week 43

FRIDAY date night!
SATURDAY panzanella with marinated chickpeas & chimichurri
SUNDAY father’s day
MONDAY cod sandwiches with wasabi & ginger
TUESDAY cauliflower cake + marinated pepper salad
WEDNESDAY lamb burgers with mini-feta pesto
THURSDAY sweet potato fritters + caramelised fennel + cucumber salad

the weather has taken a turn for the worse which makes these summer meals a tad depressing to make.

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this salad is amazing! in two months, when my veggie garden is teeming with produce, i shall make this panzanella with marinated chickpeas & chimichurri again and brag to everyone within earshot. toss a can (or previously soaked and cooked) chickpeas with olive oil, garlic, red wine vinegar and herbs and let it sit for at least half an hour — i made it in the morning but the night before would be killer! add that to chunks of lightly toasted italian bread, lots of torn lettuce, wedges of tomato, and crumbled feta, along with a few spoonfuls of the homemade chimichurri (cilantro, parsley, oregano, garlic, evoo, etc) that took a minute to make in your food processor. i could eat this literally all day. all summer!

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this is one of my favourite summer “burgers” — cod sandwiches with wasabi & ginger. we love the spicy asian flavours in this one. i made several changes to this recipe: i skip the breading and bake the cod pieces in the oven rather than frying them. also cut the mayo, replacing half of it with non-fat greek yogurt. and then, to bring back some crunch, i swapped the shredded iceberg lettuce for red cabbage and added a bed of thinly sliced cucumber on the bottom half of the toasted brioche bun.

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next was another meal that i probably would not have made if not for the food52 cookbook club and boy, would we have missed out! holy yum! we started with ottolenghi’s marinated pepper salad with pecorino and followed with his famous cauliflower cake. both took a bit of time but were incredibly straightforward. also, both were incredibly delicious!! do i sound insanely pretentious if i say the salad was a revelation? you roast a couple bell peppers and then marinate them in oil and vinegar and garlic and herbs for an hour or so. then slice into strips and toss with arugula (it calls for watercress but i’ve yet to see nice looking cress in these here parts) & fresh herbs, some capers and some delightful shards of pecorino.

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a lot of people have said they found the savoury cake to be rather bland but i have to say the opposite — the old guy and i found it incredibly flavourful! i did use pesto in place of fresh basil, simply because i didn’t have any on hand; i doubt that made a big difference tho, altho who knows. i also used both parmesan and pecorino and that may have upped the flavour game it a bit as pecorino is quite a bit saltier than parm. it was actually so flavourful i thought the salad could have used a bit more greens to alleviate the richness! i cannot wait to make this one again. would also be super good for a ladies luncheon if that’s how you roll.

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we skipped the lamb burgers because our little bun came home from europe so we went out to dinner. and then wouldn’t you know, another ottolenghi-inspired meal! three dishes: caramelised fennel with goats cheese, sweet potato cakes and cucumber salad with smashed garlic and ginger. i had insanely high expectations for this meal and i’m sad to say it did not deliver. the problem with the fennel was entirely mine — the fennel bulbs i got were just too big and therefore tough. the flavours in the dish were so good tho and, as i love anything liquorishy, i will defs be making this again when i locate smaller delicate fennel bulbs.

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the sweet potato cakes were just kinda meh tho. not what i’ve come to expect from mr ottolenghi. hey, they’re not even remotely bad, just, you know, not out of this world as i had hoped. i think i’m more a roasted sweet potatoes kinda girl. would i be happy to eat these if they were served at a cocktail party? yes, please and thank you. would i order them again at any of his restaurants? no way. too many other (better) options.

cukes.jpg
my fave dish of the night was the cucumber salad. wow, all the flavours! cucumber, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, red onion (i used shallot), cilantro. so many wins. super light and refreshing. could eat this all day.

also glad that by the end of the week, the sun came out! yay, summer!!

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