Tuesday 22 March 2011


The other day I was thinking about catching up here and thinking about what to write but for some reason I felt like there wasn't much to say.

It's silly really. That implies that I haven't been cooking, haven't been making new recipes, haven't been doing this thing that this space is supposed to be about but that just isn't true. In the last few months I have cooked more new recipes than I have for a very long time. I've been braising fennel and chicory and cabbage, making curries from cauliflower and chickpeas, eating quick soups with sourdough from my new favourite place. I've been boiling kale to eat on toast with a fried egg, wilting spinach with onion and aleppo pepper for Saturday lunch, making basic salads to bring to work.

So why, with all of this going on have I not been coming here to say look, look at this cauliflower which I didn’t think much of before now, look at this red kale that made our toast go purple, look at the fennel with its caramelised edges so perfect for serving with sticky sausages?

I'm going to put it down to the end of Winter. It's been my excuse for everything lately but gosh it was starting to drag with its cold and its darkness. But this week, we have seen some sun, real sun with a hint of warmth, and now I can imagine long, bright evenings. I can almost even imagine Summer.

So, for now, I will continue. I will continue opening up The Art of Braising to decide what to make for dinner, continue perusing blogs for new ways with vegetables, continue reading, continue waking up to the idea of Spring. And, for now I'll just give you this...

Serves 2

Clicia is a small restaurant in Stoke Newington. We would go for breakfast and I would order the breakfast of fried halloumi, garlicky sausage, olives and cucumber while Chris ate two poached eggs on toast with a side of spinach. In our last weeks in London I started to order the spinach and, when our flat was full of boxes we would go most lunchtimes to spend a little time enjoying eggs, spinach and toast. That spinach was good but I didn't think about trying to recreate the taste until we made Molly's boiled kale and it all clicked into place. We ate spinach with caraway seed bread and scrambled eggs for lunch that Saturday.

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small onion
a pinch of aleppo pepper flakes
250g of spinach, rinsed

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and allow it to cook until tender and translucent. Now add the pepper flakes and the spinach and allow it to wilt in the pan. After a minute or two the spinach will be cooked through. Serve with eggs and toast.


Anna's kitchen table said...

Gemma, don't worry, I think most bloggers go through phases of not having much to say. A culinary writers block!
Hopefully with the arrival of spring, and fresher lighter dishes (and days!) your mojo will come bouncing back!

Gemma said...

Thanks Anna. The sun is shining today and it was warm enough to sit outside at lunch so I'm feeling much more motivated!


Alicia Foodycat said...

I do know the feeling! I cook pretty much every night, but I mostly can't think of anything to say.