buy it) bear’s garlic, sorrel or ground elder
20 g pine nuts
40ml olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Chop the greens and the parmesan, combine all ingredients, mix, stir or blend them. Add salt and pepper to your liking. If you want the pesto more creamy add more olive oil or a small amount of tepid water. The good thing about pesto is that it’s easy to make adjustments as you go.
basmati rice serves 2
1/2 a cup rice + the double amount of water , cook 20 minutes on low heat
When finished, combine the rice with enough spoonfuls of pesto to tint it green.
Equally delicious are chopped radishes, avocados, crumbles of goat cheese (feta) , cress and sprouts.
Somen are very thin Japanese noodles made of wheat flour. In the making process the dough is stretched to a max with the help of vegetable oil to achieve very thin strips. That’s the reason why you need to rinse them under cold water after cooking. Otherwise they would become sticky. The pink beauties I bought at Muji owe their colour and their slightly fruity/salty flavour to Ume, a Japanese plum.
Usually I eat somen with a dip of tamari, squeezed lemon, grated ginger and finely sliced scallions.This time I decided to simply pour some lemon scented olive oil on top and sprinkle them with black sesame seeds. A well balanced, slightly fruity – and oh, so beautiful -combination!