Dinner plans

The best big sister is coming over for dinner tonight and I'm stoked because I haven't cooked for guests in WAY too long. It's been very busy around these parts with Rocco doing his professional exams at break neck pace (he just keeps passing and passing!) and I wrote and submitted the first article that will be a chapter in my thesis. YAY! That was a bit of a breakthrough for me and it feels so good that I just might ride the momentum and write and submit another one in June. Yes sir, that's the plan. But all that to say we haven't had anyone over for dinner in...months! How unlike me! With Annie coming over tonight it's reigniting my food synapses and All Recipes is getting a workout.

So here's the menu and a recipe:
Bean croquettes (probably white bean, or lima bean, onion, parsley, cumin, breadcrumbs, rolled in egg and panko then baked at 400F for 20 minutes until crispy and golden)
Saffron yogurt (recipe blow)
White rice with peas and chive blossom
Salad made of lettuce, chard, radishes, and flower petals with a light oil and vinegar dressing

I planted my deck garden the first week of May and this year decided not to plant any vegetables at all. We bought into a CSA for the summer so there will be more than enough veg to go around. Last year we joined a CSA mid-way through summer and suddenly all the veg on the deck became redundant. I had string beans up to my eyeballs and we couldn't eat them fast enough, what with them coming in the CSA box and growing like wildfire in two containers on the deck. So this year I only planted herbs and edible flowers on the deck, and our salads and other dishes will be gorgeous with a rainbow of bright petals. So far we have marigolds and nicotiana ready to eat and looking lovely, and eventually the nasturtiums will also grace our plates. The chives have been growing since February so I've been cooking with chive blossom for weeks already. You pick the large purple flower head, then separate each small blossom that is about the size of a grain of cooked rice, and use them in sautees, on salads, in baked dishes, mashed into potatoes, etc. Delicious!

And finally, here's the recipe for saffron yogurt that will be a dipping sauce for the croquettes. I got the idea from Belgian Fries on Commercial Drive where one of their mayo options to have with the fries is a saffron mayo. It shouldn't work, but it's so SO good. I can't bring myself to serve a mayo dipping sauce with an otherwise healthy meal, so I hunted down something similar made with thick yogurt. Now I have to hunt down the yogurt, because I'm not prepared to strain my own. Off to the greek deli!

Saffron Yogurt
550 mL plain yogurt (a little over 2 cups)
2 Tbsp boiling water
pinch of saffron threads
6 cardamom pods
3 Tbsp caster sugar

  1. Pour yogurt into a nylon sieve lined with muslin and leave in refrigerator overnight to drain.

  2. Put saffron and water in a small bowl and leave to soak for 30 minutes.

  3. Tip drained yogurt into a bowl and stir in saffron and its soaking liquid.

  4. Put cardamom seeds in a mortar and crush lightly with a pestle.

  5. Stir into yogurt with sugar.

  6. Serve chilled, decorated with lemon zest and cardamom seeds.
Notes: I'm buying thick yogurt, not straining regular yogurt. I'm using ground cardamom rather than crushing pods. I'm hoping to not use all the sugar recommended since I really want to avoid the sauce being too sweet. And who needs sugar? Not us.


  1. Very nice... Stacie made an awesome salad with Quinoa.. You should get after her about the recipe. Avocado, tomatoes, etc.

    Waiting for a good posting... you know the one. I hear wikileaks might be posting it soon.

  2. The idea of adding cardamom to saffron yogurt is really good idea. Something similar is posted at
    Saffron Honey Yogurt . I would love to hear your comment.