My professor once told me that everyone’s personality has a distinct shape, much like a zodiac sign. She said that she is a circle, which somehow made perfect sense, and we proceeded to guess the shapes of everyone in the classroom. Circle? Triangle? Square? Everyone had some good laughs while guessing. I knew right then and there that I am a triangle.
I love triangles as a visual element. They always appear in my doodles, which are said to be a great tool for looking into one’s subconscious. Of course, I equally enjoy the triangle’s 3d sister, the pyramid.
Recently, when I saw a mini pyramid cake form for sale, I knew right away that I found a way to do justice to one of my favourite cakes, ginger and lemon. I’ve been making it for a couple of years now, but every bite from every batch makes me smile, close my eyes, and listen to the flavours, just like the first time around.
A simple almond and date crust (at the base of the pyramids) frames the creamy and zesty filling. Here, I sprinkled the cakes with some ground freeze-dried bananas for a pyramids of Giza effect.
Before falling in love with raw food, I went through a vegetarian phase, which lasted for several years. My kitchen shelves are still stocked with lots of inspiring cookbooks from that time. One of my favourites was New Vegetarian Food by Christine McFadden. It had a number of smart, tasty recipes that I kept coming back to, and this tart is a tribute to one of them. A sun dried tomato, basil and olive tart.
Let me just say that the recipes for both the original and raw variety of this tart are very close to my heart.
The former reminds me of the time when I just became interested in whole foods. It brings me back to those first few exciting years in the kitchen, when I discovered that nourishing food is also versatile and delicious.
The latter is a source of personal culinary achievement. I love it when a recipe that I’ve been daydreaming about comes together just the way I imagined. This raw tart tastes almost exactly like the original, or maybe even a bit better.
Of course, the original recipe calls for ricotta and parmesan cheeses, eggs and butter. After some brainstorming and careful estimations, I came up with this little tribute, and we loved it on the first try. It’s wonderfully creamy, with a subtly spiced crust, and bits of basil, sun-dried tomatoes and black Cerignola olives spread all throughout.
Luckily, it’s the season of fragrant, local & organic tomatoes here in Florida – just in time to garnish and bring some sweetness to the plate.
I made several tarts of different sizes, as I usually do with any kinds of tarts, pies, or quiches. There were individual, baby ones for Paloma and for bringing to lunch at work, and bigger ones for the whole family. I also discovered that the tart holds very well in the refrigerator for several days, unlike many other raw dishes. In fact, it becomes even better after it sits and all the flavours become integrated.
Oh Thanksgiving, how it snuck up on us this year. It seems as if just yesterday it was summer, and now there is a chill in the crisp blue air and we are entering the season of winter holidays. Our favourite. Family, friends, cooking, sharing, and being grateful for it all are all the things that I adore the most. Which is precisely why I love Thanksgiving.
I realize that the holiday is about abundance and tradition. This colourful dinner is about a new, albeit delicious, abundance. The kind that will satisfy your belly, nourish your body, but won’t leave you reaching for the antacid drawer. As for tradition, here at Golubka we always try to push the envelope and come up with tasty and healthy alternatives. That is our own little tradition.
As for tradition, here at Golubka we always try to push the envelope and come up with tasty and healthy alternatives.
Begin with turkey-shaped tarts filled with caramelized onions, mushrooms, fava beans and pomegranate sauce. A great combination of hearty flavours. Then, try a parsnip pasta – a winter root vegetable marinated in wine, and mixed with a creamy sauce of macadamia, sage and thyme.
Continue with vegetable skewers – any vegetables of your choice marinated in an aromatic mixture of oils, herbs, and spices. And what is Thanksgiving without a good cranberry sauce? Ours contains Irish moss, so that it can be presented on a plate in perfect little scoops. Just like ice cream. And for dessert – pumpkin pie. A pumpkin spice crust filled with a coconut and carrot custard.
Have a happy Thanksgiving! Eat well and rest well.
Ever since making our savoury avocado truffles, we’ve been thinking about creating a dessert version of this much loved dish. Here is a quick and simple way to prepare an elegant and challenging dessert.
The “truffles” are filled with a light chocolate mousse and coated with cacao nibs and ground pistachios. The silky flavours of avocado and chocolate are complemented by the textural, crunchy coat.
Late summer and early fall in the produce isle means grapes, all kinds of them. We’ve been thoroughly enjoying grapes for about two months now, making Muscadine grape juice almost daily and obsessing over a heavenly fig, grape, and cinnamon shake (let us know if you’d like the recipe).
Concord grapes are a special treat. They contain seeds, which nowadays seems rare and exciting. Most grapes sold in the States are seedless – a true shame considering the myriad health benefits of grape seeds. The Concord grape sorbet, besides completing the dish with beautiful jewel tones, adds a nice amount of sweetness to the mild tastes of the truffle and bitter notes of the cacao nibs. The sorbet tastes a bit like grape jelly and serves as an exciting companion that pleases both eyes and palate.
Parfait is a wonderful thing. It allows those of us who find boredom in single-flavour desserts to enjoy many tastes and textures elegantly layered in one tall glass. This one was inspired by Japanese parfaits, in which the most peculiar colours and foods are combined to make insane edible creations.
Avocado ice cream is among our favourite culinary discoveries of this summer. It seems as though avocado was created for ice cream making, with its smooth and creamy texture.
We wanted this parfait to tell a visual story and paint a delicious landscape. The layers of green ice cream, buckwheat crunchies, fresh cherries, and blueberry and vanilla creams are meant to resemble topography. Mountains and valleys, trees and flowers, and finally, at the very top – snowy peaks.
Just like all desserts on Golubka, this parfait is nourishing and full of ingredients that do nice things for your body. Go ahead, try it for breakfast.