Spaghetti alio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and olive oil)

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Spaghetti alio e olio

For all its simplicity, spaghetti aglio e olio is easy to mess up.

It’s really important not to overcook the garlic – no more than the faintest shade of gold, or it will taste bitter.

It’s also important to measure the salt. Too little, and the dish is insipid – too much and it’s ruined.

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Gypsy soup

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gypsy soup

I’ve been making gypsy soup for many years. I have no idea why the Moosewood cookbook calls it “gypsy soup”, or what it means by “a spiced and delectable brew of Spanish and Dickensonian origins”.

Is it a reference to Linda Dickinson, one of the thirty-odd “Moosewood people” credited at the front? Or a  mis-spelling of “Dickensian”? (Though what this soup has to do with Victorian England, social commentary, or sentimentality is anyone’s guess.)

Perhaps it refers to the length of the ingredients list?

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Waldorf salad

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waldorf salad

I first learned of the existence of Waldorf salad from Fawlty Towers. Like Basil, I had no idea what it was:

Customer: “Could you make me a Waldorf salad?”
Basil: “Waldorf salad. I think we’re just out of Waldorfs.”

But by the end of the episode – unlike Basil – I was pretty clear on how to make one:

Customer: “No! No cheese! It’s celery, apples, walnuts, grapes!”
Basil: “Right!”
Customer: “In mayonnaise!”
Basil: “Right!”

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Low-Carb Summer Ramen Zoodle Salad (Hiyasa Chuka)

food to glow

On hot days cool noodle dishes are just the thing to satisfy a yearning for something nutritious, colorful and easy. This low-carb ramen noodle-style salad ticks all of the taste boxes: spiralized vegetables, thinly sliced omelette, colorful crunchy add-ins and zesty Japanese dressing. Perfect for lunches in the garden, picnics in a cool forest or workday lunchboxes too.

On hot days cool noodle dishes are just the thing to satisfy a yearning for something nutritious, colorful and easy. This low-carb ramen noodle-style salad ticks all of the taste boxes: spiralized vegetables, thinly sliced omelette, colorful crunchy add-ins and zesty Japanese dressing. Perfect for lunches in the garden, picnics in a cool forest or workday lunchboxes too.This salad says summer lunch in the garden, listening to the birds and feeling the cooling breeze. Or it would if it would just.stop.raining. Seriously, after two months of zero rainfall, Edinburgh has had a month’s worth of rain in 36 hours. This was up to Tuesday. Now Thursday it has started back up, and God only knows when it will stop. A far cry from the seamless sunshine of last week’s holiday on the idyllic island of Brač, in Dalmatian Croatia. *sigh*

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Cucumber and poppy seed salad

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Cucumber and poppy seed salad

This salad of cucumber and red chilli tossed in a zingy-sweet dressing takes minutes to prepare.

I like to give it a little time in the fridge – half an hour is enough – for the cucumber to get cool and crisp, and the chilli heat to work its way into the dressing.

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