Spinach & Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin


Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin The great thing with spaetzle is that it’s a made from scratch type of pasta is quick to prepare and doesn’t need great skills to put together. Personally I love the consistency and taste of spaetzle. For this gratin recipe I’ve added mushrooms and spinach because they are a delicious flavour combination that is easy to find all year round. I served this dish with a simple salad but if you want to serve some meat, a nice piece of chicken would marry well with the rest of the ingredients.

Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin

 

Spinach & Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 40-45 min

 

Ingredients

 

Spaetzle:

400 g flour

4 eggs

1.5 dl milk

1.5 dl water

2 tsp. salt

 

Gratin:

2 knobs butter (plus more to grease the baking dish)

150 g chestnut mushrooms

150 g cooked spinach (frozen one are fine too)

200 g sour cream (I used ½ fat)

A splash of cream

80 grams grated Swiss cheese (I used Sbrinz)

2-3 tbsp. breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Place the flour and salt in a bowl.

Beat the eggs together and mix them in the bowl with the flour.

Combine the water and the milk and gradually add them to the other ingredients while whisking. The batter should be dense but still a little runny.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and place a large holed colander (or even better on a spaetzle grater) on top. Take about ¼ of the batter, put it in the colander and press down so the better falls in the water. Once the spaetzle come to the surface it means the are ready. Place them in a bowl and set aside.

Finely chop the spinach and slice the mushrooms into 0.5 cm thick slices.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and add the mushrooms. Once they have browned on both sides remove them from the pan and set them aside. Using the same pan melt the second knob of butter and add the spaetzle to brown for about 7 minutes, tossing from time to time. Add the spinach and mushrooms, mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the fire and add the sour cream, cream and 50g of the grated cheese. After mixing all together transfer to a greased baking dish and sprinkle on top the rest of the cheese and the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 25-30 min at 190°C. Once the top has browned remove the dish from oven and wait a few minutes before serving.

Red Bean Burger

Red Bean BurgerI love vegetarian/vegan burgers and this recipe is something I keep on making over and over, especially when my mother comes over and we don’t know what to eat. Continue reading

With a few ingredients you’ve got yourself a healthy and filling dish that is easy and quick to prepare. What I also like about burgers is that they are a good source of iron and since my meat intake is relatively limited, this recipe is a good alternative. I prepared this red bean burger and garnished it with what I had at home (tomatoes and salad) although if had had an avocado I would have smashed it with a fork and used it as mayo to smother it all over. The nice thing at least is that I know that in not so long I’ll be having it again and this time I will not forget the avocado.

 

Red Bean Burger

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 8-10 min

 

Ingredients

520 g cooked red kidney beans

4 tbsp. chopped coriander

2 garlic cloves

1 small red onion

2 chilli peppers

Salt

1 tbsp. rapeseed oil

4 buns

Garnish to taste with either: tomatoes, salad, smashed avocado, mayonnaise….

 

Recipe:

Place the beans in a bowl and with the help of a fork or a potato masher mash them.

Crush the garlic with a garlic crusher and finely chop the onion and the red pepper. Add the two ingredients to the bowl along with the coriander and salt to taste.

Mix everything together and form four patties.

Heat the oil in a pan on a medium fire and cook the bean burgers for 4-5 min per side. Once they are nice and brown, garnish your burger according to your taste.

Pan Fried Artichokes with Croutons

Pan Fried Artichokes with CroutonsI have to admit that some dishes really are more difficult to photograph than others. Anyway, I just love spring for its seasonal produces and I always try to make the most out of this time of the year since it only lasts a limited time. Continue reading

I had some leftover bread that was going a little stale and since it was made with whole flour I didn’t feel like making breadcrumbs. Finally I decided to combine it with the artichokes and so I came up with this dish. Adding a little sun-dried tomatoes and olives with the final touch of the Parmesan flakes really brought the dish together. This is a simple and friendly recipe with a Mediterranean inspiration that will work well for a relaxed lunch or dinner.

Pan Fried Artichokes with Croutons

 

Pan Fried Artichokes with Croutons

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients

4 artichoke hearts

200 g bread – preferably a little stale

2 tbsp. olive oil

18-20 olives

8 sun-dried tomato fillets

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Parmesan flakes

 

Dressing

1.5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

 

Recipe

 

Cut the artichoke hearts in four parts and remove the hairy part with a knife. Cut each quarter in half. While preparing them, fill a bowl with water and add lemon juice to prevent them from oxidising.

Cut the bread into 2 cm cubes.

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil on a medium fire and add the artichokes with salt and pepper to brown on the cut side for 5-7 min. Turn them and brown the other cut side for another 4-5 min. Once done set aside.

Heat the second tbsp. of olive oil and add the bread cubes to brown on all sides.

Meanwhile halve the olives and cut the sun-dried tomatoes into strips. Also, make the dressing by mixing the ingredients together and set aside.

Once the croutons are nicely coloured add the olives, the sun-dried tomatoes and the artichokes to the pan. Cook another couple of minutes then remove from the fire and add the dressing.

Serve with the Parmesan flakes sprinkled on top.

Soft Polenta Cookies

Soft Polenta CookiesI hope everyone had a nice Easter. Like in many of these occasions, mine was filled with good food. Continue reading

On Sunday we had the traditional baby goat at my fiancé’s parent’s home. On Monday we had lunch at his aunt’s place. This is the time of the year where tourists come back and frankly it’s nice to see the streets repopulated with people enjoying the mild weather. On Saturday I had no appointments so I left home early to do my groceries as to avoid the crowd. With some time on my hands, I baked these soft polenta cookies, which turned out to not only be a treat but also a practical breakfast the following day. These easy to make cookies are soft and at the same time they have a light crunch given by the polenta flour. This recipe has a nice texture combination and the lemon brings extra freshness to the overall taste.

Soft Polenta Cookies

 

Soft Polenta Cookies

Recipe for about 16 units

Prep time: 15 min (+ 1 hour resting time)

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients

80 g soft butter

80 g sugar

1 egg

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

140 g fine grain polenta flour

120 g flour

1.5 tsp. raising powder

A pinch of salt

Icing sugar

 

Recipe

Cream butter an sugar together for about 4-5 min.

Mix in the egg then add the lemon juice and zest.

In another bowl combine the polenta flour, flour, rising powder and salt.

Add little by little the dry ingredients to the wet one until you get an even mass.

Let the dough rest for an hour.

Make little balls of about 3 cm and place them on a baking tray lined with oven paper. Once you have placed them slightly flatten them with the palm of your hand. Remember to leave some space between each unit.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C.

Once done, place the soft polenta cookies on a rack to cool and dust them with icing sugar as a final touch.

 

Pizza Inspired Baked Rosti

Pizza Inspired Rosti It’s been some time since I last posted a rosti recipe and since it’s a recipe I really love, here it is. I made this rosti recipe with pizza in my mind. Continue reading

Pizza is not something I eat much during the year but once I find myself craving it. Now, kneading and making dough isn’t my favourite activity in the kitchen – probably because I don’t have a robot to help me – so potatoes provided an easy way to make a crust. In my version I used simple and traditional pizza toppings but then this is a question of personal taste. For instance you could use some bacon, ham, grilled vegetables… My only advice is to use ingredients that are not too wet as the potatoes could become soggy and lose their crispiness (this is why I put the tomatoes on top of the cheese). While I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe, I am announcing that I’ll take a week off and will be back on Tuesday the 7th of April.

Pizza Inspired Rosti

 

Pizza Inspired Baked Rosti

Recipe for 3-4

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 45-50 min

 

Ingredients

1 kg peeled waxy potatoes

180 g mozzarella

300 g cherry tomatoes

2 tbsp. rapeseed oil

3 tbsp. flour

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp. basil leaves

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 210°C.

Coarsely grate the potatoes then place them in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the excess moisture. Add the flour and 1 ¾ tsp. salt then mix. Add the rapeseed oil and mix again.

On a parchment lined baking tray spread out the potatoes in a square or round shape. The patty should not be too compact and for extra crispiness allow a few potato bits to come out of the mass. Place in the oven and cook for 40-45 min.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and either cook them in a pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, or place then in a baking dish and bake them in the oven for 40 min.

Dice the mozzarella into 1 cm pieces and sprinkle it over the potatoes once they are ready. Move the baking tray with the potatoes and cheese near the top burner of the oven and bake for another five minutes, until the mozzarella has melted.

Add the cherry tomatoes on top with the basil and a little pepper and serve.

Note: to prevent the oxidation of the potatoes, place them in the oven as soon as they are grated and you have added the remaining ingredients.

Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla

Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla I love it when a new season comes, besides the changes; I love checking out the new seasonal products. A few weeks ago I saw the first asparaguses but I refuse to buy something as fresh as a vegetable that has travelled from another continent. I don’t know when these vegetables were picked and by the time they arrive they have lost so much of their nutritional value. Continue reading

When I do my groceries I often wonder how many people look at where their vegetables and fruits come from. Well, the asparaguses I found came from Spain, it’s not local but at least the distance isn’t measured in oceans. I was really excited to finally eat them again so I decided to make something quick and which I can eat with my hands. I wanted to combine eggs and asparagus because it’s a combination I love and from there I could have either made a quiche or something like this, or I could make something quicker like a sandwich… or a quesadilla. Finally I went for the quesadilla and here is the result.

Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla

 

 

Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla

 

Recipe for 1 unit – for about 4 as an appetizer or for 2 as a meal

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 10-12 min

 

Ingredients

3 eggs

160 g asparagus

50 g grated Gruyere cheese

10 g butter

1 heaped tbsp. sour cream

Salt and pepper

2 large flour tortilla

3/4 tbsp. rapeseed oil

 

Recipe

Cut the asparagus into about 0.5cm pieces.

On a medium fire, heat the oil and add the chopped asparagus to brown for 5-7 minutes. Once ready set the vegetables aside and wipe the pan with some kitchen paper.

In a small pan break the three eggs and add the butter. Then place it on a low heat blending the ingredients together. Continue to whisk until the eggs are cooked (more or less 5 min). Remove from the fire and add the sour cream with salt and pepper to taste. Then combine the asparagus.

Take one flour tortilla and sprinkle half of the cheese on top, then spread over the egg/asparagus mix, then the remaining cheese and finally top with the second tortilla. Cook 1 min. on each side. Cut the quesadilla into slices and serve.

Bacon & Radish Salad

Bacon Radish Salad Yesterday was my weekly lunch with my mother and since we were out doing groceries till later than usual I wanted to make something quick for the two of us, so I prepared this recipe while we sipped some wine and enjoyed a little smoked salmon on the kitchen counter. Continue reading

The glass of wine and salmon has over the last couple of years become a mother daughter ritual, and I love it. Usually I cook very little with bacon but for a quick a tasty dish, it’s always a great addition. While we were grocery shopping, I found locally produced organic radishes and they just went great with this salad as it added colour, texture and a slightly spicy taste to the recipe.

Bacon Radish Salad

 

 

Bacon & Radish Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 7-9 min

Cook time: 5 min

 

Ingredients

200 g bacon

200 g radishes

100 g salad leaves

1-2 spring onion (white part only)

2-3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds

1.5 tbsp. white wine vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Cook the bacon until crispy and nicely browned. Remove from heat and place on some kitchen paper. Cut the bacon into 2-3 cm pieces.

Finely slice the spring onion(s) and the radishes.

In a bowl make the dressing by mixing the vinegar and olive oil with salt and pepper to taste. Add the radishes and spring onions, mix and add the salad leaves and the pumpkin seeds. Toss all together and if using a serving plate transfer the salad. Top with the bacon and serve with some crusty bread.

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs Last Sunday, while mister was still in bed recuperating from an evening campaigning through the region, I got into the kitchen and prepared this quinoa, tomato baked eggs. Continue reading

Usually I try to stick to seasonal products but I have to say that I was really in for a change. I made this quick and healthy dish for the two of us and even if my fiancé just had a bite because he had to leave to another of his political events, I still managed to make him eat something, something healthier that he usually does when we are not together. By the way, how do you get a man to care more about what passes through his stomach? After almost eight years I still haven’t figured that out… when you care about someone it’s hard not to nag him about taking better care of himself. My hopes are still up and in the meantime I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe :)

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs

 

Quinoa Tomato Baked Eggs

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5 min

Coo time: 20-25 min

 

Ingredients

220 g quinoa

250 g cherry tomatoes

1 onion

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ tbsp. tomato paste

1 tbsp. olive oil

1-2 chilli pepper(s)

Salt and pepper

4 eggs

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Recipe

 

Cook the quinoa in 1 ½ times its volume in water for 12-15 min. Once done set aside.

Chop the onion and the chilli pepper and divide the cherry tomatoes into 4.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions and chilli, cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes with the oregano, salt and pepper and cook on a low-medium fire for 10 min. Once the tomatoes start breaking apart add the tomato paste and cook for another couple of minutes. Mix in the quinoa. Correct flavour to taste with salt and pepper.

Make four little concavities with the back of a tbsp. and in each add an egg. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 7-9 min, until the egg has reached the desired consistency.

Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve.

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip Today my mother came over for our weekly lunch and since my last night was quite short, I didn’t really feel like thinking too much about what to cook for the two of us so I went to look for an idea for our lunch among my cookbooks. Continue reading

It didn’t take long to find something that appealed to me. If there is one book I totally love it’s Ottolenghi’s Plenty, the recipes there are just wonderful, fresh and delicious. I chose his “Sweet potato wedges with lemongrass crème fraiche” and adapted it according to what I had at home. This simple recipe turned out to be just delicious and I will surely make this again.

 

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip 

 

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20-25 min

 

Ingredients:

900 g sweet potatoes

1 ½ tsp. garlic powder

¾ tsp. fine salt

A handful chopped coriander leaves

1 red chilli finely chopped

 

Dip:

100g fresh goat cheese

4 tbsp. sour cream

3 tbsp. chives

The zest of 1 lemon

4 tbsp. lemon juice

salt

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and then (always lengthwise) divide each half into four wedges.

Place the wedges in a bowl (or a Ziploc bag) pour the olive oil and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle the garlic powder and salt on top and toss again. Place the wedges on a parchment lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 20-25 min.

Meanwhile prepare the dip by softening the goat cheese with a fork. Add the sour cream and blend. Finally add the rest of the ingredients.

Once the sweet potato wedges are done, remove them from the oven and place the on a serving plate. Top the wedges with the chopped coriander leaves and the red peppers and serve with the goat cheese dip.

Carrot Hummus

Carrot HummusLast weekend was a very relaxed moment for me and since my fiancé is busy going around for his political campaign, I made myself busy in the kitchen and prepared this lighter hummus made with carrots. I didn’t really have lunch but with a little toasted pita bread I enjoyed it while re-watching a documentary on Henry VIII (I already know so much about the subject but still enjoy hearing about it, history is my drug). It was the second time in my life I was making hummus and the first time (which was a few years ago) was not a satisfying experience. This time on the other hand was much better. I more or less followed the recipe written on the jar of my tahini but for tips on how to proceed I looked up on this site. It’s actually a fun and easy recipe to make and after this test, next time I’ll have guests over, I’ll give it another try, maybe then I’ll use bell peppers or tomatoes…

Carrot Hummus

 

Carrot Hummus

 

Recipe for about 8

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time:15 min

 

Ingredients:

350 g peeled carrots

150 g cooked chickpeas

4 tbsp. olive oil (+ extra to serve)

1 tsp. minced garlic

3 tbsp. lemon juice

70 g tahini

(optional: 3 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves)

 

Recipe:

Cut the carrots in four parts lengthwise and then dice it. Place them in a steamer or a steaming pan and cook them until soft (about 10-15 min). Set them aside.

In a food processor place the tahini and lemon juice and blend for a about a minute. Add the chickpeas and process them for another minute. Repeat with the carrots and olive oil. At this point add the coriander leaves if using them. Place the hummus in a bowl, drizzle a little olive oil on top and serve with pita bread, toasted bread or vegetables.