I keep seeing beautiful turnips at the market and I love their purple color. Turnips don’t have a great reputation, but their flavor is actually delicious, like a cross between kohlrabi and radishes. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and they make great fries too. And they are available throughout the winter. In my search for recipes to use them I came across this turnip burger on Food 52, which sounded delicious. I also took veggie burger inspiration from Nourish Atelier, a beautiful blog (and now cookbook!), which has several amazing burger recipes. The result was the most delicious veggie burger we ever had. Hope you enjoy it too!
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Socca is a delicious, light but flavorful chickpea-flour pancake from Southern France (and similar things exist in other countries of course, Italy for example, where it’s called farinata). It’s actually street food, so it’s simple and easy to make and tastes great even without any special toppings. A little ground cumin in the dough helps to enhance the slightly earthy chickpea flavor, and sea salt and olive oil round it off.
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This is a delicious, rather wintery stew. The spinach adds a nice and fresh note to balance all the earthy flavors of the beets, mushrooms and lentils. Beluga lentils are among my favorite kinds of lentils because they stay firm even when cooked and have a light nutty flavor. They are great also in salads, and in fact this dish works as a cold salad as well, maybe with a little added olive oil and lemon juice.
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Recently I watched Gabrielle Hamilton make a particularly delicious-looking dish on ‘The Mind of a Chef’. She chargrilled aubergines over the open flame of a gas burner, then turned them into a simple but sumptuous spread with lemon juice, olive oil, parsley and freshly-baked flatbread. Around the same time a friend told me about an Ottolenghi/ Tamimi recipe for burnt aubergine soup. I decided to give those aubergines a try and ended up with this pumpkin-sweet potato-aubergine mix. It’s a warming, spicy and smooth soup, perfect for chilly autumn days. I didn’t dare roasting aubergines over the open flame in my kitchen but instead chose to grill them in the oven, which achieves – I find – the same result: the burnt aubergine has a light smokey flavor, which is a perfect complement to the sweetness of the pumpkin and the deep aroma of the za’atar. Try it, I’m sure you will love it!
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For some reason, kale is still rare in Germany. It’s strange because kale – or green cabbage – is one of the most traditional German greens – typically cooked for hours with slices of sausage, it was my grandfather’s favorite dish for example. But the whole modern kale movement has almost evaded us here. Which is why whenever I see kale somewhere, I buy it. My favorite way to prepare kale is in salads, such as this one from Choosing Raw, which inspired me to make the sesame-flavored version here. To be eaten raw, the kale leaves should get a good massage with the dressing first, don’t hesitate to crunch them until they are a little wilted. With rice and red cabbage they make a quick, super healthy and yet filling salad.
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This is my current favorite dish, I eat it all the time. It can be eaten hot or cold and features whichever veggies you have in the fridge, raw or cooked. They all taste delicious with the creamy miso-tahini-lemon dressing! For me, the cinnamon-roasted sweet potato is essential though, as well as my beloved red cabbage. As for the soba noodles, the ones I used here have only 20 percent buckwheat content, since those are the ones most readily available where I live. The 100% buckwheat noodles taste even better though I think with their nutty flavor – and they are gluten free, so use those if you can! A common problem with soba noodles is that they tend to get quite sticky, but you can find detailed instructions on how to avoid this and how to cook them properly on Food52.
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