Gigantes

My memories of Greek and Turkish holidays often revolve around foods that we ate. Especially wonderful were the meze, small plates of tasty bites to share.

Nộm Bò Khô – Dried Beef Salad

We first had this sitting on kindergarten sized chairs in a small street cafe in Hanoi old quarter with wail of mopeds horns buzzing by echoing in our ears. The place was so tiny that the owned produced only a handful of dishes, completely fresh, zingy and alongside the street bustle a wonderful assault on the senses.

Massamam Curry of Squash

Thai food is one of the most fragrant and vibrant cuisines. However most of the pastes and sauces that you can buy from supermarkets fall far short of the mark. Making Thai food from scratch produces something that will make you jump up and down with sheer delight with it’s aromatic, vivid and punchy flavours….

Squash – Squashkin

What do you get if you cross a Butternut and a Crown Prince………?

A squashkin.

Mujaddara

I’ve seen almost as many ways to spell this dish as recipes. Mujaddara is a middle eastern grain and lentil dish with fried onions. It is an ancient dish dating back to at least 1,226 although folk law says that this is the dish that Jacob used to buy Esau’s birth right in Genesis.

Bánh xèo

I first made these in Hoian in a local cookery school where we made modest little pancakes which you wrapped with salad in rice papers. Imagine my surprise when ordering the same in Saigon and a supersized crepe the size of a small baby arrived.

Orange and White Tea

I started writing this post sitting in a wooden homestead by the side of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam surrounded by coconut groves.

Squash – Tromboncino

Opinion is divided about James Wong the Kew trained botanist, writer and broadcaster. James is famous for books covering how to grow unusual or extraordinary things or how to grow every day things in a slightly different way using cutting edge research.

Squash – Sweet Dumpling

I nearly cried when I saw a neighbour displaying these in their front garden for Halloween, probably to be discarded once the frost had turned them to mush. What a waste of one of the best tasting squashes you can grow.

Turnip – Purple Top Milan

Purple Top Milan is a heritage vegetable seed first developed in the 1880’s and still extremely popular. It has a slightly squat appearance but a wonderful pinky purple top fading to cream. It also has a good flavour.