Kale and almond pesto |Vegan Recipe

 Kale and almond pesto |Vegan Recipe

Freshness, liveliness and vivacity. Temperatures are rising and the hot season is quickly depriving me of my strength. I think the best way to fight again the warm temperature is eating the best food. Today, I am going to try a long-standing friend of mine: the kale.

The kale has always been an important part of my diet. In fact, it is mostly grown in my native country, Apulia, a region in Southern Italy. (I strongly advise you to spend your holidays here, if you don’t have any idea about yet). kale is called, in the dialect from Bari, “cole rizz” and it is really a versatile and tasty vegetable: a real superfood! Raw or cooked, rich in vitamins and mineral salts, low in calories, it is a great food against tiredness and weariness. Almonds, a pinch of pink salt, extra virgin olive oil (coming from my Apulia) are the magic ingredients that I am going to put all together to prepare a creamy kale pesto, great spread on toasted bread. I am sure if I have a little of it, I will recharge myself to deal with the crowded streets of London and with busy people who are escaping from this metropolitan atmosphere!

So, let’s keep ourselves with food: we are what we eat!

Recipe

Ingredients for 4 (more or less) people:

  • 400 g of kale;
  • 100 g of toasted almonds;
  • Some parsley leaves (optional);
  • 1 garlic clove;
  • 100 ml of extra virgin olive oil;
  • 2 cherry tomatoes;
  • Just enough pink salt;
  • Just enough pepper;
  • Half a lemon juice.

Instructions:

  • Fill a medium-large sauce pan with water and boil it;
  • After you remove its stems, place the kale in the sauce pan. Cook it for around 1 minute;
  • Drain and cool it;
  • In a blender, roughly mince some almonds and walnuts;
  • Add to the  kale a clove of garlic, cherry tomatoes, some parsley, a pinch of salt, just enough salt and pepper and some lemon juice. Mince all the ingredients and gradually stir the olive oil until the mixture is thick;

I used this yummy pesto to stuff some bread with olives and I must admit I really appreciated the final result!

My advice:

  • Pesto can be saved in a glass container and put in the fridge for up to ten days covered with olive oil on its surface.
  • It is great spread on bread or “bruschetta” (Italian toasted bread topped with oil and chopped tomatoes);
  • This pesto can be prepared by using the curly kale both raw or cooked, however its properties are often undone with high temperature cooking, while vitamins and minerals will remain completely untouched if you eat it raw, even if its taste is a little bitter.

Streets of london

Instragram

Italian blog

WebSite

Vegan cream tart with fresh fruit | Quick and easy recipe

Vegan cream tart with fresh fruit | Quick and easy recipe

This morning the sun has a different smell. It smells of wheat, of poppies, of lost innocence: the smells of my childhood, carried by a slight sense of sentimentality.

I go out for a walk. I look at people’s faces from Clapton and their attentive looks. They seem so busy while taking their buses. Nonetheless, today I would like to stay away from the chaotic life of the City and going back to my childhood, when I used to run through the fields of my native county. Behind a grey road and hidden from red big vehicles here’s the Lee Valley.

I am just in love with this. London always seems to hide its beauty in its artificiality. Suddenly, cold noises just fade away and comes the Nature. I feel I am flooded by calm and serenity, so I start sinking in my memories… I stumble into the images of a little girl, who used to look at the lizards on the rocks and who loved to climb up on an oak tree and always scraped her knees. It’s funny how, suddenly, you can relieve past feelings and sensations, only by living the present moments.

It is maybe because here it’s full of berries. In a moment, I feel the taste of my grandmother’s lemon pie, when nobody blamed me if I dared to lick that cream from the spoon. I feel the smell of the crunchy shortcrust pastry and the freshness of fruits…

So, why don’t we give ourselves a bit of sweetness? We are the Past, the Present, we are the Spring!

The recipe:

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 150 g of Digestive type biscuits;
  • 85 g of melted Vegan butter;
  • 70 g of agave syrup (of any other type of sweetener);
  • Just enough fresh fruit to garnish or fill the cream.

Ingredients for the cream:

  • 230 ml of vegetal milk;
  • 10 g of corn starch;
  • 20 g of agave syrup;
  • 5 g of organic liquid vanilla;
  • Some organic lemon peel.

Preparation for the crust:

  • Preheat the oven at 180°C;
  • Crumble Digestive biscuits and combine them with melted butter and agave syrup, until you have a consistent mixture;
  • Put the mixture in a baking pan of 20 cm diameter. Spread and flat it well, until you have a uniform mixture of 1 cm height;
  • Put the crust into the oven for about 8 minutes;
  • Leave the crust out from the oven and let it cold down.

Preparation for the cream:

  • Pour some milk in a small pot and add corn starch. Let it cook slowly and blend it occasionally;
  • Add some maple syrup, some vanilla essence, and lemon peel. Never stop blending the mixture;
  • Let the mixture boil on medium heat until it thickens;
  • Continue cooking the cream and never stop blending. The cream should be thicken;
  • Cover the cream with film and let it cold, then put in the fridge for around 2 hours;
  • Finally, fill the crust with the cream.

Now you can fill the pie with lots of fresh fruit and enjoy it with your friends!

Lee Valley

Italian Blog

Instagram 

A special collaboration

A special collaboration

What makes London a “talking” living city concerns its multicultural and cosmopolitan background. In this city multiculturalism has become a habit. There are swarms of people from all around the world living and working here. London is certainly the city you have to pass through once in your life.

Assunta is a long-standing friend of mine. We have been knowing each other for decades, since when we were two dreamy teens from South of Italy (Apulia)…
Me and Assunta have been in touch for years, as long as I left Italy to London, where I settled and started working on my personal project Natureat, while she became a photographer.

Assunta is currently living in Bari, in Southern Italy, where she works with her camera, taking pictures and she is an amazing  wedding photographer.

Few months ago, when Assunta was passing through London, we spent some time together like the old good times. Although time passes, Assunta didn’t change much.

Some feelings and emotions just didn’t vanish over time: in fact, my dear friend Assunta looks like the same I met years ago; a genuine and dreamy person who never ceased to rejoice and being amazed of little things.

We made up for the lost years, drinking some wine together, and talking about our lives for hours. I felt like I was at home and I appreciated her curiosity (and satisfaction) when she tried (and appreciated) my vegan food.

She told me about her future plans and about the hard work concerning the wedding photography, which she deals with. I really appreciate her alternative style and the passion she puts in all her works. It makes everything magical and wonderful.

Before she left, we stopped at a coffee shop in Brick Lane: a very vintage place, which has so influenced our adolescence.

Suddenly, we had an idea… While we were chatting, unwilling to let our friendship again at the mercy of the distance, we took a decision. Me and Assunta are now working together for a common idea, a co-working between Food & Photography, that you will soon be able to follow on our blog.

Through the memories of the past and expectations about the future, we are the very same that we used to be in the past, but maybe we are more sensible and with great expectations to turn our desires into reality.

Website:  www.assuntasimone.com

Italian Blog