I recently made a big confession to myself. I don’t like quinoa as much as I convinced myself. I don’t hate it either. It’s just that quinoa has a slightly weird taste by itself and you generally need to use a lot of other ingredients to give anything with quinoa a pleasant flavour. And these balls are exactly like that, with lots and lots of other ingredients!
I’m thinking and I’m thinking hard, but I don’t remember eating cauliflower before 2003. That was the year that I studied design in Paris as an exchange student. No seriously, I don’t think I ate it, I don’t remember my mother cooking it or even forcing me to eat it. But then suddenly in Paris I started eating it in big amounts. Why? Because I was trying to live in Paris with a small student budget most of which went to rent and cauliflower was cheap!
I don’t remember the first time I’ve heard about freekeh. Was it in a website while I was browsing through blogs, was it on a cookbook I have… No, not sure at all. But I do remember that I was immediately curious about it. So when I saw a box of freekeh in Hauler Oriental Market a while ago, I bought it right away.
About 2 years ago, I published the recipe of my favourite soup in the world, together with its several stories in my life. That one is a well-known soup in Turkey. However, there is another one that even more people know and eat all the time: red lentil soup.
Last week on Saturday I had a huge catering gig: a birthday dinner for 76 people. It was a big success and people loved the food, but I was utterly exhausted afterwards. So I spent this week giving myself time to rest and lunching out for the first couple of days. Thanks to this, I discovered a very nice little cafe in my neighbourhood and the delicious salad I ate there inspired me to make this one.
In Finnish cuisine, there is a series of laatikkos, aka casserole dishes: porkkana / carrot, peruna / potato, lanttu / rutabaga… and this one right here, cabbage casserole, with ground meat and rice. I knew about this grand “laatikko family” but I never ate any, until I made the first one today.
I LOVE vegetables. I am not vegetarian, officially. But in practice, I actually lead a vegetarian life. My catering menus and eating events are also almost always vegetarian. Among all, there is one vegetable that I cannot live without: eggplant! (And I cannot go back and check now, but I probably said this over and over again in my previous eggplant recipes…)
Red cabbage. A vegetable which is rather foreign to me. Sure I ate it many times in salads, but when it comes to using it as an ingredient myself, well, we generally look at each other in the market for a few minutes and then I move forward to another vegetable, continuing our mutual indifference. This weird relationship ended with this soup.
There are 3 dishes in my life that the word “shakshouka” has been associated with since my childhood. And they all point to different parts of my life.
I have to admit: I don’t always like recipes with tons and tons of ingredients. It is good to keep things simple most of the time. However, there are moments when you want a perfect flavour festival going on inside your mouth and stomach, and this soup is just the one for that purpose.