thai mango chicken salad

thai mango chicken salad

I came across a fantastic essay about food writing recently called Food Porn, by Molly O’Neill. I’ve been thinking about it a lot since I read it, and especially since Heidi Swanson’s piece on 12 years of blogging I’ve been thinking about it in the context of what sort of space I’d like this blog to be.

Because although I think that making things taste nice is supremely important, I can’t think about that taste in a vacuum. I’m fascinated by so many things about food: what dictates the choices we make and how they affect the people who supply our food; the effect of our food policies on the environment, and – closer to home – our waistlines; what our choices say about us; how our bodies respond to them; what to do about it.

It’s a big subject, food, and while I don’t ever want to preach or stand on my high horse and dictate what is right and what is wrong – there are enough people doing that already; eat these 5 surprising foods to burn belly fat, anyone? – I don’t want to sell either of us short, either, by skirting around the edges of such an interesting topic.

Of course, I’ll still be sharing recipes, because I still believe food is delicious. They’ll still be the same recipes I’d have told you about before now, because the way I eat is what I talk about here, and whatever I put on our plates has to muddle through all of that stuff above first.

And I won’t be sitting down to write an insightful, longform essay every week; I don’t have the time, nor probably the brainpower. But I will be less scared to share with you what I’ve been reading, or thinking about, and I hope that you’ll join in the conversation and make me think thoughts I hadn’t had before and read things I wouldn’t otherwise have read.

I’m looking forward to it.

In the meantime, here’s a salad from one of the food writers I admire the most. If you don’t have any of her books, I can’t recommend them enough, particularly A Change of Appetite (which this recipe is from) and Food From Plenty.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

tomato salad with crushed croutons

tomato salad with crushed croutons

This month, I have been eating mostly tomatoes. The six plants that I put in the ground earlier this year, more from optimism than good judgement, have been producing a never-ending supply of ripe (!) tomatoes.

Luckily, I like tomatoes. It’s a lot easier to work out what to do with bowlfuls of tomatoes than with the 3,000 courgettes* I had last summer. This way is particularly tasty, super simple, and perfect for a summer’s lunch (although I’ve happily eaten it, on its own, for dinner).

*approx.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

nectarine, tomato and basil salad

nectarine, tomato and basil salad

I promised you a salad quite a while ago now. Sorry about the wait. It’s the best salad I’ve eaten in a very long time, and it wasn’t kind of me to make you go this long without it – especially because it’s very much a summer salad, and we’re fast running out of summer.

I’ve cycled to the station in the mist twice this week. There are leaves on the floor. My fellow passengers must have spotted this before I did, and have been sporting black tights and woolly scarves for a few weeks now, but I’m not quite as keen as they are to embrace this autumn.

On the plus side, knitwear! Good books! Pubs with fires! On the downside, the gathering dark. Rain, gloom, damp socks. No more nectarines.

So, while we still can – while there are still ripe nectarines in the shops, and the chance of finding a tomato that hasn’t been shipped from Chile in an icebox – let’s eat this. Imagine if you could somehow extract the essence of summer; the hot, sweet, lazy afternoons and the smell of honeysuckle, the ground nearly too hot to walk on? Well, it would taste like this. I’ve decided.

A P.S.: You might be thinking that the combination of nectarines, mozzarella and balsamic vinegar doesn’t sound particularly like a match made in heaven, but please trust me. It really is.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading