Posted on September 12, 2017
The magic of London has not quite left me but the sky two days ago was as bright as bright can be. Summer’s light flooded the kitchen table when I thought of preparing the meal.
Sherlock, our boldest snail, sprung out of nowhere and made its way to a bunch of mint leaves poking from a basket.
In the depth of light, I surrendered to one simple idea.
A well prepared tabbouleh is as light as light can be – yet, fully nourishing and so easy to cook my children never miss their turn to help me.
First come the grains. Then come the vegetables and herbs. Then come the dressing.
For this recipe, I used millet and quinoa. 300g. Both are gluten free and great for your health. Millet is a cereal rich in nutrients such as phosphorus and magnesium. Quinoa is not a cereal but is also full of nutrients and flavanoids.
Most people rinse the grains and soak them into boiling water for half an hour or so. I prefer to gently roast them a few minutes in a saucepan with a teaspoon of olive oil before adding the boiling water for 15/20mns. Then I let them cool for a few hours.
Two days ago, I was lucky enough to have leftovers from the previous evening. Quinoa and millet were perfectly cooked and cooled, ready to be dressed for a summer salad.
All I had to do was to slice small and juicy tomatoes, chop lettuce and arugula leaves, chop one garlic clove, a bunch of parsley, chives and generous mint leaves I added to my bowl of grains with a handful of chia seeds.
Then I prepared the dressing. I simply mixed 3 tablespoons of olive oil (Greek and Spanish green olive oils are famous nowadays but, if you can, taste some Portugese black olive oil. My favourite!) and the juice of 2 lemons.
I added the dressing to the bowl, stirred. Then I put the salad (yes, Tabbouleh is an oriental salad) in the fridge for a while before serving it as fresh as possible.
And I enjoyed the light.
Posted on June 5, 2016
Violet: “Mum, what are you doing with this carrot?”
Me: “Nothing wrong, I swear. Just chatting.”
Boon: “I’m staaaaarving. Ask your carrot if I can eat it.”
Me: “As soon as I’ve found a way to take a decent photo of it. Meanwhile, ask your brother to lay the table and wash your hands.”
Violet: “Why do you want a picture of this carrot anyway?”
Me: “It’s for my new blog.”
Violet: “What’s this one about?”
Me: “Food and love. Maybe a bit of fitness too.”
Violet: “Food and love? How strange!”
Me: “Well, I want to talk about all the recipes people I love inspire me.”
Violet: “You’re mad, mum! How can you see food when you look at us?”
Me: “I don’t know. It just happens. When I look at you, for example, I see pancakes, pickles, peonies, prawns… and I make a little story with these ingredients.”
Boon (hands washed): “Awsome! I love you so much, mum, I want to eat you sometimes.”
Don’t you think cooking is about serving love in dishes?
For years, I used to work with perfumers. They are extraordinary artists. Most of them live in the shade of their fragrances but they really deserve to be known. They can look at someone and imagine a perfume – and smell a fragrance and imagine someone. I have very often opened bottles with the feeling I was freeing volatile characters out.
Well, it is the same with food, I think.
There are no djinns in my plates but I can look at someone and imagine a recipe, especially if I love this person. Don’t you? The only challenge I want to force myself into is by creating healthy recipes because loving also means taking care, right?
So, Welcome on board of Romeo In The Kitchen!
(and let’s forget about these carrots. They definitely don’t want to pose today)