Beet and Roquefort Salad with a Honey Dressing

 

Beet and Roquefort Salad with a Honey Dressing

Summers in Ticino are becoming increasingly warmer, and my diet lately has been made of salads, spare ribs (the only meat I still truly enjoy), and more salads. Continue reading

I’ve been consuming loads of vegetables with chickpeas, beans, and lentils, but for once I wanted something with a stronger taste, and this beet and Roquefort salad with a honey dressing is the result. The sweetness of the honey dressing, and the beetroot contrast the powerful taste of Roquefort. For the texture I dry roasted a few buckwheat grains, with the arugula they make up the crunchy side of the recipe, while for the softness there’s the cooked root and the cheese. This is something I would easily serve during a dinner with friends, either as a starter, or as a side.

Beet and Roquefort Salad with a Honey Dressing

Beet and Roquefort Salad with a Honey Dressing

 

Beet and Roquefort Salad with a Honey Dressing

 

Recipe for 3-4

Prep time: 15 min

 

Ingredients:

4 tbsp. buckwheat

200 g peeled cooked beetroots

50 g arugula

60 g Roquefort

 

Dressing:

1.5 tbsp. runny honey

1.5 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1.5 tbsp. rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

In a pan toast the buckwheat on a medium fire for 4-5 min, shake pan regularly. Remove from pan once they’re crunchy and fragrant.

Cut the beetroot into chunks of about 2 cm. On a serving plate, alternate the arugula leaves, the beetroot pieces, the buckwheat grains, and crumble the Roquefort on top.

In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the dressing, and drizzle on top of the salad.

Butternut and Kale Bruschetta

butternut-and-kale-bruschetta-

A few days ago I organised a brunch at home. It was the first time I invited someone over so early but it turned out to be a lot of fun; we started at eleven o’clock in the morning and finished at five the only remaining guest left. Continue reading

I don’t know you, but when I plan something like this, I spend days figuring out what the best recipe for the occasion is, I try to please everyone’s taste and I also always try to make recipes that leave me time to enjoy the moment without being confined to the kitchen. In the end I made pancakes, a raspberry cake, some cold meats, cheese and bread the butternut and kale bruschetta. I decided to share the last dish because it was my personal favourite one. This simple recipe can partly be prepared in advance; in addition it’s also tasty and healthy.

 

butternut-and-kale-bruschetta-butternut-and-kale-bruschetta

 

Butternut and Kale Bruschetta

Recipe for 6 pieces

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 10 min

 

Ingredients:

50 g wilted kale

200 g butternut squash (peeled)

2 tbsp. pine nuts

1 small red onion

olive oil

6 slices bread (if the slice is too large cut it in half) about 1.5 cm thick

2 tbsp. shaved parmesan

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

In a dry pan add the pine nuts and gently roast them tossing regularly so that they son’t burn. Once they have a nice brown colour, transfer them to a small dish and set them aside to cool.

Cut the butternut squash into small cubes of about 1 cm. Finely chop the wilted kale and the onion.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and the onions to a pan. Cook them on a medium fire until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the butternut cubes and let them brown on all sides, tossing occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Once the butternut has softened (although it shouldn’t become mushy) add the kale and cook for another 2-3 min. Add the pine nuts, season to taste with salt and pepper and set the pan aside.

Turn on you oven broiler. Take the bread and brush it with olive oil on both parts. Place the slices under the broiler and toast them for a couple of minutes on each side. Check regularly as they can easily burn.

Spread the toasted slices on a serving dish, on top evenly distribute the butternut, kale, pine nut mix.

Top with the parmesan shavings and optionally drizzle a little more olive oil. Serve.

 

Sweet Potato Aubergine Melts

sweet-potato-melts

Last weekend I attended one of my favourite events: the enogastronomic walk that is Gusta il Borgo. Last year I couldn’t be present as I was getting married but this year I wouldn’t have missed for anything in the world. The nine kilometre walk around the beautiful town of Ascona while tasting wine and genuine products is a perfect excuse for some movement in a truly friendly context. Continue reading

Here are a few pictures of our day where the only thing I have to remember next time is to smother myself with more sun cream…

 

 

Summer events may be getting to an end, but fortunately it’s not the case for local, organic produce, like the aubergines in this recipe. With this I decided to make a friendly easy and healthy recipe and thought that tartines, toasts and/or melts are a great match. As I was preparing this recipe I began thinking about the infinity of combinations for every season of the year; for instance, with autumn just around the corner, I’ll try this with some diced butternut squash, goat cheese and some rosemary or sage.

Sweet Potato Melts

 

Sweet Potato Aubergine Melts

Recipe for 8 pieces

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients:

2-3 sweet potatoes

1 small aubergine

1-2 garlic cloves (depending on the size)

30 g quinoa

150 g mozzarella

1-2 chillies

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

16-18 basil leaves

 

Recipe:

Place the quinoa in two times its volume of water, season with salt and bring it to a boil. Simmer for about 15 min, until it’s done and the water will have been absorbed. Once done set aside.

Heat oven at 210°C (fan 190°C).

Meanwhile, clean and dry the sweet potatoes. Lengthwise, cut the extremities and discard them. Now cut the sweet potatoes into 1 cm thick slices and brush them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper on both sides. Just remember that the amounts in this recipe are made for eight slices. Place the sweet potato in the oven and bake for 25-30 min, turning them once or twice during the cooking process.

Remove the seeds from the chillies and finely chop them, along with the garlic. Cut the aubergine into 1 cm thick slices, stack them (maybe not all at once) and cut them into small cubes.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil, the chillies and the garlic to a non-stick pan and fry for 2-3 min on a medium heat. Add the aubergine cubes, season with salt and pepper and brown them on all sides tossing regularly. Finally add the cooked quinoa, mix everything together and remove from the fire. Rectify taste if needed.

Slice the mozzarella into ½ cm thick slices.

Once the sweet potatoes are done remove the tray from the oven and evenly spoon the aubergine/quinoa preparation, on top distribute the mozzarella slices.

Turn on the broiler and place the sweet potato melts in the oven for a few minutes. Once the mozzarella will have melted and lightly browed remove the melts from the oven, top with the basil leaves and serve asap.

 

 

Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad with an Avocado Dressing

Quinoa Kale and Edamame SaladSummer time and cooking is easy… with the hot weather and the wide range of fresh produce, we don’t want to spend too long over a hot stove so cold and healthy meals are always welcome during the summer months. Continue reading

Whether you’re making a barbecue, a picnic or a usual lunch, this recipe will fill you up with valuable nutrients such as fibres (from kale, avocados and edamame) and proteins (from the quinoa).

Some components of this salad can be made ahead so when the time to assemble it comes, it will only take a moment to put together; for instance you can cook the quinoa and the kale a day ahead. On Sunday I’ll enjoy a day of relax and I plan to make a last healthy meal before my thirty-… birthday and I’ve decided to make this salad again and serve it either with some tofu or a couple of eggs. Afterwards I’ll dive into a one of the books I’m reading, under the sun, looking like a glazed doughnut, smothered in 30spf sun cream… I’ll need the relax as the following day I’ll be in contact with my inner child in an acrobatic park. 🙂

Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad

 

Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad with an Avocado Dressing

 

Recipe for 4 as a side 

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients:

120 g steamed edamame

120 g wilted kale

120 g quinoa

1 spring onion

1 not too large avocado

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Bring to a boil the quinoa in two times its volume of salted water. Simmer for a about 15 min. or until the grain will have softened. Once done set aside.

Slice the kale into about 1 cm strips and finely slice the spring onion.

Remove the flesh of the avocado, place it in a salad bowl and mash it with a fork. Add the olive oil and the sherry vinegar, season with salt and pepper and mix.

To the bowl add the quinoa, edamame, kale, spring onion and mix.

Crispy Polenta Gnocchi

Crispy Polenta Gnocchi

I know I’ve already said it but each time I eat something with polenta, I recall my father saying how his childhood was all about getting kicked in the backside and eating polenta. Continue reading

In the past polenta a very important source of food in honour of this dish I wanted to make something fun for this post so after a little search, I adapted the recipe I found on citronetvanille and adapted it to what I had in mind: crispy polenta gnocchi.

What I really liked about making this recipe is that I found it to be more straight forward, less messy than the traditional potato gnocchi. As with any gnocchi recipe you can accompany this dish with just about any sauce you like. The reason I made a Gorgonzola sauce is because in Ticino, fi you don’t serve polenta with meat, you often eat it with Gorgonzola. It’s up to you to see what you want to serve it with, but I guarantee you that blue cheese is a great combination.

 

 

 

Crispy Polenta Gnocchi

 

Recipe for 2

Prep time: 25 min

Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients

For the polenta gnocchi:

80 g quick cooking polenta + extra to coat the gnocchi

Milk

90 g flour + extra to flour surface

1 egg

2-3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Slat and pepper

Olive oil

1 knob butter

 

For the sauce:

100 g Gorgonzola

0.7 dl milk

1 small tsp. corn-starch

pepper

 

Recipe:

Bring to a boil the equivalent of 3 ½ times the amount of polenta in a mix of water and milk. Season with salt. Reduce fire to low and stream in the polenta and instead of stirring fold the mass over itself until it will have thickened and it comes away from the sides of the pan (5-7 min). Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese and fold the mass to combine it. Transfer the polenta to a bowl and place it in the fridge until it will have set and chilled (about 1 hour).

Take the chilled polenta and scrape it with a fork to crumble it. Add the flour and some salt and mix the ingredients together. Now add the egg and mix until the mass looks even. Dust with flour your working surface, move the gnocchi mass onto the surface and divide into 2-3 parts. Take each part and roll it into about 3 cm thick strips. Take a fork and start making the gnocchi by sectioning them every 2 cm.

Bring a large pan filled with salted water to a boil and add the gnocchi. Once they come to the surface, it means they are cooked so remove them with a slotted spoon and set them aside on a cutting board or a bowl with a wide bottom. Dust them with the uncooked polenta until evenly coated.

For the sauce: Pour a fraction of the milk into a cup, add the corn-starch and mix until all lumps will have disappeared. Pour the milk/corn-starch with the milk and the Gorgonzola into a pan and place it over a low heat. Cook the ingredients for 8-10 min, once the ingredients are combined and the sauce has thickened set it aside and reheat it just before serving.

In a non-stick pan, heat 1-1.5 tbsp. olive oil on a medium-high fire. Add the gnocchi and brown them on all sides, occasionally stirring. Once ready, serve them with the Gorgonzola sauce.

Cauliflower Gruyere Soup

Cauliflower Gruyere Soup

It hasn’t snowed yet in the southern part of Switzerland but temperatures have significantly changed. When I wake up in the morning all seems frozen and this sight is enough to enter in soup mood. Continue reading

Most of the time I make something with the vegetables at hand but this time I felt like making something creamier. Cauliflower and cheese are a great flavour combination so instead baking it in a gratin or mixing it with some pasta; I thought this would be a nice alternative. In the beginning I thought of only making a cheese soup but then I changed my mind and in the end, I also added the cauliflower.

Cauliflower Gruyere Soup

 

Cauliflower Gruyere Soup

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time:20-25 min

 

Ingredients:

500 g cauliflower florets

240 g potatoes

160 g Gruyere cheese

2-3 garlic cloves

1 tbsp. butter

0.9-1 l vegetable stock

Pepper

 

Recipe:

Finely chop the garlic. Peel the potatoes and cut them into about 1 cm cubes. Eventually cut the florets into smaller pieces if they are very large. Coarsely grate the Gruyere cheese.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the garlic to cook on a low to medium fire for 4-5 min. Once it has softened add the potatoes and the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 min or until the potatoes you can easily insert a knife in them. Add the cauliflower florets and continue simmering for another 8-10 min.

Now you have two choices: either place everything in a food processor which will be more straightforward but the end result will be less smooth. The second alternative is to pass the soup through a strainer and set aside the liquid while you only process the solid ingredients before mixing everything back together.

Replace the soup on a low fire until it simmers again then remove it, add pepper to taste and the cheese and stir until it has melted. Serve with crusty bread and eventually top with dry roasted almonds, walnuts, chia seeds or whatever suits your taste.

 

 

Baked Carrot Leek Frittata

Baked Carrot Leek Frittata
Among the dishes I enjoyed eating back when I was in kindergarten was the frittata. Continue reading

It’s actually the only food I remember they made in that canteen, except for the letter soup served with individually wrapped cream cheese. I remembered and rediscovered the pleasure of eating this dish when I began cooking more seriously about five years ago. I found this baked version on cookieandkate and it’s great because it’s so easy and fuss free that I will surely be making it again and again. Depending on the season and on what veggies I find, it’ll be fun to test all those possible flavour combinations.

 

 

Baked Carrot Leek Frittata

 

150 g carrots peeled and ends cut off

140 g leeks

1 tbsp. butter

6 eggs

60 g grated Gruyere

a generous splash of cream

2 tsp. thyme

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Julienne the carrots either with a peeler or by using a knife. If using a knife, cut the carrot into about 4-5 cm sections. Slice lengthwise one side of the carrot. Place cut side of carrot down so it doesn’t roll when cutting. Cut carrot into thin slices lengthwise. Stack a few slices on top of each other and slice again lengthwise. You will end up with thin matchsticks. Then julienne the leeks. Again, cut into 4-5 cm sections, divide in half lengthwise and (always lengthwise) thinly slice.

Pace a pan on a medium heat and add the butter, once melted add the vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for about 5 min, or until just softened. Once done set aside to cool a little.

In a bowl break the eggs and add the cream, the grated cheese, salt and pepper.

Line a baking dish with oven paper and start by placing the vegetables, on top pour the egg mixture. Move the vegetables a little around to make sure the egg is evenly distributed.

Bake for 20-25 min, once the center of the frittata is a little puffed up and bouncy, it’s ready.

Avocado and Roasted Tomato Grain Salad

Avocado Roasted Tomato Grain SaladNow, this is a dish I would never have thought my dog would taste. As a pup and for years she has been so difficult with food but either my cooking has improved or she has become more of a glutton. Hopefully both theories are right. Continue reading

I love the colour of vegetables and find they always manage to make any dish livelier. In addition to the avocado and the cherry tomatoes, I added some grains to this Avocado & Roasted Tomato Grain Salad to bulk it up a little and make it more nutritious. Although the recipe portions are for four people as a starter or as a side dish, one can easily make a nice meal for two out of it.

Avocado and Roasted Tomato Grain Salad

Recipe for 4
Prep time: 15 min.
Cook time: 25-30 min.

Ingredients:
200 g amaranth (alternatively use quinoa, bulgur or cuscus)
300 g cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil (+ 1.5 tbsp. to drizzle on the tomatoes)
2 tbsp. Sherry vinegar
1 small red onion
1 avocado
1 small bunch coriander leaves
Salt and pepper

Recipe:
Heat oven at 200°C.
In a pan bring to a boil the amaranth with two times its volume in water. Let simmer for 15-20 min or until water has all been absorbed. Once done, set aside.
Meanwhile cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on an oven paper lined baking tray. Drizzle the olive oil on the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15.20 min. Once they are done remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.
Prepare the dressing by mixing the sherry vinegar, the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Finely chop the red onion and the coriander leaves. Cut the avocado in two, remove the pit, scrape out the inside with the help of a tablespoon and cut it into pieces of about 2 cm per side.
In a bowl combine the amaranth, chopped onion, coriander leaves, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and dressing and gently toss. Alternatively save a little dressing to drizzle over the salad at serving moment.

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad
I don’t know about you but I go through periods where I love eating healthy food and other times when I have a passionate attraction towards anything greasy, chocolaty or very cheesy. Continue reading

As you can see from this recipe, I am now in the first phase. Since the days are not as warm as before, when I make a salad I like to have something warm in it so in this recipe I baked some cauliflower florets. To make this salad I used flavours that pair well with the cauliflower: lemon juice, almonds and parsley. This salad can be easily made ahead and the ingredients are easy to find all year round.

 

 

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

 

Recipe for 3-4 as a side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 18-20 min.

 

Ingredients:

280 g cauliflower florets

250 g cooked chickpeas

2 tbsp. finely chopped onion

2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

3 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. almonds

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 230°C.

If the cauliflower florets are too large cut them into smaller pieces and place them in a baking tin. Drizzle a tbsp. olive oil on top and season the florets with salt and pepper, toss to coat evenly. Bake the cauliflower for 18-20 min tossing once or twice during the process.

Meanwhile prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon juice with 2 tbsp. olive oil, a few drops of water, salt and pepper to taste.

Roughly chop the almonds.

Finely chop the onion.

Once the cauliflower is ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool a moment before roughly chopping it.

Place the chickpeas in a bowl with the cauliflower, onions, almonds, and parsley, drizzle the dressing on top, toss and rectify taste with salt and pepper if needed. Serve.

Sweet Potato Broccoli Tartlets

Sweet Potato Broccoli TartletsI’m always in for any recipe I can make where I just throw everything in a container of some sort, put it in the oven and just taste it once it’s done. Yeah, I like cooking although sometimes I feel a little lazy. Continue reading

So last week I was feeling adventurous and so I decided to give these tartlets a try. When I try new recipe out of my imagination I always feel a little tense and curious but once I saw and tasted the result, I was happy with myself. This is a recipe you cannot get wrong (unless you forget the tartlets in the oven), it’s made with simple and healthy ingredients and the sweet potatoes and the broccoli can easily be cooked in advance. With the days getting cooler I find that tarts and similar recipes go perfectly with the weather… maybe it’s an idea or maybe it’s the cookng method but I find that anything that comes out of the oven has a cosy side to it.

 

 

Sweet Potato Broccoli Tartlets

 

Recipe for 6×10.5 cm tartlet moulds

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients:

350 g peeled sweet potatoes

150 g broccoli florets

60 g grated Gruyere

3 generous tbsp. flour (+ extra for dusting the moulds)

½ tbsp. smoked paprika

1 egg

Salt and pepper

1 small tbsp. butter (+ extra to grease the moulds)

A handful of arugula leaves (optional)

 

Recipe :

Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks and boil them in salted water. Once they’re soft drain them.

Using the same pan bring another pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the broccoli florets by boiling them for 2 ½-3 min, drain them and place them in icy water. Remove them from the water and roughly chop them.

Mash the sweet potatoes add the flour and mix. Now add the smoked paprika, the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mix all together and correct taste if needed. Add the egg and mix until it’s combined before adding the chopped broccoli.

Grease the aluminium moulds with butter and dust them with some flour. With a spatula or a spoon fill each mould until the top and even out the top surface. On top of each tartlet add a few pieces of butter.

Cook for about 20 min in a preheated oven at 200°C. Once done leave the tartlets a couple of minutes to cool before removing them from their moulds. If using them, top with arugula leaves and serve.