Spring Blossoms Salad

It is Spring, apparently...
I thought I would make a Flower salad to brighten up my table...
I got a purple carrot and a bulb of fennel at my favourite organic market in London, Borough Market and got home really excited to pick some flowers from my garden...

Even if you cannot eat the flowers, in case they are not organic, making this dish is so easy and it makes your table look so lovely, that I invite you to try.
If you do not have purple carrots you can use orange ones. You can also use radishes or any root vegetable that has a darker colour on the outside, like courgettes.
It will also look stunning...

Little girls will LOVE this way of eating carrots, certainly this is the only way you get me eating them...

You will need:

1 carrot peeled with a wavy, ruffling peeler
1 bulb of fennel cut lengthwise in thin shaves {keep the tips to spread around the dish}
Mustard cress
Edible flowers
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Sea salt to taste
Cider vinegar to taste

Peel the carrots and chop them in thin 0.2 cm slices. Rub a very tiny bit of olive oil on them so they do not go whitish.
In a bowl, season the fennel and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Plate in a way that pleases your eyes the most and leave some space on the plate to pile the fennel salad.

Impress Your.Self and your guests!!!!!

Enjoy Spring!!!!!!!


Kale Chips

I wish I had known about Kale Chips before.
It is easy to make and has the crunch I missed all my life...

You will need:

1 bag of kale { I buy the already washed and cut ones}
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Pre heat your oven to high {275 degrees} and line a baking tray with parchment paper or foil.

I was told by an angel called Shannon, who passed me the recipe, to sprinkle the leaves with the oil, but I discovered it also gets a good 'crunch' when  I dip my fingers in the oil and rub it on the palm of my hands and then massage the leaves with my not-too-oily palms. 

Lay them on a single layer and sprinkle some salt on them.

Some people use chilli powder too or freshly crushed black pepper and I have even heard of a girl who sprinkled the leaves with cocoa powder and brown sugar or drinking chocolate powder, but I never tasted that way..

Put them in the oven at the same temperature for 10/15 minutes and turn them over.
Keep an eye on the as each oven is very different and remove when they are crunchy.

After all, if the heat has not removed all the goodness from the dark green leaves, you may get quite a lot of calcium and fibre.

They keep crunchy for one day, I discovered,  as I left one leaf hidden from myself overnight to test the crunch factor...
It is almost impossible to stop eating them...


Thai Prawn & Lemongrass Salad

I had a prawn salad on my first trip to Thailand, many many years ago and I have been on a hunt for a good recipe ever since.
This is one of my favorites.
It tastes as delicious as it looks and it is very easy to make.

Leave all ingredients prepared before you begin cooking and assembling it, like in ALL asian cooking and there is very little that can go wrong.
You can also make it with thins strips of chicken, pork or beef.
You can BBQ the prawns before you add it to the sauce if you want!!!

You will need:

6 uncooked, unshelled and deveined prawns
1/2 cup boiling water or fresh lemongrass tea {no sugar}
1 tablespoon chilli sauce
lightly pounded bird's eyes chillies {as many as you can take}
1/2 of a lime {juice only}
2 tablespoons of nam pla {fish sauce}
a  drop of soya sauce
a pinch of sugar
2 bulbs of lemongrass hit with the back of your cleaver and sliced VERY thinly and diagonally as shown in the picture}
1/2 cup of a mixture of white onion, red onion or thai/indian red shallots, spring onions
4 cherry tomatoes cut in half {optional}

Blanch the prawns in the water or tea until pink/cooked and drain. Do not overcook them.
In a bowl, mix all the other ingredients and adjust the seasoning to your liking. The idea is that is a little spicy, tangy and salty with a touch of lemongrass. The sugar serves to bring out the flavours of the chilli and smoothing the mixture.
Mix the prawns in the sauce, arrange it on a nice plate and serve immediately.


Food For The Soul...


Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the
Indian in a white poncho lies dead
by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night
with plans and the simple breath
that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness
as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow
as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness
that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day
to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

Naomi Shihab Nye