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!
A German surprise package traditionally filled with pieces of dill pickle, mustard and thinly sliced bacon. The tart flavour of mustard and dill pickle is a must, but to complete the filling I prefer thinly sliced vegetables like carrots, onions and bell pepper to bacon.
for the roulades:
6 pieces of boneless beef round (pounded)
6 teaspoons Dijon mustard
6 dill pickles (sliced lengthwise)
1 big white onion (cut in thin wedges)
1 red bell pepper (cut in thin strips)
2 carrots (sliced lengthwise)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
for the sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil (or 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons butter)
2 small onions with the skin on (halved)
3 cloves of garlic
1 stick celery , preferably with the green
1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika powder
2 glasses of red wine
3 cups of vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
Place slices of beef on a work surface and season both sides with salt and pepper. Spread one side with mustard. Arrange evenly vegetable and pickle slices on each slice of beef. Roll up the roulade and secure with kitchen twine.
Heat the oil in a casserole and sear the beef roulades on all sides – they should be brown but not too dark. Remove the roulades. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, leek and celery to the casserole and cook stirring constantly. Return the roulades to the casserole and add the red wine, the vegetable broth and the paprika powder. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for about two hours on low heat.
creamy cauliflower soup with lemon andthyme (yields 4-6 servings)
1 tablespoon butter
1 white onion, diced
2 tablespoons water
500ml milk or sugar free nutmilk
100g freshly grated parmesan
2 teaspoons fleur de sel
a few twigs of fresh thyme
1/2 lemon, peeled and diced
pink or white pepper
4-6 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
In a saucepan melt the butter, add the diced onion, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons water and cover with a lid. Slowly sauté the onions until soft and translucent. Add the milk and heat it together with the onions.
In the meantime cook the cauliflower in salted water until soft.
Blend the onion/milk mixture with the cooked cauliflower slowly adding the grated parmesan and 2 teaspoons of fleur de sel. If the soup turns out too purée-like add some more water or milk. Finally season with salt and pepper.
Before serving top each bowl of soup with fresh (or dried) thyme, pink pepper, lemon cubes and a teaspoon olive oil.
Spin-offs: You may substitute cauliflower by broccoli, salsify or zucchini.
At the foot of the Etna grow the best oranges in the world, Tarocco, Moro and Navel. The Tarocco is a half-blood orange, juicy and delicate, with a balanced sugar/acid ratio and a very aromatic flesh. It’s called half-blood because the fruit flesh isn’t as red as the other blood oranges. The colour is influenced by the temperature fluctuations in the night, because all blood oranges need night frost to develop their beautiful red colour.
Tarocco oranges with beetroot, red onions and cilantro
beetroot, cooked and sliced
tarocco oranges, peeled and thinly sliced
red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
leaves of cilantro
extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper for the vinaigrette.
Place ingredients on a serving dish and sprinkle with the vinaigrette.
celery salad with a date and roasted hazelnut dressing (another fresh and light recipe of my daughter Viktoria)
3 sticks celery, sliced
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 medjool date, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small handful hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of spice mix”Ruf der Oase” by Herbaria (contains gomasio, dates, pine nuts, raisins,granulated orange, parsley, mint, garlic and hibiscus blossoms)
Makes for a perfect lunch combined with white rice and a tiny bit of harissa. Enjoy ❤️!