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Recipes
Caramelized fennel in saffron sauce

Caramelized fennel in saffron sauce

My son doesn’t like fennel. He hates it. In the past, every child was allowed to have three things that s/he really didn’t like and wouldn’t eat. For Laszlo, fennel was one of them. When I made this fennel, I was able to persuade him to taste it anyway. And? He found it delightful. So this recipe is even suitable for fennel haters. It is buttery soft, sweet, incredibly full of flavor and tastes like more.

Heartwarming hummus soup

Heartwarming hummus soup

I heard about hummus soup and thought only one thing: I need to make it. And fast. And I prepared it. My heart was beating with anticipation. Actually, my expectations were so high that it could only be disappointing. But, you guessed it: it was overwhelmingly delicious. Almost too good to be true. Much tastier than expected. And I didn’t think that alone. The structure. The taste. The mouthfeel. The image. Everything is right, but really everything.

Turnips in the oven

Turnips in the oven

Turnips, I’d never seen, held, let alone tasted one. But I got some from the market garden where we get a lot of our vegetables. “See if you can do something with it,” she said. They lay in the refrigerator for days. Everytime I saw them, but left them there. “Ga je nog wat met me doen?” And then I decided it had to be done. I thought of mustard. I thought of the oven. I thought of fresh basil. And boy, it was so good. I decided to serve it in the restaurant the week after. Everyone just has to taste this.

Minestra nera with fennel seed and pine nuts

Minestra nera with fennel seed and pine nuts

One day Elisiv from Tuinderij Geworteld sends me a message that she can harvest ‘minestra nera’ for me. So I had never heard of that. She gave me a kilogram of it to try. Felt, squeezed, took a bite raw. Also looked around on the internet. And I decided to cook and bake a little of it. The latter turned out to be great. It was like my beloved cavolo nero, but softer. I combine it here with fennel seeds and pine nuts. A brilliant combination as it turned out quite quickly.

Garlic saffron soup with harissa

Garlic saffron soup with harissa

Garlic soup, maybe you think ‘that’s a bit too intense for me’. But if you knew that this and the other garlic soup on this site are ‘the soup hits’ in the restaurant… you might consider making it. Really super tasty, surprisingly tasty and ready in no time at all. Although that’s never a recommendation for me, but still…

Stew of chard, chickpea, tomato in tamarind sauce

Stew of chard, chickpea, tomato in tamarind sauce

Delicious deep taste, a wonderful combination of vegetables and herbs. The tamarind brings it all home. Here on a bed of lima bean puree, but in the restaurant I also serve it with ‘green couscous’, a couscous in which I mix a spice paste (coriander, parsley, mint). It’s a great comfort food.

Moroccan desert soup

Moroccan desert soup

Sweet and spicy. Savory too. Exactly the right consistency. Soft in your mouth. Complex flavors without being distracting. It sounds like literature, but it is simply a hero of a soup. An every day soup. Stand up whoever doesn’t like this soup. I accept the challenge. That’s how confident I am.

Green beans on a lovely bed and crumbly blanket

Tahina has the ability to turn something that is a bit boring into something interesting. Or even better, something that instantly turns into comfort food. In other words, something you can never get enough of. It also has that effect in this dish. In the plant based yogurt it gives this dish a delicious foundation. And the crumb on top gives the dish something surprising, playful and a little spicyness.

Lebanese spicy and slightly sweet rice with vermicelli

Lebanese spicy and slightly sweet rice with vermicelli

This is a very Lebanese way of preparing rice. First you bake the vermicelli, you add the Lebanese seven spice powder. Then cook the rice, sweeten it with a little agave syrup and let it rest. Sprinkle some fried slivered almonds on top and you have a delicious side dish on the table. Rice like you’ve never eaten before, but which you will probably put on the table much more often after today.

Sabayech (spinach à la Fati

Sabayech (spinach à la Fati

Whenever I can, I dive into a kitchen to cook with someone. I think that’s the nicest thing there is. It immediately creates a bond, you both do what you like best, you immediately exchange knowledge and passion with each other and in the meantime you are just making delicious things. You do not even have to speak each other language fluently in order to understand each other. So that’s exactly what I did in Tamragth, Morocco, two days after I tasted this dish for the first time. t hit like a bomb and I immediately made an appointment to cook together with Fati(ma). And that’s what we did. And now I serve it in restaurant and the guests say unanimously…. you get a star for this. Well, Fati deserves it.

Crispy coeur de boeuf tomato

Crispy coeur de boeuf tomato

I was recently in Madrid to visit my daughter Lalaine who has just moved there. In the evening we went out for dinner at la Musa Latina and chose some delicious dishes. This was one of them and it was an instant it. My brain went into a creative mode and once back in the restaurant I made this à la Damaris variant. This one is to stay.

Pea soup with allspice, basil oil and pistachios

Pea soup with allspice, basil oil and pistachios

Doperwten, het is misschien wel mijn minst favoriete groente. If I wanted to call it that. Anyway, I had a big bag in the freezer. Don’t ask what he was doing there, but it lay there. And I didn’t want to throw it away. And then I came up with this soup. Bull’s eye, peas have risen in my estimation. It turned out to be a delicious soup.

Kadaifi pie with aubergine-tomato filling

Kadaifi pie with aubergine-tomato filling

You take a bite and you get a few sensations at once: super crispy, super soft and super flavorful. So, kadaifi dough is really a find. It is normally used for baklava, but here I used it in a savory patty. And man oh man, what a find. You don’t get over it, you keep talking about it after a few days.

Spicy za’atar crackers

Spicy za’atar crackers

These crackers are not exactly secondary to any dip that can go on them. In fact, they are quite pronounced in taste. And that’s not a bad thing, because they are very tasty. And not difficult to make.

Asparagus hummus

Asparagus hummus

I can be a puritan, especially when it comes to hummus. Must with tahina, decorated with za’atar, paprika or cumin.
But for an asparagus menu I like to use the free space. And so it came to be that I made asparagus hummus. Delicious, the lightness and taste of the asparagus and the always ‘down-to-earth effect’ of the tahina. Love it. And with that, this is a great variation on the hummus theme that I can fully support.

Sweet onion soup

Sweet onion soup

I was never much of a soup maker, but in recent years I have become an avid soup maker. Soup can be so delicious. So warming, so surprising, so comfort food. You know onion soup, but this is a great Arabic variation.

Pumpkin kibbeh with macadamia nuts and caramelized onion

Pumpkin kibbeh with macadamia nuts and caramelized onion

Kibbeh is a household name in the Middle East. It is a dish with a bottom and top layer of bulgur with ‘something’. In this case, this is squash. And between those two layers there is something delicious. In this recipe, these are macadamia nuts and caramelized onion. It’s a very tasty dish, surprising when you cut it open (hence this photo) and your table mates will go wild.

Fried leek with tomato, almond and arak

Fried leek with tomato, almond and arak

Leek is such a comfort food. In this dish, some guests do not even recognize the leek. If I were leek, I would take that as a compliment. That is how it is meant. The combination with the tomato, the crunchy almonds and the surprising Arak (Arabic variant of Ouzo/Pernod) makes it a dish where the fingers point to approvingly during dinner.

Dandelion honey or ‘miel de pisenlit’

Dandelion honey or ‘miel de pisenlit’

In the summer of 2021, we had lunch at the plant-based restaurant ONA near Bordeaux, which has a Michelin star. With our coffee and tea we got ‘miel de pisenlit’. Honey from dandelions. Honey?, I asked. In a plant-based restaurant? But no bee was involved in this honey. It was so delicious that I really wanted to make it myself. Had to wait a year for the dandelions to return. Now it’s time. And the result is astonishingly delicious. Honey that isn’t technically honey, but it tastes like it and is truly delicious.

Lebanese leek with seven spice powder and coarse bulgur

Lebanese leek with seven spice powder and coarse bulgur

Leek is of course delicious anyway, if properly cooked. Bulgur is delicious anyway, provided you choose the right coarseness for the dish. Seven-spice powder is a wonderful powerhouse in any case, provided you do not use too much and not too little of it. All in all, a delicious dish. And also quick and easy to make.

Börek with spinach and pine nuts

Börek with spinach and pine nuts

I do not know why. You wrap something in filo dough and it immediately becomes spectacular. In the end it is a simple dish, but it does not look and taste simple. Spinach becomes the star of the dish, filo dough plays a modest but not unimportant role. All in all, the combination is fatally delicious and a stunning picture on the table.

Tasteful lentil puree

Tasteful lentil puree

As a guest at the restaurant said recently, “You get a spoon with something brown on it and you think, ‘Okay.’ And then you take a bite and you think: ‘woh’. That’s in short what you should think about this lentil puree. Tasteful, lovely. Can be eaten at room temperature or warm. As an appetizer or part of a mezze or menu. And the crispy fried red onion gives just that little bit of bite that you would like to have with it.