Wednesday 14 November 2012

Under the Walnut Tree

I bought this one on the recommendation of a couple of friends. Words like ‘you’ve got to have it’ were bandied about. Under the Walnut Tree by Anna Bergenstrom and Fanny Bergenstrom, Hardie Grant Books 2012. The Swedish Mother and daughter team who have written this book have also written others, though this is the first to be translated into English (I hope more will follow!).

It’s a lavish book, the photography is stunning. The food looks great and the still life shots are inspiring, the avocado picture just makes me want to go and buy some now. Its contents are centred around different ingredients: Avocado, Tomatoes, Leafy Greens, Herbs, Chillies, Horseradish, Ginger, Citrus, Nuts & Seeds, Coconut, Cardamon, Pears, Mango, Raspberries, Vanilla, Tea and Chocolate.

The recipes are wide ranging and eclectic - Anna’s Avocado Soup, Indian Curry from Stockholm, Mousse with Limoncello, Caribbean Mango-glazed Chicken, A Cake from Tuscany, Pasta Salad a la Gina and Chilli Baked Sweet Potatoes. The authors have a Scandinavian background, but a world-wide outlook where food is concerned. There are 400 recipes and 300 pictures but it has to be said they nearly all appeal.

I sometimes have this little pipe dream that I am in a holiday house with my family having taken along only a couple of cookbooks for ideas, and this one would be perfect for that. It has such a lot of different recipes for all sorts of occasions and there are menu ideas at the back too if that is your thing.

Here are the recipes I’ve made so far, but I’m sure I will dip into this one for years to come. My friends were right - I needed this one in my collection!
Crispy Feta Cheese Pastries
Delicious little puff pastries filled with feta, spinach, garlic and herbs. I halved the spinach, because I didn’t have enough in the fridge!

Very respectable chocolate-y and moist.

Nobis Salad with Croutons and Roasted Parma Ham
If you have never roasted parma ham in the oven, you just must, it goes so crispy and delicious it needs to be tried to be believed. This was a great salad, good ham, -avocado, (in our case tortilla) croutons and a garlic chive dressing.

White Chocolate Panna Cotta
The chocolate made this one very rich, so a smaller portion was best. I’d put the cling film directly onto the cream when setting as a skin can form if you don’t. Perfect for white chocolate lovers served with raspberries.

Next Up: The first of a couple of Christmas Book Idea round ups. In the run up to Christmas this will be a way for me to share more of my favourites from the large amount of new books that are published at this time of year, I may even pop in a couple of non-book foodie bits. Blogging as normal will resume after that again.