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Carrot & raisin salad

21 Nov


4-5 grated carrots
small handful of raisins
2 Tbsp mayonnaise (Calvé is my favorite)
splash or two of white vinegar
2 pinches of sugar
pinch of salt

Put the raisins in a coffee mug and cover with water. Microwave until just boiling, then set aside.

Put the grated carrots and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Stir until well mixed.

Once the raisins have plumped up, drain off the water. Add the raisins to the carrot mixture and toss to mix them in.


Roasted okra ‘fries’

25 Oct

Husband and toddler tested… approved! Okra is very nutritious, and roasting is so much easier and better for you than frying it. Score.

500g okra
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Rinse the okra then let dry. Trim away the stem ends and the very tips, then place the okra in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil until coated.

Place on a baking sheet in one layer. Roast in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan every five minutes.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve hot.

Easy fried okra

24 Sep

I Googled ‘fried okra recipes’ and got a whole bunch of recipes that called for cornmeal, buttermilk, eggs… more hassle than I wanted to deal with. This simple recipe is the way my parents use to make it.


1 lb okra (called gumbo or kandja)
3/4 cup flour
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp Mrs Dash or other similar all-purpose seasoning
oil for frying

Cut off the tops of the okra. Slice in 1/2-inch rounds.


In a large bowl, mix about 3/4 cup flour with about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and about 20 twists of freshly ground pepper. Okay, maybe a little more. I like it spicy and not too salty. Add the all-purpose seasoning mix. Mix it all together.

Add in the okra slices and toss until all are coated.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a heavy, preferably cast iron, skillet over med-high heat. Once hot, gently add the okra pieces one layer thick. Let cook about 8 minutes or until underside is golden brown. Flip. Keep cooking. Flip. Keep cooking until the edges are browned and the okra is soft.

Dig in – but be careful not to burn your mouth!

Cucumber and basil salad

27 May

2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1 Tbsp olive oil
handful of fresh basil, snipped
juice of one lime
salt & pepper to taste

Combine in a bowl and toss before serving.

Caprese kabobs

25 Apr


Cherry tomatoes
Basil leaves
Cube of mozzarella or Gouda

Skewer and serve! Really great tomatoes in season right now, so these are delicious.

Roasted potatoes with Romanian garlic sauce

12 Apr

Oh, Pinterest. Where did I ever find inspiration before you? This fresh garlic sauce goes great on roasted potatoes and steak – and probably just about anything. Come together in just a minute or two.

Garlic sauce
1 head of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 sm handful chopped parsley

Roasted potatoes
6 large potatoes, peeled and cleaned
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Using a stick blender, purée the garlic and salt until it becomes a paste. Add the oil, parsley and water to the garlic and purée again well. Set aside.

Cut up the potatoes into wedges. In a baking dish add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and toss them in the olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes covered. After 45 minutes remove the aluminum foil. Pour garlic sauce over the potatoes and bake for another 30 minutes until they turn crispy and golden brown.

Roasted tomatoes

24 Mar

Buy about a kilo of those amazing roma tomatoes that are in season.

Wash and dry them, then slice them in half. Drizzle olive oil in a baking dish. Line the bottom of the baking dish with the tomatoes, sliced-side up.

Peel and slice 3 or 4 garlic cloves and tuck them between the tomatoes. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a bit of salt, or if you want you can put on a dollop of basil pesto.

Bake the tomatoes in a 350-degree oven until they are soft and cooked throughout, which should take at least 30-45 minutes.

Once they’re soft, remove them from the oven and let cool. Eat them straight, chopped over pasta, on bruschetta, in salad…

Kari bayildi

21 Feb

The name of the recipe in my cookbook is Imam bayildi, which means ‘the imam fainted’. It was just that tasty. I started following the recipe, but veered off course on the ingredients. Then on the procedure. But it was really tasty. Near-fainting tasty. So Kari bayildi it is!

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 eggplant, sliced in half
2-3 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1 onion, sliced
1 sm can crushed tomatoes
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp masala seasoning
pinch carraway seeds (optional)
1 sm handful cilantro leaves, chopped
salt to taste
piment (hot sauce) to taste

Heat 2 Tbsps olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet to med heat. Place eggplants cut-side down in skillet. Cover if you have a lid. Let cook about five minutes (should get soft and browned, not black), then flip and cook another five minutes. Remove eggplant and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to skillet. Cook the onions fir a couple minutes, until just soft and a little browned. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, seasonings, cilantro and garlic. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until zucchini is soft. Stir occasionally and add water 1/4 cup at a time if needed.

Add the eggplant and let simmer another 10 minutes.

If you can, let it cool and refrigerate overnight, then reheat before serving. Sooo good on the second day!

Zucchini casserole with parmesan

21 Jan

We were very, very pleased with this dish. We ate it for both breakfast and lunch until it ran out!

4-6 medium zucchini, grated
4 eggs
1/3 cup light cream (15%)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
2-3 Tbsp parmesan

Spread the zucchini in a large baking dish. In a bowl, beat the eggs then add cream, salt and Italian seasoning. Mix well and pour over zucchini. Stir gently to coat.

Bake in preheated oven at 350° for about 25-30 or until the egg mixture sets. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake another 5 minutes.

Serve warm. (Reheats well.)

Lait caillé potato salad

11 Jan

3 large potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2-3/4 cup lait caillé (or plain yogurt)
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
pinch of salt

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cover, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 6-10 minutes until just softened, but still firm. Drain water and spread potatoes out on a baking sheet to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust as needed.

Once potatoes have stopped steaming, pour them into the bowla nd stir to coat. Chill well before serving.