As much as french fries are the most heavenly of junk foods, and a mean side dish to any meat roast, they’re somewhat not ideal for regular consumption. There is, though, a healthier alternative that allows you to indulge on the pleasure of potato fries more often without feeling too guilty and that is baked sweet potato fries. I was not very used to sweet potatoes, but I became more and more familiar with this root vegetable after I moved to Sweden. Continue reading
Beetroot hummus stands out for its bright pink colour. As a hummus, it is of course made with chickpeas, but beets play a significant role and, obviously, leave their colourful mark. The presence of the beets is not only noticed visually, as the flavour of this hummus is very beety. Famous for its sweet taste, beetroot turns this pink dip into the sweetest hummus you can make. Ideally, you want to pair it up with something intense, and I’ve got something in mind…
Adjusting to Sweden’s food availability I noticed one thing: pumpkins are not very popular. Butternut squash is available year round, and I feel lucky because it’s my favourite type. But finding other kinds of squash and pumpkins is not so easy. There is one time when stores suddenly have them and that is around Halloween. Rather than for eating, they’re sold for lanterns. When Halloween is done, unsold pumpkins drop in price and that’s when I took a muscat squash home and made roasted pumpkin salad. Continue reading
When I want to impress my guests or just treat myself to a good meal I’ll pull a recipe from my Italian tradition. More than often, despite the aura of fancy that some Italian dishes have, they are easier to make than it may seem. Walnut cream pasta sauce is one of them. Served, it may look like the fanciest sauce ever. In reality, making it is actually pretty easy and requires only a bunch of ingredients that are also quite accessible. Continue reading
Cornmeal cornbread is a fantastic complement to a hearty meal. Traditionally served for Thanksgiving, I find it incredibly suited year round. Entirely gluten free, it is an excellent option for gluten intolerant guests. I baked my first loaf last year precisely because it is gluten free! I had ran out of gluten-free flour and needed to cater to people with gluten intolerance. There was almond meal at home, but any type of nuts was banned from the workplace so that was not an option. My last card was cornmeal. So I figured that a nice loaf of cornbread was better than nothing. Continue reading
The inspiration to make pea soup with ricotta came from the Ikea catalogue. I know, right? I love the Ikea catalogue, it always has those beautiful photos of homes that are filled with stuff yet never look messy. I don’t know how they do it, I also have the house filled with cute stuff, but I seem to never achieve the same level of balance between the objects and the ambience. But that doesn’t matter. One of these beautiful bowls in a beautiful kitchen featured ricotta and pea soup. Continue reading
I recently had some friends over for dinner and decided to treat them to risotto. Pasta and pizza, especially when home-made by an authentic Italian cook, are always a good option, and no guest will ever frown at this choice of menu. But there’s so much more to Italian cooking than pizza and pasta. Rice is, in fact, a very popular food in the north, together with polenta (cornmeal). Coming from northern Italy myself, I consider risotto one of the finest expressions of northern Italian cuisine. Continue reading
I’ve been an advocate of shortcrust vegetable pies for years. I started making them when I didn’t even have a tart pan but was using a springform pan, instead. It works, and it can look pretty, too. Then I started going smaller and made them finger-food-sized baked in the muffin tin. Also something to be proud of. Until I finally got myself a proper tart pan and started producing the real deal. My favourite? Definitely the mushroom tart.
My mom learned to make roasted eggplant dip from a Romanian friend. This friend used to roast her eggplants on the open flame, as that is the traditional way of doing it in Romania. My mom decided to do it her way and roast the aubergines in the oven instead. By doing so you lose the smoky flavour, but the outcome will have the same texture and will yield an equally great ingredient to make a delicious eggplant dip.
There is evidence of flatbreads being baked in many ancient cultures, but pizza as we know it nowadays has a much more modern history. Legend has it that the first pizza Margherita was invented in 1890 in honor of Margherita of Savoy, Queen of Italy. The country had been unified under the same flag for only a few decades, and to honour the queen the pizza that carried her name was made with the same colours of the Italian flag – red, green and white. Continue reading