An improvised salad dressing, or a lunch-time hack

Salad bowl with yogur dressing

I brought a salad to the office on Friday, which is not unusual. But I was in a rush in the morning and didn’t prepare the little container with the dressing (olive oil, vinegar, salt).

As I started cycling towards the office, I expected / hoped / vaguely remembered that the office kitchen had some bottles of these.

Imagine my sheer horror when, hours later, I turn up at the kitchen and… nope. There was nothing of that. There was sugar, marmite, sriracha (hot sauce), salt, pepper, other random things… but absolutely no olive oil or vinegar.

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Leek and broccoli risotto

Leek and broccoli risotto

I signed up to a “British vegetable box”, and what that translates into these days is: a lot of leeks, carrots and potatoes.

It’s a fun challenge to come up with new recipes (new to me, I suppose!) to use them in different ways.

So after I made a leek and potato soup (a Devvers classic), I devised a leek, carrot and potato fritatta, and then… a leek and broccoli risotto for Sunday lunch, because Sundays should be for rice dishes!

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Cauliflower fritters

Cauliflower fritters, with salad and black tahini sauce

I bought some spices online, and an interesting looking recipe by Susie Morrison (Gourmet Glow) was included in the box. I did not have any better ideas for dinner, so I thought: why not try this?

What a success! We’ve made several times already, and I predict there will be more repeats (if only because we’ve bought more za’atar—all these repeats depleted our stock!)

That said, the original instructions confused me a bit, and they also suggested using some ingredients I did not have at hand, so this is my own interpretation, adjusted to my own way of cooking.

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Dukkah

A jar of home made dukkah

Having this in your kitchen will not literally change your life… but it will be quite close because you’ll want to add it to almost everything!

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Pa de Sant Antoni (savoury, with sourdough)

The crumb of a plaited Saint Anthony's bread

After my first attempt at a Pa de Sant Antoni and realising that it was sweeter than I remembered it, I decided to develop a recipe for a savoury version.

I was also really determined that it had to be a plaited bread, which inevitably forces you to use a less wet dough so you can handle and shape it without losing your wits.

The result, once baked, has less definition in the plait than I’d like, but I am very pleased with the bread itself nonetheless. The crumb was quite open, and the anise flavour was there to give it the air of an special bread. I also practiced “painting” the surface with water to give it a smoother surface, and it worked! It felt a bit like biting into a brioche. Quite interesting!

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