Saturday, February 16, 2008

i couldn't help myself

I love recipe books, a trait I have no doubt stems from my mother and her rich collection.

Not long after we got married Frank humoured my recipe book obsession and bought me a small bookshelf which has gradually filled with a collection of yummy books.

When it came to Christmas 2007, Frank was as stumped as ever at what to buy me. I suggested a fancy recipe book and pointed out a some of the fine specimens that could be found at a local book store. Frank (secretly) settled on Nigella Express and I duly received it on Christmas morning. Thankyou lovely Frank.

And then my recipe book cup did run over, for following on from Frank's present came a plethora of recipe books from my Mum, my brother and sister in law and a friend. (the barbecue bible was a gift to Frank, but since he doesn't cook I'm counting it in) Ah, recipe book heaven.

Then while we were travelling in South Australia in December, and in particular on Kangaroo Island, (yes Mum, I will get to blogging about the trip, I promise) I spied a cute farming recipe book and added it to my collection.

So now my little recipe shelf is pretty well full up. But I just can't help myself. When I noticed a 1800 number promising a free recipe book from the Tahini jar I had to phone up and place my order.

And now my recipe collection is complete...

... for a while.

I'm still working my way through the new books and discovering our favourites, but here is a recipe we enjoy quite often from cool food:

Brown rice and puy lentils with pine nuts and spinach

200g (1 cup) brown rice
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
185g (1 cup) puy lentils (or green or brown lentils)
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons chopped coriander
3 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
90g (2 cups) baby spinach leaves, washed

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the rice, and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan and add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until softened, then add the put lentils and 375ml (1 1/2 cups) water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, but do not rinse. Combine with the rice, tomato, coriander and mint in a large bowl.

Whisk the remaining oil with the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the salad, add the pine nuts and the spinach, and toss well to combine.

Serves 6-8

Bon Appetit!

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At 6:13 am, February 17, 2008, Blogger Mike S said...

Dang! Now ya done went and made me get the munchies!!:):)

At 4:08 am, February 18, 2008, Blogger Sandy's Notes said...

I'm in the mood for cooking. I made chili last night, today is simple meat loaf, but I have a secret recipe that my family loves. Perhaps this week will be your recommendation.

You should show photos of your new recipes for us Cec.

At 7:18 pm, February 18, 2008, Blogger Lucidiocy said...


I think Nigella is divine because she taught me confidence in the kitchen. Plus, she cracks me up.

Good food and laughter-- what every kitchen needs.

btw I have a card to send you, but I lost your addy (well, actually I saved it, but Jeff put it away with some other papers in the spider infested shed and I am too afraid to sift through it)send it to my email pretty please.


At 7:26 pm, February 18, 2008, Anonymous Loes said...

From one cookbook addict to another: 'Made in Italy' by Giorgio Locatelli is amazing! The recipes I tried so far are yummie and he writes about food with great passion. Made me wish I was Italian...

I'm definately gonna try this recipe of yours :0)

At 1:38 pm, February 19, 2008, Blogger Cherie said...

I share your love of cookbooks, too, Cecily. I was just looking at my shelf of them today, thinking of you. I've got them from all over, each reminding me of a point in my life when I acquired the book, and lovingly searched its pages.

Going to try your recipe, too. Looks fantastic! Thanks!

At 10:08 pm, February 20, 2008, Blogger mountainmama said...

Yummy...made something similar last weekend while on my own (ie. the only one who would appreciate it anyway...lol).

From one cookbook devotee to another - really, you're not too bad. You know those book-size packing boxes? You know how I moved a few weeks ago? Picture 3 of those. (I nearly said 2, not counting the one full of Woman's Weekly soft-backs and Delicious and Good Taste magazines...but who am I trying to kid?!) ;)


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