Flavour of the week: Without a doubt tahini. The earthy, nutty gem of a paste.
Book of the YEAR: A Homemade Life – Molly Wizenberg. I will write a whole post about this book and her amazing blog ‘Orangette’ soon but having just finished reading this book I am beyond happy, emotional, dying to get in the kitchen and unable to wait months for her next book. I’ll save the rest for my next post. Stay tuned.
This weekend I have spent the weekend in Southampton, the city where I went to university. I stayed with my ex housemate of 4 years Hannah who has been a source of food inspiration throughout my years at university and since, sending me a recipe every now and then that made her think of me. Usually chocolate based, of course. Hannah and I had the best time (well, I did), we went for a wander in the sun, followed by Sprinkles (the best ice cream joint in Southampton) where I had a scoop of hazelnut and a scoop of Ferrero Roche and Hannah had a scoop of mini egg and a scoop of peanut butter topped with hot chocolate sauce. Delicious.
After refuelling with ice cream we went to the international food shop, I could spend hours in there but I manage to leave without spending too much and came away with a few exciting bits and pieces, one of which was a concoction called Falafel Spice. More on that shortly.
I brought a few things from home just in case Hannah fancied including them in dinner, she has great taste so I knew she’d already have fab ingredients awaiting me but I thought she would enjoy some mushroom tagliatelle I bought the other day and I had some fresh coriander that needed using up.
When I arrived Hannah marinaded some chicken in yogurt, tahini, lemon and garlic and then mentioned she had bought some asparagus (my favourite vegetable, maybe, it is like choosing between children for me though) and pomegranate and was going to do some honey roast carrots with dinner and wasn’t sure what else. This inspired me to make a pasta sauce with tahini, lemon juice (lots of), garlic, falafel spice, a dash of water and lots of fresh coriander to serve. To this we added pomegranate, the mushroom tagliatelle (normal tagliatelle or any pasta would work just as well), then the asparagus and honey roast carrots on the side.
It was a team effort completely inspired by Hannah’s marinade. It made for an extremely tasty Middle Easternesque dish and I will definitely be making it again.
I’m afraid there are no quantities as we made it up as we went along but for the pasta sauce I would estimate 1tbsp of tahini, 1.5 tbsp of lemon juice, 1tbsp of water, 3 tbsp of plain yogurt, 1 tsp of falafel spice and 1 clove of chopped garlic (to serve two portions of pasta).
It was really nice to be creating our own recipe, I haven’t done this in a long time and didn’t realise how much I miss that ‘looking in the fridge and making it up’ feeling. I was longing for such a culinary adventure after reading A Homemade Life and was extremely grateful when the opportunity arose whilst staying with Hannah.
That was yesterday’s adventures, today I met friends for lunch at a pub that had a bottle of wine with the best play on words of a name ever. As I write this I am sat in a rocking chair at a Bed & Breakfast close to where the course I am attending tomorrow is, listening to the rain on my window and about to go out for dinner with another friend. Life is good.
Hannah bought me a jar of Jersey Black Butter whilst she was staying in Jersey, we had some in our porridge this morning. I cannot wait to get baking and creating with the magical stuff that it is. Hannah claims that it is ‘Holly in a jar’ given that it contains so many of my favourite things and I can’t help but agree.