Steamed spring onion flower buns (xiang cong hua juan)
Steamed spring onion flower buns (xiang cong hua juan) | It’s in the single digits here in Boston, and I am freezing. During times like these, I crave comfort food. I’m not talking about mac and cheese or lasagne, I mean Chinese comfort food, such as xiang cong hua juan. It literally translates to fragrant spring onion flower buns, but they are also known as steamed spring onion buns. This is an easy recipe and very, very satisfying. There are two ways you can shape the buns – one uses a…
Miso soup with tofu
Miso soup with tofu | If your experience of this famous Japanese soup has only been of the instant kind, this recipe will be a revelation – it touches your soul. It is made with fresh tofu and wakame seaweed, but other classic combinations are daikon and fried tofu, potato and wakame, clams and spring onions, and pumpkin and spinach. If using ingredients that need to be cooked (unlike the tofu and wakame, which just need to be heated through), you can cook them in the dashi (stock) before…
Minestrone with lardo
Minestrone with lardo | A good minestrone is one that has the feel of the season. In spring it may have peas and asparagus. In winter, cabbage and more beans. I like to add a paste of lardo and herbs, a cross between a gremolata and a pesto, to add depth and body to a good minestrone. Use our recipe below, or make up your own minestrone and just add the paste at the end.
Guanciale with cabbage, white beans, rosemary and parsley
Guanciale with cabbage, white beans, rosemary and parsley | A classic combination, this is a handy little recipe as it has the heartiness of white beans, yet the zest and the bite of the cabbage freshen it up nicely as a spring dish. A very good side dish but also good for breakfast with an egg.
Lamb with cannellini beans
Lamb with cannellini beans | Italians love milk fed lamb and it is a highly prized ingredient. With a fantastic delicate sweet flavour it needs to be cooked with care. This recipe is perfect as the balance of flavours is not too strong or overpowering.
Broad beans with ricotta and pancetta
Broad beans with ricotta and pancetta | During spring when the grass is lush and green the best milk is made. Perfect then, to pick up some fresh ricotta to use in this recipe.
Roman-style semolina gnocchi (gnocchi alla Romana)
Roman-style semolina gnocchi (gnocchi alla Romana) | As Easter normally falls in April, Italian food writer Pellegrino Artusi’s reliable suggestions for this month’s Italian menu consist of plenty of dishes that you could traditionally find on an Easter table, including the ones that Italians call magro or lean. In other words, fish or vegetables but no meat, the diet to be followed on Good Friday. Among a list of some of my favourite spring dishes, such as artichoke tart, broad beans served…
Stir-fried pipis with black bean, chilli and olive oil
Stir-fried pipis with black bean, chilli and olive oil | The new season Koroneki oil I use for this recipe tends to be quite peppery and spicy. Its flavours manage to both stand up to and complement the strong taste of the black beans and the heat from the chilli and ginger. The combination of these piquant ingredients delivers a bold flavoured dish, with the olive oil binding it all together.
Pork and black bean stew (feijoada)
Pork and black bean stew (feijoada) | Legend says that feijoada, Brazil’s signature offal dish, was created by slaves during the colonial period using the leftover parts of the animal discarded by their masters. Historians say this myth – the Portuguese have a strong culinary tradition of stews, so it’s possible this is another dish they introduced. In either case, this hearty pork and black beans stew recipe is popular across the country, and every family has their own special version.