My kitchen is by no means complete – I don’t own a cast iron pan for example, nor a proper food processor and not even a set of tea cups. But I happen to own a special mill to grind poppy seeds. I sort of inherited this from my grandmother, who as I’ve mentioned before was an amazing baker. I also happen to love poppy seeds. So now the time had come to use this little mill and make a poppy seed cake, or what we call Hefezopf, a simple yeasted cake with poppy seed filling, rolled up, then cut in half, braided and baked. I think this type of pastry is common all over central Europe, I’m not even sure where it originates from. It can be eaten just like that for breakfast or tea, or with a little butter or margarine and jam or honey. Note that poppy seeds are so tough that it’s difficult to crush them with anything else than a special grain mill. So when you buy them, make sure to get the ones that are already ground. Apart from that this cake/roll is quite straightforward. It can be made vegan or non-vegan, both are equally good. If you don’t like raisins, use dried apricots or dates instead.
[Read more…] about Traditional yeasted poppy seed roll (Mohnzopf)
Ok, this is maybe not the most exciting dish, but it’s extremely comforting and has a great depth of flavor. It’s a very traditional thing to make, all year round, with the vegetables adapted according to the season. I must have eaten this a thousand times growing up but I still like it and should actually make it more often. It’s so healthy – filling but super light at the same time. The base is always the same: vegetable stock made from a bunch of stuff we call Suppengrün – carrots, an onion, a leek, celery root, celery leaves and parsley root. After that, it’s all optional and you can throw in whatever you have. It’s a perfect way to use up those leftover vegetables sitting in the fridge, too!
[Read more…] about Seasonal harvest soup
Something that’s really in season right now here in Berlin is apples. I got these rosy and pretty ones yesterday, so it was kind of obvious to try baking rose apple tarts. I’d seen and admired pictures of those but had no idea how to make them. After some research, I learnt that there are different methods, of course – the one I chose here seemed to be the easiest, as demonstrated in this lovely video. For the dough, I went back to my trusted olive oil mix and it worked well, again – it’s admittedly not the easiest dough to roll out thin (in the pictures you can see the parts that look a little chunky), but with patience and a bit of force I managed to get it in shape. The result were tiny and delicious tartlets, perfect for a Sunday afternoon.
I just love beetroot. We don’t often get the yellow ones here in Berlin, so when I saw them in a store I had to buy them immediately. I wanted to use them raw, the color is amazing! This salad actually has lots of flavor, given the earthiness of the beets with a bit of gingery spice, the freshness of the parsley and the mildly bitter pistachios. The beetroot need to be sliced veeery thin though, otherwise they are a bit too crunchy. If you don’t have a mandoline, a potato slicer would do as well. And most importantly, this salad needs lots of dressing – the beets should kind of marinate for a few minues before serving. [Read more…] about Raw beetroot salad with ginger-pistachio gremolata
I got the recipe for this crispbread from a friend, who got it from a Swedish colleague at the art gallery where she was working. What I like about it particularly is the scaleability: it’s easy to adjust the quantities you’re making as long as you pay attention to the proportions. That’s why I didn’t even give proper measurements in the recipe below. I paired this with something delicious for fall: an onion- apple jam. Its consistency is actually more like a chutney – I love the combination of sweet and savoury here. I used just a little sugar and no spices to really bring out the onion and apple flavor. To help the jam set, I added some crushed linseeds mixed with warm water, but it will work and taste the same without, too. I used just one apple and one onion which produced about 250 ml (one cup) of jam; just double the quantities if you’d like to make more (you might need it :). Top the crispbread with the jam, a slice of goat cheese and some freshly cracked black pepper and: bon appetit! [Read more…] about Swedish crispbread with onion-apple jam
This soup is absolutely delicious. It’s called mafé in West Africa. Peanuts and tomatoes together are somehow very comforting, maybe it’s the mix of acidity and sweetness? I used this recipe (with inspiring story) here as a start). I found it so interesting how the cabbage is sliced into quarters and eights so that the leaves stick together, instead of just chopping it up. It does stay nice and crunchy this way. But there are many different versions of this dish, so (almost) anything goes in terms of vegetable ingredients. Also, I made my own peanut-cashew butter -much easier than I thought! But ready-made peanut butter is totally fine, and in fact what most mafé recipes recommend. [Read more…] about Senegalese – inspired peanut and cashew soup with vegetables
I think soba noodles are the best thing ever. They take only a few minutes to cook, they can be eaten hot or cold, and they are kind of the healthy version of spaghetti. This recipe here looks a little complicated but is actually pretty simple. It’s inspired by a dish I had once at a lovely little Korean restaurant in Berlin called Core (the place couldn’t be more tiny but serves delicious lunch specials every day, on top of selling essential Korean groceries). My version involves two quick pickles (cucumbers and carrots/ turnips) and two side dishes (shitake and zucchini), plus store-bought kimchi. And if you ever wondered which gochujang to buy, read this: http://oneforkonespoon.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/the-best-gochujang/
I don’t know if this is the proper way to make lassi – would love to hear how you usually make it! But this is definitely an easy one that you can prepare without thinking. My mom always made it this way and also with rosewater; the delicate rose flavor goes so well with the milky and sweet taste of the lassi. And of course it has to be pink in color: I just used a few spoons of beet juice, easy and healthy. If you can’t buy beet juice, you could of course use juice from fresh beets. Or add some berries. Or plant-based food coloring. Anyway. It’s again one of these recipes that’s almost too simple to write it down, but I’ll try anyway:
For 750 ml (or three cups) of lassi, you need:
250ml (1 cup) of milk
250ml (1 cup) of yoghurt
250ml (1 cup) of cold water
two teaspoons of rose water
two teaspoons of beetroot juice
three teaspoons of sugar or honey or agave syrup
ice cubes if you want
Mix everything together with a handmixer or whisk. Add ice cubes if you want. That’s it! Note that the recipe is easily scalable depending on how much you want to make. Adjust the amount of sugar and beet juice for sweetness and color. Enjoy!
P.S.: In case some of you have noticed: In the last few days, I redesigned this site! Phew! Following a sudden urge to change everything I bought a domain and now this blog is independent and out and about on its own. If you’re subscribing via WordPress this means you can’t like posts in the reader anymore, you’d have to visit the site itself to do that… I hope you will! xoxo.
So, I ventured into vegan baking again. Yey! Inspired by the season (and this lovely post on gingerandbread.com on German plum traybake aka Zwetschgendatschi), I wanted to bake something with plums – but I didn’t have enough fruit to fill an entire tray. I found a nice recipe for a smaller plum galette by Jacques Pépin on Food and Wine Magazine and decided to veganize it – preferably with the help of olive oil, as recommended by some of you (and by Molly Yeh, who has a mouth-watering recipe for olive-oil based plum cake). [Read more…] about Vegan plum tart