potato, chive, and cheese soup with chive oil

potato, chive, and cheese soup with chive oil | conifères & feuillus
Spring appears in whispers and hushed tones, as the bellowing winter bows away.  -Author Unknown
As the snow melts away after months of winter and the ground begins to thaw, my brave chives are always the first to poke their green stalks out of the ground. And while the other herbs in my garden just begin to show signs of life, my chives are ready for the first harvest. As soon as that happens, it’s time to whip up a batch of this potato, chive, and cheese soup. It’s a much anticipated tradition here; a celebration to mark the start of a new gardening season. It’s a rich and creamy soup, perfect for these still cool, damp days of spring, but with whispers and hushed tones of chives and Emmental. For additional allium flavour and visual appeal, it’s garnished with a drizzle of chive oil.

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mango pickles

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

A bubonic plague pandemic came to India in 1896 via rats on cargo ships from China. Over the next thirty years, India would lose 12.5 million people to this disease. Initially, it was confined to port cities but eventually, it spread to rural regions of the country as well. [1]

By the time the pandemic reached my ancestral village in Gujarat, my paternal grandfather was but a newborn. This meant that he had minimal resistance and the least possibility of survival if infected. But parents will do whatever possible to ensure the safety of  their children and so, as difficult as it may have been, arrangements were made by my great-grandparents to have him taken away to live temporarily with relatives living further away until the threat would pass. But things didn’t turn out quite as planned and what was meant to be temporary became permanent. Soon after he was taken away, his entire family fell victim to this deadly disease.

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indian spiced kale roti and kale chickpea patties

Two kale recipes today! Both are kale versions of recipes that I have been making for quite some time now. These ones, though, provide perfect opportunity to use up any extra kale that I may have lying around in the fridge (if you saw my last post, then you can imagine that I had some!), as well as, to sneak a bit more kale into my children’s diet. kale | conifères & feuillus Continue reading

kale pesto

kale & almond pesto | conifères & feuillus

This time of the year always gets me excited. Yes, there’s my birthday and the wisdom that comes with it but I think it has more to do with the allure of watching the city landscape transform after a long, cold winter. Almost overnight, lawns transform to lush green (except my lawn of course!), dormant buds burst open into gorgeous blossoms and birdsong fills the air.  It’s also the time of the year when we sow seeds and reclaim our urban gardens. Of all the garden space and pots that we have in our backyard, five pots are always set aside solely for basil seeds. And though that promises a healthy supply of basil in the coming months, at the present moment making pesto requires some creativity. Kale, as it turns out, makes a great substitute.kale & almond pesto | conifères & feuillus Continue reading

cheddar & onion scones

cheddar cheese and onion scones | conifères & feuillus

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain. -Vivien Greene

At this time of the year, I get really impatient with my herbs, checking every morning for signs of life on the surface of my herb garden. Despite my impatience though, they only come up when they they are good and ready to do so. My chives are always the first to make their debut and when they do, I am sure to make cheddar & chive scones to mark the long-awaited arrival. But while I wait, I make these cheddar & onion scones instead. They are equally delicious and loaded with the same allium goodness!

cheddar cheese and onion scones | conifères & feuillus
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middle eastern roast leg of lamb

When you are having guests over, the last thing you want is to be bogged down with a complicated meal. This simple recipe is the perfect rescue. It brings together a handful of ingredients and delivers maximum flavour. The aroma of saffron, garlic and thyme as it roasts is simply irresistable and the final dish makes for a perfect Sunday roast.

roast leg of lamb

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almond & anise biscotti

Spelt and almond biscotti | conifères & feuillus

By far, my favourite cookie is the twice-baked Italian cookie known as biscotti. For the longest time though, I felt too intimidated to even attempt baking them at home. Plus, here in Montrèal, we are spoiled with choice when it comes to fine Italian bakeries so it was far too convenient to buy them. But once a friend showed me how easy it was to make biscotti at home, there was no turning back.  almond anise and orange biscotti | conifères & feuillus

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