pasta primavera (or sth. similar)

there is nothing in the fridge except an aging zucchini, half an onion and a bit of leftover heavy cream? oh, and in the freezer are still some peas. dinner is saved:


  • 1 tbsp sun flower oil
  • half an onion (or more)
  • one zucchini
  • 150g  frozen green peas
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 100 ml heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt,  freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g pasta of your choice

sauté the diced onion in a pan with sun flower oil, add diced zucchini and cook for a few minutes. add peas, stir a few times, then add vegetable stock. let it simmer until the peas are done. add heavy cream and let it simmer again for 2-3 minutes. season with lemon juice, salt and black pepper. meanwhile cook the pasta, strain and mix with the sauce.  quick and easy and quite good.

salad with avocado dressing and grilled cheese sandwich

the salad was inspired by the avocado wasabi salad from vegan yum yum. it does not look particularly great with the thick green gravy, but it is really delicious – and the dressing is a welcome change from the usual vinaigrette stuff. different from the original, this salad does not contain chickpeas and broccoli, also the dressing was modified – and there is no wasabi anywhere.



  • romaine lettuce
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 20g chopped and toasted almonds


  • 1 avocado
  • 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 2 generous tsp sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp sun flower oil

dice avocado and mash with a fork, then whisk in the other ingredients for the dressing, except oil. when the mixture is smooth, slowly add oil and keep whisking until emulsified.

in a bowl, mix together salad and carrots, toss with the dressing. sprinkle almonds on top and serve.

the salad was already quite rich, but since we left out the chickpeas and broccoli, there was room for the grilled cheese sandwhich to accompany.

tarte au citron et aux amandes

this tarte has almonds in the crust and almonds sprinkled on top of it. i’m undecided if i like the crust better than the last one, since it was a tad dry. but it worked very well with the lemon filling (which was not as tart this time).



  • 75g flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 40g chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon cold water, more if needed


  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 20g sliced almonds
  • icing sugar

mix together flour, almonds, sugar and salt. using a pastry cutter, cut the chilled butter into the flour until only a few pea-sized pieces of butter remain visible. sprinkle water over the mixture and toss until it holds together. press dough over bottom and up sides of a 18cm-diameter baking pan. freeze for about 20 minutes until the crust is firm.

combine eggs and sugar in a heavy saucepan and whisk. mix in lemon juice and zest. whisk over medium-high heat until the mixture becomes thick and almost boils  (about 5-7 minutes). remove from heat and whisk in butter.

preheat oven to 200°C and bake crust for about 15 minutes, until golden. (you may want to do the complete blind-baking thing, but it worked for me also without the beans)

reduce oven temperature to 175°C. spread filling in the crust and sprinkle the almonds over. bake for about 20 minutes, until the almonds start turning golden brown and the filling is set.  sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Monatlicher Blog-Event bei Low Budget Cooking: Kleine Kuchen

the tarte was made in a 18cm-diameter baking pan (to be more precise: in the 18cm-diameter lid of my glassware pot), and so i’m submitting it to the blog event kleine kuchen (small cakes) by low budget cooking.

mango chutney

the mango chutney was definitive a highlight of our dinner. i never made chutney before (actually i barely ever tasted it), and so i was at first a bit sceptical how it would turn out. a combination between several internet recipes and again jaffrey’s book yielded this:


  • 1 green mango (about 500g)
  • 100-150ml water
  • 185 ml vinegar
  • 180g brown sugar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 4cm ginger
  • 30g chopped raisins
  • half of a fresh red chili and chili pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1.5 tsp salt

peel the mango, remove the core and cut in small cubes. dice ginger and garlic. cook these three together in water until the mango is tender. add vinegar, sugar, chilis, cardamom, salt and cook until a little thick (this took quite a while – i think more than one hour). if you want to preserve it, pour into sterilized jars while still hot.

and how did we get the lava in the jar?

indian dinner

for the indian dinner on friday we had

  • mango chutney, coriander chutney and papadum as starters
  • rice and paratha (from madhur jaffrey’s book “indisch kochen“)
  • zucchini kootu
  • once again the bombay curry
  • channa raita (this is raita with chickpeas and garam masala)
  • and what i made the paneer for: methi-palak paneer – unfortunately without methi leaves. and i guess the addition of ground fennugreek seeds to the dry masala is no substitute at all.

my spice rack is now stacked with many new items. so far i did not even know that there is such a thing as curry leaves! i also used tamarind for the first time.

i don’t have pictures from the final dishes, as i didn’t want to bother our guests with extensive photo shooting. i’ll post recipes later.

and of course, such a feast comes at a price.


i’m planning for another indian dinner and so i made paneer today. it’s very easy, just bring milk to boil, add lemon juice and stir until the milk curdles. strain on musselin cloth and rinse with cold water. press into a solid form and you’re done. (if you need more detailed instructions – there are plenty around on the net…)


  • 1.5l milk (3.8% fat)
  • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice

i think i could have done with a bit less lemon juice, but i was impatient while waiting for the milk to curdle.  now the cheese is in the fridge and i’m curious how it will turn out.

in the lower right corner you can see whey – this is what’s left after straining the paneer.

spinach pancake for st.patrick’s

st.patrick’s is generally not observed in germany, but i thought it would be nice to eat something green tonight. these spinach pancakes (adapted from this recipe) were made like this: prepare 250g spinach, fresh (should be blanched an chopped) or frozen (should be unthawed and cooked for a few minutes).  in a bowl, mix 200g flour, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg. in another bowl pour 250ml buttermilk and beat in two eggs. add 2 tsp melted butter. stir this mixture into the dry ingredients, then stir in the spinach. adjust consistency with a bit more buttermilk if needed. cook pancakes in a buttered pan, 2-4 minutes each side. pancakes that are done should be placed in the oven at 175°. mix a cup of sour cream with 1tbsp lemon juice and serve with the pancakes. we had also carrot salad with it.

i’ll leave you with the two other greens i found in the kitchen and a selection of st.patrick’s day greeting cards.

panini al rosmarino e formaggio

i tried these rosemary buns from the silver spoon today, but they were not really satisfying. the dough was quite stringy and dry, even though i added some more milk to it than it was written in the recipe. a few minutes before the end of the baking time the buns are filled with a mixture of heavy cream and cheese. but i think also the dough-cheese ratio could be improved… so i’ll skip posting the recipe.

good point

Anyone who’s dined with a food blogger recently and gone through the new social ritual of trying to eat while your dinner is being shot for posterity might wish that food photography had never become so conveniently mobile.

Tim Hayward, The Appetising Plate: photographing food (Fire & Knifes No 2)