February’s issue of Delicious magazine arrived in the middle of a heatwave. Temperatures in the high 30s and 40s were not conducive to eating, let alone cooking, but chez librarycook, an expectation that each evening, a nourishing meal would appear, continued regardless.
Leafing listlessly through the pages of the issue, the librarycook’s attention was briefly caught by a recipe for Strozzapreti, Zucchini Flowers, Pangrattato – until she noticed that the ingredient list included kombu and nori, both of which would have necessitated a visit to a far-away shop, which in the prevailing oven-like conditions was never going to happen.
Another recipe or two almost met the librarycook’s approval, but then she spotted a recipe from regular contributor, and cooking superhero, Yotam Ottolenghi. Mr Ottolenghi had provided a recipe for Herby Polenta with Corn, Eggs and Feta, which, while it exuded an air of comfort food perhaps more applicable to the colder months, still managed to appeal to the librarycook’s depths.
The inclusion of polenta, and coriander, plus feta, ingredients high on the librarycook’s all-time favourites list, all but guaranteed that this would be this month’s featured recipe*.
Better still, after an initial flurry of activity, the dish more or less cooked itself – allowing the librarycook plenty of reading time, devoted this time to The Grace Year, by Kim Liggett, a kind of Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games, and highly recommended.
Was the recipe also to prove a winner? Yes – although as foreshadowed above, it proved more suitable for the colder evenings of May or June, rather than the above average temperatures Sydney is currently sweltering through. And of course, any recipe which allows a deep immersion into a gripping novel is always a bonus for the librarycook.
*the ingredient the librarycook always ignores. If we were intended to eat dill, it wouldn’t be so hairy.