Last night I made one of the most accomplished meals of my life. And it wasn’t the Aubergine Parmageana, or the Curried Parsnip Soup that made me feel this was a great meal, though those items were fabulous. Those items also came from recipes and so how can I claim credit. But I can claim inspiration for garnishes, the sides and the salad which, whilst simple, made me feel for the first time that I was really getting the hang of matching food and flavours.

So with the parsnip soup: I used the rest of the parsnips to make some parsnip chips that gave the soup a nice crunch. The swirl of cream made it nice and rich, and then a sprinkle of toasted cumin seeds to bring an immediacy to the spiciness. The salad though tested an idea I had been toying with for a while.
Premise 1: You toss salad in oil
Premise 2: You fry in oil
Conclusion: A fried leaf salad. Hence stir fry some round cabbage in olive oil, and then slap some watercress in the last minute. And then the wonderful sizzle of balsamic vinegar on the leaves. And leave to cool with a secondary toss in the wok. It was fresh and tasty which went with the 750g of Parmesan heavy aubergines. And I could be the food ponce for the night!