Nobody said it was easy...

Yesterday Salt the Radish opened its doors for the first time to the hungry (hopefully) people of Finsbury Park. To say this has been a long journey is an understatement. I've been catering for yoga retreats and small events and dinners for a couple of years but the cafe plan has been bubbling around for much, much longer than that.

Espresso

I've had to overcome a few obstacles on the way and I'm not out of the woods yet. Come in for a coffee and maybe I'll bore you with the whole story. This means that for a short period we will mostly be serving our signature salads as well as superb coffee, cakes and pastries.

In a month or so we will have a little refurb and re-open with the hot food menu. Think tempting brunch and lunch dishes, all the eggs, daal, shakshuka, most likely some avocados here and there.

Despite the problems, yesterday was amazing. We met loads of great people who were really supportive and enthusiastic and I just can't wait to share my food with them over the next few years.

Meditation and Mindfulness Part ll

Squash and shallot salad

We have just reached the end of Dale Farm Holiday's second Yoga and Mindfulness Retreat. A full weekend of relaxation and yoga. Salt & the Radish provided a full bespoke vegetarian menu including vegan alternatives (for our favourite vegan, Alice).

Vegan chocolate mousse

Dinner on Friday night was a roasted squash, shallot and feta salad followed by harissa roasted aubergine, pickled red onion and lentil salad, preserved lemon yoghurt and flatbreads. Dessert was a vegan chocolate mousse (don't tell anyone there's avocado in it, they'll never know).

Spinach daal

Saturday night we went Indian. Kale pakoras, onion salad and mint yoghurt to start followed by spinach daal. Dessert was cardamom roasted pineapple, coconut yoghurt, burnt lime and mint.

Salt also provided the bits in between dinners. Breakfast, lunch and cakes in the afternoon. 

Chilli scrambled eggs

Yoga (Nidra and Hatha Flow) was taught by Rachael Hill of Mind Body Soul Yoga, Guildford (www.mindbodysoulyoga.co.uk). Mindfulness was taught by Liz Halliday of Dale Farm Holidays. The next retreat will be held 17 - 19 March 2017. Visit www.dalefarmholidays.co.uk for more information.

Summer Fennel

It's July. A balmy 17 degrees and cloudy with showers. The British summer is well and truly here. And with it comes our first crop of fennel. Fennel can be picked into Autumn but I think it is at it's best right now, chopped and eaten raw in a salad with a lemon dressing and some herbs...

Salmon with Salsa Verde

In my last post I wrote about 5 ingredients that I couldn't live without. The list could've gone on, but for the sake of the 1 or 2 people actually reading this blog, I kept it short. However, I would like to make one amendment to this list and add my 6th ingredient... Capers.

Semplice! Italian food.

Last week I spent 3 days in Italy. The Cinque Terre and a flying visit to Portofino and Santa Margherita. What a beautiful part of the world. We were lucky with the weather and crammed in a lot of sight seeing and a lot of eating in the short time we were there...

Why we like to feel the burn.

Salt & the Radish loves a bit of chilli. I came to the realisation last week that I cook with it a lot. I eat a lot of Asian food so that goes without saying but I also add it to salads, most rubs I make for meat and sometimes with breakfast. Hot sauce with eggs? Yes please...

Go to work on an egg...

Easter is over for another year. Everyone has had their annual binge on hot cross buns and chocolate eggs. Some may have enjoyed this more than others it seems. NHS Bosses in Middlesborough had to ask people not to come into A&E if they had over indulged, as people were turning up to James Cook University Hospital complaining of stomach ache...

One Night in Ipoh

Traveling long distances in the UK requires careful consideration of food stops. If you find yourself without food, and in desperate need of some but haven't done your research, I'm afraid you'll probably be subject to one of our service stations. Pray it's one of the new ones because if it isn't. God help you. Maybe I'm being a bit too dramatic but my last experience of a service station on the A1 was not a good one...

Spring, Rhubarb and the Triangle

Rhubarb has always been the marmite of fruit, in my opinion. I know a lot of people who aren't fans. Usually because they're not keen on the texture and the tendency towards stringiness, or perhaps the tart flavour that can only be masked by a generous helping of sugar...

Chai Chai Chai

I'm sure you have recently read in the news the 'shocking' discovery that hot drinks from coffee chains like Starbucks contain a ridiculous amount of sugar. Especially the flavoured ones, which can have up to 25 teaspoons in one drink. That is a lot. Have you tasted one though? Surely you only have to taste them to realise that these drinks are a treat to have once in a while and not to be consumed every day or even more than once a week. Anyway, the report by Action on Sugar is calling for these coffee chains to reduce the amount of added sugar in their drinks. Starbucks has now planned to cut added sugar by 25 percent by 2020...

Sweet Like Chocolate

Everyone loves chocolate. I believe this to be fact. Show me someone who doesn't love chocolate and I'll show you a liar. But seriously, I don't think I've met anyone that doesn't at least like chocolate. I personally love it. Family size bar of Galaxy Caramel to myself? No problem. I do have an unusually high tolerance to rich foods. Just give me a spoon and a tub of extra thick double cream and I'll be happy. Oh, and I'll have that whole block of Cambozola then, if it's going spare...

Middle East in Melbourne

Summer 2014, in the middle of an 18 month trip around Asia, Australia and New Zealand, I worked in a little cafe in one of the suburbs of Melbourne. The cafe was in a Jewish area and was owned and run by an Israeli family. I was lucky enough to get the chance to work in the kitchen alongside a great chef and teacher who taught me loads about cooking and Middle Eastern food...