This lunch seemed to invent itself over the course of an hour.
I was looking for something new to do with eggs.
I wasn’t having much luck–just the usual suspects–but then remembered the cauliflower and broccoli florets–not many–in the fridge.
Steam and serve with poached eggs over them, I thought…. Delicious.
But why not sear them on the griddle after a brief blanching (5 mins)? Even better.
Then I remembered the little individual gratin dishes I’d bought recently.
One each–I love that!
Blanch, sear, remove them to a bowl, season well and sprinkle with olive oil (2 tbs) to coat them, while they are still warm.
Distribute them in two of the dishes with sprinklings of parmesan and left-over breadcrumbs.
I was beginning to feel hungry.
I set the oven to 200C/400F.
I had just enough vegetables for two layers so a sprinkling of the parmesan/breadcrumb mix on each and a drizzle of oil to finish.
Twenty minutes in the top of the oven and the little dishes came out sizzling.
I poached two eggs each.
Thumbs up from Meredith until she started the clear-up.
I am writing this from the dog-house…
[MW writing here: Spilled egg whites all over the counter top and not cleaned up!]
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Vanessa wrote a comment/response yesterday to the post: Pinzimonio–olive oil dip.
“What could be better than the best olive oil served with vegetables? The Italians have really got it right.”
…which prompts me to share a simple story (and recipe) recounted in my cookbook--Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.
Many years ago I had lunch in a tiny worker’s café in the centre of Florence only open at midday. I watched the owner put down a plate of steaming broccoli–that was all there was on the plate–in front of a burly Italian and place a large jug of olive oil and salt & pepper beside it.
The man poured on the oil, seasoned the irresistible plateful and began to eat.
That’s simple eating.
Of course, he may have had a veal chop after I left!
500 g/18 oz broccoli–stems stripped of rough outer layer and cut into bite-size pieces, florets cut
BBBS--Before Being Bite-Sized!
salt & pepper
- Steam the broccoli until tender, but careful not to overcook it–the colour dulls.
- Test from time to time with the end of a sharp knife.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and pour over the oil–be generous.
- Season to taste and mix carefully.
- Serve with a small jug of olive oil for those who are never satisfied–and some lemon quarters.
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This was published a couple of years ago.
It has been a favorite for over thirty years and is a tasty standby for a rainy grey day when going anywhere for supplies is the last thing you feel like doing.
Meredith on her detox for a week mentioned it this morning and we’ll have it tonight, as below, with some of the broccoli I bought yesterday and brown basmati rice.
A Dal--otherwise known as Comfort Lentils in our house.
This is from my book Delicious Dishes for Diabetics--out in the UK and officially launched November 1st in the USA.
Our Sikh friend, Tari, affectionately known as the “Carefree Cook”, is an example to all us worry guts.
He never panics when people turn up unexpectedly and have to be fed.
He looks to see how many extra guests are coming through the door and adds more water to the dal accordingly!
We’ll eat these lentils tonight with broccoli, simply steamed, drizzled with a little olive oil (maybe a squeeze of lemon?) and a some brown basmati rice.
[If there’s any dal left over, save it for another occasion! Form the cold dal into little burger shapes, coat with some chickpea or whole wheat flour and fry lightly in some hot oil.]
500 g/1 lb red lentils
1 litre/1¾ pints/4 cups stock (I use an organic vegetable stock cube per 500 ml of water)
4 tbsp vegetable oil (I use olive oil.)
1 medium onion – chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds – pounded in a mortar and pestle
1½ tsp cumin seeds – pounded in a mortar and pestle
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp chilli powder
- Rinse the lentils very thoroughly – until the water shows clear.
- Put them in a saucepan with the stock and bring gently to the boil.
- Turn the heat down to low and let them simmer, covered, stirring from time to time.
- They are done when a small puddle floats on the top.
- Turn them off.
- Heat the oil in a small frying pan.
- Add the onion and fry gently until it colours nicely.
- Add the spices and mix them in well.
- Cook for a couple of minutes longer to release the aroma.
- Add the cooked spices and the onion to the lentils and mix in thoroughly.
- Heat through and serve.
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I was looking for a new way to cook the seasonal cauliflower, patiently waiting its turn in the fridge. The much used cheesy white sauce, though tempting, is not so good for diabetics. It’s a lovely looking thing, the cauliflower, but is one of those “what on earth am I going to do with it this time” vegetables…! A recipe in Delia Smith’s Winter Collection gave me the idea for this, which I tried last night. It was so good, we’ll have it again this evening with a salmon fillet.
I sprinkled some dry roasted sunflower seeds over the finished dish.
For 4 as a vegetable or 2 as a main course
1lb/450gm cauliflower–broken up into florets
1 generous tsp coriander seeds—pounded in a pestle and mortar
2 tblsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves—pulped with a small teaspoon of salt in a mortar and pestle
salt and pepper
Set the oven at 200C/400F/gas mark 6
1 Put the cauliflower florets in a large bowl.
2 Sprinkle over and mix in the crushed coriander seeds.
1. Whisk the crushed garlic and olive oil together.
2. Mix in this little sauce, coating the vegetables thoroughly.
3. Spread the vegetables on a roasting tray in a single layer.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes—checking for doneness after 20 minutes; the vegetables should be tender and charred a little.
6. Dry roast the sunflower seeds in a pan on the hob and sprinkle them over the roasted vegetables.
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