Tag Archives: black pepper

#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

Strawberry Salad

Strawberries are in season…and at the moment they are at their sweetest and most delicious. I was reading the other day about the “not so well known” strawberry combinations and came across nectarines, black pepper and almonds. I decided to make a strawberry carpaccio with feta + naartjie + almonds + black pepper. It is quick, simple and definitely my favourite flavour combination of 2016

The salad
Slice a few strawberries, sprinkle with small pieces of feta, a few almonds, scatter a couple of naartjie segments and sprinkle with course black pepper. For the final touch, I added fresh mint leaves. You will not need a salad dressing – the juiciness of the strawberries and the juice of the naartjie is a built-in ‘salad dressing’.

It’s so simple but the salt and sweet …and then that pepper tang is a perfect combination and a perfect lunch – to be washed down with a glass of bubbly of course. What better way to celebrate Spring?

Strawberries- Anel Potgieter

Strawberry Festival at the Stellenbosch Slow Market
This Saturday strawberry season will officially be celebrated at the Stellenbosch Slow Market. Visitors can expect strawberry cocktails from Dr. Juice, strawberry tea and even strawberry bread from Fine Pastries. Native Chocolates will provide strawberry chocolate delights, and everyone should try the strawberry burgers from Flamed. And of course there will be strawberry fudge, strawberry sushi and even strawberry liqueur from Kaapse Liqueur. Ollie’s Sausages, who never disappoints with a variety of sausages of all types, will also be selling a uniquely created strawberry sausage.

See you there.

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shades of night – the alluring aubergine

shades of night – the alluring aubergine

Although I did not quite start painting I decided I wanted to bring this mysterious aura of the aubergine into one photograph – to highlight its mysteriousness and allow the almost reclusive mood of the vegetable to translate onto the plate – anel

aubergine and tomato pasta

I always had a deep love for aubergines – something more than the usual obsession … when I see aubergines I want to design and create. I want to take out a canvas and start painting all its deep and alluring hues. The aubergine is just so mysterious and captivating, I don’t know if it is the beautiful shape with the green crown or that dark purple colour – or when you cut them they are full of these beautiful seeds and flesh – something dark, almost sinister yet enticing.

My mom used to sprinkle it with salt, then just roll it into some flour and fry then in a pan of oil. She then gave it a little sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce – and I was in heaven. Soft, delicious and packed with flavour.

pasta 2 800

So with this all said, I decided to keep this recipe simple using only tomatoes and some red peppers however, my creativity got the better of me after I took the pics. Although I did not quite start painting I decided I wanted to bring this mysterious aura of the aubergine into one photograph – to highlight its mysteriousness and allow the almost reclusive mood of the vegetable to translate onto the plate. Enjoy.

aubergine and tomato pasta

 

aubergine + tomato pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
  • 500g Aubergines – cut into 1 cm circles - leave the skin on
  • 500g Rosa tomatoes
  • One whole garlic bulb – cut in half (do not peel or break into smaller cloves)
  • 1 Red pepper sliced thinly
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh basil
  • 500g Pasta – cooked as per packet instructions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190 C°. Sprinkle the tomatoes, red pepper, garlic generously with olive oil and paint both sides of the aubergine with the olive oil. Place everything on a baking tray sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and bake for 40 minutes.
  2. In the mean time cook your pasta until al dente.
  3. When done squeeze some of the roasted tomatoes with your hands into a pulp over the pasta – mix into the pasta. It forms a tomato sauce for the pasta.
  4. Tear the aubergines and add the red peppers. Squeeze the garlic out of the shells and add to the dish.
  5. Season liberally with Maldon salt and some pepper and a good sprinkle with olive oil.
  6. Finish the dish off by adding parmesan shavings and freshly chopped parsley and some basil leaves.

 

 

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red wine poached beetroot salad

red wine poached beetroot salad

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lesson#2 {alain passard} enhance the flavour of your vegetables with subtle flavourings

I am still talking veggies and the most wonderful experience I had at Alain Passard’s restaurant in Paris – L’Arperge. As I mentioned in a previous cabbage post – what I took away from the day was to make your vegetables the stars of a meal – look at them, smell them, see their beauty, see their perfection and cook them in such a way as to bring out their natural flavours.

I took my little black book with and my camera to make sure I had a permanent memory of the food. But the flavours – how am I going to remember them? How was I ever going to relate them? I decided that the only way was to take what I have tasted and implement these complex flavours in my kitchen – it will definitely not be the same but at least it will be documented.

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One of the dished served to us at Passard’s little restaurant was beetroot – OMG, the flavours! When you tasted the beetroot it was the same flavours you would find in glühwein – you know, the red wine, the cinnamon etc. It was so complimenting of the beetroot that I decided to poach my red veged beauties in a bit of red wine, black pepper corns, cinnamon, star anise and some orange peel.

Well, it turned out fantastic and so absolutely delicious. The spices compliment the earthiness of the beetroot transforming this root into something so special. After you had a bite the tastes kind of linger in your mouth for a while and you don’t know if you are in winter or in summer. I served the baby beats cold and added some cream cheese buttons, some micro leaves and a drop of balsamic glaze on each beetroot.

Please try this the next time – it really is special and something rather completely different.

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red wine poached beetroot salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For poaching beetroot
  • 650g Baby Beetroots
  • 1L Red wine
  • 250ml Water
  • 3 Cloves
  • 5 Black peppercorns
  • 1 Big cinnamon stick
  • Peel of one orange
  • 2T Sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Other salad ingredients
  • Micro greens
  • 80g Cream Cheese
  • Balsamic glaze
Instructions
  1. Cook the beetroot in the wine spice mix for +- 40 minutes till soft.
  2. Drain and let it cool. Peel and leave in wine for a while – just to soak up some flavours.
  3. Cut in half, add some cream cheese drops and micro greens.
  4. Add one drop of balsamic glaze on each beetroot.

 

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