Roasted Carrots, Crispy Lentils & Spicy Yoghurt

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The crazy vegetables
Uncurled
Their tendrills and leaf-crowns,
Throbbing bulbs,
In the sub-soil
The carrot
With its red mustaches
Was sleeping…

From ‘Ode To The Artichoke’ by Pable Neruda

Pablo Neruda was one of the first poets that I learned to love, and one that I still love to this day. I have several of his collections sitting on my book shelf, tattered and well-thumbed, as all good books are. A prolific poet, his work is considerable. He is probably best known for his love poems and sonnets which are, undoubtedly, some of the finest you will ever read. Continue reading Roasted Carrots, Crispy Lentils & Spicy Yoghurt

Roasted Sweet Potato & Turmeric Soup

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It’s a mid-winter afternoon. The skies are heavy with bruised purple clouds, the light low and dark. I’m in the kitchen, sock-clad and lights on. The oven is heating and the room is warm; it smells of spices and roasting and comfort. The kids are sleeping and I’m listening to Philip Glass soft in the background. The bench is covered in peel and peppercorns and all kinds of mess. I’m cooking soup.

Soup is the ultimate comfort food. And spending time in front of a hot stove on a cold day is one of life’s pleasures. Soon after we moved to Brisbane we bought a big red Le Creuset pot. Over time it has become marked with use; scarred, if you will. No longer one of many exactly the same, but uniquely ours. There is something timeless about cooking a pot of soup in the Le Creuset, a sense of connecting to a long line of women cooking soup in big pots. My friend Nev describes it as a harking; “Le creuset is of a historical period, steeped in tradition and pretend memories.”    Continue reading Roasted Sweet Potato & Turmeric Soup

Roasted Beetroot with Crispy Lentils & Dill Yoghurt

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“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.

The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime…the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.

The beet was Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.”

– from Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

Continue reading Roasted Beetroot with Crispy Lentils & Dill Yoghurt

Romanesco Cauliflower, Chickpea & Mint Salad

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We just got back from a two week sojourn to Ubud, Bali, hence the lateness of this post. I did have it all cued up and ready to go while we were away but alas, we were struck with the slow internets. It’s hard to care too much though about slow internets when you’re lounging around in a sarong eating fresh mango and papaya all day.

So I actually made (and devoured) this salad a few weeks ago, when the weather was still on the cusp of summer, when there was still a hint of cool breeze in the evening. This is a perfect season-cusp salad, with the heartiness of cauliflower combined with the spring of mint and pomegranate. Since we got back though, the heat seems to have settled in. Brisbane is dry – the park is a sea of dusty brown and street-side trees are withering and dying with all of the lack-of-rain. Continue reading Romanesco Cauliflower, Chickpea & Mint Salad