Monday, 23 April 2012

Cannellini, cucumber & dill salad

I am back! I am back with some new cookbooks. I did not cook at all during my break in Poland; I was spoiled by my family and friends, they have cooked for me.

I was also given some fantastic cook books such as “Nepal cook book” from friends who came back from Nepal not long time ago and Magdalena from Tasty Colours blog (that I highly recommend if you are interested in Polish cuisine – it is in English!) gave me Julia Child’s book – an absolute classic, I am sorry but I am not sure about the English title, it is general cook book with many classic recipes ant useful tips.

I also bought myself chunky cookbook about Polish regional cuisines. It has over 1000 recipes from different regions and I think this will help me to get more ideas about versatile Polish cuisine.

I found today’s recipe in this book, but I have changed it slightly. As much as I love garlic I thought it was rather mad to use whole garlic bulb in raw salad, also in my opinion the dressing based on the water was rather strange idea to go with a cucumber salad, as this is quite water vegetable already. So this is my take on this salad that suppose to come from Warmian-Masurian (PL Mazury i Warmia) region (North East, beautiful lake district). 


Serves 3-4

300g white beans, soaked and cooked (I used cannellini)  
1 cucumber, peeled and diced  
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled  
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil  
½ level tsp of salt  
freshly ground black pepper

Mix the beans, cucumber and dill in a large bowl.

Roughly slice the garlic and place in the mortar with the salt. Crush using a pestle until smooth then add the olive oil and mix well. Add the dressing to the salad and mix well. Season with some pepper. Chill before serving.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Smoked salmon parcels with caper cream cheese


This is my last post before Easter and my trip to Poland. I have some time off, so there will be a short break on my blog. Please do not forget about me, because like Terminator "I'll be back" and it will be fab time to go back to cooking and blogging - asparagus in season. Shall I say "I'll be back with a bunch of asparagus"?

Before I go I would like to show you something that looks nice and I think this is very interesting way of presenting cream cheese. I found the idea of wrapping cream cheese in smoked salmon in some ancient "Dales Life" magazine (recipe by Merry Berry) and originally the cooked and chopped prawns were used for a fillingalong with cheese. Since I tried the original one I went through several variations and all of them seemed fine i.e. chopped smoked salmon, gherkins, various herbs and today I will show you one with capers.

This is very rich dish so do not be tempted to serve one to one person only. In my opinion one parcel served with some crusty bread or toast or even good quality crackers or oat cakes should serve up to 3 people as a snack or starter. I cut each in six and let guest help themselves.

I wish you happy Easter and talk to you when I get back! 


Makes 2
4 large slices of smoked salmon 
about 150g cream cheese
1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed and chopped 
2 tbsp of fresh dill, chopped
zest of one lemon
1 tsp of lemon juice 
salt (optional, capers are salty)
freshly ground black pepper
some salad leaves and lemon wedges to serve 
springs of fresh dill to garnish (optional)

Mix the cream cheese with lemon zest and juice, capers, dill and freshly ground black pepper.

Line two soufflé dishes with some cling film making sure it is overlapping the dishes. Next line the dishes with smoked salmon slices in the same way - some of the fish should overlap each dish. Next add the cheese to the dishes and gently press with a spatula or spoon. Cover with the overlapping smoked salmonand then with the cling film and place in the fridge. Ideally overnight, but 2 hours will do. I also try to press them with some weight while they are resting.

Remove from the fridge, unwrap the foil and gently place upside down onto a serving plate. Garnish with some salad leaves, lemon wedges and serve.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Radish & rocket salad with Indian dressing

Radishes mean spring to me. Perhaps like me you would like to dress them differently this spring? I have this strong craving to change my meals and some pieces of my wardrobe this spring. I bought myself rather skinny (!), bright (!!) and ankle length (!!!) trousers last week and I have an eye on pink (!) dress. Would you believe? I recommend this simple yet different salad with very interesting dressing. I found the recipe for this dressing in "The Food of India. A journey for food lovers" but I have changed it slightly and used whatever ingredients I found in the fridge and what I fancied this particular day. This is the result.

Serves 2

about 200g radishes, quartered
2 large handfuls of rocket
1 tbsp sunflower oil 
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black onion seeds (nigella)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt 
pinch of asafoetida
1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix the rocket and the radishes and place in a serving bowls.

Place the oil and the cumin seeds together with black onion seeds and leave covered over a medium heat. Wait until the seeds start to pop, then add the turmeric, salt and asafoetida. Fry for about 10 seconds and remove from a heat. Add lemon juice, stir and set aside to cool down.

When cooled down use dressing to dress the leaves and radishes and serve.