FROM LETTUCE WITH LOVE

salad
Let’s talk about praise of simplicity. As few weeks ago the season for local farmers started, for the first time this year we got a veggie basket from our favourite local farming project. We were pretty amazed by both the amount and variety of lettuce and herbs that we have received. At first we had some doubts, what to do with all these greens —  lettuce, arugula, colorful chard, variation of nettles, fresh parsley and dill — and we are talking about the whole basket of it. As we got home and packed out all the crispy leaves, the choice was obvious: lettuce, just as it is, with some amazing salad dressing. That was the beginning of the search for new ideas.

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And if you also sometimes like just to keep it simple, you should definitely try flavoured olive oils. It only takes a couple of minutes to prepare them at home: place the ingredients in a bottle, pour your favourite olive oil and leave in a dark and cool place for a couple of days, and voilá: the new star is born!

Our favourites are orange and rosemary, lemon and garlic and of course the spicy chilli version we can’t imagine pizza without: olio di peperoncino. Weather for pasta, pizza, salad or just freshly baked bread — you will be amazed how this detail can change the simplest dish.

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RAW ROMANESCO SALAD

Delicious and healthy raw Romanesco salad with dried golden berries, hazelnuts and lentils

 

Last year I started buying organic vegetables from a local farmer. The reason why I chose this particular one over all the others was his veggie-abstract sense of humor. To give you an example, he announced the upcoming romanesco season as the “arrival of psychedelic cauliflower brother”. Who wouldn’t go with that, right?

Romanesco’s appearances might put it in the same basket with broccoli and cauliflower, but it has a slightly different “personality”. It’s texture is far more crunchy and it has an amazingly delicate, yet nutty flavor. As we are currently transitioning from Winter to Spring, I was craving some quick salad recipe that would combine these both seasons. Black lentils and roasted hazelnuts remind my tastebuds of the snowy weather, and the raw romanesco prepares me for the fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits yet to come.

The secret star here, however, are dried golden berries, also known as Inca berries or amour en cage (“love in cage” in French) – a superfood grown in Peru and Ecuador. These are a great alternative to raisins and cranberries, if you’re looking for a defining twist to your salad. With a balanced mix of sweetness and sourness, they make it refreshing and complete.

Delicious and healthy raw Romanesco salad with dried golden berries, hazelnuts and lentils

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WATERMELON AND ALMOND CHEESE SALAD

Delicious watermelon and almond cheese salad with fresh mint and chilli pepper
“I mean, nobody wants to see the big picture. Life’s too complicated”.
Cube, Vincenzo Natali

Today it’s all about the shape. Inspired by a photography Cubes by design studio Lernert & SanderI decided also to give the food some shape. Dutch artists and filmmakers duo from Netherlands cut unprocessed 98 different foods into perfectly precise 2.5cm cubes joined in the symmetric rows turning it into hypnotising piece of art.

From the „can’t take my eyes off“-photo to the „can’t take my fork off“-salad: here come the ice-cold watermelon balls with almond cheese cubes, joined by the refreshing mint and chilli dressing, cause my summer goes on…

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GOLDEN APRICOT AND LENTIL SALAD

Baked Apricots in Rosemary Lemon Vinaigrette, Rocket Salad and Green Lentils - easy lunch or dinner vegan recipe, gluten free and perfect for summer.

“(…)”
The Tribe, Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi

The Golden Apricot International Film Festival in Yerevan, Armenia begins today. The unusual quote you can see above comes from a movie that won the first prize last year. An amazing film shot completely in Ukrainian sign language. Definitely worth watching.

And here comes another golden apricot definitely worth trying. The combination of green lentils and rocket salad is a solid base for the apricot extravagance. And the lime zest & rosemary dressing simply brings the best out of them. And just think the season for golden apricots has only started…

Baked Apricots in Rosemary Lemon Vinaigrette, Rocket Salad and Green Lentils - easy lunch or dinner vegan recipe, gluten free and perfect for summer.
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BROAD BEANS AND SAUTÉED RADISHES SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE

Broad beans, sautéed radishes, pomegranate salad with tahini

“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
The Silence of the Lambs, Jonathan Demme

 

 I have been waiting for this day the whole year and yet, it’s a bittersweet moment. The broad beans (also known as fava beans) season has finally begun and I already know it will be over within a month. Fulfilment tinged with sadness.

I am literally their biggest fan. Imagine you are playing the “What if” game and someone asks you: “What if you had to eat one and the same dish for the rest of your life, what would that be?”. Do you know your answer? I know mine – anything with broad beans!

This salad was my sacrifice. I had to resist the temptation of eating them all at once. Luckily, I’ve made it, and luckily, radishes sauté and pomegranate turned out to be the perfect match.

I guess even Hannibal Lecter would be pleased.

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