Tag Archives: coriander

Recipe: Cucumber Noodles with Gazpacho Sauce and Guacamole

I am the worst hostess ever for Pasta Please. No sooner do I set the Make Your Own Pasta challenge, but I acquire a Herman starter and become obsessed with him, and then disappear into my politics blog for a round of intensive pre-election blog-writing, pausing only to run out and sing in what feels like every church in Melbourne.  It’s a shocker.

But I am not a total failure, because here I am, a day before the end of the challenge, and I have made pasta! Or a kind of pasta anyway.  What with not being in my kitchen long enough to cook much of anything for the last couple of weeks, getting out the pasta machine was never going to be an option.  But my vegetable spiraliser is another story, and I had this random idea one one of the hot days recently about cucumber noodles, which would surely be an incredibly cooling thing to eat.  But what do you put with cucumber?  Well, I’m fairly sure cucumber gets used in Gazpacho, which is also lovely and cooling… at least until the lid falls off your bottle of hot sauce at the crucial moment and you accidentally add a tablespoon rather than a teaspoon.  My face is still tingling hours later…

Anyway, cucumber noodles with Gazpacho sauce it was, and very cooling and delicious it was too.  Alas, the weather was also quite cold, and not so auspicious for my purposes, so I’m calling this a trial run for the summer.  This is more of a light meal than a main, by the way – sort of a fancy salad, really.  But it’s very fast to make, and would be a beautiful starter for a long summer meal.

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3 roasted capsicums (from a jar is fine, you’re adding vinegar anyway)
6 roma tomatoes + 1 for the guacamole
2 tsp red wine vinegar (see?)
1 tsp hot sauce, or to taste, or however much you drop into the blender by accident
3 celery sticks
1 red onion
a handful of coriander, plus another handful for the guacamole
2 small avocados
1 clove garlic
1 tsp guacamole spice mix (sorry, I’m lazy today)
juice of 1 lime
6 lebanese cucumbers Continue reading

Recipe: Inside-out salad

stuffedAt last!  An entry for the Vegetarian Lunchbox Challenge!  And it’s only taken me three weeks since I thought of this recipe to actually make it and write it up…

This recipe is inspired by all the beautiful tomatoes I’m getting from my garden at present.  Not big ones, alas – those I had to buy – but very colourful, sweet baby tomatoes in a lot of colours.  I thought it would be fun to do Tomato On Tomato – a whole festival of tomatoes inside a bigger tomato, but with a bit of extra protein.  Hence the quinoa.  And it was.  These are not, I fear, perfect – I think they really wanted a few toasted nuts or seeds in them for crunch, and I totally forgot that there’s this thing called seasoning – but they are lovely and cool and fresh in this endlessly hot weather.  I’d use this recipe as a template and then add your favourite salad goodies to it at the end.

(I will try to make some more sweet recipes soon, but the combination of very hot weather that makes baking undesirable, a broken food processor that makes a lot of my favourite un-baked sweets impossible, and the usual work-related exhaustion is not really conducive to inventing sweet delights…)

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1 cup quinoa
265 g assorted small tomatoes
1 bunch mint
1 bunch coriander
1 orange capsicum
1 roasted pepper
100 g feta cheese
juice of half a lime
8 large tomatoes
3 -4 large lebanese cucumbers

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Recipe: Vegan Pizza Primavera with Salsa Verde

There seems to be a bit of a theme on this blog recently, doesn’t there?  But what can I say?  It’s Spring! And that is, after all, what Primavera means…

I tend to be much more vegetarian-oriented in the months from about October to April each year.  It’s to do with what’s in season, I think – it’s really not difficult to come up with lovely vegetarian meals based around tomatoes, eggplants, mushrooms, asparagus, beans, corn, zucchini, and all the other lovely things we get around here at this time of year. And the warmer weather encourages shorter cooking times and lighter appetites and fresher tastes. So we will be vegetarian four or five days a week, and sometimes more at this time of year.  Winter is harder – it’s difficult for me, at least, to get truly inspired by meals centering around root vegetables and leafy greens.  I have some, of course, but they are fewer and farther between.  I don’t really like stodgy food, either, and seasonal vegetarian food for winter often is stodgy…

Anyway, this pizza is so brilliant that it really doesn’t matter whether you are a vegetarian, a vegan or an omnivore.  It’s gorgeous whichever way you slice it (and speaking of slices, I recommend scissors for cutting up pizza – good enough for my Nonna, and now good enough for me, too).  It is, I must admit, particularly welcome on a night like tonight, being set out in company with a pumpkin, feta and rocket pizza (for which I must also provide the recipe one day), a conventional sort of pizza with eggplant, salami, roasted peppers, semi-dried tomatoes and mozzarella, and Nigella Lawson’s Meatzza, which is a Margherita pizza with a meatloaf base.  This pizza provides much needed lightness and freshness to the meal, and the salsa verde keeps it zingy.

But it’s pretty fabulous all on its own, too, and we have eaten it as a meal on several prior occasions, without feeling any lack of meat.  Give it a try!

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1 tbsp dry yeast
1 cup water that is just barely warm to the touch
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups fine semolina or 2 cups high protein flour, or half and half

Salsa Verde

1 cup basil leaf
1 cup flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup mint
1/4 cup coriander
2 Garlic Cloves crushed
50 g salted Capers well rinseded
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
45ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
a good pinch of salt
freshly ground Black pepper

Vegetable topping

2 bunches asparagus
1 baby fennel bulb
1 small zucchini
300 g cherry tomatoes
6 small mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
oregano, black pepper

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Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Corn, Coriander and Lime

I’ve started a lunch swap at work with a colleague of mine. On Mondays (or sometimes Tuesdays), I bring lunch lunch to share with her, and on Thursdays, she brings lunch to share with me.  My colleague is vegetarian and can’t eat wheat or dairy, which makes life a bit more challenging, but it’s also kind of good, because I think it’s healthy to be vegan and gluten-free once in a while!

This week’s lunch was going to be quinoa tabouli, but when I got to the shops on Monday night, they were out of mint and flat-leaf parsley, which are kind of a necessity.  So I looked around the supermarket to see what they *did* have, and found coriander and basil and zucchini and roasted peppers and tomatoes and corn … I had limes and curly parsley and quinoa and spring onions at home, so I thought this might be the basis for an American-inspired sort of salad.

It’s pretty good, actually.  Lovely and fresh and terrifyingly healthy – and yes, it’s vegan and gluten-free and quite high in protein from that quinoa.  A good lunch for a sticky, humid day…

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1/2 cup quinoa, any kind
1 cup water
3 small white zucchini or 3 large pattypan squashes
2 corn cobs
1 small chilli, optional
6 spring onions (the kind that look like overgrown chives)
400 g assorted cherry tomatoes
1 bunch coriander
1 bunch parsley
10 basil leaves, or thereabouts
1/2 cup roasted peppers
juice of 1 lime
salt, pepper, olive oil


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Recipe: Vegan Pasta Primavera

First up, I should confess: the version of this dish you see is not 100% vegan, because I had this beautiful fresh egg pasta that needed to be used.  But the sauce is definitely vegan, and as I actually cook with egg-free pasta most of the time, it will certainly be vegan next time I make it.  So I think this counts as a vegan pasta dish, at least in its heart!

The sauce for this pasta is light and herby in flavour – I was trying to get a sort of ricotta-ish personality to the tofu, and I think I succeeded.  It’s actually based on a cheese, nut and herb purée from Mark Grant’s excellent book, Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens.  If you have any interest in historical foods that are actually edible and don’t involve flamingoes or dormice, I can highly recommend this cookbook.  The vegetables were what looked good at the farmers’ market and at the supermarket.  This recipe is, of course, even more fun if it’s what looks good in your garden, so if you have zucchini peas or string beans growing, feel free to use them in place of some of the other vegetables.  This recipe is very forgiving.

Don’t be intimidated by the very long list of ingredients for this recipe, by the way.  I promise that this recipe is very easy to make (the blender does much of the work), and practically every ingredient can be substituted for what you have on hand.  If you have a herb garden, you can have a lot of fun picking the different herbs for the sauce.  If not, don’t worry if you miss a few of them.  I think the parsley, coriander and mint are the most important, though the basil is good too.

Above all – enjoy!

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200 g tofu
150 g pine nuts
half a bunch of fresh parsley
half a bunch of fresh coriander
two sprigs of mint
two sprigs of basil
one sprig of oregano
four sprigs of dill
80 ml olive oil + more to sauté the vegetables
60 ml red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste
150 g shelled broad beans (about 400g in the pod)
3 baby leeks, halved lengthways and sliced
1 baby fennel bulb, or half a standard fennel bulb, sliced finely
1 bulb of baby garlic (at the point where it is still a single clove), or one clove of the mature kind, chopped finely
12 baby carrots, as many colours as possible!
2 bunches of asparagus (about 225 g prepared weight)
1/2 cup white wine
400 g cherry tomatoes, as many colours as possible!
60 g spinach or rocket or a combination of both
500 g pasta, to serve

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Recipe: New World Stovetop Veggie Feast

So I kind of accidentally got captured by the internet last night and then it was 8pm and I hadn’t really thought about dinner, except that it needed to include corn, and all my cookbooks were useless on the subject, so I had to randomly make up this stew, which I didn’t think was going to be all that good.  Only then it was really good, so I had to write down the recipe and take bad photos of what was left in the pan, which is why the photos in this blog post are less than stellar.  But I promise you, the stew itself is lovely.

This meal is a very simple sauté-turned-stew of the kind of late-summer vegetables that I associate with the Americas.  I suspect it is vaguely Mexican, but I only suspect that because I know nothing about Mexican cooking… Anyway, it’s very easy to make, and also terribly healthy, as well as being gluten-free, vegan and low-GI, but it’s basic purpose was to do something with the corn I had bought at the Farmers’ Market as soon as possible, since corn is one of those vegetables that loses flavour within minutes of being picked (or so I am told – I’ve never grown corn, which means, I suppose, that I don’t actually know what it should taste like, really).

Also, it’s very pretty!  Look at all those lovely colours!

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olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 red onions, chopped (I cut them in half through the root, then in half again across the equator, then I slice them into what would be half-moons if it weren’t for the equatorial slicing)
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin (or thereabouts – I wasn’t measuring)
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp ground chilli
1 pinch of ground fennel seeds
salt, pepper
3 capsicums, all in different colours, chopped
1 sweet yellow chilli, chopped
kernels from 3 cobs corn
6 little zucchini, some yellow, some green (about 3 normal-sized zucchini, I should think), sliced
150 g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin black beans
small handful coriander, chopped
guacamole, corn chips or cornbread, and grated cheese (to serve)

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Recipe: Potato Salad with Saffron and Herbs, for Beth

This is another recipe that I promised to pass on more than  a year ago.  Maybe two years go.  Oh dear.  Sorry, Beth… Anyway, this recipe’s a real delight – light and herby and tangy, without the creaminess of traditional potato salads, but with so much more sharpness and flavour.  Also, it’s vegan!

The recipe originated in Julie LeClerc’s cookbook, Made in Morocco, which I can heartily recommend, though not quite as much as Taking Tea In the Medina, which I love even more and is one of my go-to books for things middle-eastern. I’ve added more herbs, and have upped the dressing-to-potato recipe because I’m evil like that.  Enjoy!

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750g new potatoes, washed but not peeled
a good pinch of saffron threads
2-3 little red salad onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
several handfuls of herbs – Julie suggests mint and coriander or parsley (and in much smaller quantities) – I tend to use all three, plus whatever else I can find in my garden – a few sage leaves, some rosemary, basil, chives, tarragon, whatever. I recommend this approach!
salt and pepper to taste

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Recipe: Roman Pine-Nut, Cheese and Herb Purée

This recipes is adapted from Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens by Mark Grant.  Somewhere, I know, I have the vegan version of this recipe, in which I substituted tofutti cream cheese for the feta, but I can’t find it now.  For what it’s worth, I believe I used a little more tofutti than I would have used of the feta, and it needed to sit overnight in the fridge, as it was fairly liquid when first made (but firmed up nicely overnight).  More recently, I’ve tried it with 150g firm tofu, and that worked very well and gave a good consistency.  With or without feta, it’s delicious – very fresh and tangy and lovely on fresh bread.

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100g pine nuts
80ml olive oil
80ml red wine vinegar
125g feta (or 150g firm tofu)
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of coriander
half a bunch of mint, maybe more.  The original recipe says 3 mint leaves, but I completely ignore this theory
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of savory (I used marjoram instead)
1 sprig of rue (I used fennel fronds or dill)
salt and pepper

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