Alison Boston, Recipes

15 Minute Gourmet: Pasta with Ginger Pears and Smoked Salmon

Fruits of Lukas pear
Image via Wikipedia

This was one of those “I feel like having pasta, but what to have with it?” inventions.  Then I thought: “Pears!  Pears sautéed with ginger…” and the pears were sliced and sautéed while the pasta cooked.

I first tried pears sautéed with ginger one summer when I bought some pears that were just plain hard.  Though when I cooked those, I added nuts and a drizzle of honey to make them a dessert.  And even though I met mothers in Hungary who fed their kids pasta with chocolate as a main course, I think main course should be salty, and dessert, sweet.

…but what to add to the pears and slivered ginger to make my whole wheat pasta a healthy, nutritious main course?  A little smoked salmonhmmm.  Bought as a rare treat (am mostly vegetarian, and when I break the diet it is always with fish, and usually salmon!)

So, a single generous slice of smoked salmon, torn into bite-size pieces and tossed with the pasta, the sautéed pears and ginger added, and the pasta tossed again, but still…it needs something.  Some sort of sauce to stick it all together, to give it more a sense of a main dish pasta.

“Ah, a white sauce, yes…”

Dadiah, traditional West Sumatran water buffal...
Image via Wikipedia

So I open the fridge to get the butter and milk for the sauce and spy a tub of low-fat Greek-style yogurt hiding  at the back of the fridge.

“Yogurt! Yes!”

A couple generous dollops of yogurt, the mixture tossed some more over a low flame, and served on a warm plate – and you have yourself a very nice dinner!

The whole thing took about 15 minutes, but alas, I still have the dishes to wash!

Alison Boston, Food, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Soup From Mom’s Kitchen

Yam in a market
Yams at Brixton Market. Image via Wikipedia.
by June Boston

I’m not a ‘natural’ cook as is my daughter Alison. In fact I’ve always said my three offspring learned to cook in sheer self-defense!   I’ve never been one for cooking shows on TV but Alison’s blog and all her recipes has got me paying more attention to cooking (and I confess, watching the occasional cooking show!)   On this particular day, I was intrigued by this recipe for leek, yam and potato soup – and actually made it!  I felt so virtuous making soup from scratch. My soup usually comes in a can or package!


The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...
Sweet potato. Image via Wikipedia
  • 2 T butter (vegans substitute margarine)
  • 1 1/2 cups leeks halved washed well and sliced
  • 2 T garlic finely chopped
  • 2 T oregano
  • 1 tea sp salt
  • 1/2 tea sp. pepper
  • 1 tea sp. coriander
  • 1 large yam peeled and sliced * 
  • 2 med. potatoes roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups veg. broth or water

Add butter and leeks to a medium pot, pre-heated on medium heat.  Sweat (sauté without browning) the leeks for a few minutes, stir occasionally.

Add garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and coriander and sauté for another 2 mins.

Add yams, potatoes and veg. broth/water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium low Simmer until yams and potatoes are cooked and soft then remove pot from heat and cool for 5 mins.

Add to blender and purée until smooth

VERY filling!!

* Ed’s Note: I don’t think they mean yams as big as the ones from Brixton Market! I think they mean Sweet Potatoes.  If you’re confused, read Jennifer Ward Pelar’s guest post for all the dope on Yams.

When I got to the “put-in blender” part I could not find the blender. Searched high and low. Eventually found, at the back of one of the kitchen cupboards, a hand blender which Alison had bought whilst living in Victoria and given me when she moved away.  I said I didn’t want it, that I had a blender, she insisted I take it, said it was easier to clean-up and I would find it useful.  It did a fine job.  Can’t believe I’ve never used it till now!  She gave it to me over 10 years ago!
It’s true, Mother’s meals were not something we kids got excited about, and I learned to cook mostly because I love good food.  Tinned soup was all we got when I was growing up, except when we had turkey, then Dad would make a delicious soup from the left over carcass.