Sorry for my absence this last week or so! I’ve been off at a festival watching great bands, drinking beer and getting sunburned (a weekend of sunshine + painfully pale skin = very very rosy cheeks). It was a fantastic time, but I’ve definitely neglected you, so sorry about that. Luckily I’ve got a great cookbook giveaway for you today which I hope will make up for the lack of posts this weekend! TWO lucky winners will get a copy of World Food Café: Quick And Easy Recipes From A Vegetarian Journey, published by Frances Lincoln. The book was only released a couple of days ago, so if you win you could be one of the first people to have a copy! It contains recipes that Chris and Carolyn Caldicott have collected on their travels around the world – Bangladesh, Chile, Japan, Namibia, Vietnam, and more. There are also plenty of gorgeous photographs taken on their travels, which really help to put the recipes in context. So if you’re a fan of both food and travel, this one’s for you!
This sturdy hardback book contains over 100 vegetarian recipes (a large proportion of which are also vegan), and due to the variety of cuisines, there’s something for everyone – main meals, sauces, salads, side dishes etc. from all over the world. I find it’s easy to get into a bit of a rut with cooking (hence why I put goat’s cheese in just about everything), so this book is just the thing to inspire you to try new cuisines.
The recipes are conveniently sorted by country, and each section begins with a short introduction about that country and its food traditions. Not every recipe is represented in a photo, but the travel photos are abundant, and it’s fascinating to see pictures of each country’s culture and people. Obviously, being from a variety of countries around the world, many of the recipes require somewhat ‘exotic’ ingredients which might be slightly difficult to find if you live somewhere without any specialist shops, but don’t be put off because there are plenty of recipes that use more familiar ingredients too – such as these chickpeas in garlicky yoghurt, which is a recipe originating in Syria. I love any sort of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, so I was immediately drawn to this section of the book, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Usually I’m not actually a fan of mint (I usually find it too overpowering and think it makes everything taste like toothpaste), but in this dish it was gorgeous – maybe because the recipe uses dried mint rather than fresh, so it’s less overwhelming. The yoghurty chickpeas are also topped with fresh dill, smoked paprika and toasted pine nuts, which work perfectly to add pockets of flavour and crunch to the mild creaminess. With a pitta bread for dipping and mopping up the yoghurty dressing, I happily finished a bowlful that probably could have fed two (whoops).
If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of this book and try out some world recipes of your own, use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember there will be two lucky winners, so your chances have automatically doubled! This giveaway is open until midnight on Saturday 7th September. UK mailing addresses only please! Good luck to all!
- 3tbsp pine nuts
- 1tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2tsp dried mint
- 200g natural yoghurt (I actually used Greek yoghurt and it worked fine)
- Black pepper
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained (240g each when drained) - retain about a third of the liquid
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 2tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- 2 pitta breads, toasted
- Place the pine nuts in a dry frying pan and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes to lightly toast them. Keep you eye on them - they will turn brown very quickly! When they are ready, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Melt half of the butter in the pan, and cook the garlic for a couple of minutes until just turning golden. Add the dried mint and cook for a further minute or so. Add this mixture to the yoghurt, and season to taste.
- In the same pan (no need to wash it), melt the remaining butter and fry the onion over a medium heat until soft. Add the chickpeas and retained water, and simmer for a few minutes until the chickpeas are hot.
- The original recipe suggests serving the chickpeas in a bowl, topped with the yoghurt, but I decided to mix it all together, so it is your choice. Serve topped with the paprika, dill and toasted pine nuts, alongside toasted pitta bread.
If you’re not lucky enough to win the giveaway, remember you can always buy your own copy of the book here!
Disclosure: I was provided with a free book to review, however I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own. It’s a great book!