Bunker to Bistro in 4 seconds flat
A few months ago, my friend Mirte took me to the magical city of Maastricht (remember our adventure?). After exploring every last charming cobblestoned alley, we reluctantly stepped on the train back to Utrecht, heavy-laden with boxes of granny-era china, silverware, and crystal we had scored in second-hand shops. All this wonderful booty sat untouched until last week, when we transformed the Bunker into a Bistro.
The foccaccia dough hung out all cozy by the only radiator in the house, while we scuttled off to the organic farmer’s market and bought too many beautiful fennel bulbs.
Our menu was inspired by flavours from warmer regions, so pomegranates, pistachios, rose water and pink peppercorns were among the A-listers populating the party.
Alongside a brothy, turmeric-tinged lentil soup, we served a black olive & Himalayan salt foccaccia with dipping bowls of good olive oil and dukkah, a fragrant blend of finely-blitzed toasted nuts and spices.
Then there was a roasted paprika filled with wild rice- and walnut-speckled orzo and topped with a luscious soft feta; a shaved fennel, blood orange and olive salad; and a roasted sweet potato, parsnip and garlic puree.
The pomegranate Eton Mess was devoured so quickly that no photos of the rosewater meringues exist.
To finish a very fine evening, we sipped thimbles of Bonne’s homemade Beech Noyeau. It doesn’t get more local than this — he picked the beech leaves from the park a stone’s throw from the Bunker!
We had such a roaring good time that we’re already planning next month’s menu…here’s a clue!
This food all looks amazing! How fun.
Thank you, Brittany! It was a blast. (:
Wow! Very nice!
I heard you wined and dined Dad & Poppi when they were there, too!
food job love! i mean good job! i wish i could have come, looks and sounds amazing!
Shall we plan something fancy for Gemma’s hen’s night?
Isn’t finding treasures in second hand shop fun? I really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing!
Where I grew up in Asia, second-hand things aren’t treasured because the developing-nation mentality is “new is best”. For that reason I’ve LOVED living here in the Netherlands, where conscious efforts are made to preserve and remember and sustain… at least that’s how I rationalize my weakness for old enamelware. (:
Sigh, so many times you’ve become my tiny escape from another routine day. Thank you for that! xoxo
You’re sweet, Marge – I’m so glad you came over to hang out, a bit. (:
Sounds like a great meal–and a great time pulling it all together. Dukkah is a staple in our house. We keep a quart milk bottle filled with the stuff to sprinkle on roasted beets, seafood, steel-cut oats, etc. Great stuff. Ken
So tasty. I like having versatile things like this on hand as pepper-uppers…and yes, we’re sprinkling it on roasted beets tonight!
Do you plan on sharing your recipes? Sooo wonderful!
Oh, sounds heavenly and perfect! What a wonderful evening. And all of my favorite flavors…
I thought of you when I was planning the menu — dreaming of Ottolenghi-esque culinary escapes more often these days. (: