Golden Beet & Yellow Carrot Soup with Feta & Pistachios

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As far as the weather forecast goes, it seems like temperatures are finally going to rise. And I couldn’t be happier. I’m so tired of feeling cold every time I go outside. So I am very much looking forward to warmer weather and picnics in the park. But till then, a creamy golden soup for this meatless Monday.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

800grs of golden beet, peeled and chopped into chunks

700grs of yellow carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 leek, finely chopped (white part only)

2 medium shallots, chopped

1 1/2 litters of vegetable stock

100ml of cream

Salt to taste

Toppings:

150grs, crumbled feta or goat cheese

40gr of chopped pistachios, pan roasted

Garden cress

 

Place the olive oil, leek and shallots in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring from time to time. Don’t let it get brown.

Then add the carrots, beets and garlic. Stir for 1 minute and then add the vegetable stock.

Let it cook for 25 minutes until the beets and carrots are cooked through.

Then blend it until smooth. Add the cream and salt to taste.

Divide the soup into 3 bowls and top with some crumbled feta (or goat cheese), pistachios and garden cress. I also added some nasturtium leaves as decoration.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Heirloom Tomato, Goat Cheese & Greek Yogurt Tart with Basil & Almond Pesto

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I’m taking advantage of summer produce as much as I can. Every time I go to the market and see beautiful heirloom tomatoes, I can’t help myself and have to get some. For this tart, I first oven dried them to keep them from getting the filling moist.

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The filling is a bit lighter since I used Greek yogurt instead of cream. I swirled some pesto into the filling for extra flavor and to add a different texture.  I added grated parmesan and freshly ground pepper to the crust for extra flavor as well. I ate it with a baby kale salad with a simple vinaigrette.

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Ingredients:

For the tomatoes:

3 big heirloom tomatoes, sliced about 1.5 to 2 cm thick

5 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 teaspoon of sugar

Salt

Drizzle of olive oil

For the crust:

1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons of grated parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper

100gr of cold butter, chopped

Pinch of salt

¼ cup cold water

For the goat cheese filling:

1 cup of Greek yogurt

200gr soft goat cheese, at room temperature

2 eggs

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

For the pesto:

45gr peeled roasted almonds

1 bunch of basil, reserve a few small leaves to decorate the tart later

30gr of grated parmesan

1/3 cup of olive oil

Pinch of garlic powder

Pepper

Pinch of salt

 

To oven dry the tomatoes:

Place the tomato slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and drizzle some olive oil. Dry them for 2 hours at 130C/270F. Once the 2 hours are up, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the pesto:

Place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until everything is mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge until ready to use. You will only need 5 tablespoons of this pesto; you can use the leftover for something else.

To make the crust:

Place the butter, flour, parmesan, salt & pepper in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed for a few minutes until the pieces of butter get smaller.  Then add the cold water and mix on low for a few extra minutes, until you get an even dough. Form a ball with the dough, flatten it a bit with your hands, wrap it in plastic and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Once the dough has rested in the fridge, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease and flour a 9 inch – 23cm pie mold. It is better if it has a detachable bottom, just makes it easier to slice the tart later.

Lightly flour your working area and roll out the dough in a circular shape, enough to cover the pie mold. Line the pie mold with the dough, pressing firmly on the edges. Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Take the pie out of the fridge and pinch the bottom with a fork.  Line it with parchment paper and fill it with uncooked rice or pastry weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the rice and parchment paper, and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove it from the oven but the keep the oven on.

To make the goat cheese & Greek yogurt filling:

Just blend all of the ingredients until evenly combined.

To assemble the tart:

Pour the goat cheese filling over the partly baked crust.  Just don’t pour it up to the edges, because it still needs the pesto and you don’t want it to overflow.  Separate 5 tablespoons of the pesto and spoon it over the filling. Then grab a knife and swirl it around, be careful not to touch the crust. Bake it for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes are up, remove the tart from the oven. Spread the oven dried tomatoes over the top and bake it for 10 extra minutes.

Allow the tart to cool down for 1 hour before slicing it. You can decorate it with some fresh basil leaves. I like to serve it with a simple salad.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

Beet Crepes with Whipped Goat Cheese & Balsamic Reduction (Gluten-Free)

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Growing up I didn’t like beets. Then all of the sudden I started to crave them for some reason. This was a few years ago, nowadays I cook with them so often. Maybe I am making up for the time I didn’t eat them. I am even growing some on my balcony now.

I used buckwheat flour for these crepes so they are gluten free. This is just a basic savory crepe recipe, you can play around with the filling. Maybe top it with a green salad or use them as tacos.

To keep the pink vibe going, I made a raspberry slushy. This was my very bright lunch today. If you like beets, maybe you want to check out my beet tartare with roasted strawberry-balsamic vinaigrette by clicking here.

This recipe makes about 9 crepes.

Ingredients:

For the batter:

1 cup of buckwheat flour

1 1/3 cup of milk

1 egg

1 cooked beet, shredded or blended (I used a food processor)

1 pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of olive oil

For frying:

Olive oil or coconut oil

For the whipped goat cheese:

300gr of goat cheese

6 teaspoons of Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of agave or honey

Toppings:

Balsamic reduction

Fresh cherries

Fresh Strawberries

 

If you have never made balsamic reduction before, it is super easy to make. Pour 250ml of balsamic vinegar into a pan. Reduce over medium-low heat until it has reduced to about 1/3 of a cup.  Don’t let it get too thick though, as it will thicken as it cools down. If it gets too thick, you can always warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up. You can make this in advance and keep it in your pantry.

To make the whipped goat cheese, just place it in the food processor with the Greek yogurt and honey. Then pulse until smooth. Transfer it to a bowl, cover with plastic film and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the batter, just blend all of the ingredients together. Let the batter rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add a bit olive oil or coconut oil. Once the pan is hot, add about 1/9 of the crepe batter and swirl it around the pan. Once bubbles start to form on the top, loosen the edges with a spatula. Then gently flip it using the same spatula. Let it cook for about 30 seconds on the other side, then transfer it to a plate and repeat for the rest of the batter.

To plate up, fold each crepe in half, and then fold it in half again. Serve with some of the whipped goat cheese and fruit. Finish it by drizzling some of the balsamic reduction.

 

 

 

Adult Fruit Salad (Cherry, Orange & Strawberry Salad with Balsamic-Elderflower Dressing)

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As soon as warmer weather approaches, I start looking forward to summer fruits, especially berries and cherries. I love going to the market, and seeing all the stands filled with gorgeous and colorful produce. That’s my kind of guiltless candy shop. I wanted to make a fruit salad that was a bit different, with a bit more adult flavors so to say. And by adult, I don’t mean alcoholic.

Balsamic reduction is a staple in my pantry. I actually still remember the first time I tried it. I was having dinner with my parents at an Italian restaurant about 15 years ago, and we ordered an octopus salad that came with a balsamic reduction.  We all loved it and my mom asked how to make it. Since then, she’s always had it in her pantry and when I moved out, I started to do the same.

To make the dressing, I reduced some elderflower cordial into the balsamic reduction. It adds a floral depth to the dish. The combination of the dressing and the juices from the fruits are a nice explosion of flavors in the mouth. Add the creaminess of the whipped goat cheese and crunchy pistachios, and you’ve got a great mix of textures as well.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and halved

2 cups of strawberries, thinly sliced

3 oranges, segmented

¼ cup of unsalted pistachios, chopped

For the whipped goat cheese:

100gr of goat cheese

4 tablespoons of cream

For the dressing:

¼ cup of balsamic reduction

5 tablespoons of elderflower cordial

 

If you have never made balsamic reduction before, it is super easy to make. You don’t need a fancy bottle of balsamic vinegar; just get a cheap one, since it’s going to reduce a lot. Pour 250ml of balsamic vinegar into a pan. Reduce over medium-low heat until it has reduced to about 1/3 of a cup.  Don’t let it get too thick though, as it will thicken as it cools down. If it gets too thick, you can always warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up. You can make this in advance and keep it in your pantry. I use it often so I normally make a bigger batch. It is very nice to drizzle over sautéed asparagus.

Prepare all of your fruit.

To make the whipped goat cheese, just place the goat cheese and cream in the food processor and pulse until smooth.

To make the dressing, place the balsamic reduction and elderflower cordial in a pan. Let it simmer over med-low heat for about 1-2 minutes, until it is all mixed. Don’t let it reduce too much, otherwise it will become a caramel and you won’t be able to pour it.

To plate up, pour some of the dressing on the plate. Then add the fruit. I formed quenelles with the whipped goat cheese. Finally, sprinkle some pistachios.

 

Beet Tartare with Whipped Goat Cheese and Roasted Strawberry & Balsamic Vinaigrette

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With strawberry season in full swing, I’ve been eating them pretty much every day.  I’ve been putting them in my breakfast bowl, salads, dressings and cupcakes.  There are more strawberry recipes to come to the blog for sure!

This is a great vegetarian dish to serve as an appetizer or just eat a big bowl of it as a main course. If you have the time, mix the beets with the strawberry vinaigrette and let it sit overnight in the fridge for the flavors to develop. It’s worth it! I found this out because we had some left over the next day and my hubby was scouring the fridge for something to munch on. He grabbed the bowl and went at it. He brought it to me and said: Wow, you have to try it! It is even better now than yesterday. The strawberry flavor is intensified with the sweetness of the beets.

I love frisee.  If you are not familiar with it, it is a member of the endive family. It has curly and bitter leaves and it is great in salads. Frisee can be hard to find. Supermarkets here usually include it in their salad bags but as a mix, not by itself. I got this one at a big stand at the Albert Cuyp market.

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On another note, I have been featured on the Kitchenbowl journal. I was honored when they approached me about sharing my tips for great food photography. Kitchenbowl is an app where you can share your recipes, an international community for people who love to cook. It has been featured in the app store as one of the best new apps. I’ve been part of the Kitchenbowl community since last year and it is still one of my most used apps.  You can read my tips about food photography by clicking here.

This recipe serves 6.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

6 roasted beets, diced (you can roast them in the oven for 1 hour at 180C/350F)

¼ of a head of frisee

1 apple, finely sliced

1 cup of pecans

6 strawberries, sliced

Micro basil

For the roasted strawberry & balsamic vinaigrette:

200gr of fresh strawberries, sliced

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons of agave syrup

¼ cup of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the whipped goat cheese:

200gr soft goat cheese

2 tablespoons of heavy cream

To make the vinaigrette:

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Place the sliced strawberries on the prepared tray, pour the balsamic vinegar on top and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the agave syrup.  Roast the strawberries for 15 minutes.

Place the roasted strawberries, including the juices in the food processor. Add 1 extra tablespoon of agave syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until you get a smooth dressing.  Set aside.

To make the whipped goat cheese:

Just place the goat cheese and cream in the food processor and pulse until smooth.

To make the salad:

Mix the diced roasted beets with the vinaigrette. If you have the time, do this the night before and let it sit in the fridge for the flavors to develop.

To plate up, place a bit of the frisee on the plate. Add the beets, then place a few strawberry and apple slices. Add a few pecans, the micro basil and finally the whipped goat cheese. I place the goat cheese in a piping bag and just piped a few small dollops onto the plate.

 

Rhubarb, Goat Cheese & Thyme Tart

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Rhubarb season has started and I couldn’t be more excited. I had something savory in mind and couldn’t wait to get my hands on some stalks. I was looking for it in my market a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t find any. I finally found it a week ago in one stand at the Albert Cuyp market and just had to get it

I wanted to top a tart with it and get that nice pink color all over it. But I wanted it thinly sliced, which means I lose the color as it is only on the outer part. Therefore I decided to dye the rhubarb slices. I’ve seen that you can color it with grenadine syrup. I actually wanted to try and color it with beet juice but I forgot to get some, so I ended up just using red food coloring which I had in the house. I added some Greek yogurt to the filling instead of adding cream just to lighten it up a bit. The pastry dough is very simple to make from scratch.  My hubby and I finished the whole tart for dinner with a side of green salad.

This recipe makes a tart for a 9 inch – 23cm pie mold.

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour

100gr of butter, cold

¼ cup cold water

Pinch of salt

For the filling:

1 cup of Greek yogurt

200gr soft goat cheese, crumbled

5 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

2 eggs

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

For the Rhubarb:

2 rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced with a potato peeler or cheese slicer

For the coloring bath:

2 cups of water

2 cups of sugar

30 drops of red food coloring (just to color the rhubarb, then you’ll throw it away)

 

Start by making the pastry; place the butter, flour and salt in the food processor. Pulse until the dough resembles breadcrumbs, then add the water and pulse until you get an even dough. Form a ball with the dough, wrap it in plastic and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting in the fridge, start to prepare the rhubarb. Cut each stalk into 3 even pieces, and then thinly slice each piece using a potato peeler, cheese slicer or mandolin.

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To prepare the simple syrup, just mix the water with the sugar in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and allow it to cool for 5 minutes, so it is not super-hot. Then add the food coloring and mix it well. Add the rhubarb slices and let them soak in the coloring bath, once it is cool enough; just put it in the fridge until ready to use.

Once the dough has rested in the fridge, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease and flour a 9 inch – 23cm pie mold. It is better if it has a detachable bottom, just makes it easier to slice the tart later.

Lightly flour your working area and roll out the dough in a circular shape, enough to cover the pie mold. Line the pie mold with the dough, pressing firmly on the edges. Put it in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Take the pie out of the fridge, line it with parchment paper and fill it with uncooked rice or pastry weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the rice and parchment paper, and bake for 5 more minutes.

For the filling, just blend all of the ingredients until evenly combined. Pour it over the pastry.

Drain the dyed rhubarb and then carefully arrange it in a circular motion on top of the filling. Bake the tart for 30 minutes.

Allow the tart to cool for 15 minutes before slicing it.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Beet and Quinoa Salad with Warm Goat Cheese and a Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

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I love the natural sweetens of beets and its vibrant color. All the ingredients of this salad make it a very filling meal.  The crispy and warm goat cheese complements the beets and blackberries perfectly. I only plated a bit for the picture but ended up eating a big bowl of it.  This recipe serves 4 as a main course.

Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa

½ red onion, thinly sliced

2 beets, roasted

150gr blackberries

2 avocados, diced

70gr pecans, chopped

200gr goat cheese

1 egg, beaten

100gr flour

½ cup of panko

Vegetable oil

Passion fruit Vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons of passion fruit jam

1/4 cup of olive oil

4 tablespoons of white vinegar

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon of honey

Salt to taste

Pepper

beet dressing

First, roast the beets in an 180C/350F oven for about 40-45 minutes.  You can also boil them until tender. Then allow them to cool down before peeling and slicing them.  You can slice them any way you like. I decided to make it like a carpaccio using a small ring mold that I placed in the center of the beet to cut it through. Once I got a small cylinder form, I thinly sliced it to get that carpaccio look.  The remaining pieces of beet, you can just chop and mix with the cooked quinoa later.

To cook the quinoa, rinse it under cold water and then boil for 13 minutes. Drain and set aside.

To make the vinaigrette, just put all the ingredients in jar and give it a good shake until it emulsifies. You can adjust the proportions to your taste if you like it more acidic or sweeter.

To prepare the cheese, cut it into small medallions, coat each piece with flour, then the beaten egg and finally the panko.  Pour some vegetable oil in a nonstick pan.  Over medium heat, pan-fry the goat cheese.

To plate up, you can arrange all the ingredients nicely on a plate or if you want to just be quick, mix it all in a big bowl with the vinaigrette and then serve it.