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Apr 1, 2009 01:14 PM

*April 2009 COTM* Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: Soups and Salads

**April 2009 Cookbook of the Month is Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery by Rose Carrarini.

Please post your full-length reviews of recipes for SOUPS and SALADS here (all from the LUNCH section -- see complete list of recipes page 69). Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the page number, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Thanks for participating!

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  1. I made the Carrot and Seed Salad, page 79 in the cookbook and available also here

    It's lovely. Simple, but lovely.

    I hand-grated my carrots and used sunflower seeds. The dressing is nothing more than a simple oil (I used a fruity olive oil) and lemon juice dressing, salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar. The crucial bits are the quality/flavor of your carrots and oil, the freshness of the seeds, and ensuring that you bake the seeds enough to impart a slightly roasted flavor to balance the sweetness of the carrots. Otherwise, can't see how this would fail!

    4 Replies
    1. re: clepro

      clepro, I keep buying carrots to make this, then end up using them for something else before I can get around to it. My question is this--I'm assuming you buy raw sunflower seeds because she has you cook them? Well, I bought roasted unsalted sunflower seeds. Is there a way to rescue them, or shall I use those for something else?

      P.S. I don't think your link works.


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Hmm...the link was one I copied in from a post in the stickied thread announcing the book selection. Let me try it again:

        If it doesn't work this time, I'd suggest any readers looking for it just go back to the stickied announcement thread.

        Re: the sunflower seeds. I'm not a fan of them usually, so haven't purchased them before. Yes, I used raw seeds. But I'd try the ones you bought.

        Take a spoonful or two of your prepared and dressed carrots and add some seeds. If you don't like the resulting taste/texture, roast some in the oven (maybe with just a touch of oil and some salt) just long enough to warm them up and add a little crispness, and try again. I'd bet they'll be fine.

        1. re: clepro

          Great suggestion. I'll try that and let you all know how it works out. I'm sure it will be fine, I just hope it will be great, like yours was!

          The link worked this time. Weird, huh? (ah, I see--the first one had a period at the end of it that the second did not.)


      2. re: clepro

        I made this tonight and liked it very much too. Made as written it is very lemony - I might be inclined to use a little less lemon juice next time, or add a little more olive oil. Carrot salad is one of my favourite things in the world - I can eat it until the cows come home (in fact I lived on carrot salad, tomatoes and baguette when a very poor student in France years ago).

      3. I made both the salads on p.80 -- both are solid, the kind of thing you'd get at a quality natural foods store. Neither of them will blow your mind, but both are very nice.

        - Mushroom, Celery and Spring Onion Salad: especially handy when seasonal veg is not available. It's bright, and I liked the celery with lime/chili/cilantro. The mushrooms give it a meaty undertone. I didn't have a fresh Thai bird chili, so I used a squeeze of siracha.
        Lovergirl thought this salad would be good with steak.

        - Quinoa and Pepper Salad: nicely rounded, and pretty with the mixed peppers and zuchinni
        I used cumin and lemon juice, and diced the veg really tiny, which I think is important to make this in its best possible version. I used a big handful of fresh parsley, coriander, and mint - more than a garnish. Herbalicious.
        TYPO ALERT: this calls for "one dried red pepper, crushed," then translates that as a bell pepper. No way. I used several tiny dried thai bird chili peppers, which seemed hot when I put them in, but mellowed out considerably when it all came together. There is practically no noticeable heat in the salad now, just a faint undertone.

        12 Replies
        1. re: pitu

          I was confused about the dried red pepper in that recipe - do you think it means chilli pepper? I was wondering where I'd get a dried red capiscum from and why it would specify that kind of pepper.

          1. re: greedygirl

            I have no doubt that the author intends a dried chili pepper - and as these things go, just about any small dried hot pepper would do. Not sure I understand your issue with finding dried red capiscum...a dried thai bird chili, a dried cayenne, a pinch of piripiri or chili flakes would all do. I know chiles aren't as widely available in the UK as they are in the US, but I thought that was a problem with fresh more than dried....?

            1. re: pitu

              In the UK (and Australia), capsicum means bell pepper, not hot chile.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                Exactly - I have tons of different types of dried chillis (it's only the South American kind that are harder to find here), but no dried red bell peppers as they're not used very often afaik.

                1. re: greedygirl

                  I've never seen dried bell peppers either.


                  1. re: greedygirl

                    ahhhh, gotcha. how odd.
                    I associate desicated red bell pepper with creepy soup mixes and other industrial cookery.
                    So, no way. I think she means a dried hot red chile.

                    1. re: pitu

                      It's weird though that she specifies bell pepper, and also we'd generally call it a dried chilli over here. Confused.

                      1. re: greedygirl

                        Proof-reading error, since bell pepper also appears a few ingredients up the list.

            2. re: pitu

              p.s. on the Mushroom Celery Salad
              I made cod in a spicy tomato broth, served over polenta. And it need a little something.
              So I added the leftovver celery/mushroom salad. Perfect. Crunch, salt, natural affinity of celery for fish . . .

              1. re: pitu

                I made the Quinoa and Pepper Salad tonight and tested your hypothesis. Made up half the batch with chunkier sized vegetables, and the other half with quite finely diced vegies.

                Although our sampling size was small, we all agreed: yes, small dice is best.
                The version with vegetables cut larger just wasn't as balanced, and the flavor of the peppers didn't permeate the quinoa as they should.

                Note: I just used parsley, not coriander and mint. Upped the cumin a tad, as per my usual.

                Also, used two small dried red chilies, which provided just enough heat for us. I have no idea what type (other than they weren't Thai bird chilies), as I failed to label them when I picked them up at the co-op the other day.

                1. re: clepro

                  I made this last night as a side for our dinner and am enjoying the leftovers as I type for lunch. It's a nice salad, but nothing earth-shattering as pitu said. I used lemon juice and not cumin and I probably would add the cumin next time for extra flavour. I used a dried Thai red chilli and it's spicy without being overwhelmingly hot.

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    clepro and gg: It sounds almost the same as the red rice and quinoa salad in Ottolenghi. Never looked at it although I've had BLT for a couple of years now.

              2. Spiced chickpea and lemon soup, p73

                This is pretty easy to put together, if a little time-consuming. I soaked 370g of chickpeas overnight in a litre of water and a pinch of bicarb. This morning I drained them, covered with fresh water, and simmered until tender. She says 1-2 hours - mine took about an hour and a half. While the chickpeas are cooking, sauté diced onions, carrots and celery in olive oil. When softened, stir in salt, pepper, ground cumin and a crushed dried chilli. Stir for a couple of minutes, then add the chickpeas with their cooking liquid and enough extra water or stock to cover the chickpeas by 3cm. I used Marigold Swiss Bouillon powder for the stock as she suggested. Simmer for about half an hour, then liquidise. Add lemon juice and season, and a little more Marigold if "it tastes a little bland". I used a bit more lemon juice than suggested, and a bit of the bouillon powder as well.

                This was pretty good, with a surprisingly delicate, nutty flavour from the chickpeas. Mine was a little bit grainy - maybe I didn't cook the chickpeas for quite long enough, or maybe it's supposed to be like that! I expected it to be a lot more rustic than it actually is. I liked it a lot, and Mr GG loved it. It's also super economical and healthy to boot!

                4 Replies
                1. re: greedygirl

                  I'm talking to myself here but never mind. ;-) We had the leftover soup for lunch today and liked it even more as the flavours had developed overnight. Mr GG really loves this soup - especially when I pointed out to him that it was ridiculously cheap!!

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    Now, gg,'s time to take your medication and go back to join the others.

                    Have you tried the celeriac and porcini soup yet? There are so many BLT postings in so many different places you probably have and I didn't notice.

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      I haven't - bit late for celeriac now I think.

                      Have you tried the brownies? I've been asked to bring something sweet to a friend's gathering on Sunday and I thought I might try them as they're easier to transport than a tart. I am mightily tempted by the rhubarb meringue tartlets though, especially as rhubarb is coming into season.

                      1. re: greedygirl

                        I just made a strawberry and rhubarb tart using her crust recipe. Fabulous. Rhubarb is in full swing out here on the Pacific.

                        Haven't tried the brownies. Only cookies I've done are the Eccles Cakes, the Apricot/Almond/Ricotta Slices and the Brownie Cheesecakes (See comments on disastrous results in this thread). I truly love those Eccles Cakes. Like tiny mince pies. I'll admit I've made them several times adding and subtracting ingreds. I've added golden raisins, dates, lemon zest, orange zest, nuts. I especially love the taste of golden raisins with nuts and lemon zest.