Cherry tomatoes and dijon mustard tart

What’s cooking :

I can’t get enough of tomatoes in the Summer, it’s the only time of the year I’ll even consider making myself a tomato sandwich or a tomato salad.

You see, I’m a recovering tomato hater. I’m not too sure what I disliked so much about them as a kid, probably the acidity and the jelly seeds. But now, it’s not the flavor or texture that puts me off, I just don’t think a flavorless and grainy tomato, grown out of season, is worth a prime spot on my table when so many other vegetables are at their best during the colder months. I’ve been disappointed too many times.

So, to avoid this, I take full advantage of my tomatoes when the earth has made them perfect, and that’s when they’ve had a full on make out session with the sun.

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Nectarine and balsamic caprese salad

What’s cooking :

Not finding the time to post on the blog has been weighing on my shoulders for the past 4 weeks.
But some have helped me put my guilt in perspective: everybody has the right to a summer break and with all the travels, music festival, weddings and heat waves that have filled my time these past few weeks, I guess this is what I’ve been doing: Summer holidaying and recharging my batteries.

I hope I haven’t taken too much advantage of your patience and I sincerely thank you for bearing with me. You won’t be disappointed with the great summer recipes I have in store for you, starting with this fruity Caprese salad.

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Pan con tomate – Tapas feast

What’s cooking :

Growing up “l’apĂ©ro” was a big part of our family gatherings. Finger foods and nuts were passed around, drinks and cocktails were served, all while my mother and aunts finished preparing dinner in the kitchen. It was my favourite part of our get-together, and still is. Everybody gathered around the kitchen to report on a few months worth of events and I would hop from one group to another, catching up with all while stuffing my face with the delicious munchies my family prepared.

I’ve never been very good at controlling my urges, particularly when it comes to snacking on savoury bits and pieces. Hors-d’oeuvre are like candy to me. If some are passed around, I get this “kid in a candy shop” impulses: I need to try them all. And it’s always at the expense of my dinner plate, which will stay on the table, barely touched.

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Garlic Tarka Dal

What’s cooking :

If I’m honest, I’m not the biggest fan of chicken curries. I fail to see what it adds to the dish and enjoy eating the sauce, which I could gobble by the ladle, much more than the meat.

When I do a meat curry, however, I select a more pungent protein like lamb or, if chicken is what I’ve got, I marinate and grill it before adding to the sauce. There is no shortcut here, it requires time. And time is what I don’t have in the middle of the week when the curry cravings kick in.

So why have meat at all? After catching myself mopping up the sauce with naan bread and leaving the chicken pieces to one side on more than one occasion, why not just cook the part that I like?

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Buttery and spicy Pav bahji

What’s cooking :

Pav bahji is one of the most famous and much loved street food of Mumbai. It consists of a mash of spicy vegetables slathered in butter, and eaten scooped up with a hot bread roll.

If I had to find a comparable North American dish I would describe it as a fragrant Indian sloppy joe. Messy, comforting and utterly delicious.

Indian cuisine doesn’t have to be complicated. And, like many other cuisines, a well stocked spice cupboard will get you far. The list of ingredients in today’s recipe might look a bit exhaustive, but it uses spices that are used worldwide. They are well worth getting as you’ll use them again and again.

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