Gazpacho – Chilled and Delicious

It’s 30 degrees C here on the west coast of Canada, and the best place to be, quite frankly,  is in the shade under the apple tree – I moved my office out there where there was a slight breeze.

The local markets are booming with fresh fruits and vegetables – this made me think – it’s time to make a cool and delicious Gazpacho soup.

It’s literally the easiest thing in the entire world to make. I think it took me 8 minutes! It’s super tasty and so packed full of goodness. It’s tango in the mouth! You can make it for lunch, as an appetizer or for dinner with a slice of homemade bread.

Ready for Gazpacho

Ready for Gazpacho

Gazpacho 

For 4 portions

800g of sun ripped tomatoes

1 clove of garlic

1 small shallot onion

1 celery stick

1 red pepper

1 small green chilli

1 cucumber

80g of stale good bread

1 -2 tablespoons of good vinegar – I used balsamic

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2-1 cup of filtered water

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Rinse and roughly chop the tomatoes and vegetables, put them into the blender along with the other ingredients and blend into a smooth delicious soup.

Serve the soup ice cold with freshly diced cucumber, peppers, and green onions.

Cool and delicious Gazpacho

Chilled and delicious

 

The perfect summer meal – enjoy!

” it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!” 
― Kenny Chesney

 

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Muhammara – Spicy Lebanese Pepper and Walnut dip with Pomegranate

Today is THE Day of THE amazing VVP – The Virtual Vegan Potluck!

Welcome!

168 bloggers gather around the virtual table, each bringing a delicious vegan dish.

You do not have to be vegan to enjoy it – believe me!

This is THE perfect place to be inspired and possibly even awe stricken by all the incredible delicious and creative dishes coming from the vegan kitchen!

VVP was originally created by Annie, the amazing woman behind the wonderful  blog anunrefinedvegan.

Thanks to all the wonderful people behind VVP – Somer, AnnieJason and Lidia for hosting the event. You guys rock!

This is how it works:

If you want to start from the very beginning you have to go to veganbloggersunite – Or you can go from here and simply scroll down and press the “go forward” or the “go back” buttons, and away you go.

And so the party begins! I hope you have fun!

My contribution this year is an appetizer, inspired by the Lebanese kitchen. It’s intense, spicy, a little hot with a hint of sweetness. It’s delicious and it tastes SO good as dip for veggies or on a cracker.

This is my version of the Lebanese dish Muhammara – originally it is made with the little Piquillo peppers, but I used red peppers to make a milder version.

red peppers ready for the grill

Red peppers ready for the grill

Muhammara 

Spicy Lebanese Pepper and Walnut dip with Pomegranate 

3 red peppers

1.5 cup of walnuts

2 slices of good bread

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 heaped tablespoon of chopped sun dried tomatoes

1-2 cloves of garlic

1/2 green chili (depending on how hot you like it)

1 tablespoon of paprika

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon

Sea salt – and freshly ground pepper

Grill the peppers on the BBQ or bake them in a hot oven till the skins are completely black. Let them cool a bit before removing the skins, the seeds and the core.

Put the walnuts and the bread in a food processor and pulse until finely processed.

Walnuts and bread

Walnuts and bread

Add the grilled peppers and the other ingredients,

Muhammara magic

Muhammara magic

the pomegranate molasses, the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil to the blender mix.

Pomegranate molasses and balsamic vinegar

Pomegranate molasses and balsamic vinegar

Process until it turns into a smooth paste.

Serve in a bowl with a sprinkle of fresh pomegranate seeds and a dash of olive oil.

Fresh pomegranate

Fresh pomegranate

Enjoy the Muhammara with homemade crackers

Served with crackers

Served with crackers

A delicious mouthful

A delicious mouthful

or serve the dip with fresh vegetables

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“I drink to the general joy o’ the table” – William Shakespeare Macbeth

Thank you for coming I loved having you here!

Please visit the other blogs by clicking the links below. Have fun!

go_bck

Dill cured salmon on freshly made rye

Gravad Lax is a Nordic specialty, a true delicacy. Try it once, and you will be hooked forever. Gravad Lax, means “buried salmon” and refers to the way the salmon was prepared back in the middle ages, when fishermen salted the salmon and then buried it in the sand, to preserve it .

But since the coming of the fridge, this is no longer part of the process 🙂 Today the fresh salmon is “buried” in a combination of salt, sugar and lots of dill. The salmon is then left in the fridge to cure for 2 days. When the fish is ready, it is served on a slice of freshly made rye bread (preferably the Danish variety) with a sweet Dijon dressing on top. This is the perfect appetizer or lunch and it is sure to make the angels sing and your taste buds dance.

A perfect way to get natural Omega 3.

I often make this for guests and it is a bestseller every time!

This time it started with a very fresh Coho salmon – but you can use any type and gravad halibut, is delicious too!

Dill cured salmon (Gravad Lax)

Equal amounts of salt and sugar, e.g., 2 tablespoons of each.

Generous amounts (heaping handful) of freshly chopped dill

Cut the salmon in half lengthwise and remove any bones – or a more easy option is to buy it ready to go, at your local fishmonger. Please use is natural (wild) and not farmed salmon, the fresher the better!

Place your half salmon on top of a piece of cling film, skin side down. In a bowl combine 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of salt and mix well. Sprinkle a thin layer of the salt and sugar mixture evenly on the salmon (I use about half of this mixture to a medium size half salmon) when covered, add freshly chopped dill, making sure the dill has been carefully washed and dried beforehand, add generous amounts of dill to the fish, to cover it completely

Cover the fish with cling film and turn it around so the skin side is up – put the salmon in the fridge and leave it in a dish to cure for two days.

When ready make a sweet Dijon dressing to serve on top

5 teaspoons of good Dijon mustard

6-8 teaspoons of raw sugar – maybe more if you like it even sweeter

1/3 cup of olive oil

A good bunch of freshly chopped dill

Mix it all together to make the marinade. You can add a bit of creme fraiche (sour creme) to make it creamy and mild , if you like.

Thinly slice the salmon

And serve on a piece of freshly made rye bread

with the Dijon marinade on top

Homemade rye bread click here

Baba Ganoush

Just the name – I love it – BABA GANOUSH!

A couple of weeks ago I went to Vancouver and because our family love food so much I always do my homework first. Life is too short for bad or “never mind” restaurant visits.  I found  “Medina Cafe” it’s a brunch/lunch restaurant and there is always a long line up, but the service is excellent and the wait is not too long and well worth it! It is a restaurant that serves really authentic wonderful food. While sipping fabulous tea and browsing through the menu as the sun came through the windows and gentle jazz soothed my ears – I decided to have the Lebanese breakfast which was cucumber/tomato salad, BABA GANOUSH, tabouleh served with crispy pita breads. Now I wish I had taken a picture,  but unfortunately I didn’t – I was busy enjoying the moment.

It was all delicious!

Check it out if you ever come to Vancouver

After I came home I went to the local market and there were these huge, beautiful aubergines on sale – I quickly bought 4 and knew exactly what I was going to make with them – BABA GANOUSH of course! A creamy, delicate spread made with aubergines that have been baked/grilled over open flame, freshly squeezed lemon juice, tahini, garlic and a hint of cumin, not too much just a hint.

This dish is a treat – great as an appetizer served with olives and a slice of good bread. Also great as an accompany to, well anything, really! And a fabulous lunch dish.

Here is how I made mine.

I baked 3 aubergines in the oven til the skin was dark and the center was very soft. I put them in the oven on a tray and used a fork to poke wholes in the skin before I put them in a 350 F oven.

When they were tender and done I left them to cool before I cut them open and scraped out the tender flesh. Add it in to a blender, along with 2-3 cloves of garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3 spoons of tahini, 3 -spoons of olive oil, sea salt and a little cumin. Add some freshly chopped parsley or cilantro and away you go. Serve it cold with a little olive oil on top.