Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Review and a Recipe

So here is the first cookbook review that I am ever doing! First I feel I should start out by saying that I own all of the books that I am intending to review and have either bought them myself (and so probably have read reviews of them some place else) or they have been been given to me as gifts by friends and family.

The book I am going to review is by Annabel Langbein and it is called Eat Fresh. I bought this book before she was on TV in Australia because I loved the photos in it and how much information there was about ingredients, growing ingredients and as well as a collection of personal stories.

Annabel has since released other cookbooks and products and here is the link to her website. I really fell in love with Annabel on my honeymoon (I know it should have been my husband) when I visted Lake Wanaka (see picture below) where Annabel's TV show is based. I know that she doesn't live there all year round but I still made my husband drive around and look for her property in the hard-to-drive-camper we hired. Love him!

The book is divided into seasons and then within each season, the focus is on produce and different ways of cooking the same ingredient. Although I am vegetarian the book is not, and I do not find the recipes for meat to take up too much space. There are many recipes suitable for vegetarians and also for pescetarians (which is what I am really). Most of the recipes are lighter than they traditionally might be. For example, the Carbonara does not have cream in it.

Each season proceeds through starters and salads to heavier meals and then to desserts.
The recipe I wanted to share is based on Annabel's Summer Cob Salad on p86. Basically the salad consists of fresh corn, avocado, tomato and basil and a pesto dressing. However I did not have any avocado (it had gone bad) and the pesto dressing I used was half mine and half Annabel's so here is my version of Salad and Petso:
  • 3 Ears of corn cooked and cooled. Remove the kernels from the corn. Give a taste to the cat.
  • 6 Cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • Croutons made from sourdough bread toasted and rubbed with garlic and Italian herbs (2 slices)
  • Pesto dressing (see below)

Pesto Dressing (really just Pesto):

  • Pine nuts toasted (2 Tablespoons)
  • Raw Almonds toasted (2 Tablespoons)
  • I bunch Basil
  • 2 handfuls of rocket (put in colander and blanch and refresh - should look much less and cooked)
  • Grating of Parmesan
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil

I make my pesto in the food processor by putting in all the ingredients, except the Olive Oil, and whiz to a mush and the pour Olive Oil in the funnel until it looks like the right consistency and the taste and adjust seasonings.

This was the first time I had added almonds or rocket and I thought it mellowed out the flavour of the garlic significantly (which I like). It also means that it costs less to make as basil and pine nuts are more expensive than almonds and rocket (at least in Australia - and I cannot get Basil to grow). In Annabel's Pesto recipe she uses only almonds and rocket.

The pesto made enough for the salad (which I was so excited to eat that I forgot to take a photo of it) and my lunch (see photo below) with still some left over. The salad made three serves.

1 comment:

Retro Barbie said...

Sounds like a good cookbook, hope you enjoyed your lunch, it looks great!

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