burnt toast

Tag: sour cream

Beetroot Relish and Dilled Sour Cream Poppadom Bites

poppadoms and trimmings

Autumn is such a beautiful time of year. The mornings surprise you with their icy presence, the tips of the trees are starting to turn golden, and the fruit trees in the neighbours’ gardens are exploding with a bounty of ripe goods. Soup season has well and truly arrived. While the jumpers have begun to reconquer their place in the cupboard, our daily tea consumption has doubled. Root vegetables are waving to us warmly at the supermarket as we gently bundle them up and take them home to create a dish of filling comfort.

Growing up in Bern, soup was an ever-popular staple over the colder months. At my dad’s we had a recurring list of menus to which we’d fall back on, including my stepmum’s legendary Bircher Müesli, Gschweuti, which is basically boiled potatoes served with a selection of toppings, apple tart, and at the time my little sister’s favourite, Riz Casimir, rice served with tinned fruit and tofu in a mild curry sauce. Another favourite, but slightly more rare guest on our dinner table, was borscht. I loved the almost ceremonial way the sour cream was dolloped onto the steaming burgundy soup, how you had to give it a good scattering of chopped dill fronds before gently scooping it up with a spoon, all the while trying not to disturb the stunning contrast of the beautiful colours.

So there I was the other day, daydreaming about finger food (yet again), when I thought about how swell it would be if I took those earthy cold-weathery borscht components and jazzed them up into a suave little nibble. Bring on that beetroot.

These babies are best assembled shortly before entering your mouth, so I suggest you spread all the ingredients out on a table and let everyone construct their little poppadum parcels themselves.


Beetroot relish

adapted from notquitenigella 

1 medium sized beetroot

½ tsp black mustard seeds

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 allspice berry (dried)

pinch chili flakes

½ tsp salt

3/8 cups raw sugar

¼ cup apple cider vinegar


A few hours before you want to make this nibble, start with roasting the beetroot. Do this by preheating the oven to 180°C, wrapping the beet tightly in tin foil, and letting it roast for a few hours. It will be done when you can easily slide a knife into it. Remove from the oven and cool.

When ready to make the relish, peel and grate the beetroot on the large holed – side of a box grater and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the mustard seeds until they begin to pop. Add the olive oil and onion, and cook until translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients and let them bubble away until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Make sure you stir it occasionally so it doesn’t catch. Once it’s done, remove from the heat and transfer to a jar. Let it cool down before you serve it. Why? Because the poppadums soften a lot quicker with heat, and we don’t want that.

Any leftover relish will keep in your fridge for at least a week.


To serve

1 packet small poppadums

200 ml sour cream (use light, full-fat or even Greek yoghurt. Just none of that non-fat stuff.)

1 bunch dill, leaves picked and finely chopped


Pop the poppadums in the microwave ( 30 sec – 1 min on high). Stir up the sour cream and mix it with the dill. Get your relish out. Once you’re ready to assemble and immediately eat these cuties, grab a poppadum, top it with some relish and  some dill sour cream. Crunch. Repeat.


Cheesy Garlicky Flatbread

cheesy garlicky flatbread

You know what’s better than garlic bread? Nothing obviously, I hear you say. You’re wrong my friend. You know all those times you ordered garlic bread to accompany your sinfully satisfying take-away pizza, and almost without a doubt, the first bite into that scalding puff of steamy bread, your inner garlic demon chucks his garlic trident into a corner and turns his back to you. Because all you really have there is (not enough, never enough) molten margarine that was placed in the vicinity of a picture of garlic. WHERE IS THE GARLIC DUDE. But you eat it anyway, because you’re a respectful human being.

Homemade garlic bread is a whole other thing. But then so is cheesy garlicky flatbread. The topping on this beauty makes up for the (never enough) butter that ceases to exist as soon as your crusty garlic baguette is hot enough to remove from the oven. This garlicky cheesy flatbread has cheese and sour cream to accompany that deliciously enticing bite of (the absolute perfect amount of) garlic. And there’s some spring onion for added prettiness.

This is one of the best most possible things you can serve your friends while you figure out what next to turn into food before you pass out from hunger. Its tasty carby goodness hits that spot with a triple hi-five.

You might as well do it this Friday.


Cheesy Garlicky Flatbread

This is more an instructions list of how to assemble. Feel free to tweak to satisfy your needs.

As many rounds of flatbread (25-30 cm in diameter) as you think will be needed (2 or more for a group of 4 as an entree)

Per flatbread you will need:

3 heaped Tbsp sour cream (full-fat please)

1/2 tsp vegetable stock granules

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/3 cup / 60g grated cheddar cheese, or anything that melts well and isn’t too strong in flavour

1 spring onion, finely sliced


Preheat your oven to 220°C. Spread the sour cream evenly over the flatbread. Be sure to be generous, as some of it will be soaked up by the bread as it bakes, but, not too much, or else it’ll slide right off when you go to pick up a slice. Sprinkle the stock granules evenly over the top. You can use whatever type of salty component you like, just make sure you adjust accordingly. Sprinkle the garlic evenly over that, followed by the cheese, and then the spring onion. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 0-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the edges are taking on colour. Remove from the oven and cut into pieces. Share with friends.


sour cream pizza with red wine onions and rocket

I like Fridays.  Friday afternoons. I like them best when I can share them with a good friend or two. I’ll whip up some sexy little cocktail and lay out something delicious and carb – based, like this sour cream pizza with red wine caramelized onions and rocket, yes sir. In case you were wondering, this is a radified version of the already quite mesmerizing Germain Flammkuchen, minus the cheese or the lardons.

And then we all eat and drink to our heart’s content and live happily ever after. It’s that good.

Sour Cream Pizza with Red Wine Onions and Rocket

Pizza dough

2 cups / 300g plain flour

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 sachet / 7g instant dried yeast

180 ml warm water, plus more if necessary

3 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp soy sauce

50ml/ a splash of red wine

salt and pepper

250g sour cream

2 handfuls of rocket

Alright, lets start with the dough. Me and this recipe are pretty close chums at this point, because I make it at least once a week. You should too. Combine the flour, oil, salt, sugar and yeast in a big bowl. Stir in the water with a bread knife until roughly combined, then get your hands in there and knead it until it’s smooth. Cover with cling wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size. Alternatively, cover and place in the fridge overnight for a slow rise. Whatever works best for you my pretty.

Next, ze onions. Throw them into a large fry pan with the olive oil and cook them slowly until soft and golden. At this point, add in the soy sauce and the red wine and let the liquids bubble away, until you’re left with a deliciously aromatic burgundy mess. Season with salt and pepper and cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. If you’re a proud owner of round pizza trays, get them out, otherwise, if you’re like me, use two rectangular ones. Grease them with butter – I find the dough has a much better grip on a buttered tray, rather than an oiled one.  Divide your dough into two and roll out in your tins. I usually use a round drinking glass for this. Schmear the sour cream evenly over the dough with a spoon, then spread over the onion. Bake in the oven for about 12 – 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Remove from the oven, top with the rocket, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Yum.

Dip that thing.

I love tapas. Mezze. Antipasti. Amuse-bouches. Nibbly finger food. The variety, the mix and match nature of it all. Calling this my favourite dip would be like favouring a child, so instead what I will say is this: This is my favourite dip of the sour cream and caramelised onion category. And I love it with all my heart.

Caramelised Onion Dip

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp honey

250g sour cream

1 Tbsp mayo (because mayo makes everything taste good. In a secret, subtle sort of way)

1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard

chopped parsley

Combine the onions, a splash of water and a glug of oil in a small frypan and cook on a low heat with the lid on until onion has softened. Remove lid and continue cooking, on a higher flame now, until liquid has evaporated and onions are beginning to go light brown. Add the soy and the honey and stir until dark and sticky and caramelised. Cool slightly.

Combine the onion with the sour cream, mayo, and mustard. Adjust the seasoning, then transfer to a bowl and top with the chopped parsley to make it look pretty.

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