I have been eyeing my friend Rhea Mitra-Dalal’s recipe for pesto pull-apart rolls for a long time. She makes them quite often, and the whole idea of tear and share rolls, flavoured with pesto has always appealed to me. I had even attempted something on similar lines a while ago, unfortunately with little success. But now, after having done a few different breads earlier on Aparna’s We Knead to Bake challenges in previous months, I felt more confident of being able to achieve the desired softness and texture that I was looking for. So, I thought of trying this again for this month’s challenge – which was to have a savoury, filled, decoratively shaped bread.
The end result was all I could have hoped for and more. The soft pillowy texture of the rolls, the goodness of the pesto and the sweetness of the homemade sun-dried tomatoes, all prefectly complemented by the rich umami of the parmesan cheese. These rolls were a massive hit at home. I have made two batches already, and they disappear almost as fast as I can make them.
Continuing the theme of avocado breakfasts, here is another gem that resulted from an impromptu raid through the fridge for leftovers and things that needed fnishing up.
- Take one slice of toast. I had used a multiseeded brown bread. It needs to be crunchy to add that exta bit of texture in contrast to the softness of the avocado and mozzarella.
- Slather it with some philadelphia cream cheese and red pepper hummus
- Layer on some mixed italian salami
- Top with chunks of fresh avocado and mozzarella
- Drizzle with a little flavoured olive oil. I used some that was left over from a jar of homemade thyme, rosemary and garlic flavoured sundried tomatoes. You could also alternatively dot it with sriracha sauce for an extra kick
Avocados are something that I tasted for the first time when I came to the UK, and I immediately fell in love with the delicate nutty flavour of these wonderful wonderful fruit. And they are so versatile, fitting into recipes for all meals. Here are a couple of my favourite breakfast ideas using avocados. I think the subtle nuttiness of the fruit combines very well with the intense hits of the sriracha sauce, and the soft mellowness of texture perfectly offsets the crunch of the underlying toast.
Of late, talented food blogger Sonal, of simplyvegetarian777 has been trying to convert us to ‘cult of Quinoa’. One dish at a time. Having tried it a few years ago, both V and I had not really been impressed by it, and so it became one of those things lying buried deep in the back of the store cupboard. But seeing the variety of quinoa recipes Sonal has been coming up with of late, we were tempted to try again.
I love citrus flavours and I love the south indian lemon rice, with its tangy hits of lemon, with the earthiness of the peanuts and the wonderful aromas of the curry leaves. And when Sonal came up with a Lemon Quinoa recipe, I knew we just had to try it. And the results were fabulous. We are now the latest acolytes to the cult, and quinoa is a regular rice-substitute on our menu. I’ve even had it plain, as an accompaniment to chinese and indian curries. But this recipe stands out as an all-time favourite.
To my mind, the alphonso mango is the king of fruit. Available for only a few months of the year, the best ones come from an area in Maharashtra called Ratnagiri. As children, we would eagerly await the summer, for that was when the markets were flooded with this gorgeous golden bounty. Even now, the mere thought of it evokes memories; the smell of a ripe alphonso with hints of the straw it was packed in, slightly warm and with just that touch of give that indicates the perfect ripeness. All hinting towards the ecstacy of that first mouthful, that first bite just overflowing with gorgeous sweet juiciness.
Sorry, got distraced there for a minute. As you may have noticed, I am a bit of a mango nut, and one of the drawbacks of not living in Mumbai anymore is the lack of ready availability of the really good alphonsos. This year was particularly harsh because of the EU ban on alphonsos. So watching the dozens and dozens of posts of mango recipes on my favourite facebook food group was particularly painful, and I found myself having to resort to the tinned version of the fruit. Not as good, but perfectly adequate for recipes like milkshakes and cheesecakes. So when we had some friends coming over for sunday lunch, and V asked for suggestions for dessert, the first thing that leapt to my mind was a mango cheesecake, like mum used to make back in the day. I’d also recently seen a few instances of people making individual portions of cheesecake, and both V and I were intrigued by the idea. So we thought we’d give that a try as well.
The results, as you can see from the photo, were fabulous and went way beyond our expectations. We had a few debates about whether a muffin-sized portion would be sufficient to be an individual serving, or was it too big. This debate has not yet been settled. Personally, I could eat two of the things, and would gladly skimp on the main meal to be able to do so.
So without further ado, here’s the recipe for the gorgeous, amazingly yummy muffin-sized mango cheesecakes whipped up by my darling wife