I just got back from a three week trip to Europe. It was the first time in five years that I’ve had more than a week off and it felt FANTASTIC. I barely thought about work and felt like I had little or no stress.
I’ll talk about more of my trip in a few other food related posts, but I’ll start with my first stop: London.
I traveled by myself to London and arrived Friday afternoon. I was really lucky to be able to spend so much time with my friends Will and Alyssa over the three day weekend. The highlights of our time together was:
- The British Museum – I especially enjoyed seeing the Assyrian collection which was very large. Seeing the cuneiform writing and the Rosetta stone was also very thrilling!
- The Churchill War Rooms – I wanted to do this over churches/art museums because it’s something uniquely British. There’s an excellent portion besides the bunkers that has a history of Churchill’s fascinating life, although I wish it had been better organized for the path one wanted to take. Did you know Churchill was somewhat of a onesie inventor? He loved to wear them, especially as an outfit to put on during an air raid.
- Pubs – the pub culture was great in London, especially as Will, Alyssa and I all have a great appreciate for good beer. The meat pies were also very delicious. On Friday afternoon it was fun to see business people in suits all out on the street in front of pubs with their pints of beer.
- Boat ride to Greenwich – I felt like Greenwich was completely overrated, but it was nice to spend an afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of London. The boat took us to the Thames River Barrier which was an awesome feat of engineering. It was constructed to protect London from periodic flooding.
My first stop, even before going to my AirBnB rental, was at Ottolenghi’s Spitalfields location near Liverpool Street station. It was definitely the best meal of my whole trip, and all I got was a variety of take-away salads. It was so delightful that it was also one of my last meals in London as well! I’ve never had vegetables like this before, and the spices used were so different that what I normally eat.
Ottolenghi is the cookbook author of Jerusalem, Plenty, and Plenty More and is really “hip” right now. My mother-in-law and some of her friends are huge fans of his cookbook. After sampling straight from the source I came home feeling motivated to try new recipes.
The recipe can be found straight on Ottolenghi’s site. The website doesn’t contain directions (they are in the Jerusalem cookbook but all one has to do is roast the cauliflower and then combine all the ingredients).
There weren’t any pomegranates at the grocery store, so I added some Trader Joe’s Pomegranate vinegar to the dressing to add some of the flavor.
I really liked the salad but Sam said it smelled like German Red Cabbage (Rotkohl) and refused to eat more than a bite. It has cinnamon and all spice in it, so the flavors are a bit different than in a typical salad and closer to red cabbage territory. I liked it so that’s all that matters!