Friday, May 11, 2012

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Happy Birthday Gemma!

For the most part, getting old sucks. Sure, we pretend that we are all getting wiser with age, and that with maturity comes fulfilment and clarity; but the reality is that there's a generation of younger, more technically abled & mercilessly intelligent children, nipping at our heels, ready to pounce & replace us as pack leaders the very second we show any sign of weakness. The weight of our fate at the hands of these usurpers is a terrible burden on the conscience; for this very reason we will do anything to forget our age when it's birthday time, the most common being getting drunk and burying our heads in food. On Wednesday night we did exactly that for Gemma's birthday, and it's a lucky thing all of her friends are brilliant in the kitchen, because it made for one hell of a potluck dinner (It was less of a "pot-luck", and more of a "pot-everything-is-gonna-be-fucking-awesome").

Everything was vegetarian, so naturally a panoply of salads were on offer; including a Mediterranean alphabet pasta salad with sundried tomato, olive, basil & feta. A beetroot, apple, tomato & spinach salad, & a lentil, cherry tomato, red onion, feta, cumin, lemon & coriander salad which I bought along.

Everything was of really high standard, but even so there were a couple of stand out dishes, including a sweet/savoury crumble (I'm not even sure what to call it), with an almost butter-biscuit like crust, caramelised red onion base & cherry tomatoes. Kind of like flammekueche I suppose. DAMN, it was good. The dish that bought be back three times was Ruben's chick-pea stew. I didn't catch the recipe, but I know it had a tomato base, and it was cooked for several hours until two whole aubergines disintegrated into the broth. The end result was a rich, thick, peppery melt in your mouth stew. I am going to chase the recipe for this and post it in the comments when I have it.

If our future lives as humble slaves to indigo-children is a grim prospect, then at least we can all live in moderate ease that we have approximately another decade of these birthday feasts before they take over.

Feta, Lentil & Coriander Salad


  • 200g feta cheese, cut into chunks
  • 250g green or black lentils (or puy lentils)
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 large handful of coriander leaves


  • Simmer the lentils for 20 minutes until tender.
  • Drain and dress with 3 tbsp olive oil, the lemon juice and garlic while still warm.
  • Cool to room temperature then pile into a large serving dish and stir through the rest of the ingredients.

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