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In Like a Lion. Out like a Salad?

I have been all quiet on the blogging front because a) I have been too busy trying new restaurants with Tom that I have let the kitchen go cold and b) I’ve got spring fever. As the daffodils and tulips resurrect themselves from winter slumber, I too feel as though my cooking is in a transitional phase. With the first signs of green in the garden, for me it’s all about keeping things fresh and simple. I actually hate using those words in a sentence because they are probably the most overused and cliched terms when it comes to discussing food. I used to work on a food programme where the chefs would end every recipe with “What could be simpler?” It was so annoying and repetitive that it became a running joke with the crew.

But truth be told, I’ve been worried if my dishes of late have enough to them to be blog worthy. It’s easy to write about winter dishes. There’s stewing and baking, sauces and gravies. There’s long ingredient lists and lots of process. But what happens when you saute some purple sprouting broccoli with lemon, olive oil, garlic, salt and chili? Well, you have one sentence.

The other night, I tried to complicate things by making a chicken roulade. I felt guilty that I hadn’t cooked anything with enough complexity to warrant significant blog space. But unfortunately, I came to one conclusion -now’s not the time for roulades. The over manipulation was a turn off. But what did shine was the broccoli, picked fresh from my flatmate’s garden.

So with that, I bring you several posts on salads. Nothing fancy, just letting the ingredients speak for themselves. It may not be blog worthy, but what could be simpler?
Warm Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad with Cannellini Beans and Chili
  • 3 coves of garlic, minced
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp of dried chili flakes
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tin of cannelli beans
  • a bit of water
  • a bunch of fresh purple sprouting broccoli, cleans and trimmed
Heat olive oil in a pan and medium heat. Saute garlic, chili, lemon juice, zest, and beans. Add a bit of water so the beans don’t dry out and cook for 10 minutes or until beans are tender. Add the broccoli and saute for an additional 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then serve.


  1. Tess

    I love it! Since I often orders only sides (due to my always-vegetarian often-vegan ways), I can't tell you how much a dish of perfect broccoli or transcendent cauliflower means to me. As you say, it's easy to impress with complex dishes but to blow someone's mind with kale? And kale they paid $8 for? Much harder.

    Your side dishes are always perfection- I'm making this tomorrow.

  2. Jen

    TESS! You are always a little ray of sunshine. When I am missing you guys, I just pop onto the Miette site to get my fix. Love what you are doing over there. Tell Sammy hello, and that I will use you two as inspiration for the coming posts. Stay tuned…

  3. Helen (Fuss Free Flavours)

    That sounds lovely. We have just eaten 4 types of greens sauted with some garlic, lemon and soy. Simple and delicious.

  4. The Grubworm

    Simple sides are often the main event. Like great Japanese and Italian cooking, the ingredient becomes the star, not messing around with it too much leads to a great dish.

    And I'm so with you on the turning of the seasons leading to a different style of food – les stews and braises, more salads and – yes – sides. Sometimes, all i want is some steamed, lightly fried or raw veg. Perfect.

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