Lentils and Aubergine salad – Salade aux lentilles et aubergine

(en français, plus bas)

This salad is a very versatile and tasty dish!  Versatile, because if you don’t fancy eating it as a salad, you can cook the lentils and vegetables a little longer with a little more water and you will have a great dal. And if you don’t feel like having dal, add even more vegetable stock and put the whole preparation in a blender: you will have a comforting and nutritious soup!

It is not a spicy dish, even if you could add more chillies if you like. The flavours of coriander and cumin are blending very well with the eggplants, and yogurt is adding a smooth texture which is very pleasant on the palate.

This is a recipe adapted from one of Hiltl’s books. The Hiltl family has owned it eponymous restaurant in Zurich since 1898. It is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Europe and if you visit Zurich, it is surely a great place to have vegetarian food! (see my previous post on Zurich, here).

Ingredients for 4 servings:

Recipe from R Hiltl’s book “Saveurs et fantaisies végétariennes” with some minor changes.

100g brown lentils (I used Puy lentils)

100g urad dal (white lentils)

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 teaspoons coriander powder

1 shallot, peeled and chopped

1 red bell pepper, halved and sliced in thin stripes

1 green chilli, finely chopped

1 aubergine/eggplant (about 250g), diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

2cm ginger, grated

salt and pepper for seasoning

4dl vegetable stock

80g yogurt

2 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped

 

Method:

Rinse the brown lentils until water is clear. Put in a pot with 4 times the volume in water. Bring to a boil and simmer until lentils are tender but firm. Drain and keep aside. (Do not add salt in the water!)

Repeat the operation with the white lentils (urad dal).

Heat oil in a pan. Fry the cumin seeds for about 30 seconds, add the coriander powder and fry for 30 more seconds. Reduce heat to medium.

Add the chopped shallot. Combine well and fry for one minute.

Add the bell pepper stripes and the chopped green chilli. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the aubergine cubes, garlic and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes, until vegetable are tender.

After that time, if there is stock left in the pan, remove the lid and cook for 1-2 minutes on high heat until stock has evaporated.

Keep aside to cool a little.

Add the lentils, the chopped coriander leaves and the yogurt. Check the seasoning.  Transfer to a large serving bowl, combine well and serve.

I am sending this salad to Jacqueline from the blog Tinned Tomatoes, co-founder and host of the monthly event No Croutons Required. For this month, the theme is: lentils.

and to:

My Legume Love Affair (MLLA) #38, hosted this month by Preeti from the blog Relishing Recipes. MLLA is a monthly event celebrating legumes created by Susan from the blog the Well-Seasoned Cook.

 Salade aux lentilles et aubergine

Cette salade est non seulement très goûteuse, elle peut aussi se transformer en d’autres plats! Si vous n’avez pas envie de la manger en salade, il suffit faire cuire les lentilles et les légumes un peu plus longtemps avec plus d’eau et vous obtiendrez un délicieux dal. Et si vous n’avez pas envie de manger du dal, ajoutez encore plus de bouillon de légumes et passez la préparation au blender: vous dégusterez alors une soupe nourrissante et réconfortante ! Ce plat est agréablement épicé, mais pas pimenté, vous pouvez bien entendu ajouter plus de piment si vous le souhaitez. Les saveurs de la coriandre et du cumin se marient très bien avec les aubergines et le yaourt apporte une texture douce qui est très agréable au palais.
C’est une recette adaptée de l’un des livres de Hiltl. La famille Hiltl est propriétaire du restaurant éponyme à Zurich depuis 1898. C’est le plus ancien restaurant végétarien d’Europe et si vous visitez Zurich, c’est vraiment l’endroit idéal pour se régaler avec de la nourriture végétarienne! (voir mon article précédent sur Zurich, ici).

Ingrédients pour 4 personnes:
Recette du livre R Hiltl de “Saveurs et Fantaisies végétariennes” avec quelques petites modifications
100g de lentilles brunes (j’ai utilisé des lentilles du Puy)
100g de lentilles blanches (urad dal)

1 cuillerée à soupe d’huile
1 cuillère à café de graines de cumin oriental
2 cuillères à café de coriandre en poudre
1 échalote, pelée et finement coupée
1 poivron rouge, coupé en deux, puis tranché en fines lamelles
1 piment vert, haché finement
1 aubergine (environ 250g), coupée en cubes
1 gousse d’ail hachée
2cm de gingembre, râpé
sel et poivre pour assaisonner
4dl de bouillon de légumes
80g de yaourts
2 cuillères à soupe de feuilles de coriandre hachées


Préparation:
Rincer les lentilles brunes jusqu’à ce que l’eau soit claire. Mettre dans une casserole avec 4 fois leur volume en l’eau. Porter à ébullition et laisser mijoter jusqu’à ce que les lentilles soient tendres mais encore fermes. Égoutter et garder de côté. (Ne pas ajouter de sel dans l’eau!)
Répéter l’opération avec les lentilles blanches (urad dal).
Chauffer l’huile dans une poêle. Faire revenir les graines de cumin pendant environ 30 secondes, puis ajouter la coriandre en poudre et faire revenir pendant 30 secondes supplémentaires. Baisser à feu moyen.
Ajouter l’échalote hachée. Bien mélanger et faire cuire pendant une minute.
Ajouter le poivron et le piment vert. Cuire pendant 2-3 minutes, en remuant fréquemment.
Ajouter les cubes d’aubergine, l’ail et le gingembre. Assaisonner avec du sel et du poivre. Remuer jusqu’à ce que tous les ingrédients soient bien mélangés.

Ajouter le bouillon de légumes. Porter à ébullition puis réduire le feu, couvrir avec un couvercle et laisser mijoter pendant environ 10 – 15 minutes, jusqu’à légumes soient tendres.
Après ce temps, s’il reste du bouillon dans la casserole, enlever le couvercle et cuire pendant 1-2 minutes à feu vif jusqu’à ce que le bouillon se soit évaporé.
Laisser refroidir un peu.
Ajouter les deux sortes de lentilles, les feuilles de coriandre hachées et le yaourt. Rectifier l’assaisonnement. Mettre dans un saladier et bien mélanger avant de servir.

Sweet Potato & Feta salad – Salade de patate douce et feta

(en français, plus bas)

It is summer time in Switzerland and one of the thing I enjoy most during summer is having picnics!

And what about you, dear readers, do you like picnics? Is there any picnic food/tips/stories you would like to share?

When I think of a picnic, many happy, colourful things come to my mind:

The pleasure of sitting in the grass or on the beach , a bright summer tablecloth, lots of laughters, chilled rosé wine, the loving atmosphere of food sharing and, of course, the excitement of preparing the food! Even a simple piece of cheese and bread become suddenly so festive!

It was during a recent picnic that my dear friend H. brought this bright and tasty sweet potato salad!

The taste of feta cheese blends very well with the sweetness of potatoes and the pumpkin seeds add a crunchy touch to the soft texture of the main ingredients. It is quick to prepare and I am totally in love with its orange colour! Careful, though,  one gets very addicted to it and you might be asked to bring it to all the upcoming picnics you are invited to!

Ingredients for 4 servings:

4 medium sized sweet potatoes (about 500g)

2 tablespoons oil (olive oil for me)

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 large onion, chopped

200g feta cheese, diced

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Put the unpeeled sweet potatoes in a large pot. Cover with water. Put on the stove and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until a knife can be inserted easily in the potatoes.

Drain the potatoes and keep aside to cool down.

When they have cooled enough to be held in your hand, peel them. Then you can dice or slice them. I made little balls, using a “cuillère parisienne” (click on the word).

Heat the oil in a pan.

Add the turmeric, garlic and onion. Strirring frequently, fry until the onion start to become a little golden.

Add the potato balls and fry briefly, for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. The idea is that the potatoes are coated with turmeric, garlic and onion. Keep aside.

Dice the feta cheese and put it in a bowl. Add the sweet potato balls. Season with freshly ground pepper and a little salt (the feta cheese is already pretty salty).

Add the parsley and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

You can serve it immediately, with potato ball still warm or cold.

I am sending this salad to Anamika of the blog Taste Junction, for the “Salad Spread” event she is organising (until 30th July)

Salade de Patate Douce et feta

Ici, en Suisse, c’est l’été et une de mes activités préférées pendant l’été c’est d’organiser des pique-niques!

Et vous, chers lecteurs, aimez-vous les pique-niques? Voulez-vous partager vos anecdotes, conseils, recettes de pique-niques?

Quand je pense à  “pique-nique”, il y a plein d’idée colorées et joyeuses qui me viennent à l’esprit:

Le plaisir d’être assis dans l’herbe ou sur la plage, une nappe aux couleurs gaies, beaucoup de rires, un vin rosé bien frais, l’atmosphère  pleine d’amour du partage de la nourriture et, bien sûr, l’excitation de la préparation d’un repas festif et fameux!

C’est lors d’un pique-nique récent en sa companie que ma chère amie H. a apporté cette savoureuse salade de patates douces.

Le goût de la feta se marie très bien avec la douceur des patates et les graines de courge ajoutent une touche croquante à la texture plutôt moelleuse des principaux ingrédients. Elle est préparée en un éclair et je suis totalement sous le charme de sa couleur orange! Il faut cependant faire attention, car on y devient vite accro et on pourrait bien vous demander d’en apporter à tous les futurs pique-niques auxquels vous serez invités!

Ingrédients pour 4 personnes:

4 patates douces de taille moyenne (environ 500g)

2 cuillères à soupe d’huile (huile d’olive pour moi)

1 / 2 cuillère à café de curcuma

2 gousses d’ail hachées

1 gros oignon, coupé finement

200g de feta , coupée en dés

2 cuillères à soupe de persil ciselé finement

2 cuillères à soupe de graines de courge

sel et poivre pour assaisonner

Préparation:

Mettre les patates douces non pelées dans une grande casserole. Les recouvrir avec de l’eau. Mettre sur le feu et porter à ébullition. Réduire à feu moyen et cuire jusqu’à ce qu’un couteau puisse être inséré facilement dans les patates.

Égoutter les patates et les laisser refroidir un peu.

Dès qu’elles ont  suffisamment refroidi pour être tenues dans dans la main sans se brûler, pelez-les. Ensuite, on les coupe en dés ou en tranches.  J’ai fait des petites boules, en utilisant une cuillère parisienne (cliquer sur le mot).

Chauffer l’huile dans une poêle.

Ajouter le curcuma, l’ail et l’oignon. Tout en remuant fréquemment, faire frire jusqu’à ce que l’oignon commence à dorer.

Ajouter les boules de patate douce et faire revenir brièvement, pendant 2-3 minutes, en remuant constamment. L’idée est que les patates soient recouvertes avec le curcuma, l’ail et l’oignon. Mettre de côté.

Couper la feta en dés et la mettre dans un bol. Ajouter les boules de patates douces. Assaisonner avec du poivre fraîchement moulu et un petit peu de sel (la feta est déjà salée).

Ajouter le persil et saupoudrer de graines de courge.

Cette salade se sert froide ou on peut la servir immédiatement, avec les boules de patate douce encore tièdes.

Healing Foods: Artichoke and banana flowers Round-Up & giveaway winners

Artichokes and banana flowers? I know that one of the two might still have a mysterious aura for some of you, but after seeing the 17 recipes for this month’s Healing Food series, I am sure that you won’t resist the temptation of discovering them…

You might however wonder what the connection between artichokes and banana flowers is.

The explanation is simple: initially I had chosen artichokes as theme for this month’s Healing Foods, but shortly after the announcement, I was informed that artichokes can’t be found in India…  So, I first came with cardoon, which is from the same species than artichokes, but it turned out that it was not available in India either… Mocha or banana flowers then came to my mind. Not only do they look and taste a bit similar but they required quite some time to trim and prepare, exactly like fresh artichokes…

I am very impressed by the quality and originality of  recipes sent by 11 talented ladies for this event and I would like to thank all of them for their creativity! You are awesome, ladies – vous êtes géniales, Mesdames! Merci beaucoup!

A big thank you to  Siri to have given me the opportunity to host this event during the month of March and to Pritya books who is generously giving away these two great books:

Cooking At Home With Pedatha: Awarded Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World 2006, this book documents the culinary legacy of an illustrious Indian grandmother for posterity.

and

Sukham Ayu: Winner of Best Health & Nutrition Book in the World 2009 – Second Place, this beautiful book has been researched at KARE, an idyllic Ayurvedic research & rejeuvenation establishment near Pune.


There are still many artichoke recipes that I want to share with you but I ran short of time during March, so I could only post two recipes and repost 2 old ones. My future personal challenge will be to come up with a recipe for actually sweet artichokes… so stay tuned!

Before discovering who are the lucky winners of the books, let’s discover the round-up for the month of March:

The recipes are shown in the order I received them click on the pic or hyperlink to go to the recipe:

Johanna from “Green Gourmet Giraffe”  prepared artichoke muffins that she took  for a picnic at the zoo:

The preparation of  these Banana flowers chops brought back lovely childhood memories to Sukanya from “Saffron streaks” ,:

Janet from “The Taste Space” has been experimenting with variations of her recipes. I really enjoyed reading the creative process behind these beautiful Artichoke and Spinach Rice Paper Rolls with Lemon Rosemary Baked Tofu

Priya from “Priya’s easy and tasty recipes” – first experimented with artichoke calzone :

 

… and she liked this veggie so much, that she got inspired for two more recipes:

a very innovative artichoke and curry leaves chutney and…

and an equally innovative artichoke, potato and mushroom curry:

Nivedita from “Panfusine – Iyer’n Chef” was happily singing ABBA’s songs  and nearly choked of delight when she first tasted her artichoke masala vadai,

Did you know that artichoke existed in the Greek Mythology? Discover what happened to the beautiful Cynara  and enjoy these  delicious artichoke lasagna sent by  Ivy from “Kopiaste … to Greek Hospitality”  :

What about an Indo-Iranian fusion dish?

Malli from “Malli’s Mint and Mimosa” loves Iranian chelow kebabs and got inspired to prepare a vegetarian version using banana blossoms : check out her Iranian black bean Kebab with mocha :

Simona from  “Briciole”  is fan of  Italian artichokes, she prepared a hummus with artichoke, check her post to see  how many strands has the beautiful home-made challah bread she served with it…

Don’t be scared of fresh baby artichokes! Amy from “Savory moments” was nicely surprised on how easy it is to clean and trim them and she prepared these  delicious lemon and thyme braised baby artichokes:

Are you tempted to cook banana flowers but you are no sure on what is the edible part and how to extract it? Fear no more, Vijitha from “A Foodie in her cooking hat” has not only sent us this Banana Flower stir fry, she is also providing a thorough explanation on how to prepare the flowers.

Nawel from “Jeux d’épices et Saveurs” is proud to share the recipe of  “Artichoke, fava beans and dry tomatoes stir fry” , which will be featured next month in a French magazine. As her recipe was in French, the translation has been provided below the picture :

Ingredients for  4 servings
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
280 g peeled frozen fava beans
4-5 frozen artichoke hearts
130 g chickpeas
5 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp strong or mild paprika
½ bunch chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 ½  tbsp olive oil
100 ml water
Salt and pepper
Method:
Cut artichoke hearts into quarters. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes in three.
Peel the shallot and chop it finely. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them.
Heat the olive oil in a pan, on low heat and add the shallot.
Fry for 1 minute. Add the artichokes, beans, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper.
Stir and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the cold water, stir and add the spices.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 more minutes.

And finally, voilà your Sweet Artichoke’s artichoke recipes….

An artichoke and chickpeas curry, that can be eaten cold as salad, which is really great when you have left overs… (here)

… a rather unusual way of eating artichokes, as filling for these savoury hazelnut sandwich cookies (here)

and,  from Sweet Artichoke’s archives:

I had celebrated my 100th post with an artichoke tapenade, which was also my first posted recipe with artichokes!

I did not come back from our trip to Roma with designer shoes or clothes, but with fresh Roman artichokes, bought at one of the local market… delicious in these pasta ai carciofi (here)

By now, I do hope that you are feeling hungry…. and tempted by these goodies….

It is my pleasure to announce the lucky winners of the two books:

*drums rolling….*

I first prepared an alphabetical list of all participants:

Then I went on http://www.randomizer.org:

which drew number 11 and number 8.

Congratulations to Vijitha and Priya!

Please send me your contact details at:  sweetartichoke@gmail.com