Artichokes were always something mysterious to me. They were either painted on my favourite classical still lifes by old Dutch masters or appeared in the recipes of famous food bloggers I follow on the Instagram. I tried them pickled on the top of pizza, but I always wanted to try them fresh. Artichokes are neither usual in my native Odessa (and I can’t understand why, the climate there is close to North Mediterranean now) nor in Bratislava. However Tesco gave me another surprise and last week I found Violetto artichokes among vegetables right under a box with rhubarb. The price was high enough, so I bought just some. Of course they were not so fresh, beautiful and fragrant as those at Italian or French farm markets, but ok, it’s still nice that I can expand my cooking horizons.
I honestly tried to break this “no meat recipes” circle in my blog but it’s hard to switch to other topics when you have fresh rhubarb in your fridge. So the recipe of rabbit stew will wait until I get enough of rhubarb. This week I decided to combine sour rhubarb with sweet bananas in muffins (muffins are my current baking favourites as they are so easy to make and can have so many varieties). Inspiration for this recipe was found on Rhubarb Central which is a great page where you can find everything about rhubarb.
Well known rule “Good things come to those who wait” works perfectly. What was waiting for me in almost empty Tesco on Sunday late evening? Right, it was long long waited rhubarb. It was even on sale and a good bunch cost unbelievable 15 cents. Was I happy? Oh yes, considering that I was trying to buy it during last 3 weeks. This weekend recipe will have obvious topic: rhubarb cake.
2 weeks has passed since my last post was published. Now try to guess, what I was looking for during all this time? Rhubarb is the answer. I haven’t found it yet and it’s a kind of culinary frustration as I was looking forward to cooking something with it so much (it’s hard to believe but I’ve never tried rhubarb yet). There is just no rhubarb in Bratislava, at least in all grocery stores where I usually do shopping and even farm market can‘t help this time. However, I don’t lose hope to bake my first Rhubarb cake.
So I will not write about Rhubarb in this post, but I will share Chickpea flour tofu recipe.
After reading my so far favourite book about food history, Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People by Linda Civitello, I became interested in New World crops. Quinoa was one of them, but the price for even a small package was so high that I always held myself from buying it with a quote “stop buying avocado on a toast if you want to afford the house “. Last visit to Tesco brought me a surprise, 250 package of quinoa for the price that I could name “still overpriced, but I can try it”. What cook from quinoa on May in Slovakia when famous May bryndza cheese is available in all stores? I have an obvious answer: just combine these 2 products in 1 dish. The result is great 🙂
I‘ve tried to bake these muffins for 3 times and each time I failed: they were or too dry and reminded cookies, or didn’t rise or “exploded” in the oven. despite of the fact that I followed the basic recipe, something went wrong (obviously the author just used baking powder with another “baking power”). Fortunately the fourth attempt was successful so I can finally share the recipe.
My newest addiction: visiting a country house in Nová Baňa, a small town surrounded by the mountains in central Slovakia. It’s a great place for digital detox (as I have internet only on my iphone and a signal is weak) and just for relax and cooking experiments*.
I’ve been there this weekend and found that spring came to Nová Baňa 2 weeks later than in Bratislava. Even lilac is not in bloom in Nová Baňa yet). This means that wild garlic is in a high season, so guess what did I take from my walk in the nearby forest?