ee cummings

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Viva Sweet Springtime: Two Astonishing Spring Dishes

Published April 17, 2014 by The Feminist

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On this beautiful sunny day I think it is best to shut up for once and let some poetry do the talking. I am a huge EE Cummings fan and am often left bewildered by his astonishingly beautiful absurdity. The following poem truly captures the spirit of spring and the rhythm of these sexy vegetarian dishes. It is full of life. Full of love. Full of joy.

“sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in
are winging in the blossoming)

lovers go and lovers come
awandering awondering
but any two are perfectly
alone there’s nobody else alive

(such a sky and such a sun
i never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes)

not a tree can count his leaves
each herself by opening
but shining who by thousands mean
only one amazing thing

(secretly adoring shyly
tiny winging darting floating
merry in the blossoming
always joyful selves are singing)

sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”

 

I couldn’t possibly give you a better introduction to the recipes myself.

So please, enjoy!

Feta, Pea and Mint Quiche

This wonderful quiche is a celebration of spring flavours. The sweetness of the peas dances a classic waltz with the fresh mint and together they rumba sensually with the sharpness of the feta cheese.  Perfect for a springtime brunch!

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Ingredients:

  • One sheet of short crust pastry
  • 400gr frozen peas
  • 5 tbsp freshly chopped mint
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 300gr feta cheese, cut into chunks

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Blind bake the short crust pastry in a lined pie case for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the peas in salted water until just tender. Mash the peas together with some olive oil, pepper, salt and ground cumin and stir in the chopped mint leaves.
  3. Once your pastry comes out of the oven, spread the pea “pesto” on the bottom of your pastry case. Now put the feta cheese on top in any kind of pattern you fancy.
  4. Mix the eggs with the milk and salt and pepper and pour over the filling of your quiche.
  5. Put in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Exotic White Asparagus Omelet

White asparagus are a true delicacy this time of year and are often referred to as “white gold”. Although that last part might be a bit exaggerated, I do want to stress that white asparagus are divinely delicious. Traditionally they are served with a hollandaise sauce, eggs or smoked salmon, but as you all know, I like to think outside the box and wanted to try something different with these beauties. I made an exotic omelet with them. That earthy flavour of the asparagus went wonderfully well with the coconut, chili, lime and curry in the egg batter. It may seems strange at first, but trust me when I say that this tropical version is to die for.

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Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 6-8 white asparagus, peeled and cleaned
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed, toasted
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ½ chili pepper, finely chopped
  • Zest of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut

Method:

  1. Steam the asparagus until just al dente.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs with all the other herbs and spices and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the asparagus for a minutes. Now pour in your egg batter and let the omelet fry on a medium heat until just set.
  4. Finally, sprinkle on some extra sesame seeds and finish with a good squeeze of lime juice. Delish!

 

Spring on a Plate: Rigatoni with Asparagus and Prawns

Published May 15, 2013 by The Feminist

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When seasons change, so do the vegetables in our garden. Everyone knows you get the tastiest tomatoes in the summer, the biggest pumpkins in the fall and the pinkest rhubarb in the spring. This pasta dish is incredibly delicious thanks to the wonderful sweetness of the white asparagus. For once, I’m actually grateful to live in Belgium, one of the few countries that cultivates these lovely jewels. They are one of my favorite vegetables and I tend to go completely overboard when the asparagus season starts in April, eating white asparagus at least once a week.

Traditionally, they are served with a classic hollandaise sauce or melted butter, but –as always- I try to avoid the traditional recipes and do my own thing. (hell yeah!) Combining the indescribable flavour of the white asparagus with al dente pasta and the sweetness of the prawns, almost makes me lyrical. Since I’m not really gifted when it comes to writing poetry, I thought I would simply post one of my favorite poems by E.E. Cummings to get you in the perfect spring mood before you start cooking…

“sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in
are winging in the blossoming)

lovers go and lovers come
awandering awondering
but any two are perfectly
alone there’s nobody else alive

(such a sky and such a sun
I never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes)

not a tree can count his leaves
each herself by opening
but shining who by thousands mean
only one amazing thing

(secretly adoring shyly
tiny winging darting floating
merry in the blossoming
always joyful selves are singing)

“sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”

I hope you’re all in a fantastic mood after reading this sweet, loveable poem. So get your pots and pans ready, because here’s the recipe:

Rigatoni with white asparagus and prawns

Ingredients (serves 4)

• 350gr rigatoni
• 350gr white asparagus
• 1 broccoli, cut into florets
• 2 shallots, finely chopped
• 30-40 prawns, peeled
• 200ml single cream
• 100ml vegetable stock
• 1 tbsp curry powder
• Fresh parsley
• 3 tbsp mascarpone

Method:

1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the rigatoni and cook according to packet instructions.
2. Clean the asparagus and cut them into 2cm pieces. Steam them until they are just tender.
3. Blanche the broccoli florets.
4. Fry the shallots in a some olive oil, add the cream and vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
5. Toss the prawns in the curry powder and some salt and pepper and grill them on a hot grill for one minute on each side.
6. Put all the al dente vegetables, pasta and prawns in the pan with the creamy sauce and stir through the fresh parsley and the mascarpone. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Sprinkle on some grated parmesan and dig in!