Culinary Anthropologist

preserves and condiments

  1. Wild garlic pesto

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    Delicious mixed with pasta, stirred into a plain risotto at the end of cooking, topping a bowl of summer minestrone soup, or layered inside a lasagne with ricotta.  It keeps for a week in the fridge in a jar covered with a layer of olive oil.  Or freeze it in little plastic tubs.  I always […]

  2. Gooseberry curd

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    A delicious alternative to lemon curd – for toast, scones, tarts, berries, meringues or whatever you fancy.  This recipe is based on one by Marguerite Patten.  It uses more sugar than more ‘modern’ recipes, but this means it will last several months as opposed to several weeks.  I don’t enjoy agonising over whether to eat […]

  3. Membrillo

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    Aka quince cheese, membrillate (Spanish), cotognato (Italian), pate de coings (French) and marmelata (Portuguese), this has to be one of my favourite things to do with quinces.  It is the classic accompaniment for manchego cheese, but also very good with aged cheddar. The trick is to avoid graininess, a common flaw.  Quinces have tiny rock-hard […]

  4. Lacto-fermented cucumbers

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    Lacto-fermenting is another way of pickling.  Instead of using vinegar, you use a salt solution and wait for some special (naturally existing) bacteria to work their magic.  The gherkins retain more of their vitamins and there are other health benefits too.  More importantly, they don’t have that overpowering vinegary tang and taste delicious. Here’s the […]

  5. Quince jelly

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    Of course, you could use whole quinces for this, but it works just fine with skins and cores left over from other quince recipes, a tip I picked up from our jam-making friend Eduard Dumitrescu in Romania.  (After all, that’s where all the pectin is.)  In fact, our jam and jelly discussions with Eduard and […]

  6. Kabak tatlısı (candied butternut squash)

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    Here’s an unusual alternative for using up a butternut squash or two.  Or you could use pumpkin.  We first enjoyed kabak tatlısı in Istanbul as a dainty dessert at Musa Dağdeviren’s wonderful Çiya restaurant.  After that we spotted it in various places as we travelled around Turkey and had the good fortune to learn how […]

  7. Kabak tatlısı (candied butternut squash)

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    Here’s an unusual alternative for using up a butternut squash or two.  Or you could use pumpkin.  We first enjoyed kabak tatlısı in Istanbul as a dainty dessert at Musa Dağdeviren’s wonderful Çiya restaurant.  After that we spotted it in various places as we travelled around Turkey and had the good fortune to learn how […]

  8. Preserved lemons

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    To make up for the absence of recipes this last month, here is a citrussy pair suited to the season, complete with nerdy citrussy facts.  I think preserving oranges and lemons is fun.  You might not, of course.  (The lemons are for Anthea, who assures me she’s interested.) It’s really easy to preserve your own […]

  9. Mum’s marmalade

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    When I was 4, my dad gave my mother ‘The Times Cookery Book’ by Katie Stewart for Christmas, doubtlessly not for entirely altruistic reasons.  She’s been making Katie’s marmalade every January since.  The house being filled with the sweet-sour aromas of Seville oranges cooking in their own syrup is a favourite childhood memory.  Mum’s excellent […]

  10. Christmas special part 1 – Carlo’s candied citrus peel

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    Well, a lot has happened in 3 weeks.  We enjoyed a traditional American Thanksgiving chez Alex and Nicole, which, despite Alex nearly knocking Nicole out with a plate of oysters, the dog yaffling a whole triple-creme cheese off the board during the commotion, and later getting to the turkey before we did, was a most […]

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