Antipasto Salad


Once I saw this recipe on a fellow blogger’s site here. I made it the same evening but got caught up with some things so didn’t  write a review, nor to say a big thank you for the recipe as the salad was delicious and became a regular addition to our winter menu.

Here is the recipe, from Mermaid’s Tresses, I have’t changed a thing, apart from fresh parsley for decoration:



1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1 or 2 stems from a fennel bulb
1/4 cup of black olives
A good amount of dried Italian herbs
Salt and pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon of capers (optional)
Dressing: 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1 clove of Finely minced garlic


Dice the carrot, celery and fennel into 5 mm cubes, and roughly chop the olives. Toss them into a bowl and add as much of the Italian herb mix as you like. Sprinkle a good pinch of salt and pepper in as well. Mix the dressing together in a separate bowl and pour over the top of the salad just before serving.



Empty food cupboard and Red Lentil Soup

Whenever we are making anything out of red lentils, 9 out of 10 times we have an empty fridge. It serves as an alarm bell for us indicating we need to go grocery shopping. Red split lentils is not only one of my favourites for the nutritional value, but to me  is like an old friend, always with you in hard times and you know ‘he’ will never disappoint. Hence this time, once again I did reach for ‘my best friend’ in a search for comfort food. Although normally I’d immediately think of some creamy coconut dahl or other Indian inspired dish to make, this time I did crave some sweet and sour flavours instead. As I’ve mentioned before,  the empty fridge meant I had limited ingredients to work with, but in the end the result was ABSOLUTELY wonderful.  Despite being rather late in the evening, we ended up having second helpings which I think says it all. 🙂




1 cup of red split lentils

2 carrots (peeled and grated)

1 onion (finely chopped)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes (or 3 fresh tomatoes)

about 250 g pitted black olives (or any other you prefer)

2 garlic gloves

1/2 coriander seeds

2 tablespoons ketchup (or tomato purée)

Bay leaf

pinch of chilli

2 tablespoon table vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoon olive oil

salt, pepper, parsley


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, carrots, coriander seeds, pinch of chilli over a low heat for about 10 minutes or until softened but not burnt. Add the garlic and fry for 1 more minute. Add the ketchup, chopped tomatoes, bay leaf and sugar, simmer for a few minutes.

2. Rince red lentils and add into the pan, top up with the water (depends on consistency of soup you prefer, as for me, I like this version being quite thick), bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and continue to cook till lentils are ready.

3. Roughly chop the olives in halves, add them to the soup, add the vinegar, salt, pepper, check for seasoning and adjust it to your taste, garnish with chopped parsley.