I had the absolute pleasure of attending the “simple organic suppers” course last Saturday at Daylesford Organic Farm. Run by the very knowledgeable chef Jason. Despite it highlighting how much I already know, I realized there is always something new to learn, and with that in mind I plan to attend as many cookery courses as is financially possible, as I love learning everything I can about food.
Jason, like me, is a big believer in a balanced diet of home cooked food being the best diet we can possibly feed ourselves, so from hearing this at the outset, I knew I had chosen well.
The day started with cooking the most simple courgette soup and this is definitely a dish where the ingredients speak for themselves as there are only 5 (and that’s including salt and water!).
Sometimes we tend to over-complicate dishes with too many ingredients, and I for one often forget the simplest things really are the best. The ingredients we used at Daylesford were from their own farm garden and this really does make a big difference to the flavour. Living in Dubai the imported fruit and veg available in our supermarkets are often lacking in flavour, however with the ever-growing offering of organic fruit and veggies now available through the markets, smaller stores and online, shopping around really is worth the extra effort for the flavour.
This is the first time I have made soup using water rather than stock (to boost the flavour) and I was dubious, however it worked and the courgette flavour shone through.
Here are the top tips I learned from the day:
- Less is often more in terms of flavour.
- Having sharp knives really does help you enjoy cooking more.
- Delicious dinners really don’t require much time and effort.
- You really don’t need a spiraliser; just invest in a julienne peeler (P.S. Tavola does a great one for only AED35!).
- An artichoke flower smells of honey
- When cutting a lemon to squeeze, make sure you cut away the line of white pith, to ensure the juice squirts down rather than all over you and the kitchen :)
- We literally are what we eat so we need to pay attention to what we eat.
- 2 green courgettes roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- Enough water to cover the courgettes
- Juice of half a lemon
- Grated parmesan and handful of chopped soft herbs to serve (parsley in this case)
- Salt and pepper to season
- Roughly chop the courgette and add to a pan on a medium-high heat with a lug of olive oil and cook for around 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the crushed clove of garlic and a pinch of salt, cook for another minute
- Cover with water and simmer until the courgettes are soft but still retain their bright green colour.
- Remove from the heat and blend
- Return to a low heat and add a squeeze of lemon juice, taste and season further with salt and pepper.
- Serve in warm bowls topped with grated Parmesan, chopped herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Enjoy :)
In addition to this recipe we made a delicious simple heritage tomato and feta salad with lemon dressing, smoked chicken breast with a raw salad mixed into a creamy curried cashew dressing and the light and healthy sole en papillote (or fish in a bag to you and I).
These recipes will be shared as part of our family dinner subscriptions soon.
Happy cooking :)