Archive for the ‘sidedishes’ Category

Pomegranates, part 2

November 14, 2007

After making the fennel salad with feta and pomegranates the other day, we still had half a pomegranate just sitting there, waiting to be put to good use. It dawned on me, that beside half a pomegranates we had quite a bit that needed to be used. So I went through the fridge and cupboards to see what we had, and this is what I came up with.


We make salads with farro, spelt and other whole grains on a regular basis but usually we make it “taboulleh style”, i.e. with diced tomatoes and cucumbers. The other day over at Heidi’s I saw a farro salad with pumpkins and walnuts, so I thought why not make something similar with the ingredients on hand.

As the pomegranate was a key part of the whole endeavor, I thought I would make the salad Middle Easternish. I used sherry vinegar and olive oil to dress the spelt and chopped coriander and mint on top for garnish along with goat feta and the pomegranates. The roasted pumpkins and celery provided substance and warmth. Ever since Line made roasted pumpkins and celery seasoned with garlic and lemon zest years back, it has been a regular on the menu. Combining it with the farro made the whole thing into a main course meal.

Spelt salad with roasted pumpkin and celery
Serves 2 as a main course salad.

100g spelt, drained, rinsed and cooked according to package directions
half a hokkaido pumpkim
half a celery root
olive oil
lemon zest
100g feta
half a pomegranate

Dress the cooked spelt when it is still warm with olive oil and vinegar and allow to cool. Dice the pumpkin and celery and roast at 200C in the oven with a couple of finely chopped garlic cloves and finely grated zest of half a lemon. It should take about 45 minutes. Combine everything on a large plate and sprinkle with the feta, the pomegranate seeds and the fresh herbs. Enjoy!


Pomegranates galore

November 8, 2007

I have a thing for pomegranates. Well, actually I have a thing for my girlfriend who definitely has a thing for pomegranates. If I’m not mistaken, one of her favorite food moments was a chilly, very early morning spent wandering the streets of Istanbul a couple of years back that ended with glasses of freshly squeezed, brightly red, sweet and slightly sour pomegranate juice. With a view of the Golden Horn in the morning fog, that was a real treat.

I found a big pomegranate with leathery skin in the kitchen the other day. It was just waiting to expose its brightly red diamonds and I found inspiration in Diana Henry’s lovely book on Middle Eastern food. We had the salad with muhamara, a red peber mash also from Henry’s book, and a chickpea and bulgur salad from Claudia Roden’s Arabesque. With a little spicy harissa and flat breads it was quite nice.

Fennel salad with feta
Serves 2 as a side dish

1 fennel
half a pomegranate
75 g feta cheese
olive oil
vinegar, i.g. apple
fresh coriander

Trim the fennel and slice it very thinly on a mandoline from top to bottom. Toss the slices in the olive oil and apple vinegar. Put on a plate and crumble the feta on top a long with the chopped fresh coriander. Cut the pomegranate in half and beat it with a wooden spoon releasing the red seeds from the white pith.

Spiced apple chutney

November 6, 2007

Day two of my paternity leave. I haven’t exactly been cooking all day, that would be great, but there are other good reasons for my two months off work than stirring risottos and the like. That said, I have been fairly productive in the kitchen, largely because the main and real reason for being at home on a regular Tuesday, i.e. Jakob, just got his high chair. He now loves sitting in the kitchen with a big wooden spoon in his small hands listening to the radio and wondering what his dad is up to now.

Today I was up to a couple of things: a spiced apple chutney great for giving everyday meals a little extra umpf, and a equally spiced cranberry concoction – more on that another day. The apple season has been great this year despite global warming and the like, and if you’re lucky enough to get hold of properly grown local apples you’re in for a real treat. Old varieties like cox orange are great for just picking out of the bowl and eating straight up, but once in a while it doesn’t hurt doing a like more. I hunted a recipe for chutney down in one of my trusted cookbooks (Ælle bælle frikadelle) of Danish cooking matron extraordinaire Camilla Plum, and as always with her recipes it turned out great. Sweet from the apples and sugar, hot and spicy from chilies and spices. It went great with dinner, tonight that included meatballs, a salad of shredded apples and beets dressed with olive oil and apple vinegar, roast potatoes and gurkins. Traditional with a twist.

And what did Jakob eat, I hear you ask? A boiled meatball mashed with potatoes and pumkin. No chutney yet!

Spiced apple chutney (adapted from Camilla’s recipe)
500g cox orange apples
1 large onion
150 ml apple cider vinegar
150 ml water
175 g sugar (depending on the apples)
2 tbls mustard seeds
1 tbls coriander seeds
1 stick of cinnamon
half a nutmeg
2 chilies

Combine everything in a saucepan exept the apples and bring to the boil. Meanwhile roughly dice the onions and prepare the apples by cutting out the pit – do not peel – and cut into chunks. Put the apples into the saucepan and return the mixture to the boil. Lower the temperature and simmer untill the apples are soft and the chutney thickened slightly.