Grilled vegetables and farro with parsley-garlic pesto

Finally spring is here. It became so warm I was already dreaming of bbqs in the sun, but...  Well, there is no better replacement than a grillpan.

Grilled vegetables and farro with parsley-garlic pesto
serves 2

- 1 aubergine
- 1 zucchini
- some cherry tomatoes
- handful of farro

parsley- garlic pesto
- handful of parsley
- handful of basilicum
- as much raw garlic as you like
- 1,5 cm parmesan
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp pine nuts

Making the pesto. Chop the garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and the green as small as you can. Add the oil and mix it all together. It really doesn't matter in what you mix first. Meanwhile cook the farro for about 15 - 20 minutes. Slice the aubergine in rounds, sprinkle with a lot of salt (to extract the water) and start grilling the zucchini in the grillpan. Put them out before they become soft. Remove the salt with a tissue and the grill the aubergines. After everything is grilled, mix the farro with the pesto and serve all together with a little bit ricotta / yoghurt.

Pear and Banana pancakes with homemade nutella

During the week there is never time for a nice slowly breakfast, I usally eat some yoghurt in the train. Therefore in the weekends we enjoy a big breakfast, or sometimes go out for brunch.
Here a recipe for simple pancakes;

Peer and Banana pancakes with homemade nutella
serves 2

pancake dough
- 5 tbsp of spelt flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsbp milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp honey

- 1 banana
- 1 pear

homemade nutella
- 2 tsp cacao powder
- 2 tbsp hazelnut paste
- 2 tsp honey
- add some milk for better structure

Making the pancakes. Split the eggwhite from the yoke and mix the yoke with all the other ingredient. Whisk the eggwhite until its stiff and gently pour underneath the dough. Put about one big tablespoon of the pancake dough in a preheated pan, place immediately slices of banana or pear on top it. Turn after some minutes. Mix all the ingredients for the nutella together and serve with some pistache. Enjoyed best with some good coffee and newspaper from saturday ;-)

Chocolate beetroot cake

When I was in Australia two years ago, we visited a market in Byron Bay. I was about to buy a cake at small stand, when the vendor suggested me a raw beetroot-coco-chocolate cake, because 'it would make my blood flow'. Because I had my arm that time in a millet, I was told some hippie story about the benefit of bio-activated (apparently just soaked) nuts and that the red beet would be very 'healing' for my arm. Well, I am not into this hippie-story, but I loved that combination of beet, chocolate and cocos.  I tried to make a baked version of the raw cake.

Beetroot chocolate cake
serves 8

- 1 big beetroot, grated
- 200 g grated almonds
- 100 g coco flakes
- 50 g flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 100 g pure chocolate
- 3 tbs cacao powder
- 100 ml honey
- 100 ml oil

Making the cake. Heat the oven to about 200 C. Melt the chocolate au bain marie and when melted, add the honey. Mix the almonds, coco, flour, cacao and the baking powder. Also pour the eggs and the oil and the chocolate / honey to the dry ingredients. Add then the grated beets and stir for about 5 minutes and pour the dough into a greased tin. Bake for about 45 minutes until the outside is firm, but the inside still mellow.

Warm pumpkin and chestnut salad

This is a salad for cold rainy autumn days. Since its so grey outside, we need some color on our plate.

Warm Pumpkin and chestnut salad
serves 2

- hadful of chestnuts
- half small pumpkin
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 small onions
- kale
- walnuts
- rosemary
- salt, sugar, pepper

Making the salad.  Cut the pumpkin and slice in all chestnuts a X. Place them in an oven tray and sprinkle with oil, salt and the rosemary. Bake for about 20 minutes until the flesh is soft. Mix with the kale and put some balsamic, lemon juice and oil over it. Add some flakes of any pecorino and some walnuts. The salad tastes best when the pumpkin and the chestnuts are still a little bit warm, but also eaten cold, the salad is still warming.

Müsli bars with pomegranate and pistachio

Every evening around 7 o'clock while waiting for the train at Antwerp the hunger hits me. Its a big challenge walking by one of these vendors that sell warm waffles with chocolate... After trying some fruit (which to be honest tastes to healthy to me in that long waiting situations), and two or maybe three waffles (in total, not on one day of course) I needed to make something myself.

Müsli bars with pomegranate & pistachio
serves 4

- half pomegranate
- handful of pistachio
- handful of müsli
- 6 sticky dates
- handful amaranth
- 2 tsp of honey

Making the bars. Peel the pomegranate and try to get rid of all the white sheets. Heat the honey and the oil until it boils and mix it with the pomegranates. Then mix it with all the other dry ingredients and place it on a flat baking tray. Bake for about 20 minutes at 180 C and cut the bars while they are still warm. You can keep them for almost a week, without getting softy.

The pieces that did not make it into the bars, you can use as a nice crüsli with some yoguhrt in the morning.



Beetroot Tarte with caramalized garlic

Beetroot Tarte with caramalized garlic
serves 4

- puff pastry
- 3 beetroots
- 1 bunch of garlic
- goat cheese
- one egg
- balsamic vinegar
- thyme, rozemary
- salt, sugar, pepper

Making the tart. Place the puff pastry in the oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook the beets and the garlic. Fry the garlic cloves for 5 minutes and add some vinegar, thyme, rosemary and sugar. Stir until it's syrupy. Swirl the egg with some milk and salt & pepper and pour it over the puff pastry. Then assemble the tart with the beets and goats cheese and sprinkle the garlic cloves over it. Bake it for 30 minutes and serve with a green salad.


Autumn has come. Days are getting colder and nothing warms more than a rustic soup. With the nice weather we set out to find some mushrooms in the Ter Kamere Bos, but unfortunately we didn't find any edible ones. So I bought these wild mushrooms at the sunday market at the Parvis in St. Gilles and put them in a hot soup.

Wild mushroom soup with farro
serves 2

- three hands in total of different wild mushroms, like cantharelles or trumpets,....
- 1 cup of farro
- garlic, onions
- about 1 liter vegetable broth
- celery

Making the soup. Clean the mushrooms. When you're short in time you can also use this trick: Mix the mushrooms with a lot of flower and the rinse them under the water. This way the sand and the mud mixes will get off easily and the mushrooms won't soak up with water. 
Fry the garlic and onions and the celery in some oil and later on also the mushrooms. Add the farro and the broth, bring to boil and then let it simmer for 25 minutes. Serve the soup with some grated grano padano.