There's something about this book that I love so much that I just can't describe.
I think it has to do with the beautiful images I have in my head of the characters, the setting, the story, the dramas.
It took me so long to read, but I just wanted to slowly savour every page.
I think it's written beautifully.
Just like a good story can transport you somewhere else to a different place, so too can meals.
Even the smell of a certain food can immediately conjure up images of another world, another city, another time and day.
While I've never been to Indonesia, Gado Gado is a dish that immediately makes me think of lazy summer days, in a burnt out haze, with sticky summer skin and crunchy salt drenched hair. And with the disgusting rainy weather we have had the pleasure of having this past month, I need something, anything, to make me feel like it's actually summer cos the sun sure as hell ain't.
1/2 a head of cabbage, quartered
1 red capsium, cut into bite size pieces
1 lebanese cucumber, sliced
Handful of green beans
Handful of snow peas
1/2 a head of broccoli
1/2 a punnet of cherry tomatoes
3 medium potatoes -roasted
1 small sweet potato - roasted
4 eggs - boiled and halved
300g raw peanuts
1 tablespoon peanut butter
125ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
7 cloves of garlic
1 birds eye chilli
Juice from 1 lime
Cut both the potatoes up into bite size chunks, place on a baking tray drizzle with salt, olive oil and a few pinches of chilli flakes. Roast in a moderate oven for about 25 minutes.
To prepare the peanut sauce place the peanuts on a lined baking tray. Roast in a hot oven for about 5-8 minutes. Once golden, remove from oven and pour into a food processor along with the garlic and chilli. Whiz until the peanuts and garlic have been roughly chopped.
Pour the coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime and peanut butter in a sauceplan and stir to combine over a medium heat. Add the chopped peanuts and heat through for a further few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Get a large pot of water on to boil on the stovetop. Once at boiling point, place in the cabbage, the broccoli, green beans and snow peas (in that order). Boil for about 3-5 minutes. Drain.
Assemble the boiled veg on a plate along with the fresh tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, baked potatoes and boiled egg. Serve with peanut sauce.