The Unrefined Olive

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Everyone has someone on their Christmas list that has everything/wants nothing. The Unrefined Olive, located at 151A Second Avenue in the Glebe and 499 Terry Fox Drive in Kanata, has the answer for just those people. You can check out their website and also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

IMG_9175 (1280x956) (3)They have olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world, and you can taste them before you buy them.

IMG_9174 (956x1280) (2)Once you make your selection (not an easy task), the oil/vinegar is poured into bottles and labelled for you.

vinigars

taste testing

premium virginIf you don’t want a flavoured oil, but simply a great virgin olive oil, there’s a large selection to choose from.

specialty oilsThey have specialty oils and seasonings. The truffle sea salt smelled unbelievable!

salt and seasoningsSome great stocking stuffers…

olives…and other things to go along with your oils and vinegars.

cutting boards

I’m so glad we finally made into The Unrefined Olive – that place is amazing!
I know! I love the set-up and the very helpful service. I’m sure the people on my list will love their gifts. Guess where I’m buying yours?
At another great Glebe retailer -Bloomfields. I thought we decided that.
Did we?
So, I bought the first oil and first vinegar I tried. How many did you try before you made a decision?
I tried two.
I don’t believe you and neither does Matt.
I’m telling the truth. We should go back to taste the other oils. It’s such an amazing place.
It could totally be a dating place it’s so great.
We can go in there to write my online dating profile while tasting olive oil.
We absolutely should. They are so good at pairing oil and vinegar they could probably pair people too.
Brilliant.

Roasted Cauliflower – A Vegetarian Main Course

Ingredients

With the holiday season fast approaching and lots of entertaining to do, most of us have at least one vegetarian to feed. This Roasted Cauliflower recipe was in Chatelaine magazine and can be a great main course for the veggie at the table and a side for the meat eaters.

The ingredients are cauliflower, red pepper, onion, diced tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, thyme leaves, Parmesan, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, sugar, salt and cider vinegar.

Prep time is about 20 minutes and cooking time is an hour. This is an easy meal that is unbelievably filling and will serve lots of people. The recipe calls for the tomato mixture to be puréed before serving, but I skipped that step to make it even easier.

Pepper mix

The tomato pepper mixture in the roasting pan.

Cheese mix

The cheese, mayo, mustard mix for the top of the cauliflower.

Out of the oven

The roasted cauliflower coming out of the oven.

Serving

Bon appétit!

So, got some good advice from our friend Bridget, who is herself, a strict vegetarian.
Is she? What does she eat?
Her diet consists of eggs, jujubes and bridge mixture.
LOL. You’re kidding.That’s like eating plastic.
We all have a high tolerance for junk in our family. Even Marley, our dog.
You’re all crazy. Let’s get back to the healthy cauliflower.
She pointed out that all that cauliflower could make you and your dinner guests a bit gassy.
Perfect.
So we wouldn’t recommend this meal for a date night.
I’ll keep that in mind if and when I ever have a date.
This going to be on the Boxing day menu this year.
So you’re not planning on having a date?
Oh, I haven’t ruled that out, but I’ll go easy on the cauliflower. Thanks for the tip, Bridget!

Autumn Sangaree…do try this at home

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I love the LCBO magazine for the great recipes and inspiring photos.
In theory I do too, but the truth is I never cook anything out of it unless you’ve tried it first.
Lucky for us I picked up the magazine this week and discovered your new favourite whiskey drink.
And for the whiskey, we went with Jack Daniels. I do have experience with Jack – he’s like the bad boy you know you should stay away from but can’t.
Surprisingly my checkered past doesn’t involve Jack, but yours does.
No surprise there really – I’m from a small town.
I’ve heard stories…
…which are likely all true.
It does take some time to assemble all these ingredients – you have to muddle, measure, it’s involved…
And unlike my 4-hour pumpkin pie, it only took about an hour to make the cocktail.
I was thrown off my game. I was under pressure.
You don’t have a game. You don’t even have a to-do list. And then when you made them at my house for Thanksgiving (thank you for doing that) my kitchen looked like a crime scene.
I should not be in a kitchen ever.
Agreed. But your kitchen has the best light.
It does. So here’s a look at our drink making – cheers!

IngredientsThe recipe can be found on page 158 of the Autumn 2015 issue of the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine, or check it out online here – Autumn Sangaree.

For each drink the ingredients are 1 oz whiskey, 2 oz Merlot, 1/2 oz simple syrup, 6 pitted cherries, lemon and pepper. Luckily we had both simple syrup and pitted cherries from a class we took at the LCBO a while back. Their classes are great and also make great Christmas presents! You can find out more about them here – LCBO Learn.

MuddlingYou don’t need a muddler to muddle the cherries – a spoon or fork will do. Beware of cherry splatter though.

JackJack, Jack, Jack…

MerlotA little Merlot…

Ice…some ice…

About to pour…shaken…

Cheers

Cheers!

I think Jack behaved himself quite well, don’t you?
It’s never Jack you have to worry about – it’s the influence he has on those around him. Seriously, have you not spent the night with Jack?
Spent the night? We just met.

Pumpkin Pie from Scratch…don’t try this at home

Do feel that nip in the air Irene? Fall has arrived.
It has…time to put away the sandals.
It’s getting close to Thanksgiving which for me means pumpkin pies.This is a silly question – have you thought about where you’re going to buy your pies this year?
So normally that would be a ridiculous question to ask me, but I got to thinking about when the kids were little…
And…
When Jim was in JK, he planted a pumpkin seed in class, which we then planted in our vegetable garden.
I seem to remember that pumpkin.
That plant took over the garden! It was exactly like the Cinderella Disney movie when the pumpkin turns into a carriage – that vine grew while we were looking at it.
Pumpkins can get outta hand sometimes.
And they are a wayward fruit, let me tell ya. If you have anything in the garden that is at all gourd-like – cucumbers or zucchinis, they will grow up looking like they had a pumpkin for a parent.
That’s funny.
We ended up with one ENORMOUS pumpkin and Jim didn’t want to carve it up for Halloween, he wanted to make pie out of it.
I love that Jim wanted to make a pie out of his giant pumpkin.
So pie it was. I don’t know where the recipes came from – this was in a time before the Internet existed.
Maybe it was one of your mom’s recipes or Bridget’s. Bridget loves to bake.
She does and she’s really good at it, but I think these recipes came from the other side of the family.
The dark side?
Yeah, that side 🙂 So if you have kids around this is a fun thing to do. If not, check back next week when we’ll have something for adults.

Pumpkin Pie

What is almost more remarkable than the fact that I made pumpkin pie and pastry from scratch, is the fact that I carried all the ingredients home on the bus.

IngredientsThat’s an 11 pound pumpkin, 2 kilos of flour, a pound of lard, a bottle of 7-Up, a can of evaporated milk and some brown sugar and spice.

Note to self: you cannot carry a pumpkin on your back, not even if it’s in your knapsack, because it’s too round.

Ingredients with champagne

 

After carrying all that home, and because the pastry recipe calls for carbonated liquid, I started off with a glass of champagne.

 

 

 

Pie Pastry

5 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 lb. lard
1 cup 7-Up, Gingerale or Sprite

Mix the ingredients in a bowl that has a lid. Start by mushing the lard with a fork and then add the other ingredients. Put the lid on the bowl and shake vigorously until it forms a ball – about 5 – 6 minutes. So this is a bonus – you get a little exercise to help address that pound of lard. This recipe makes 6 – 8 pie shells.

Note to self – you won’t last 5 minutes, so get out the wooden spoon and stir.

Pastry

This is what the pastry looked like after I had finished mixing it.

Pumpkin Pie

2 cups puréed pumpkin (add more if needed)
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar (loosely packed)
1/8 cup pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
Unbaked pie shell(s)

Slice the pumpkin into wedges and bake at 350° for 1 hour. When cooled, peel the rind and purée the pumpkin. You might need to add a bit of water to it. Blend the sugar, salt and spice into the purée.

Heat the evaporated milk until just about boiling then set aside and let cool for 2 minutes. Add the eggs to the milk and beat. Then blend the milk/egg mixture to the pumpkin purée. Pour into an unbaked pie shell (or shells).

Bake at 450° for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300° and bake for another 45 minutes.

Here’s the recipe in pictures with some notes about what went wrong.

Pumpkin Wedge CollageNote to self: you don’t need an 11 pound pumpkin for 2 cups of purée. An 11 pound pumpkin will give about 20 cups of purée.

Pureed pumpkinThis is what the puréed pumpkin looked like with only 2 cups of purée, so I added another 2 cups…which I happened to have.

Pie shellI was darn impressed with myself until I put it in the oven.

Note to self: pastry shrinks while it’s being cooked so add a little more to the edge, but not so much that the lard drips out, forms a small pool of grease on the bottom of your oven and sets off your smoke alarm.

Pumpkin PieI think that’s a good-lookin’ pie!

Pie servedAnd it tasted great! The pastry was light and flaky, and the pumpkin definitely tasted different than the stuff you get out of a can.

Note to self: started cooking at 3:30…took first pie out of oven at 7:30…4 hours for a piece of pie? Really?

With all that pumpkin purée I made 3 pies, 12 tarts and 6 mini pumpkin cheese cakes (just add the purée mixture to some cream cheese, put into mini ramekins and refrigerate). And I’m quite sure I will never have the urge to do this again.

So here’s my advice – go to Life of Pie in old Ottawa South and buy a pumpkin pie.
Or you can get one at 2nd Avenue Sweets in the Glebe.
And next week we’re going to see what special recipe you have planned for Thanksgiving…which may also take 4 hours to prepare.

 

A Favourite Cooking Post

We’ve been on holiday for the last couple of weeks, so we’re re-posting one of our favourite cooking posts. We’ll be back soon!

Creative Cooking from Sydney’s Kitchen…

Our recipes are from The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods cookbook, by Sara Forte. Sara puts a lot of her recipes online at Sprouted Kitchen, so you may choose not to buy the book. But you absolutely should buy the book – it has lots of information about cooking for both beginner and experienced cooks, with a lengthy section about ‘Ingredients and Tools’. And you’ll find out about variations on different foods in the recipes.

Sprouted Kitchen resize 2

We made the Stacked Watermelon Salad, Roasted Tomato Soup and White Sangria – great recipes for this time of year.

The fixins’ for the watermelon salad…

Salad ingredients resize 2

Anyone notice something familiar about those watermelon pieces?

The second recipe is the Roasted Tomato Soup, which is on Sara’s website.

Sprouted Kitchen Roasted Tomato Soup

Putting together the white sangria….

sangria table 2 resize

sangria resize3

You can follow Sara on Twitter @sproutedkitchen and she sends out a tweet when she puts a new recipe on her website.

The meal was great, especially the sangria which we got into before dinner was served, and that rarely happens…

Not A Soup Recipe

So Sydney, we have to start this post by letting everyone know history was made. You made dinner and we actually ate before 9:00 p.m.
A miracle really. And having the day off helped – prep work began at 9:00 am…
It’s good we ate early because within 5 minutes of arriving at your house, I had inhaled 2 beers and opened the wine. I’d had a busy – and dry – week.
Guzzle-guts runs in your family, doesn’t it?
Well it’s mostly Mike, but yes, we all have that gene to some degree.
So you’re like the ‘Thirsty Soul’.
I am!
So, back to the recipe – it doesn’t take long at all, but it would be quicker if you had a mandoline slicer. And probably safer.
Of course I do have a mandoline slicer, but I was AMAZED at how you could cut those spuds into paper thin wafers with a knife! I would have lost a few fingers doing that.
It’s because I’m a chef – did you not know? I have my own TV show. It’s called Hell’s Kitchen.
Liar. And if you did, it would never air on time.
That’s for sure. “The previously scheduled show will be shown at midnight tonight…”
Anyway, we had a great meal, and an early dinner, and lots of beer and wine. It was perfect!
It was perfect.

Because Irene had such a long and dry week and complained about it, I made her dinner. The recipe is from the Chubby Soul food blog that my friend Lisa introduced me to. There are lots of recipes to choose from and I picked the Squash, Potato & Goat Cheese Gratin with fresh herbs for this post. The recipe is easy to throw together in a few minutes but, to speed up the process Kalen, the creator of Chubby Soul, recommends using a mandoline slicer. I don’t have a mandoline so I used a chef’s knife which worked just fine. Be sure to go to the Chubby Soul website to to see all the recipes.

IMG_8023 (478x640)

IMG_8051 (598x800)

IMG_8057 (598x800)

Together with a green salad, this is a perfect vegetarian meal!

I think a carb-loaded meal is perfect when you have the guzzle-guts gene.
 Because it absorbs all the alcohol and you can keep drinking.
Lucky for me.

How to determine if it’s Martini Monday

I’m so excited – we’re posting our first infographic!
And it’s a very important infographic.
I think after working on this infographic, I could probably be an engineer now.
I’m surprised you’re not an engineer. You’re certainly a geek.
Which brings me to a burning question I’ve always had about engineers – if they’re so good with math, why are their pants always too short?
Their pants aren’t too short, they just wear them too high.
Wow – mystery solved. You could be an engineer too. Or a detective! DCI Sydney.
I like that!
Okay DCI Sydney, I just need to point out that Yves and the three female engineers I know, are excluded from this gross generalization. Yves’ trousers are never too short and the three female engineers I know are beautiful and very well dressed. They are in fact, on the ‘babe’ side of the equation.
Well, engineer or not, everyone will learn something from our infographic.
I think we need to toast our first infographic.
Is it Martini Monday?
I think it is. Cheers!

MartiniMonday

So we did the math…
…and as a detective, I deduced that every day is Martini Monday.
Yes, it’s like one of the commandments now – carved in stone…or ice.

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo and Star Anise

So Sydney, today’s post is about a Brussels sprouts recipe and I’m so excited – not for the obvious reasons.
Is it because they’re an aphrodisiac?
How did you know?
Because you told me five minutes ago, remember?
Right – I was telling you about the time I was out at Spruce Meadows with my sisters, and one of them told me that Brussels sprouts were an aphrodisiac and I said ‘that explains everything’.
That explains the twelve siblings you have – your mother must have eaten a lot of Brussels sprouts.
She did! I think the ‘randy’ gene that runs in the family came from her.
Which brings us to the post today – another Ottolenghi recipe – and Ottolenghi lives in the UK…
…where Brussels sprouts (and my Mum) were born…
I think they might come from Brussels, but anyway, Ottolenghi is a really cute guy – I’ve been eating my Brussels sprouts too.
Sydney – he’s taken.
We can still enjoy the view.
And we can enjoy cooking from his new book – Plenty More. Cooking an Ottolenghi recipe is always an adventure.
Did it take you a long time?
No it did not. Folks, stayed tuned for our right-brain/left-brain post coming soon…
There will be photos…
And now…back to the post about roasted Brussels sprouts.

Another Ottolenghi, Plenty More Recipe!

For this recipe (follow the link and you’ll find it on the Ottolenghi website) you’ll need a pomelo, star anise pods, brussel sprouts, cinnamon sticks, lemon juice, sugar, shallots and cilantro.

Ingredients

I used a honey pomelo and it was white, not the pink colour shown in the recipe. Neither of us had ever heard of, or used a pomelo before and were happy to find them here in Ottawa. I got one at Cedars & Co. Food Market in Old Ottawa South and it cost $2.50.

Pomelo

Cedars & Co. by the way, is a great little store and they sell absolutely everything, from fresh fruit and vegetables to all kinds of nuts and spices, like you’d find at Bulk Barn, to pet food and environmentally friendly cleaning products. They even have wiper blades at the front! Check them out online and definitely drop in next time you’re in the neighbourhood.

Since then I’ve seen pomelos at the larger Independent Grocer I often shop at, so maybe they are becoming more readily available.

There’s not a lot of taste to it at all by itself, but combined with the syrup it’s yummy. In a pinch, grapefruit might be worth a try as a substitution but it would definitely change the taste of the dish.

Torn pomelo

It took some time to get the pomelo ready – you really do need to tear it apart – cutting won’t work, but cutting the inside membrane off makes it easier. I got the hang of it but it’s a bit time consuming. As we’ve discovered, Ottolenghi recipes aren’t necessarily what you’d call a quick meal.

But before you start tearing the pomelo into pieces, you’ll prepare the syrup using the sugar, cinnamon sticks, star anise and lemon juice.The syrup

Once the syrup is cooled, it gets added to the pomelo.

Pomelo with syrup

Then it’s time to roast the sprouts and shallots. I used fewer shallots because I’m not a big fan of onions. Yotam loves onions so he often puts lots in his recipes. Into the oven they go –

Brussel sprouts & shallots

This already looks sssoooo good!

Roasted sprouts & shallots (2)

Once the sprouts are cooked and cooled, you’ll discard the cinnamon and star anise pods from the pomelo and add the roasted sprouts and shallots and cilantro. And voilà!

Roasted sprouts with pomelo

This dish is really best to eat the day you make it. That being siad, I happily ate the leftovers for the next two days.

I’m so inspired I’m going to have to lie down.
Me too – I’ve been eating my Brussels sprouts, so I need to lie down.
Who do you have in mind?

 

The Sensational Union Local 613 Bar

Sydney, I want the whole world to know that you made me go out on a winter, weekday night. I could have died.
Technically you weren’t outside at all. You took a five minute cab from your office to the pub and then I drove you home.
I was outside for a few minutes. And I didn’t even wear my sleeping bag coat because I wanted to look cool. Which I’m sure everyone at the bar noticed.
I’m sure they did too.
I don’t want to make a habit of this going out in mid-week, but I have to admit it was worth it. Big time.
It was definitely worth it. It’s astonishing we’ve never been there before, but then you keep us inside all the time.
And I made some other people come out with us too. Actually, they were willing accomplices – they don’t hibernate like I do.
No they don’t and they’d all been there before and love it.
So of course we’re talking about THE wonderful bar, Union Local 613.
I loved all the candle light in mason jars and the hipster drink names…kind of dark ‘n’ stormy in there.
And we went because we had met Ivan before and they have a great reputation for mixed drinks. Mixed drinks being way more involved than pouring two fingers of gin and a splash of Canada Dry tonic water. Who knew?
Their drinks are hand-crafted with ingredients they make themselves from scratch. Not a coke bottle to be found in there.
And it was my brilliant idea to go there because you wanted us to spend an evening making drinks and I knew that would be too much work for us, so we should just go out. Just didn’t think it would -30 when we did.
Says the laziest person in the world…
I am…hands down…I own that crown. But we should get back to the post. As usual, we’re off topic.
Right. If I were a hipster what would I say next?
How would I know? I only heard the word for the first time when we met Ivan.
Let’s tell everyone all about the bar and why it’s so great. It was like being in another city.
It really was and I think the photos will show that.
Where in Ottawa do you find a packed bar on a Tuesday night?
Obviously the word is out – get yourself to Union 613. And thanks to JB, Hailey and Julie for joining us.
Cheers!
I’m just going to go online and see what the hipster word for ‘cheers’ is.

welcome in

In December we went to an evening seminar at the Rideau Street LCBO to learn about mixed drinks. (The LCBO has great classes at great prices for anyone interested in food and drink – you can check them out here.)

Our guide/guru/bartender for the evening was Union 613 co-owner, Ivan Gedz. We learnt so much from Ivan that night that – mostly that making a good drink is not a simple process, so let someone else do it.

If Ivan looks familiar, that’s because when you look up the word ‘hipster’ in the dictionary, you’ll see his picture there. No definition – just a picture of Ivan.

Ivan Gedz

Ivan Gedz

 

One of the best tips of the night was Ivan telling us to use big ice cubes because they don’t melt as fast as regular or small ice cubes, so they don’t water down the drink and they keep it colder longer. As luck would have it, Chapters is carrying some dandy large ice cube trays these days. They come in a package of two and cost $12.

Large ice cube trays

 

 

 

 

Union Local 613 is owned by Ivan Gedz, Matt Fantin, Darren Flowers, opened in July 2012, and is located at 315 Somerset St. West (corner of O’Connor). The atmosphere is perfect – dimly lit with lots of candles in mason jars everywhere and very cool light fixtures. Bessie Smith was playing when we arrived.

Union Bar

Where the magic happens…

The drinks are small masterpieces and they take a while to prepare. Between the five of us, we had Dark ‘n’ Stormy, Reading Week, Bourbon Lemonade, Hibiscus rum punch, Round Midnight, The Dwight Schrute, and Viva la revolucionne, all in the $10 – $13 price range. These are not small or weak drinks and they taste like nothing you’ve ever had before. Well worth the price.

Bourbon Lemonade

Bourbon Lemonade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RM fotor

Reading Week

 

Hibiscus rum punch

Hibiscus rum punch

 

Dark 'n' Stormy

Dark ‘n’ Stormy

 

Dark n Stormy

Dark ‘n’ Stormy again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

peanuts by the light

Boiled peanuts

Cornbread

Cornbread

hot drink

Round midnight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beet by the light - The Dwight Schrute

Beet by the light – The Dwight Schrute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

secret door

A secret door…

There’s a speakeasy at the bottom of a flight stairs which is open from Wednesday through Saturday – very tiny and discrete and seats about twenty.

Speakeasy sign

Be warned…

fireplace

We loved the fact that the water was flowing all night and we never had to ask for refills. There was always two bottles on the table and Ivan and our server, Jessie, kept coming by to pour it for us.

The place was packed on a Tuesday night (in sleepy Ottawa) – reservations are probably a good idea. We sat in the window seat and there was quite a draft coming into the seat closest to the door. If you’re sitting in the window seat, you’ll want to use that spot to pile up some coats.

Great cocktails, great service, great place!

I think I won Best Evening – I got hugged by a hipster on the way out.
It was a little awks for me.
What’s ox mean? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Amazing Ottolenghi Mushroom Pithivier

Happy New Year Sydney!
Happy New Year Irene!
So our first post of 2015 had to be a cooking post from the new Ottolenghi cookbook, Plenty More.
Because between the two of us, we’re responsible for the giving and receiving of seven copies of the book this Christmas.
And three of those were gifts to you, because everyone knows we’re big fans of the Ottolenghi kitchen.
They do. So I chose the Mushroom and Tarragon Pithivier and the Tomato and Roasted Lemon Salad.
And to save some time, you made the pithivier yesterday. That crust looks amazing! Did you make that too?
Are you kidding me? I’d still be in my kitchen if I had made the pastry from scratch.
So you bought the pastry – nothing wrong with that – so the rest was easy?
Easy isn’t what comes to mind when making a pithivier. It’s not difficult either, but it is time consuming. So allow three hours to put it together.
Three hours? A late dinner is one of your signature moves, but I bet the second time you cook it, it won’t take as long. What exactly is a pithivier anyway?
Pithivier is french for ‘pie that takes forever’. It’s my new favourite pie.
I think you’re making that up.
It’s true – so we can never say ‘easy as pie’ again. From now on, it’s ‘hard as pie’.
Was alcohol involved?
Not while I was cooking. I made a point of not having a drink until it was in the oven. I didn’t want to screw it up.
So the pie looks amazing and we made the salad together and it looks amazing.
And we have a guest!
We do! We have Ann here with us and she’s on her way to the UK next week and has promised to go visit Yotam for us and say ‘hi’.
He’ll probably be in the shop when she goes.
I think so.
He’ll probably have copies of our post up all over the shop.
He probably will.
So are we just going to have photos of the meal in the post?
Not likely. When have I ever not had a lot to say?
Right.
So they’ll be some descriptions – about what we did right and what we did wrong.
And we’re going to end the post with an invitation.
We are.
I think everyone is going to love this meal as much as we did.
Me too – enjoy!

Plenty More Cooking

 

Not only did we have a great meal, but we discovered that ‘pithivier’ is a french word (Sydney was right about that) and so it’s not pronounced ‘pith-i-ver’ – as we were calling it – it’s pronounced ‘pi-ti-ve-ay’. (And we’d like to take this opportunity to apologize the Francophones and linguists in Irene’s family.)

You can read all about Ottolenghi magic here, and you can find this recipe in his wonderful book Plenty More which we recommend you all go out and buy.

uncooked mushrooms

 

 

Starting with lots of different kinds of mushrooms.

 

 

 

 

 

Then adding whole shallots…Shallots (2)

 

cooked shallots

 

 

 

 

 

 

…plus crème fraîche, ouzo, parsley, tarragon.

mushrooms creme fresh

 

 

 

Ouzo

 

 

 

 

parsely-mushrooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to make the salad with pomegranate seeds, parsley, tomatoes and lemons.

parsely & seeds

 

 

tomatoes

 

 

 

 

You need to blanch the lemons and then toss them with oil and sage and then roast them. So our first picture is of the lemons after the martinis, but before we read the recipe thoroughly.

Our second photo is of the properly-prepared lemons coming out of the oven.

lemons

 

 

roasted lemons

 

 

 

And we weren’t entirely sure if we were supposed to eat the lemons in the salad, or if they were just for adding flavour. So we each ate a few (rind still on), and we all agreed the flavour was amazing.

Et voilà!

pie slice

salad bottom bowl

 

3 wine glasses

 

A glass of California Ridge wine and dinner is served!

 

 

 

Ottolenghi dinner plate

 

This was an incredible meal! So our invitation (wish) is to Chef Ottolenghi – next time you’re in Canada, come to Ottawa so we can cook together! It would be so much fun and we’ll bring the wine 🙂

We’re definitely funnier when we’re drinking. Or maybe that’s the beer talking.
The words do tend to flow more, when the beverages are flowing too.
You certainly don’t need a drink for that to happen.