Riffing on Myself


Remember how I couldn’t stop making this Nigel Slater soup with roasted salmon for my dinner guests? Well, I knew I had to knock it off, but I wasn’t quite ready.

So I made my buddy Rose another green soup- this time Yotam Ottelenghi’s chickpea and watercress soup from his book Jerusalem– and also a steak salad. Jerusalem is a really beautiful book and it’s great for middle eastern recipes. I often struggle to find decent Turkish recipes (I guess everyone just has all of their grandmother’s recipes memorized or something) and a lot of these Israeli recipes are quite similar and well-written. In keeping with the middle eastern palate I had going, I whipped up a little hummus and garnished it with pine nuts.

And then you MUST do a loaf of homemade rustic bread with a simple soup, of course.

Verdict on the soup: you can’t beat the Nigel Slater soup. It has mint. And sweet peas. It pops.

Soup Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
240g cooked chickpeas
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (I used shallots. I prefer shallots.)
15g finely chopped fresh ginger
600ml vegetable stock
200g watercress (I used arugula- couldn’t find watercress ANYWHERE!)
100g spinach leaves, washed
Greek yogurt, to serve

Soup Method:
Very gently saute the shallots in the olive oil. Add the ginger and then the stock. Next add the chickpeas and greens and simmer for 10 minutes. You’re wilting the greens more than cooking them. Salt to taste.

Puree everything with a hand blender. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or creme fraiche.

Hummus Ingredients:
3 cup cooked chickpeas
6 1/2 cups water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini (light roast)
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, crushed
6 1/2 tablespoons ice cold water
Smoked paprika and pine nuts to garnish

Hummus Method:
Puree all ingredients except the ice water in a food processor or blender. Slowly add the water and continue to puree until smooth and creamy.

Steak for Salad:
1 pound porterhouse steak
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
Cajun spice rub

Dressing for Salad and Steak:
A few tablespoons tahini
Drizzle olive oil

Method for Steak:
Although not my strong suit, I wanted to move outside the comfort zone so I prepared a big ole cut of meat. It’s messy, it’s smoky, and underdone –> done –> overdone happens in a flash! I consulted Alice Waters’ recommendations to soothe my nerves.

Salt and pepper steak generously on both sides.

Add spice rub.

Let steak sit for 30-minutes.

Get a heavy-bottomed pan very hot, add vegetable oil and sear steak on each side 2-minutes. Bring the heat down and cook steak about 5 or 6-minutes each side with the lid on. Let rest then slice thinly over salad greens.


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