with the snow and the stress comes more eating. at least for me. i wish i could channel my frustration through painting again but it seems i haven't been inspired since i moved to denmark. surprise! anyway, salads usually make one feel more svelte or at least virtuous. much better to feel those things than despair. the salad pictured above is celeriac and apple. i left out the mayo, buttermilk, and tarragon and swapped the shallots for my habanero-pickled onions (more on that later). sweet, salty, sour, spicy. the tiny bit of toasted seeds gives so much flavour! i wonder why i've been letting them stink up my kitchen tins after one failed chicken tikka masala attempt. so let's see if i can't put them to good use.
i just bought the ottolenghi book 'plenty' as an early christmas gift to myself. some cookbooks are wonderful to look at but are doomed to sit on the coffee table forever. am i really going to get a smoker for just these 2 recipes? roast for 8 hours?! what's asafoetida? however, this is one of the most beautiful and useful cookbooks i've seen! and i have to admit, i have been getting a bit tired of the usual dishes i've been making out of my monday night finds. usually a broccoli or cauliflower, a pineapple, leeks... they get roasted, soup'd, or mixed into fried rice. that's where this early christmas gift comes in. the salad you see above is green bean salad with mustard seeds and tarragon... minus green beans and tarragon. and several other things. yes, i know. i'm lame. but i'll be damned if i'm going to go out in the snow just to buy some tarragon!
____ salad with mustard seeds and ____
adapted from 'plenty' by yotam ottolenghi
400g mixed greens
250g green peas (fresh or frozen)
2 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed with pestle and mortar
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp nigella seeds
1/2 small red onion, chopped (or habanero-pickled onions...)
1 mild fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
grated zest of one lemon
coarse sea salt
bring a pot of cold water to boil and blanch the peas for 20 seconds. drain, dry, and set aside in a large mixing bowl. put the coriander seeds, mustard seeds, and oil in a small saucepan and heat up. when the seeds begin to pop, pour the contents of the pan over the peas. toss together, then add the nigella seeds, onion, chilli, garlic, and lemon zest. mix well and season with salt to taste. serve over mixed greens.