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Street in Rosières

Although many people seem to think so, it’s really not that hard being vegan. But travelling can be a bit daunting, especially going to places famous for their cheese, fish and meat-worshipping cuisine.

This summer Mr Gnoe and I had our first ‘big’ vacation abroad since I went ExtraVeganza. We’d decided to go to the Hautes-Alpes in France. When visiting the Auvergne some years ago, it was often difficult to find anything vegetarian on the menu — aside from omelet, “sans jambon, s’il vout plaît“. So I admit I was a bit worried there’d be nothing to eat…!

Vegan Month of Food buttonIn a series of posts called Les Vacances de Mme Gnoe, I’d like to ramble about how I fared on this trip. Obviously I survived. ;) It may help other newbie vegans going on a journey — or those worrying about going to the land of bouillabaisse, fromage and cassoulet.

Today’s post is about our two day car trip to Oze, via Dijon. What provisions kept us on the road?

Bought or bRought?
I already wrote about the Bento En Route we had for lunch. It consisted of Indonesian leftovers accompanied by cold Thai carrot soup. For snacks there was some healthy fruit, a small bag of potato chips, liquorice and Napoleon candy as treats.

Bento En Route #194 (part 2): cold carrot soup
Bento En Route #194 (part 1): lunch for two
Potato chips
Bento En Route #194 (part 3): summer fruit snack

All these refreshments we brought from home. At the gas station I bought a bottle of Orangina with pulp to get into a French mood, and a bowl of fruit salad at the next pit stop. Can’t find the picture of that so I think I accidentally deleted it. O_o

Orangina

The second day we only had a three hour trip left, so we just bought a drink, in my case Pago citrus fruit juice, and I ate the Utrecht opal plums I’d brought from home.

Pago citrus
Opal plums

So the first part of our holiday I mostly relied on our own provisions. But I haven’t told you yet what we did on dinner time in Dijon. I’ll do that later in a restaurant ‘reviewing’ post!

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Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 38, 2012

These are the veggies we got for the last week of summertime.

  • Savoy cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Escarole (2 bunches)
  • Carrots
  • Red paprika
  • Corn cob

As we’re changing seasons today, these vegetables will be used in summer and fall menus.

Menu plan 21 – 27 September

While planning our meals I got distracted by all the yummy recipes and forgot to include the escarole, even though I had marked it urgent on my list. :\ So I’m somehow trying to squeeze it in at the last minute.

  • Freezer stash Friday: courgette soup, Fry’s chicken style burger on bread with vegetable toppings.
    Freezer Friday`
  • Saturday ~ from summer to fall: fresh tomato soup, seitan piccata with longbeans (p.174 V’con = Veganomicon) and oven-roasted sweetly spiced carrots with maple syrup (p.34 V’con).
    Fresh tomato soup
    Cooking from V'con
    Postscript: I used all ingredients but pretty much messed about with the proportions of beans and seitan – still it turned out awesome!
  • Sunday: red lentil – cauliflower curry with leftover roasted carrots for lack of parsnip (p.186 V’con), cumin spiced quick bread (p.267 La Dolce Vegan) for the Dutch vegan society forums cookalong and some extra simple veggies on the side, like braised escarole/cabbage, corn on the cob and/or escarole salad.
    Spicy Sunday
  • Mediterranean Monday: Briami (p.56 A Vegan Taste of Greece), Turkish bulgar with chickpeas (freezer stash) and lemony cucumber salad.
    Briami, Turkish rice with chickpeas, cumin spiced bread and lemony avocado salad
  • Asian Tuesday: cabbage ramen/noodles (double recipe) and teriyaki tofu with leek or (vegan) egg roll. Maybe sautéed escarole with leftover smoky tempeh marinade.
    Mie noodles with Saoy and 'shicken' from Vegetarian Butcher
  • Wednesday: vegetable roti with tofu and chickpea salad (p.82 Vegan Taste of Greece) with raw escarole.
    Greek chickpea salad
    Vegetable roti
  • Thursday: pesto pasta with Savoy cabbage (with pesto from a jar), Puy lentil salad with beet (and pine nuts, leftover smoky tempeh or bread garlic croutons instead of goat’s cheese).
    Lentil-beetroot salad with rucola and garlic croutons
    Pesto spaghetti wth Savoy and roasted paprika

I also hope to bake some lemon cupcakes, based on the recipe for  coconut-lemon Bundt cake in Veganomicon (p.256). I really don’t have a reason, except that it’ll be Nina’s first anniversary of being out of the shelter and living with us. She’s starting to believe she actually has a home! :)

Nina on te 3rd day she lived with us

Lemon cupcakes were a favourite when I still ate dairy & eggs and I haven’t dared trying a vegan recipe yet… But this cake by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero comes highly recommended! So will I find the time and courage this week?!

BTW did I tell you I’m going to be present at Terry Hope Romero’s World Vegan Eats cookbook presentation and cooking demo in Amsterdam at the end of October? Looking forward to it!

I updated last week’s menu with pictures from my meals, so have a look if you’re curious!

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As I told you last time, we get loads of salad greens among our organic CSA. We love that, but notwithstanding the Salad Sac it’s sometimes still hard to keep up… Causing the veg drawer in the fridge to overflow. A perfect moment to put lettuce soup on the menu!

I’m sure some of you can relate to this, so today I’ll share the recipe with you after my menu plan at the end of this post. There will also be a translation available for Dutch readers.

But first: this week’s veggies!

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 24, 2012

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables wk 24, 2012

  • strawberries again!
  • pak choi
  • parsley
  • Romaine lettuce
  • vine tomatoes
  • garlic scapes (flower stems)
  • Batavian endive (escarole)

Another sunny bouquet of vegetables and fruit. :)

Menuplan 6-12 June

  • Mihun with bok choi, broccoli stems, chestnut mushrooms and ginger stir-fried in light soy sauce, ‘apple juice tempeh‘ and salad with miso dressing (miso, ume vinegar, sake, agave syrup, cumin, sage). Cantaloupe and strawberries for dessert. [Wednesday]
    Veggie stir-fry, mihun and 'apple juice tempeh'
    Mixed salad with miso dressing
  • Leftover pumpkin curry with cashews, pimped up with peas, baked garlic scapes, Thai noodle salad with leftover rice noodles (La Dolce Vegan! p.80), cantaloupe and the first 2 strawberries harvested from the balcony for dessert. [Thursday]
    Pumpkin curry and baked garlic flower stems
    Cold Thai noodle salad
    Cantaloupe and 1st strawberry harvested from balcony
  • Snow pea salad with Japanese dressing, (VEGAgerechten p.191), garlic-sunchoke soup (freezer stash) and bake-off mini baguette. [Friday]
    Garlic-sunchoke soup
    Snow pea salad with Japanese dressing
  • Potato mash with endive, faux ‘chicken’ from the Vegetarian Butcher and tomato salad with homemade basil dressing (La Dolce Vegan! p.91).
  • Saffron couscous with vegetable goulash (La DolceVegan! p.140; challenged by Dani on NVV forums).
    Saffron Couscous with La Dolce Vegan!'s Veggie Goulash
  • Courgette & fresh peas in persillade, lentil loaf, escarole salad with mustard vinaigrette (Eethuis Iris’ Verrukkelijk vegetarisch p.41) Fry’s schnitzel and baked potato.

Lettuce soup

Lettuce soup

Ingredients
Serves 3-4

  • 1 tbsp neutrally flavoured cooking oil
  • 1 potato
  • 1 shallot
  • white of 1 leek (sliced)
  • 1 bundle garlic (sliced) or garlic clove
  • about 3/4 litre vegetable stock (fresh or instant)
  • 1 head of ordinary lettuce
  • 1 dl soy millk
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • black pepper
  • optional: a dash of white wine
  • optional: chives to garnish

Preparation

  1. Clean the vegetables
  2. Cube the peeled potato.
  3. Tear the lettuce into pieces.
  4. Shred the shallot.
  5. Heat the oil and gently sauté the onion, leek and (bundle-)garlic until the shallot is transparent.
  6. Add stock and potato and bring to a boil.
  7. After about 10 minutes add lettuce and simmer for a few minutes more.
  8. Add soy milk, wine, tarragon and more (hot) water if necessary.
  9. Purée the soup.
  10. Flavour with salt and pepper to taste and heat the soup before serving without letting it boil.
  11. Serve in bowls and garnish with chives.

Enjoy!

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Evernote LogoDo you know the Evernote Food app? I’m creating a food photo diary with it — easy and fun! I only wish I could also edit entries in the equally handy all-round Evernote application, but maybe I’m missing something obvious?

On Saturday May 19th Evernote organized its first ever Evernote cook-along. ‘Chef’ Lauren Atkins provided us with the task to make crêpes.

You all know how I love challenges — and food! So I decided to take this up, even though I hadn’t baked any crêpes since going ExtraVeganza over a year ago… Pancakes? Yes. Crêpes? No. And I really even don’t like pancakes that much, but I just LUUUURV crêpes!

Het Grote Vegetarische KookboekSo the first question to tackle was: sweet or savoury?

As we had no dinner plans yet (and would be hiking during lunchtime), I chose the latter and picked Asian style rice crêpes with a mushroom-tofu filling.

It actually proved to be quite the dare! I had to adapt a basic vegan sweet crêpe recipe and combine it with the savoury dairy mushroom-tofu one from my vegetarian cookbook Het Grote Vegetarische Kookboek (p.138). Not a smart project to take on for a first attempt… So how did it turn out???

Rice Crêpes with Tofu-Mushroom Filling

Vegan crêpes for the Evernote Cook-along

Serves 2 (4 pieces).

I started out with this vegan crêpe recipe in my Vegweb iPhone app (substituting vanilla for a pinch of salt): whisking 1 cup of all-purpose flour (about 150 grams) with 1 1/2 cup rice milk (350 ml) and 2 heaped teaspoons of No-egg with 4 tablespoons of water mixed beforehand (note that the ratio for 2 ‘eggs’ is different from Ener-G egg-replacer). Adding 2 tbsp of sunflower oil and a pinch of salt.

I then continued putting additional ingredients in the batter that the non-vegan recipe in my cookbook called for: 1 tbsp kecap manis, 1 tbsp chopped cilantro, 50 grams of cooked rice (a combination of red, black and unpolished) and a mix of chopped and stir-fried fresh ginger (2 cm), 1 chilli pepper and 1 green onion.

Cooking rice

Cooking rice in the morning

You’ll have to cook the rice in advance or -preferably- use leftovers!

Each pancake was baked for about 3 minutes on one side and 1 more after having flipped them over.

The filling consisted of 100 grams of tofu sautéed for about 5 minutes in a combination of sunflower & sesame oil, then adding 150 grams mixed mushrooms, a clove of garlic (crushed), 1 tsp of white miso, 1 tbsp kecap manis and 1/2 tbsp lime juice, stirring for about 1 more minute.

Result

Vegan crêpes for the Evernote Cook-along

We had a great dinner! Two crêpes each plus a large portion of salad.

I’ll admit the recipe needs a little tweaking because the pancakes were difficult to flip over — and stay in one piece at the same time. ;) My batter was probably a bit too thin from adding the extra ingredients. Next time I’ll adjust the amount of ‘milk’ accordingly and/or add some cornstarch.

Or maybe… I should just make sure to have a foolproof vegan crêpe recipe first?! Off to make some crêpes for lunch!!!

Here’s how the meal looks in Evernote…

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I had meant to do a Sunday Salon about challenges today, but as I’m on a roll with my bento backlog I’d better get on with that. Bihun Bento it is!

Bihun Bento (04-04-2012)

When
Wednesday April 4th 2012.

Why
Office lunch which I got to eat at home as I was ill — a good thing I had lunch ready!

What
Leftover Pad Thai (baked up with sambal and spices), steamed broccoli, gherkin and salad vegetables in the middle tier: rocket, alfalfa sprouts, tomato and parsley.

Gingerbread with soy butter and agave syrup in the other, a mix of dry roasted almonds, salted sunflower seeds and dried cranberries, soy flavoured ramen wheat noodle snack (leftover from our Hanami picnic) and peanut sauce as a condiment to the broccoli. Those shiny balls on the right are sweet coconut cookies that I baked for my Saturday movie night with the grrls on which we watched Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter — a great film! The cookie recipe is from Lisette in Luilekkerland and I like it!

Then there’s apple in lemon juice on the side and cassava crackers in the colourful snack bag.

People often wonder if making bentos isn’t a lot of work. I’ll admit I takes a little more time than necessary, but that’s just because I’m slow. ;) By using leftovers and things at hand it can be put together quite quickly: you really don’t need to cook especially for a bento. Look at this one for example.

Leftovers:

  • Pad Thai
  • peanut sauce
  • coconut cookie balls
  • ramen noodle snack
  • cassava crackers

Stash:

  • dried fruit & nut mix

Extra work:

  • nuking the broccoli in the microwave, taking just a few seconds — and not necessary if it had been a leftover from another day,
  • frying up the bihun noodles — not really required but I chose to give my previous dinner a twist,
  • buttering & sweetening my slice of gingerbread — not necessary as it’s really good without but I like it even better this way,
  • chopping up some crudités,
  • cutting an apple and sprinkling it with lemon juice — obviously unnecessary if you bring a whole apple but I can’t eat it that way because of the glued on metal splint behind my teeth (a leftover from braces).

So, is that easier than you expected?

If I can keep up the good work, tomorrow will bring the last of my outstanding bento posts!

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At this moment I have a backlog of 4 bentos to post. It may not be wise to tick them off in chronological order but I’m going to anyway! Pigheaded Gnoe. ;)

Starting of with March 23rd’s First Spring Friday Bento!

First Spring Friday Bento (23-03-2012)

Below you see the salad tier: next to a bird’s nest of small Batavian lettuce leaves, gherkin, alfalfa sprouts, caper berry ‘eggs’ and dried cranberries for colour, there’s some more of the South-West American quinoa salad with avocado, bell pepper & sweet potato on a bed of aragula and topped with fresh cilantro. You may remember that from my Spring eQuinox Bento?

Middle tier: half a kiwi fruit, leftovers from a lentil dish with Mediterranean veggies, braised rutabaga (koolraap), smoked tofu, and simmered kabocha pumpkin from my freezer stash.

On Fridays one can be somewhat indulgent so the top tier is my ‘snack box‘, containing a cute flower cup with dry roasted almonds, salted sunflower seeds and a small piece of vegan ‘milk’ chocolate with hazelnut. Next to that two tiny plum tomato skewers with a basil leaf and pickled onion. A sauce fishy is filled with tomato-tahini dressing for my “bird’s nest salad” and lying in a cup of pepitas meant to top the quinoa. I plan on posting the dressing recipe sometime in a sequel of the Taste of Tahini Hop!

Finally there’s gingerbread with soy butter and agave syrup on the side, plus a (vitamin) C-BOMB: freshly squeezed orange, blood orange, pink grapefruit and lemon.

Even though I had this lunch almost a month ago, the recollection makes my mouth water!

Now are you curious to see my O-Hanami Bento?

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Roasted eggplant & tahini soup

I often come across people with an ooooold jar of tahini in their cupboards. Do you know tahini? It’s a paste of ground sesame seeds, used in Mediterranean, North African and Middle Eastern cooking. It is most widely known as a component of hummus. You’re familiar with hummus, right? A versatile chickpea spread that’s great on bread or as a dip? Now that’s how most of these nearly full containers of tahini end up in many Western kitchens: there are only one or two tablespoons needed for a batch of homemade spread — and what to do with the rest???

Well, the Dutch foodie blogging quartet is here to help!

Uniflame is sharing a recipe of tahini-yoghurt sauce (vegetarian)
Chinoiseries treats us to summer rolls with a tahini dip (vegetarian)
JannyAn fried up some falafel (vegan; in Dutch)

And on Graasland we’re having roasted eggplant & tahini soup.

The taste of this soup transported my globetrotter friend Loes right back to Morocco!

Roasted eggplant and tahini soup

Serves 5-6.

Roasted eggplant & tahini soup

Ingredients

  • 3 medium tomatoes, halved
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 550 grams together), halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium onions (I used a red and white one), halved
  • half a head of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 litre of vegetable broth (4 cups)
  • 2-3 teaspoons ras al hanout spice blend (store-bought or mixed yourself)
  • 4 tbsp = 60 ml tahini (1/4 cup)
  • juice from half a lemon (2-3 tbsp or more to taste)
  • chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Place tomatoes, eggplants and onions on a baking sheet.
  2. Sprinkle or brush with a little oil (we don’t have cooking spray over here), and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Slice a small part of the bottom of the garlic and fold it in a piece of aluminium foil. Wrap up tightly and put it on the baking sheet with the vegetables.
  4. Roast the veggies for 30-45 minutes, until they are tender and brown in some places.
    Roasted eggplant & tahini soup
  5. Remove from the oven and wait until the vegetables are cooled enough to handle.
  6. Scoop the eggplant out of its skin and into a large saucepan.
  7. Squeeze the cloves of roasted garlic out of their skin and add to the eggplant.
  8. Remove the skin and green centre from the tomatoes and add to the pan as well, along with the onions.
  9. Add the broth and ras al hanout. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the onions are very tender.
  10. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor.
  11. Add the tahini and simmer for about 5 more minutes.
  12. Finish the soup by adding lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  13. Garnish each bowl of soup with a generous sprinkle of cilantro.

Notes

For this soup I heavily relied on the recipe from Cara’s cravings; there are also instructions for homemade ras el hanout on her page. I already had a mix that I made a long time ago and desperately need to finish…

The spices determine the flavour of the soup, so keep that in mind when you decide to substitute. If you’d like an even creamier soup you could also add a dash of soy cream to the bowls. But whatever you do, do not skip the lemon juice, nor cilantro. They’re absolutely essential!

Okay, you all need to confess now… Have you got a pot of tahini stashed away somewhere? It’s time to get it out and start cooking!

Roasted eggplant & tahini soup

Also check out our previous blog hops:

TTHop (tofu & tempeh)
New Years Quartet: Dips & Spreads

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So. I promised to show you my animal friendly chocolate-beetroot pie once it was finished. Drumroll please..! :)

Baking an Ecofabulous chocolate-beetroot pie

The recipe for this delicious-looking cake came from the Ecofabulous cookbook I mentioned earlier in my Cookbook Sunday Salon. It’s one of the reasons I had to bail out of the 24 Hour Readathon today! But there are worse things. Like, if this pie doesn’t taste as good as it looks.. :(

I deviated from the recipe only in its final stage, applying a couverture instead of the chocolate topping described by Lisette Kreischer. Baking time also took a while longer. In the end I didn’t dare keep it in the oven for a minute more, as I feared it would burn. Now I hope it’s got no soggy bottom ‘cause I couldn’t take British Bakeoff judge Mary Berry’s look of disapproval. ;P

This cake is part of a present for Mr Gnoe’s foodie cousin, celebrating her 40th birthday tonight. I hope she’ll like it! She’s baking a (non-vegan) lime pie, carrotcake muffins, brownies and cheesecake herself right this minute. With a little help from a friend, I believe. ;)

I better not forget to take a photo of a slice tonight! Please remind me? There’s twitter, whatsapp, 4square.. Whatever social medium you like. ;)

With the risk of overdoing it, here’s another pic of the pie ready to go. See you later!

Baking an Ecofabulous chocolate-beetroot pie

This food-related post is part of Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking!

Vegan Cookbooks
It’s been a long time since I posted a Sunday Salon. But today I wanted to share my growing pile of vegan cookbooks for VeganMoFo.

When I started ExtraVeganza! in January I didn’t have a vegan cookbook worth mentioning. That wasn’t a problem since I managed quite well with my vegetarian cookery books and the Web. I hadn’t used my World Food Cookbook as intensively before and was very content with the amount of vegan recipes! The Vegetarian Table: Japan turned out a faithful companion to my journey as well.

Still, it’s no fun picking a recipe and having to think if, and how, it can be veganised. Especially when you have to conclude it’s no use trying… Remember I am just a beginner!

Cover La Dolce Vegan: Vegan Livin' Made Easy (Sarah Kramer)Also, even though much of your regular cooking can easily be made animal-free, there are some basics that make life as a vegan easier. My silent wish for a completely plant-based reference book was quickly granted by my sister-in-law, who gave me Sarah Kramer’s La Dolce Vegan!

It was an instant success (which I’ve raved about but still need to expand upon) but while looking for another appropriate handbook something else hit me: the difference in American and European cooking, especially concerning ingredient availability.

So today I own no less than 3 Dutch vegan cookbooks! Antoinette Herzenberg & Jacinta Bokma’s Puur Plantaardig, Lisette Kreischer’s Lisette in Luilekkerland and Non*fish*a*li*cious (admittedly the latter contains 1 non-vegan recipe which uses a vegetarian tuna-substitute).

Cover Ecofabulous, Lisette KreischerI haven’t really cooked from these yet, but that’s because I thoroughly had to explore my library copy of Ecofabulous first.

This 2009 publication is out of print already and I wanted to find out whether I should preorder the 2nd edition, coming out in December. Hell yes! :) Even if it’s only for Veggie in Pumps‘ AMAZING pumpkin-ginger cupcakes… :)

One of the Ecofabulous pumpkin cupcakes I baked

I’m eagerly awaiting the ‘ecofabulous’ *drop* into my mailbox and from that moment I guess I’ll own about all the Dutch vegan cookbooks existing on the planet. But as Puur Plantaardig was only published last month (!) and Non*fish*a*li*cious in June this year, it’s safe to conclude that green living & vegan eating is gaining popularity!

Cover The Art of Tofu (Akasha Richmond)
Two other vegan (cook)books that I actually did own already before ExtraVeganza! are Akasha Richmond’s The Art of Tofu and Living Among Meat Eaters by Carol J. Adams.

The first is a kind of promotional publication for Mori-Nu tofu, the latter a nonfiction book about how to handle aggressive questions about your strict vegetarian (= vegan) lifestyle. Cover Living Among Meat Eaters (Carol J. Adams)I bought ‘Meat Eaters’ years ago but didn’t really get around to reading and certainly didn’t try any of the recipes at the end of the volume since they all contained one or more ingredients not commonplace as far as my kitchen cupboards are concerned. Now they are. ;) The same goes for The Art of Tofu. So I’ll probably be checking their indexes out again in the near future. I’m specifically interested in Akasha’s baking blend that works as an egg-replacer. There are several easier egg-substitutes around so I’m curious if this one’s better than the others.

Let’s hope I’ll manage to review all of these vegan cookbooks in the near future!

Do you have any recommendations on books I should add to this collection?
It goes without saying that they don’t need to be Dutch!

Currently reading

Tinkers (Paul Harding)Of course there’s other bookish news as well. I’m currently reading Tinkers by Paul Harding; a recommendation on Books on the Nightstand (a podcast I like to listen to). I first started reading about 2 months ago but couldn’t get into it, even though the starting point is pretty interesting. The first line of the book:

George Washington Crosby began to hallucinate eight days before he died.

After finishing all 3 volumes of Haruki Murakami’s 1q84 last week I decided to give Tinkers another try. It’s a quick read and didn’t win last year’s Pulitzer Prize for nothing, right?!

I’m about a third in and this time I actually like it! :) That just goes to show you the moment or emotional state in which you read a work of fiction does influence your appreciation. At least it does with me. :)

24 hour readathon

And yay, it’s that time of year again! Dewey’s semi-annual 24 hour readathon runs on Saturday October 22nd. I usually just join the fall edition and I’m a bit sad that I can only partly participate this time because of an important birthday party I’m going to.

So here’s what I’m going to do.

  • The official starting time in my area is 2pm (GMT+1). That would hardly leave me any time to read so I’ll be beginning my readathon at 8am.
  • As I will be staying over after the party I’ll stop the readathon at the beginning of the evening (before or during our trip) and write a wrap-up post on Sunday afternoon when I’m back home.
  • Due to this I don’t think I’ll be participating in (m)any mini-challenges…

Next Sunday I’ll show you the books I plan to pick from! Are you joining in as well? Reading rules!

Sunday Salon logoThe Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of book lovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

This post is also submitted to Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking.

Easy Summer (Picnic) Pie

With our CSA veggies from Amelis’Hof comes a leaflet, de Amelisbode, usually containing a recipe for some of the week’s vegetables. This week it’s a savoury ‘Picnic Pie’ with oven-roasted garlic, tomatoes and rosemary. I only had to substitute the anchovies to make it vegan/vegetarian! The rosemary came from the herb garden on our balcony.

This recipe is definitely a keeper so I’d like to share it with you for Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking and the Whip Up Something New! challenge (which I’m hosting this month btw). It’s the ultimate summer pie! And since I made a few more adaptations I feel it’s okay to rename it. :)

Amelis’Hof Summer (Picnic) Pie with Garlic and Tomatoes

Ingredients
Serves 2.

  • olive oil
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 350 gr tomatoes
  • 1 small or 1/2 big red onion
  • 3 sheets of vegan puff pastry
  • 12 black olives
  • 1 tbs caper berries
  • 1 tbs of chopped rosemary
  • (optional) some chopped oregano or other fresh herb of you choice
  • freshly ground salt & pepper

Easy Summer (Picnic) Pie

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Soak sun-dried tomatoes in hot water.
  3. Separate garlic cloves — leave the skin on! — and put them in some olive oil in a high oven-proof dish.
    Easy Summer (Picnic) Pie
  4. Cut tomatoes in thick slices, put them in an oven dish.
  5. Slice red onion and add to tomatoes.
  6. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil over the tomato-onion mix, and add some freshly ground salt & pepper.
    Easy Summer (Picnic) Pie
  7. Roll out pastry dough and fill baking dish, punching a few holes in the bottom with a fork. Layer with beans or ceramic beads for pre-baking.
    Whatever you’re using for blind baking; it’s always smart to put some parchment paper in first to prevent your beans/beads from sticking to the dough… I often forget. ;)
    Easy Summer (Picnic) Pie
  8. Put all three dishes in the oven and bake puff pastry for 10 minutes, tomatoes and garlic  15 minutes.
  9. In the meantime mince olives, caper berries (you may want to rinse these first if they’re really salty) and soaked sun-dried tomatoes.
  10. After 10 minutes take your pie dough out of the oven, remove blind filling and bake for another 5 minutes.
  11. Now your tomatoes, garlic and puff pastry should be ready at about the same time. Allow the roasted garlic to cool for a few minutes.
  12. Peel the garlic cloves, mince, and mix HALF of it with the olives, sun-dried tomatoes and capers.
    Easy Summer (Picnic) Pie
  13. Spread the mixture on the bottom of your pie, layer with tomatoes and onion, add rosemary (& other fresh herbs of your choice) and the rest of the crushed garlic. Sprinkle with a little more salt & pepper.
    Easy Summer (Picnic) Pie
  14. Put your picnic pie into the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

BON APPETIT!

We had this quiche accompanied by a green salad with asparagus, more fresh herbs from our ‘garden’ (thyme & oregano), chopped walnuts & pistachios and a balsamic vinegar dressing with extra virgin olive oil, agave syrup, salt and pepper. I’m afraid the picture has a weird colour: we had the shades down because it was so sunny!

Easy Summer (Picnic) Pie

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& Part of Zesty Palette’s ongoing Bake Fest #4 hosted by Tomato Blues

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