I recently discovered "The New Vegetarian" column on the Guardian UK website. Written by Yotam Ottolenghi, who owns a few restaurants in London, it highlights delicious, modern vegetarian dishes that have a middle eastern twist. I am planning to make the pearl barley risotto (above) for dinner tomorrow night - yum! He has also published two cookbooks - I have been wanting his first book for ages, but it was a (very expensive) UK edition, but I noticed that it's now been released in the US - hurrah! Amazon shopping cart, here I come!
UPDATE - This recipe was just as yummy as anticipated! A hint - make double, because it was only about 3 servings, and you might want (a lot) more. I grilled zuchini and marinated with lemon zest and olive oil to have on the side. I have now purchased both of his books - looking forward to a lot more yumminess.
I just finished reading A.S. Byatt's "The Children's Book" and would recommend it. It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did, I was hooked. The book is set in the early 1900's and centres on children's book author Olive Wellwood and her large bohemian family and extended group of friends. The book has a rich cast of characters, many of whom are involved in the Arts & Crafts movement (which I have a soft spot for) and moves between the narrative and fairy tale stories that Olive is writing for each of her children. At first glance, life seems idyllic - midsummer picnics, children roaming the English country side, beautiful pottery, fairy stories - but lurking beneath is a darker reality and the looming spectre of the First World War. And, not that books should be judged by their covers, but it does have a really nice cover.
Congratulations to local rug company Red Spruce, who are debuting their collection with NYC's Odegard, and will be having their work sold in outlets throughout the US. I saw their work recently at a gallery here in Halifax, and loved it. After perusing their website and learning more about this exceptional company, I love it even more. Contemporary artists, many local, create the designs (above is the Sand Dollar) and they are then made by traditional rug-hookers in Nova Scotia. It's just fantastic to know that Nova Scotian artists and makers are being supported in this way. Kudos Red Spruce!