cooking


Photo: mysupermarket.co.uk

Photo: mysupermarket.co.uk

A few months ago, I had some dark, leafy greens at the Hawksmoor served braised with a Sunday roast. They were tender like mustard and collard greens but sweeter and without any of the bitterness.

Suspecting that these “Fresh British greens” were the same greens, I gave it a go — they are just as delicious sautéed in olive oil and garlic. I also added them in risotto. I am sure they will be starring in some gratin, stir-fry and noodle soup very soon.

But I still don’t know what they are. It’s a bit unfair that something this good is given such a generic name that googling it will pull up anything that’s fresh, green and British-grown.

Anyone out there have any idea if there’s another name for these greens?

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I interviewed the owner of this charming little food stall on Broadway Market for an article about embracing traditional British dishes.

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Having survived three winters in Europe made me realize that the cold weather is only good for one thing: guilt-free eating of things such as tartiflette.

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I went home for a short visit a few weeks ago and had a little side trip to the Bay Area, revisiting my old haunts.

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Now that it’s been about six months since I’ve moved to London, I’ve noticed certain eating and dining themes:

The pop-up restaurant and bar. Like Meateasy at Goldsmiths Tavern that came and went. And now Frank’s Campari Bar that’s only open until the end of summer.

Haloumi. People in this town can’t seem to get enough of this cheese, grilled. I’ve seen it at every barbeque, traditional sandwich stands, swank gastropubs and corner shop.

Tea towels. They are everywhere, in every kind of store, appropriate to whatever they sell in the shop, be it screen printed imagery of London, kitschy designer art or the royal family. You would think that they were a nation of people obsessed with hand drying dishes.

Ginger beer. I can’t get enough of this non-alcoholic drink — it’s like ginger ale on caffeine (more on that in a future post). Could ginger beer be the secret ingredient to a Dark and Stormy?

I may be going out on a limb, but I’m putting shakshuka on this list. Nevermind my first taste of shakshuka was served to me as a heaping mess in a reheated Tupperware a few months ago. It was something I had never eaten before, something that was between a ratatouille and moussaka with baked egg. I was more impressed with saying the word shakshuka than actually eating it, but that’s probably why the word stuck. It’s just a fun word to say, shakshuka.

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A few weeks ago I was in East Sussex for a barnyard wedding (and square dancing). The bride and groom, food and wine enthusiasts, served their guests copious amounts of champagne and Bordeaux. And since it was an English summer wedding, there was also a table lined with Pimms-filled glasses. It was a lovely wedding indeed.

Unfortunately, I got a little carried away with the alcohol, but at least I left before they brought out the brandy!

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It’s salad season and I seem to be missing out. While I think California wins when it comes to making delicious, healthy and satisfying salads, my favorite thing in Paris was going to my weekly neighborhood farmers market. I looked forward to walking down to the market on Sundays and strolling up and down the different stalls.

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