The end of chard, the beginning of granita, and a new discovery in hummus
The nightmare of the last few weeks of exams is finally over! I'm so relieved. One of the things that I've been most looking forward to is spending a bit more time in the kitchen.
With so many hours in my days being spent hunched over books recently, all food has been functional. Once I was freed from the shackles of study, I decided to make something that took hours - literally.
Making granita is no small task. While whipping up the ingredients doesn't take too long, once it's in the freezer, that's when the hard work begins. You have to get it out of the deep freeze every 20 minutes or so and break up the ice crystals that form. According to one recipe, you have to do this for about six hours, but I got bored and stopped after a couple. The texture wasn't perfect, but it was a lovely frosty dessert nonetheless, and I got four hours of free time back - score!
The granita I made was a mix of peach and basil. I bought a cheap bag of doughnut peaches from the local market and they were insanely good - so perfumed and full of flavour, just like peaches should be.
Here's the recipe I used, and here's the result:
Because Mr Flicking the Vs is a good sort, and knows I am a creature of simple tastes, he knew the best way to keep my motivation up during the hard slog of study was to bring cake.
On one particularly stressful day which I furrowed my brows over the cause of learning, he slipped out and returned with two different types of wonderful vegan cake and vegan beer to boots. Here's one from the wonderful Cookies and Scream:
In Cookies and Scream's defence, this was originally far larger, I just ate a massive chunk of it before I remembered to take a picture. It was a plum and almond beauty and gluten free too. It tasted pretty much like the best Bakewell tart I could imagine.
If I go quiet next week, I'm on holiday, so will hopefully return with lots of tales of vegan eating from a new land. With the weather so good over here, I decided to sacrifice the chard I've been growing on my windowsill because I didn't think it would survive during my absence.
Here's a few handfuls of my window crop:
OK, I'm not exactly self sufficient, but it's nice to grow your own veggies, even in a small first floor flat! (The basil in the granita came from my homegrown efforts too!)
In a pre-holiday fridge clearout, I fried off the chard with some spring greens and asparagus, added some nooched-up white sauce and breadcrumbs, and had me a gratin for dinner. No pic of that, but here it is in its formative stages:
Another new discovery for me is this bad ass hummus. Get ready for the picture, and don't think I've lost my marbles when you check it out:
OK, it looks like any normal hummus, but it's subtly different. The rest of the ingredients are what you'd normally find in hummus - lemon juice, garlic, tahini etc- but instead of chickpeas, the main event is yellow beetroot. Using this lovely root makes the hummus far sweeter than the usual, so you might need to step up the lemon juice to counteract it, but other than that, the beetroot version works in all your usual hummus dishes. Go try it!