Invariably simple to produce and devastatingly delicious, pesto is almost certainly the last word in quick, easy and frugal meals. Of course, it has applications outside the world of fusilli (basil pesto is, for instance, a rather delicious addition to soup), but that’s where its heart shall forever rest. For example, take this roasted red pepper pesto – in order for one’s pasta to obtain a satisfactory demise, all one need do is roast some fruit along with a little garlic, blitz it up with a few added extras and yell “Bob’s my uncle” at the top of one’s lungs. You’ll be glad to hear that the last step is not, and hopefully never will be, obligatory.
Almost every culture and civilisation in the known world has a variety of flatbread it is able to call its own, in one way or another. Though this particular flatbread is of no particular origin, it draws inspiration from the idea of flatbread as a whole. It seems that the whole point of a flatbread is that you can mould them to be whatever is desired – this recipe for Garlic and Herb Flatbreads remains within that tradition.
Hummus, a dip usually made with chickpeas, is by far my favourite dip. When made correctly, it has such a full and punchy flavour worthy of even the fattest cat’s mezze. As we all know, chickpeas make a truly wonderful hummus. However, with variety being the spice of life, there isn’t any harm in substituting them for a slightly different ingredient. Straying beyond the realm of the humble pulse would prove a little foolish in this case, so there we shall remain. Indeed, butterbeans make a pretty favourable choice, since they possess a particularly smooth and creamy texture. As such, this take on the Middle Eastern classic is equally, if not more, palatable than its esteemed counterpart. The use of paprika to make infused oil may appear a little frivolous on the surface, but it is an integral part to this dish. Not only does it give the hummus a rather delectable streak of colour, it also completes its flavour profile with a smoky sweetness. As for the lack of tahini, this dip really doesn’t need it.
One of the most enjoyable things about food blogging is its innate ability to furnish one with a wider knowledge of food, via the community. Though no one blog has influenced, or inspired me, in a particularly direct sense, certain ideas, as well as types of food, do tend to rub-off onto my gastronomic sleeve fairly frequently. Of course, that doesn’t mean that none of you are inspirational, you most certainly are, only that my blog has a very distinct drive and direction. This dish marks just one of the many culinary blotches which reside upon my metaphorical garments and I am so glad that it decided to transfer itself so vividly. Indeed, though they take a little time, care and preparation, arancini, which are essentially crispy balls of risotto, are exceptionally delicious, almost to the point of fatal delirium.
As predicted, the weather here has become remarkably warm and jolly unseasonable. One would, at this time of the year, expect one’s breath to be made visible by a late-spring chill. However, as this paragraph begins to takes shape, my eyes find themselves met with a sky of unbridled blue. We appear to have skipped spring entirely and charged head-first into summer – perhaps June will become the new winter. We shall yet join the Australians in having my namesake, jolly ol’ St. Nick, presented with a surf board and speedos, rather than coat and gloves.
Hello! I'm Nick, frugal food enthusiast and curator of frugalfeeding, a food blog about eating good, well-sourced food as economically as possible.