Plum Chutney

On my last visit to the market the plums just looked too pretty so that in a food shopping spree I bought 2000g …
The first thing I made from these plums was plum goulash, but that only reduced the 2000g by 400g so there was still plenty of plums left to be made use of. And what’s better than jams, jellies and chutneys in order to make use of large amounts of fruit?

Plum Chutney

Ingredients:
(fills 4-6 small preserving jars)

1kg plums
150g apples
400 g red onions
250ml red wine (+ plum puree to taste) or plum wine
100ml balsamic vinegar
100g raw cane sugar
1 ts Dijon vinegar
1 ts curry
½ ts ground cilantro
1 ts ground cinnamon
1 ts salt
one pinch of ground chili
4 cloves of garlic, grated
250g gelling sugar, 2:1
freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Wash, dry and pit the plums and cut them into small pieces. In a bowl, weigh 1kg of the cut plums.

2. Peel and pit the apple, weighing 150g of the cut apple in a bowl.

3. Peel the onions, cut them into thin rings and weigh 400g of the cut onions in a bowl.

4. Transfer the onions into a big pot, add ingredients no. 4-13, bring to boil and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

5. Add apple and plums, stir well, bring to boil and let simmer for another 20 minutes.

6. Add the gelling sugar and stir well to prevent from scorching.

7. After about 5 minutes check on the chutney’s texture (mine was still very liquid so I transferred the chutney into a sieve, straining the liquid into a bowl for later use in sauces).

8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Transfer the chutney into clean preserving jars, twist the lids firmly and turn the jars upside down for about 5 minutes to vacuum seal them.

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Berlin Pumpkin

I’ve never spent as much time in Berlin as this year. Every single time I visited my friends I had the most wonderful days – it was magical, really.

Diane Arbus Exhibition at Gropius Bau
Market at Kollwitzplatz
Sushi Zionskirchstraße
Lass uns Freunde bleiben bar
Der Hahn ist tot restaurant
Filmgalerie 451

The picture below looks nothing as delicious as this salad actually is at all!
Inspiration: Healthy Green Kitchen

 

Hokkaido Salad with Pecans and Dates

Ingredients:
(serves 4)

Olive oil
1 TS raw cane sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 TS honey
1/8 ts cayenne pepper
100g pecan halves
1 large hokkaido
6 TS olive oil
4 TS white wine vinegar
1 TS Dijon mustard
100-200g mâche or arugular
a handful of dates, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 165°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat the parchment with olive oil.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar and 1/4 ts salt. Set aside.

3. In a frying pan, warm 2 TS of the honey over low heat. Add the cayenne pepper and stir to mix well. Add the pecans and stir to coat. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, then add the nuts to the bowl with the sugar mixture, and toss to coat. Discard the parchment paper and spread the pecans out in a single layer on the baking sheet to cool completely.

4. Raise the oven temperature to 230°C. Line a second rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and coat generously with olive oil.

5. Cut the hokkaido in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Cut the flesh into cubes (There’s no need to peel the hokkaido but you might want to wash it before use!) and pile them on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 TS of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread the hokkaido out in a single layer. Roast, turning several times, until fork-tender and lightly browned all over, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

6. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and the remaining 2 TS honey. Add the remaining 4 TS olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until a smooth, emulsified dressing forms. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Spread the mâche/arugular on 4 plates, top with the roasted hokkaido, pecans and dates and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Tarte Flambée with Caramelized Onions, Figs and Olives

As I’ve already mentioned, fall is my favourite season. First of all because I love all the colors that nature takes on with its beginning, the fog that lingers on the fields and the Rhine in the morning, sparkling in the light of the rising sun, the smell of molding apples and plums on the damp orchard lawns and the coziness at home when you have to turn on the lights or light candles in the evening because the days are getting shorter. But there’s also fall’s harvest, bringing so many delights for the tummy. Think of all the pumpkins, chestnuts, mushrooms, nuts, the vintage etc.
And I can’t wait to have my first Federweißer this year!

When I went to the market yesterday, I came home with a bag of ripe and sweet Turkish figs that I couldn’t not buy. I have friends who cultivate figs in their own garden (They actually also cultivate kiwis… Who would’ve thought this was possible here?), but as I don’t have my own garden, I have to stick with the Turkish ones. Figs are incredibly versatile: They can be eaten raw or be used for jams (on a slice of bread with brie…), salads, sauces, pizza or tarte flambée. Tarte flambée is a traditional dish from the Alsace and usually made with just bacon, onions, crème double and/or sour cream. Those who don’t have problems eating dairy products should definitely try the original recipe that can easily be found on the internet. The recipe below, however, is yeast-free with dairy- and gluten-free options. If you don’t like the crust, you can just as well make a normal pizza crust or use puff pastry cut into squares.

Inspiration, again: Authentic Suburban Gourmet

Tarte Flambée with Caramelized Onions, Figs and Olives

Ingredients:
(serves 4-6)

6 TS butter/vegetable margarine
5 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 ts sugar
salt and pepper
400g flour
260-300ml (soy)milk
2-3 TS olive oil
1/2 ts salt
4 ts baking powder
5 fresh figs, quartered
12 kalamata olives, thinly sliced
Fresh thyme
Pine nuts

Directions:

1. In a pot melt the butter/margarine, add the sliced onions and toss until well coated. Add the sugar, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until the onions are caramelized, lightly brown and sweet (30-40 minutes).

2. Preheat the oven to 220°C.

3. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, milk, olive oil, salt and baking powder (if the dough is too dry and crumbly, add more milk and olive oil) until well combined and smooth. Roll out the dough on a greased rimmed baking sheet.

4. Brush the dough with the egg yolk. First, spread the onions on the dough, then the olives,  the figs and finally the pine nuts. Season with fresh thyme.

5. Bake the tarte for about 15-20 minutes and serve with mâche.

Dahlias and Lentils

Since I’ve just started participating in the Foodie Pen Pals program, I’ve decied to continue writing in English so that everyone visiting from the program can read my posts and recipes. This month’s FFP reveal date is October 1 – I’m excited!

Although it hasn’t got much colder yet, the slowly coloring leaves and the golden sunlight of the late summer make me feel autumnal. Autumn actually is my favourite season, still, in order to preserve some of the midsummer feeling that didn’t really come up this year, I picked a bouquet of dahlias in the Drachenfelser Ländchen.

Dinner eventually turned out quite autumnal though. Inspiration: Healthy Green Kitchen.

Moroccan Lentil Soup

Ingredients:
(serves 4 )

1-2 TS olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and finely minced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
70g raisins
1 ts ground cumin
2 ts ground cinnamon
1 1/2 ts ground turmeric
2 ts ground sweet paprika
2 ts ground ginger
Pepper, salt
400g canned tomatoes with juice
150-200g sieved tomatoes
480g red lentils
500ml water or vegetable broth

Directions:

1. Heat the olive oil in a big pot and add the shallots, shortly braising them until yellow. Add the carrots, celery, raisins, garlic and spices and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the canned and the sieved tomatoes. Rinse the lentils under cold water and add to the other vegetables in the pot.

3. Add the water / vegetable broth and bring to boil. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

I had the soup with bread and diced fresh tomatoes with fresh cilantro.
The cinnamon and the raisins make this soup really special and unlike any other lentil soup!