Spring, So Far. Plus Garlicky Greens and Eggs in a Pan.
During the school holidays this little town we now call home swelled in the heat. It's starting to really feel like summer. The shops are crowded and it takes five minutes longer for my coffee order to reach my hands. I use that time to engage in people watching, particularly as they linger over the ice-cream counter. I like to guess what flavour they will select. More often than not I'm correct...strawberry for her, coffee for him, definitely hazelnut for this guy. After five years working as a Dietitian (and before that a good few years in hospitality), these "what will they order?" skills have surely sharpened. Though I have always loved inquiring after people's favourite cake variety/breakfast dish/coffee or cocktail order/pasta shape. These preferences say a lot about a person, perhaps no more so than their choice of ice-cream. It's food psychology of sorts... "Tell me about that"....no really, please do, I find this stuff fascinating. With our footpaths full of people too distracted by their ice-creams to walk in an orderly fashion (or at all), I am being forced to slow down and notice the sun. We've been reading more. I'm walking, not running, and watching the clouds. My gumboots by the door have been replaced by flip flops. It's happy days, folks. Here are some pictures of spring so far, from our corner of the world...
I have made seven batches of ice-cream these past two months (a personal best), five of which were of the salty honey variety. There was hence ample opportunity to photograph this most beloved flavour, yet we somehow managed to eat it all without stopping for a single click. I will rectify that soon but for now, go forth and make extra virgin olive oil and coffee ice-cream. And then perhaps try something more fruity, like this cantaloupe sorbet (recipe link) by David Lebovitz. My first venture away from creamy churns to fruity turned out more like a granita, however on this warm Saturday evening is was perfectly refreshing and delicious.
Last month my brother and I visited Il Melograno in Northcote, and I shall henceforth be requesting all summer dates take place in this charming shop. Their artificial colour and preservative-freegelato is simply brilliant. p.s. I'll order the Iranian pistachio flavour, always and forever.
Back home, we're drinking iced coffees like there's no tomorrow.
"Hey Edrolo! You work so hard. Well done! Have a cookie. ♥ Heidi"
- a batch of nut butter, oat and chocolate chip cookies (recipe link) for Ben and his work colleagues.
Our beach. Blessed.
As well as ice-cream, sorbet and gelato, I started experimenting with greek yoghurt + berry popsicles.
Dipped in a cacao + coconut oil + maple syrup + coconut concoction.
Last week I came to the realisation that an uncomfortably long time had passed since I'd baked a pie. On Sunday I rectified this lack of pie situation, which was the same day as KCRW Good Food's 6th annual pie contest, which was taking place in LA. Good Food is one of my favourite podcasts, so it felt right to bake a pie that day.
Working with our present season in Australia, I made a rhubarb and apple pie with a rye flour crust. I used my basic recipe but halved the crust ingredients and employed a smaller dish as it was just us two. I was more than delighted with my 100% rye flour dough, though *humph* I burnt the top outer edge of the crust (I should have covered it better when blind baking). Fellow pie geeks might appreciate the other thing I did differently this time around, which was to roll out and cut the lattice top while the crust was blind baking, and then place the strips back in the fridge, covered, until required. This may be common practice for many but it was new to me, as usually I roll the dough out and place the lattice top directly over the fruit then pop it all in the oven. In the future I will always re-chill my lattice lengths, as the top part of the crust (i.e. the part that wasn't burnt!) was super crisp, flaky and fabulous.
For the filling I used two granny smith apples and 3 stalks of rhubarb, though that was a tad frugal. With the fruit I added lemon juice, corn flour, maple syrup and raw sugar and the end result, despite the burnage and too little filling, was just beautiful. I mean, it's homemade pie...it's perfect in its imperfection.
As we sat on the couch eating our slices with heavy spoonfuls of creme fraiche, Ben shared some thoughts pertaining to the frequency with which we should eat dessert. At least every Sunday, he said. Yeah, I agree. More pie, please.
But the thing is, Ben and I are both kind of...how do I put it...frustratingly lame in our ability to comfortably consume two courses. That is, we don't regularly have dessert as we end up stuffed. Oh, flash back to our early twenties and we'd put away two plates of pasta (each) and a small tub of ice-cream like it was no big deal, but these days our appetites, while still keen, do not allow us to pocket such heavy portions without wanting to roll to bed. And our bedroom is now upstairs, so logistically that just won't work.
Therefore, on those days when I have a desperate need to bake and eat pie/cake/pudding we have a light dinner. Something like this egg and greens dish below. It's both nourishing and appropriately portioned to welcome a keen slice of pie. This is the type of food we eat during the week, often over rice or perhaps pasta. Anchovies are a common feature and might sneak in just after the garlic hits the pan. And pinenuts are always welcome.
I thought I might share more of these "every day" recipes around here, what do you think?
Garlicky Greens and Eggs in a Pan
1 small Leek, thinly sliced
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
2 very big handfuls Silverbeet, cut into ~6cm pieces (spinach will work)
A few dashes of Chicken Stock, preferably homemade (I always try to have some on hand to add lovely flavour and depth to dishes)
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Optional: a small knob of butter
Sea Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper T
o serve: Parmesan and freshly Basil
1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and a small pinch of sea salt, reduce the heat and cook for ~5 minutes until soft and sticky.
2. Add the butter (if using) followed by the garlic, and cook for a minute before adding the silverbeet. Turn the heat up a little higher and cook for ~3 minutes, stirring as required to ensure even cooking and adding the stock mid-way through (or a dash or two of water) to allow the greens to steam and absorb some of the stock flavour.
3. Create four gaps in the pan to allow for the eggs. Crack them into the gaps one by one and cook over medium heat until the eggs are cooked to your liking. If you want the yolk more cooked place a lid over the pan for a minute or so.
4. Serve the greens and eggs on your plates, then freshly grate some parmesan, scatter some basil leaves and go to town with freshly cracked pepper.