For those of you that are unaware that Sophie Dahl, previous model and daughter of Roald Dahl, has a cookbook out, and if high quality cookbooks with gorgeous, inspiring photography with simple and delicious recipes are up your alley, then you are in luck.
“Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights” is seriously the bomb. I’ve had this cookbook for almost a good year now but haven’t put it to the test much. Previously it was only available through Amazon by import but apparently you can get it now with much ease through Amazon directly. Anyway, nearly every recipe has a beautiful photo that pairs along with it, and the book is divided up into the four seasons (yay! it’s more Ayurvedic than I thought!). She includes stories and musings as introductions to each season and why she loves the particular recipes and foods. There are even European and U.S. metric conversions so you don’t always have to scratch your head, look up your reference books or do the calculations. In Autumn, there is Indian Sweet Potato Pancakes, Rice Pudding cereal with Pear Puree, Buckwheat Risotto with Wild Mushrooms, Eggplant Parmigiana. For Winter, enjoy “Hangover Eggs”, Grilled Bananas with Greek yogurt and Agave, Warm Winter Root Vegetable Salad, Curried Parsnip soup, Brown rice Risotto with Pumpkin, Mascarpone, and Sage, or Roald Dahl’s Chicken Curry. Springtime Scrambled Tofu with Pesto and Spinach, Grilled Figs with Ricotta and Thyme Honey (unfortunately they’re out of season in Spring… I’m a little confused on this one), Asparagus soup, Prawn Avocado Grapefruit salad. And Summertime! Breakfast burritos, Homemade Muesli, Avocado soup, Beetroot soup, Coconut Curry with Prawns, Wild Rice Risotto. Convinced? You should be. It’s rare that I want to recreate almost every single recipe from one single book. Just talking about it inspires me to cook from it more, which is the point I guess. Anyway, the first thing I’ve made out of it thus far has been poached eggs on portobello mushrooms with goat’s cheese. So easy, simple, and delicious! Especially when I get too breaded out and am not in the mood for oatmeal or toast. It’s a nice and light breakfast that is quite satisfying. I also added some mixed salad greens below the mushroom like it showed in the picture although it was not required in the recipe. Mushrooms and eggs are a great pairing, especially for breakfast. Poaching eggs is my new favorite thing. All you need is a little vinegar and you’ve got the best egg under the sun. Try it out for yourself.
Poached Eggs on Portobello Mushrooms with Goat’s Cheese
from Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights
2 generously sized portobello mushrooms
Salt and pepper
2 thick rounds of soft goat’s cheese
1 teaspoon of white vinegar for poaching
1 sprig of fresh tarragon (I used thyme)
baby spring mix (optional)
Preheat the grill (I used a George Foreman grill because it’s so easy). Wash the mushrooms and remove the stalks, season with salt and pepper and give them a glug of olive oil; a spoonful should do. Crumble the goat’s cheese.
Pop the mushroom stalk-side up under the grill for about 5 minutes (or just press your grill cover down). While they are searing away, poach the eggs in a pan of gently boiling water (a teaspoon of white vinegar should stop them separating).
You can do one of two things with the goat’s cheese: you can add it on top of the mushrooms when you put them under the grill, so it browns, or you can put it on just after they come out.
You should poach the eggs for about 3 minutes if you want them soft in the middle (5 if you want them stern and unyielding). Drain them, put them on top of your crumbly goat’s cheese/mushroom mix, scatter some chopped tarragon or thyme on the top, grind on a bit of pepper, and voila!
Speaking of other great new and beautiful cookbooks out there in the world emphasizing seasonal eating, I recently purchased “Earth to Table: Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm” that includes essays, recipes, and how-to’s about the concept of Slow Food and the importance of supporting local and organic farmers. For example, there is a write up on how to go foraging for fiddlehead ferns or morel mushrooms in the Spring, or how to compost or start an herb garden, how to can and preserve fruits and vegetables. There are certain chefs featured and interviewed from Seattle to Florida. Recipes from here include ones like Rhubarb Compote, Gnudi with Ramps, Morels & Fiddleheads (Gnudi is apparently a “naked pasta”… intriguing), Milk & Honey bread for Spring. Summer includes Watermelon Agua Frescas, Eggplant Caponata, Corn Soup, and Pickled Beets. Fall (my personal favorite, of course) inspires me to want to make every recipe–Mulled Cranberry Cider, Heirloom Beet Salad with Feta and Pumpkin Seeds, French Onion Soup, Squash, Sage, and Pancetta Pizza, Roasted Mushrooms, Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Apple & Parsnip Puree, White Truffle Risotto with Cauliflower, Mile-High Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Seed Brittle, and Roasted Autumn Fruits with Torched Sabayon. Winter recipes include a Venison Pub Pie with Chestnuts and Parsnips, Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Watercress and Horseradish, Rabbit Stew with Herbed Dumplings, Bread and Butter Pudding, Spiced Hot Chocolate, and Oatmeal Molasses Bread. Oh me oh my. I love books like this.
So many cookbooks, so many recipes, so little time!