February April and a warm welcome to YOU who are reading this very first post in English on the Gurmeeaed (aka Cottage Garden Gourmet) blog! 😊
The writing of this post took considerably longer than anticipated. Winter isn’t our season. The seemingly endless stretches of whiteness, pinching cold and wistful darkness leave us with only just about enough energy to carry on with the essential chores for survival. Inspiration to create goes astray.
But now it’s spring and so the mood has once again become brighter and the step lighter. The garden beds are still hidden under a carpet of snow and the yard is beginning to resemble a bog, but we haven’t been able to keep our green fingers away from the sowing trays. Eva’s studio has temporarily become a mini conservatory housing the seedlings of eight varieties of tomatoes, various chilies and sweet peppers, aubergines in three different shades, Peruvian groundcherries and purple tomatillos, artichokes and a whole range of herbs as well as medicinal plants.
And our appetite (for life) has returned, too!
Before the (blood) orange season comes to an end in Europe there is still a few weeks left to enjoy a cold noodle salad inspired by the popular Korean dish bibim guksu (비빔국수) . Korean cuisine is something we are yet to discover in more depth, but a start has been made and what we’ve tasted so far has left us craving for more. You can be sure this will not be the last recipe on the Gurmeeaed blog influenced by the flavours of Korea.
Feeds two empty bellied foodies as a main or four people as a starter.
FOR THE DRESSING:
2 tbsp (gochujang) red chili paste*
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp freshly squeezed (blood) orange juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 crushed garlic clove
* or 1 tbsp dark soy paste + 1-2 tbsp spicy chili sauce (according to heat tolerance/preference)
FOR THE SALAD:
200 g thin wheat or soba noodles
150 g red cabbage
100 g frozen soy beans (edamame) without pods (or green peas!)
6-8 g dried wakame** seaweed
2 ripe (blood) oranges
**Due to high iodine content the daily consumption of dried wakame should not exceed 4 grams per person.
In a small bowl mix together the dressing and set it aside. Boil the noodles according to package instructions in a lightly salted water. When the noodles are done, drain them using a sieve and rinse under cold running water until cooled down to room temperature. Transfer the noodles into a large bowl and mix in the dressing. Then boil the soy beans for 2-3 minutes, drain and also cool down under cold running water. Measure the wakame into a mug and pour boiling water over it. Let it soak for a few minutes until the seaweed has softened and drain. Finely chop the red cabbage and add it to the noodle bowl along with soy beans and wakame. Mix well. Lastly peel (making sure to remove the bitter white pith) and slice the oranges. Arrange them onto the salad. Sprinkle with some more toasted sesame seeds if you wish and dig in!