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Blood of the Earth
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I love beetroots, they are so unassuming, but there aren’t many vegetables with quite the same substance and elegant potential. Dress them down and they are comfortable in a farm kitchen as borscht, perfect with the thick sour cream of Eastern Europe. But give them a little love and they can make chicken consommé sparkle like a ruby, fit for a royal banquet. They can stand up to strong flavours with ease and so make a great side salad to smoked mackerel or salmon. Assertive as they are, though, they don’t tend to overpower other ingredients, but instead can accentuate their character. Add some young golden beets among the potatoes around your next roast chicken, for example, tossed with olive oil and thyme, and notice how the sweetness of the meat is brought to the foreground.

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My favourite albums of 2016

Here we are again, then, looking back at another year and what a year 2016 turned out to be! Let’s focus on the musical highlights of the year, rather than its shadows. In no particular order, these are my favourite albums of the year we leave behind. It’s not a long list (and I confess there are still albums I’d like to have listened to more carefully and which may have ended up on this list), but it shines bright.

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My Favourite Albums of 2015

Every year, I collect my favourite albums and present them here and 2015 is no different. There are many that I still haven’t had a chance to listen to, so this list is perhaps a bit incomplete. No matter, here they are, in no particular order, except for the first track, which comes from my top album of 2015! Courtney Barnett’s “Sometimes I sit and think, sometimes I just sit”. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

_t

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Vitello Tonnato

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I remember discovering this dish in a magazine when I was a young teenager. Cold meat? A liquefied sauce made from tuna and eggs? It was unlike anything else I knew at the time and I was instantly hooked. Who knew that food could be so different and delicious (I grew up a long time ago in a small Greek town, far, far away, so some allowances should be made to my teenage mind).

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Saffron Rice Pudding Brulée

This is the time of the year for comfort food; warm and satisfying, something to curl up on the sofa with. Few desserts are more comforting that rice pudding, with its creamy, giving texture and fragrant, lightly toasted rice. That it is so easy to make is, of course, a welcome bonus.

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