Hello there! As this post goes up I am still visiting home in wonderful Toronto, spending time with friends and family and eating absolutely everything. I thought it would be fun to stray from my usual posts and to round up some of my recent favourite recipes. While I love testing my own recipes and getting creative in the kitchen, there is something so comforting and yet weirdly exhilarating about handing over the reigns and relinquishing control of your meal to someone else. Much like a new restaurant, you never know how it’ll turn out! These recipes come from all over the place, both from great blogs and in some truly excellent cookbooks, and they are all recipes that I have tried and loved recently.
For this post I’ve opted for a very casual (read: lazy) route and have used a lot of my own Instagram shots (all are mine unless otherwise specified). So if you do happen to follow me on Instagram, some of these choices will come as no surprise!
Carrot Risotto from the Dirt Candy cookbook, written by Amanda Cohen and illustrated by Ryan Dunlavey
Dirt Candy is a sort of recipe book meets graphic novel. None of the recipes are photographed, which has been known to deter me in the past (I know, I know…), but this book has so many unusual and delicious-sounding combinations that it just gets your creative juices flowing. This risotto highlights carrot through and through, but is also full of unexpectedly complex flavour and texture. You start by making your own carrot broth – not as labour-intensive as it sounds – and then you use that as the flavour base for the risotto. Optionally, you can also top it with carrot ribbons (pictured above) and carrot dumplings (which regrettably did not make the cut!). Basically: this risotto is incredible. It isn’t a quick recipe, but it is absolutely worth your time. (There’s a version of the recipe available online here.)
Pesto Summer Squash Bruschetta with Poached Eggs from Naturally Ella
(photo credit: Erin of Naturally Ella)
I always pass summer squash at the grocery store and, never knowing quite what to do with it, I usually end up leaving it in favour of the more familiar zucchini. One day this lovely, vibrant bruschetta recipe popped up in my blog feed, and I immediately saved it for dinner that night. And it was delightful. Topped with an egg, it’s a perfectly satisfying but still fairly light dinner, packed with flavour and texture. Pieter and I had two each, and had it not been so filling we would certainly have gone for more! If you’re drawn to summer squash but don’t know what to do with it, this one’s for you! (But you’ll also love it if you’re a total pro at using summer squash.)
Chocolate Semifreddo from My Little Expat Kitchen
(photo credit: Magda of My Little Expat Kitchen)
As you may have noticed either on this blog or on Instagram, I don’t often make desserts. My reasons behind this are twofold. First: I am generally unskilled and uninventive when it comes to sweets. Second: when there are desserts in the house, I become a raging sugar monster and will stop at nothing until every last morsel has been devoured. I have zero self-control. Even if there’s a cheap bar of chocolate in the cupboard nestled between the garlic and onions (it happens)… I will find it, it will taste vaguely garlicy, and yet I will still eat it all. So it’s just easier for me and my arteries if I don’t keep any sweets around.
All of that to say that when I do want to make a dessert, I need a really good recipe – one that is worth demolishing in 1.5 sittings, and one that is easy enough for me to follow. And this one totally delivers. Because it’s semifreddo, you don’t need an ice cream maker, which is perfect for the uninitiated. The result is smooth and creamy and super chocolate-y and generally just impressive. Magda has illustrated the whole recipe too, so it’s practically fool-proof. Pieter and I have made this twice now and both times it’s been excellent! If you’re looking to dip your toe into the pool of homemade frozen treats, this link is definitely worth checking out.
Turkish-Style Eggs from A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones
This wonderful breakfast dish was introduced to me by my lovely friend Marjolein when I was visiting her in Belgium. Eggs + herbs + yoghurt + sumac – sounds too simple to cause a stir… And yet. And YET. I have recreated this dish a good handful of times since I got back, and that was only about three weeks ago! The original recipe calls for flatbread, but I’ve found it to be just as satisfying on plain ol’ toast. I’ve also found that the precise herbs you use don’t really matter. My favourites are dill, mint and parsley together, but coriander also works, as do tarragon and basil, and surely many others. If you haven’t given this a try yet, get on that!
Barley risotto with marinated feta from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Of course I’m mentioning this amazing book! I would only be lying to myself if I didn’t. This risotto is packed with so much flavour and makes some really unusual and yet bang-on combinations. Feta and caraway seeds? Who knew?! Unlike a traditional risotto, you don’t need to worry about ladling in spoonful after spoonful of broth… you just dump all of your liquid over your grains, bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer for a solid 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. So easy and so delicious. The recipe is available online on Ottolenghi’s website.
(I didn’t know I loved risotto so much, but two risotto recipes in one post? I can’t deny it any longer!)
Sweet Potato and Coconut Milk Soup with Brown Rice & Lentils from Bowl + Spoon via Katie at the Kitchen Door
(photo credit: Katie of Katie at the Kitchen Door
When I saw this picture floating around on Pinterest, I knew in my heart of hearts that I would need to make this soup that very same day. And it would have been wrong not to, because it is so good. SO GOOD. The flavours are just incredible – you’ve got coconut milk, sweet potato, turmeric, orange juice, curry powder, coriander… It all just sings. Adding lentils and rice turns this into an ultra-comforting dish that just makes you feel like your insides are so very nourished and radiant.
I’m not one to have a problem eating soup on a hot day, but if you are, do yourself a favour and pin this one for use on the first chilly day of the year!
That’s all the babbling I’ll do today. I hope this round-up inspired you to try a new dish or check out a new book or blog! Happy Monday everyone! xx