I have taken a three week holiday to spend some of it at home making soaps, baking and bush walking. Having spent some of my time off away from home eating very adventurously, I was craving a clean green wholesome meal. The backyard is a very envious herb garden and there is no end to the constant sprouting. Spring is prime time for growing mint and asparagus. Poached eggs, asparagus and Parmesan - give me that any day and I'll polish the plate clean but today, the abundance of mint gave me an idea for a delicious salad. I can't rave enough about mint, feta and onion combination; sharp, earthy, creamy and fresh - a true explosion of flavours. It works perfectly well in salads, quiches and tarts. This time with blanched asparagus and the sweetness of crunchy raw pistachios. I will leave you with a photo only - the salad consists of blanched asparagus, red onions, raw pistachios, creamy feta, mint leaves, olive oil and salt&pepper to season.
Now, a little about time away from home. I made it to Santiago and suddenly realised the money spent years ago on a Spanish course, for a South American trip that never eventuated, was the most memorable and the best investment of my life. Not only it saved me from making the wrong bookings but most importantly I could read menus and order food, and I was extremely happy that what appeared to be a complete failure years ago was suddenly a success. Here I was in the middle of Santiago, not only content that the entire trip was very heart warming and a very enjoyable experience but I wanted more foodie experiences out of this trip. We made it to the most famous empanadas place in Santiago and it was not my comfort zone - to scream at the cashier and eat standing in a cramped space holding a burning emapnada in my hand but you know what? the thought of why am I even doing this didn't cross my mind. To be honest, the empanada was probably not all that, but it was the experience of eating like the locals that made the trip even more special. The most memorable meals were eating the most basic meal of fresh fish and chicken at the markets with the locals. What surprised us on this trip was the warmth and genuineness of people we encountered.