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September Cottage Cooking Club, Cauliflower Pakors, Puy Lentils


Welcome to our September edition Cooking Along With The Cottage Cooking Club joining in with other food bloggers from throughout the world and sharing the cookbook, River Cottage veg everyday, written by British author and TV host, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. This month on Spiced Peach Blog we feature four dishes from among the months recipe selections chosen by our fearless leader, Andrea, from The Kitchen Lioness, Notes from a very small German Kitchen. Andrea, an amazing photographer and food stylist, additionally  shares some wonderful travel stories and happenings throughout Germany on her blog, such as this weeks Post on her recent visit to the annual Putzchens Markt in Bonn. Hop on over and say Hi, Andrea always graciously responds, and in any among a few languages that you may speak. Now, onward.


Favorite recipe pic of the month, Cauliflower Pakors shown above. Prepared with a chick pea (garbanzo) flour and mixed with some baking powder and a variety of Indian style spices, the slight double cream thickness of the batter lent well forming an almost similar to corn bread coating in flavor once deep fried. While the spices were not as prominent as anticipated, still the crunchy outer texture complimented the inner texture, even heightening the delicate taste of the cauliflower. The crispy florets were served alongside a tamarind raita in the book, though I opted for the alternative mango chutney, in retrospect, a lighter fluidity of the raita I do believe would have provided tastier fare.


Mushroom Risoniotto. Ahem. Yes. Using orzo combined with mushrooms seems like a good idea, but it was the beginning of my this months taste testers recurring theme, ‘dial it up‘.  I had to agree, the dish just left me missing something, even despite extra salt. The caramelized mushrooms then brought together in a sort of balsamic glaze were excellent, but once combined with the orzo didn’t seem to bring enough flavor punch to the dish as a whole. I’ve been thinking on how the orzo might have fared with a reduction butter sauce, or simmering the orzo with added broth similar to risotto.


Puy Lentil and Spinach Soup. My first disclaimer here is although the bulk French Lentils used in this dish were labeled ‘French’ at the Whole Foods Market, Puy Lentils are an AOC protected designation of origin product, meaning, they may only be called Puy if the lentils are specifically from such region, so here we have French Green Lentil and Spinach Soup. A basic recipe in its preparation, my grandson the J-Dude considered the finished product topped with a few torn pieces of fresh mint and crumbled goat cheese “very good lentil soup.” On the other hand, my friend Marcelle from Lebanon who prepares excellent Lebanese Lentil with Lemon Soup felt the soup, needed, well, ‘dialing up’, a lot more flavor. Now in my house I guess you could say I have a very international pantry of products, and then, including one bagged shelved item that consists of green lentils purchased from our local Indian market. Marcelle didn’t miss a beat to scold me in her boisterous, strongly Lebanese accented voice for purchasing the French green lentils when I had a perfectly good bag of green lentils already on the shelf. ‘Why you do this?’ she asked. She had a point.


Oven Roasted Roots Frittata was an interesting twist lending the bright colors reminiscent of fall including deep red roasted beets, shaded orange gold cubes of yam and butternut squash interspersed with the pale green baby leeks from my garden. I have to admit that the summer veg frittata prepared as one among our Cottage Cooking Club selections in July went over so well, in all fairness, it would be difficult to top. My next door neighbors having sampled both frittatas still enjoyed the root combination pieces of roasted beets, yams, leeks, and summer squash, though this dish too may possibly have been dialed up as well using an alternative to goat cheese, perhaps a good sharp cheddar or Swiss.

And that’s the wrap up for September Cottage Cooking Club. You can read what other members have prepared this month here.






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  1. Posted September 29, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t know that Puy lentils were AOC protected. Interesting! I used the same Whole Foods French lentils that you did, so I guess my soup wasn’t official either 🙂 I LOVE Lebanese Lentil Soup with lemon, but have never managed to make a good one myself. You are very lucky to have a friend that makes it. I hope you enjoy the runner beans if you decide to try them.

    • Posted September 29, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jora, yes, it is interesting on the French green Lentils. Honestly I kept wondering to myself if in fact these were Puy Lentils but not marked as such in the bulk process, but then again… I’m sure I will enjoy trying the runner beans! And I do love Lebanese Lentil Soup with Lemon and my friend Marcelle definitely has it down to an elegant perfection! Thanks for joining in!

  2. Posted September 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Your dishes look beautiful, particularly the frittata….I’m sure it tasted as good as it looked with all of those wonderful vegetables in it. I made the same recipes and the pakoras were a huge hit. I would recommend the yogurt dip if you were to make them again.

    • Posted September 30, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Hi Zosia, agreed, the cauliflower pakors match much nicer with a nice yogurt dip. I did enjoy the colorful dimensions and flavor of the root veg frittata. I enjoyed your review as well this month on CCC. Thanks so much for joining in!

  3. TheKitchenLioness
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Peggy, first of all, thank you very much for the kind “shout-out” – always appreciated! Lieben Dank!
    I also like your picks this month – too bad that you found a few of these recipes “lacking” somewhat in flavor – I added a ton of freshly chopped parsley to my Risoniotto and some chives also helped – we loved that recipe. The Lentil Soup went over very well with some parmesan shavings (for saltiness), the kids liked it that way. I must agree on the texture of the batter for the Pakors – a bit like cornmeal and the spices were not as prominent as expected, that´s true, but still delicious!
    Everything you prepared looks wonderful and so expertly executed!
    Thank you for aprticipating agin this month – always such a pleasure to cook along with you!

    • Posted October 3, 2014 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Hi Andrea, Thanks so much and great to hear from you. I’m willing to give a go on expanding and experimenting with the Risonotto again, it really is a great concept.
      I’m very much enjoying River Cottage Veg and its diverse selections. Absolutely loved your Post on the Markt in Bonn- and really all of your wanderings around Germany, along with your excellent photography- I’ve just begun quite a good photography class in Philadelphia last night, learning can be painful, especially when it involves a lot of buttons, lol, but I’m working at it in any event. Thanks again and I’ll see you through the month on The Kitchen Lioness!

  4. Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    As always, more great food choice and pictures. So many great cooks out there! I’m all over that lentil soup.
    Phil recently posted…Itchy campy fun in NYC because of Bedbugs!!! The Musical.My Profile

  5. Posted October 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    First, thank you for your kind comments on my post. All your choices look wonderful, Peggy. Funny you say things need to be dialed up a bit. I have found that most of Hugh’s recipes need to go heavier on the herbs and spices, especially garlic! I don’t know what version book you have, US or UK, but my recipe said to add the chutney to the raita in place of the tamarind. 😉 Looking forward to October’s recipes.
    Cathleen recently posted…Wok Wednesdays | Malaysian-Style Stir-Fried Squid and PineappleMy Profile

    • Posted October 3, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Hi Cathleen, I’m enjoying my culinary mission! Thanks for dropping by. I’m happy to hear the commonality on the dial it up, still, I love the book and the diverse dishes some of which have been fabulous for preparing again and again! I have the UK version, but either way you are correct on the chutney versus tamarind of which I have both- just not the plain yogurt on the day I needed it! Thanks again for joining in. See you on CCC.

  6. Posted October 4, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    This is such a fun idea. Where did you find your cooking club, Peggy? I would love to join one (or start one).
    Kelly recently posted…Wide Calf Riding Boot RoundupMy Profile

  7. Posted October 11, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I often amp up the flavour on these recipes, too. I think he provides great templates for people to adjust to their own tastes. The lentil soup was a great dish and I really liked the fritatta too, though like you, I thought the summer one was hard to beat.
    Teresa recently posted…FFWD – Sablefish with Double CarrotsMy Profile

    • Posted October 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Hi Teresa, I think the responses on my amping up the flavor, including you, have given me the added ‘inspiration’ to go on ahead and perhaps make some adjustments. I hadn’t been doing so since we are cooking along with the book, but then, isn’t that really what a cookbook is for, giving us guidance on the main frame? Thanks so much for joining in! See you on CCC.

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.