My friend Ana‘s favourite colour is purple. The other day I was driving back home from her place and stopped at this little grocery store. I was into buying some vegetables for lunch and, subconsciously thinking about the conversation we had about colour that day, I decided to bring home, amongst other things, a purple cabbage. Purple cabbage isn’t the kind of vegetable I eat much. I love cabbage and cook it often but, for some reason, I’ve never cared much for the purple variety. However, after making this salad I guess that is about to change. The cabbage is “cooked” in a garlicky and vinegar-y dressing and the toasted nuts add a nice contrast thanks to their depth and earthiness. I didn’t add any fresh herbs to the whole thing because I didn’t have any at hand, but you can definitely finish it off with some finely chopped parsley or coriander. When it comes to salads, I usually think “The simpler, the better”. Work with a few ingredients, cut them appropriately, make a slighty more acidic/vinegary dressing and you’re good to go. And in case you want to know, I’ve already decided what my next “purple experiment” will be: sauerkraut.
A Purple Salad
½ medium sized / 300 g purple cabbage
½ red onion / 80 g, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons / 30 g toasted peanuts (or walnuts), coarsely chopped
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 big piece / 15 g of fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon agave nectar
zest of one orange
Remove the cabbage’s outer and tougher leaves. Then, cut the cabbage in half and remove its white stalk. Cut each half into paper thin slices. Transfer the shreds of cabbage to a large bowl.
Now, it’s time to make the dressing. Add all the dressing’s ingredients (except the ginger) to a bowl and whisk to combine. Finely grate the ginger and squeeze it over the bowl (you’re not going to use the pulp). Add the sliced onion to the bowl with the dressing and let it sit, covered and at room temperature, for at least 15 minutes. The dressing will “cook” the onion making it softer and sweeter to the palate.
Add the dressing and onion to the bowl with the shredded cabbage. Using your hands, massage the salad for at least 3 minutes or until its volume reduces by half. Serve immediately sprinkled with coarsely chopped peanuts or walnuts (preferably toasted).
Avocado is one of those fruits I always keep handy. I used to use it strictly for making guacamole, but then I started incorporating it into salads and, more recently, smoothies and desserts. Fruit desserts and salads are something I’m particular fond of, and today’s recipe was born out of the need to use a great part of the huge bag of kiwi fruit my aunt gave us (she grew and picked it herself). Don’t be skeptical about the use of avocado in here: its primary function is to give creaminess, and you’ll barely feel its taste. On the other hand, if you’re planning on doing this, it’s key to use ripe kiwi fruit, otherwise it’ll taste bitter and give you this weird feeling in the mouth (at least that’s what happens to me when I eat it underripe). Also, and I know this comes with a bit of a delay, but I wish you all a great 2012, full of exciting projects and recipes (I made this list where I wrote down recipes I want to have on my repertoire, and Socca is the first in line, so I guess this is a hint of what might come up next in here).
*Another reason to convince you to try out the avocado-kiwi fruit combo: Jennifer and Jaclyn’s version of a similar pudding.
Avocado and Kiwifruit Pudding with Lime
for the pudding:
2 avocados (I used one large and one medium sized), (320 g)
7 kiwis (310 g)
½ banana (50 g)
¼ cup (60 ml) agave nectar
zest of two limes
juice of one lime
a few banana slices
2 to 3 kiwis, cut into cubes
fresh mint leaves
1. Put all the ingredients for the pudding in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
2. Divide the pudding among four small bowls and add a few banana and kiwi fruit slices on top, as well as some mint leaves. Serve and enjoy!
This blog hasn’t been updated in a while and all I can do is to blame the fact that life and its issues have kept/are keeping me busy. I’ve been cooking (although not on a daily basis), but most of the time I just don’t feel like taking pictures of what I’ve cooked and writing down the recipes to make blog posts out of it. It’s not that I don’t like that part of the process, but I just don’t manage to do it as often as I’d like to.
So, the other day I met up with some friends for a picnic and, inspired by this recipe, I made and brought these cocoa truffles, as well as an Ottolenghi-inspired cucumber salad. Everybody enjoyed the truffles and asked how I made them so, dear friends and people, hereby follows the recipe. These ones are so damn delicious and come together in a breeze, so there’s actually no excuses not to make them. As far as toppings go, I used cocoa powder, shredded coconut and a beautiful mix of dried flowers. But you can certainly play around with the toppings and roll the truffles in sesame seeds, a mixture of cinnamon and light muscovado sugar or a combo of finely chopped nuts and fragrant spices. This is also the perfect treat to try out if you have kids around and need a little help molding and rolling the truffles, and of course eating them. ; )
(makes about 18 truffles)
1 cup (80 grams) shredded coconut
3/4 cup (120 grams) almonds, soaked for at least 2 hours before using
8 dried figs (the softer, the better), coarsely chopped (75 grams)
5 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
3 to 4 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
1 tablespoon tahini
a pinch of salt
shredded coconut, cocoa power, mix of dried flowers for topping
1. Mix all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until a thick paste has formed.
2. Take one or two teaspoons of the mixture at a time and, with your hands, mold the mixture into little balls.
3. Coat the balls with the toppings mentioned above. Enjoy!
recipe inspired by Green Kitchen Stories