Green Bean Salad with Slow-Baked Tomato and Goat’s Cream Cheese

1409.2_4_2I cannot write too much about this dish before actually giving you the recipe, since you have to make this rather quickly. Firstly, because it is utterly delicious, and secondly, because this dish depends on all its components being at the height of their existence: in absolute high season. And let me tell you: winter is coming (I was woken up by crows shouting this morning – no kidding). At least these last days here in southern Germany: I have started to put on a jacket again and I am wearing thick woolen socks as I’m writing this. So: Get to your nearest farmer’s market, harvest everything you need, and treat yourself to this plate of summer. Continue reading

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Provisions from the Picture Pantry: Time-Crunchy Zucchini & Feta Yufka

1408.1_coverI am living the absolute Einstein experience these days. I don’t know about you, but each time my annual summer holiday draws near, the relativity of time becomes oh so apparent to me: at the office, time seems to go by both ultra-slowly (what? five more days?!) and ultra fast simultaneously (what? so much left to do?!). In-between freak outs and trying to retain composure, there wasn’t much time for any cooking or fancy eating these last weeks (except for the wonderful cook-out at Summer of Supper two weeks ago), let alone coming up with a blog-post from scratch. So before I leave you for my well-deserved and much needed summer vacation, I took to the “Picture Pantry” of food photos I have taken ages ago, way before I started writing brag&butter, and went foraging for something I could maybe add to some quick writing and turn into a last post before I take off for my vacation. Hey! Nothing bad about that: haven’t we all turned pantry staples and preserves into delectable dinners? There you are. Scrolling through some really bad and some rather good photos of some well-remembered and some long forgotten suppers with friends, I discovered a gem – both because the photos looked decent and it’s a perfect recipe for these summer days: my Zucchini & Feta Yufka is simple, rapid and oh so picknickable. Continue reading

Fava Bean, Green Asparagus and Watercress Salad with Garlick-&-Nigella Dressing

Fava Bean, Green Asparagus and Watercress Salad with Garlick-&-Nigella Dressing @ bragnbutter.wordpress.comThink of this as my version of a green smoothie. The best thing about it? It’s not an actual green smoothie. This salad will most probably not make you live considerably longer, cure any diseases or make you lose 6 pounds in two hours, I’m sorry. But, instead of being a more or less desirable pulpy concoction of fruit and leafy greens, it is an appealing and delicious assembly that celebrates the textures of spring vegetables and comes with a ton of flavor: creamy fava beans and tender green asparagus, tumbled with crunchy watercress and cool mint are tossed in a simple dressing of sharp young garlic and pungent nigella seed. It’s a joy to eat and look at, and to me, joy is what eating and food should be all about.

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Lonesome Lentils & Solitary Pleasures

1401.3_coverSome people say everything tastes better with bacon. For others it’s chocolate. For me, everything tastes better with – well, okay, butter of course, but I’m trying to make a different point here – with company. Eating is a profoundly social activity and I am a very social eater. I hate eating alone, even if it is the tiniest snack (my snacks are never tiny, but anyway). Apart from the actual eating (which I love), I so much enjoy the talking, laughing, caring for each other, and spending time together, that sharing a meal is as well. However, every now and then, a solitary supper all by myself, cuddled up in bed with a bowl of spoonable goodness can be a true solitary pleasure.  Continue reading

Roasted Parsnip Salad w/ Brown Butter Dressing & Dill

1312.2coverI have the feeling there is some kind of lookist prejudice towards winter vegetables. Winter (at least in Germany) seems to be the time when farmer’s markets turn into vanity fairs: all the sun-soaked desirable produce beauties have vanished and we seem to be left with their less desirable frumpy cousins that will make our kitchens smell and our digestion troubled (cabbage) or our hips wider (sugary root vegetables). But there are hidden treasures – literally: beneath the surface (where it so often lies) there is unexpected beauty. Continue reading

Neon Crunch & Punch Pickle

Neon Crunch & Punch PickleWith Scandinavian cuisine growing in vogue during the last few years, the humble practice of pickling has become all the rage. At first, I didn’t even care. Now I am a heavy user. Continue reading