Tag Archives: basil

Persimmon Salad

Something that I always had growing up was a good fruit bowl. I first realized I had taken them for granted when I got to university. In hindsight, the lack of vitamins probably exacerbated the incessant greyness of the Kingston winters. Most of my favourite fruits happen to be summer fruits (probably because I love all berries) however, my two all time favourites are actually pomegranate and persimmon.



I’ve never tasted a persimmon cooked in any way that was as good as a ripe fresh persimmon so I decided to just compliment it with some feta cheese, pomegranate seeds, and pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette. I finish the plate with a bit of basil.

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Rosemary Balsamic Roasted Figs

Figs aren’t big in Vietnamese cuisine. In fact, before last night, I was the only one in the household to have ever actually tasted them. I used to talk to a friend about how growing up in an Asian family (he’s 3/4 Chinese and I’m Vietnamese), we were almost made to feel bad whenever we did not like something. It was even worse when we did not want to try something. As was common practice, the elderly at dinner parties would comment on how mature they thought your palate was. This cultural phenomenon is so deeply rooted it can be found embedded in the language (at least in Vietnamese). When I used to express my discontent for stomach or intestines my family friends would exclaim in Vietnamese that “I didn’t know how to eat it.” Of course, cultural differences account for the fact that this sounds extremely rude in English. Hilariously enough, I found it a bit hypocritical how the same people exclusively ate Chinese and Vietnamese food, refusing to ever try foods originating from other parts of the world. Luckily for me, my family is always up for new flavours.

Roasted Figs


For the figs, I just stabbed them with the stems of rosemary and popped them in a pan with a balsamic reduction. The balsamic reduction can be made by simply adding icing sugar to simmering balsamic vinegar. I basted the figs until they became a bit darker in colour by absorbing some of the balsamic vinegar. After taking them out of the oven the balsamic vinegar thickened a bit and became much sweeter. To balance this out I finished the dish with some basil ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and some pine nuts for texture.

The figs were a hit which I hope will reinforce the “try anything once” mindset my family currently holds.

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Father’s Day Dinner | Chicken Tagliatelle & Insalata Caprese

One of my father’s favourite dishes is Fettucini Alfredo. So, for father’s day I decided to make him Fettucini Alfredo. Unfortunately for me, some complications along the way meant that I had tagliatelle at my disposal instead. I had to improvise. Luckily, my house is always well stocked with fresh ingredients which made the improvisation a lot easier. This is what I ended up with: Chicken Tagliatelle & Insalata Caprese.


Chicken Tagliatelle

The chicken portion of the dish is quite simple. It is just pan fried chicken finished with some parsley. The caprese salad which separates the deconstructing of a Chicken Alfredo is classically made and finished with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and basil that just became harvestable from my garden. The tagliatelle is cooked al dente and lightly coated with some white sauce and then finished with some ground black pepper.


Chicken Tagliatelle

He was quite the happy father.

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