I am nobody. To throw such a bold statement out there into the universe makes me seem sort of gutsy but if you loved food as much as I did, that is the same statement you’d want on my front door. More than just looking at fresh food and getting 10 trillion ideas on what I could do with it, I love to share. The only reason I ever thought this cooking thing is worth its salt is when I got to make it for this person I live with. Then there was this other time I made spaghetti for a bunch of friends and whoaaa the crowd went wild. Also worth mentioning is cauliflower crust (before EVERYBODY was doing it…I think people read the same articles online or something), and spinach soup along with Gayle’s strawberry liqueur.
I’m not bragging. I sometimes (always) use this space to get some sort of validation. I don’t know how my web-loggers feel about this but I am genuinely very surprised when I make something and it doesn’t taste as awful. Nobody told me I was bad in the kitchen, I just didn’t care to try (sorry parents). In a way, this is a some-what journey of self-discovery. It also does a damn fine job of keeping me occupied and I don’t hate it at all. Just the dishes part (if somebody could do that for me, I would shake their hand give them the world. I’m looking at you.)
But you can’t really say this at a job interview, can you?
“I, Edlyn, love to cook because I was bored and now I’ve reached a higher plane of inner understanding all thanks to that huge pot of spaghetti that didn’t suck.”
Somebody asked me that last week.
I trembled. I do not rehearse interview answers. I’m too busy trying not to vom…throw up all morning and when the time comes, I’m as real as can be. And I tremble. I told her why I like to cook. I said this and that, each word becoming my reality as I said it. When I was finished, that was it. I became a person who wrote a blog, cooked and moved from a foreign land for strange reasons. I must have said I love quinoa but I can’t quite remember.
“What a weird brown-skinned Indian. And she likes quinoa! Can I trust her at all!?”
I don’t like letting words define me. I still kind of cringe while calling myself a journalist. It makes me feel like I can’t ever make typographical errors when I know I’m the same person who forgot to make an entire newspaper page and went home, two days in a row.
As for the blogger/writer/cook/foreign girl next door, none of it’s definitive. For now, I’d just like to be the best neighbour ever.
Asparagus and turnip brown rice bowl
I made this for my neighbour since she sometimes gives me stuff she cooks “Just to taste”. Just to taste and it’s more than enough for two people. I taste it all. In my Indian house it’s sort of “rude” to return a container that was given to you full of goodies as is. I might have just made this up so don’t take what I say literally. I feel like it’s rude. It’s like going to a potluck without any luck in the pot, if you know what I mean. So I made this for her but she didn’t want it. All because I sprinkled goat cheese on the top and it was their vegetarian day. I’m not even going to bother explaining because I don’t like vegetarian days. God. It’s kind of hard keeping up with them, you know? Like I always say, “More for me.”
I don’t have exact measurements for this but I will guide you through it all with my approximation. Like an angel of mercy.
For the pesto
- 2 cups spring salad greens
- 1/2 cup almonds, chopped roughly or just crushed with a punch of your fist.
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
- 1/4 cup olive oil (you might need less but have a 1/4 cup at hand)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
- Salt to taste
For the stir-ins
- Stalks of asparagus (about 20), ends chopped off and the rest cut into 2 or 3 equal parts
- 2 white radish, diced
- 1/2 mild (sweet) onion or shallot, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- 1/2 cup brown rice, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/4 cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon juice, goat cheese and extra chopped almonds to garnish
Use this method to make the pesto. The only difference here is the type of greens and nuts I used. If you don’t like going back and forth from this page to the other, let me know. When I’m a famous person and millions flock to read this at their blog clubs, I’ll change it. I swear.
Put the rice in a pot of lightly salted water on the stove and bring the water to boil on medium-high to high heat. When it reaches boiling point, turn down the heat, put a lid over the pot and let it simmer. It should be simmering with the lid closed. In approximately 20 minutes, check on the rice. Take it off the stove and keep the lid closed for 5-10 more minutes. Open the lid and let the steam escape. Be careful.
While the rice cooks, prepare the asparagus, radish and onion/shallot for the frying pan. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and let it heat up (don’t let it burn) throw in the chopped asparagus, radish and onion and let it cook while stirring constantly for just 2-3 minutes. The should be just about tender bit with some bite left. Take it off the heat and add the pesto to it, coating well. You can put in as little or as much as you’d like. Your call girl/boyfriend. Next add these earth magic ingredients to the cooked brown rice. Let the mingle and get to know each other. Taste and add salt if needed. With the salt in the pesto and rice, you might not.
As for the garnish, you can squeeze lemon juice over it, add crumbled goat cheese or almonds. You can also add scrambled eggs! Or grated, toasted coconut flakes.
Or a puppy.
No, don’t add a puppy. They’re hard to digest.
I think I need a vegetarian day.