Winter has finally started to make an appearance in the UAE, and it is probably the best time of the year here! Cool breeze blows through my windows! Everyone is donning light jackets. Walks are so much more pleasant now. And all of the UAE’s restaurants open up their seating areas on the sidewalks and it is a beautiful experience with all the lights, cool breeze and chatter.
This is probably the best time for me to restart my gardening efforts. If you have been following me on Instagram (@riotofflavours) since a while, you’d have noticed how I have tried (and failed) to grow plants back in Mumbai. I currently have just two plants in my house. A money plant I picked up from Ikea – which, touch wood, is growing beautifully. And a basil plant that is struggling to grow, since summer and not making as much progress as I would like to have seen. Nevertheless, I intend to visit Dubai Garden Centre in Al Quoz soon to check out some options to turn my balcony into a veritable vegetable and herb garden. Till then, I shall have to resort to picking my herbs from the local supermarkets.
While Basil is by far my favourite herb, Rosemary comes a close second. A few months ago I had picked up a beautiful bunch from Spinneys to make this Hasselback Apple w/ Rosemary Streusel dish. But I had so much left over since you don’t get just the one sprig you require in the supermarket – you have to buy the whole lot! So, I started the Rosemary Series on Instagram posting pics of different rosemary dishes – from the Hasselback Apples, to Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary, a pasta and then, this beautiful Rosemary & Lemon Loaf Cake inspired by Nigella Lawson’s recipe in How to be a Domestic Goddess!
I absolutely adore cake loaves and my loaf tin is my favourite baking dish! And, the idea of using savoury ingredients in desserts like a kaffir lime cheesecake or a basil creme brulee excite me no end. Hence, when I thought of using the rosemary in a cake, I knew it was a great idea. I went on to search for a basic Loaf Cake recipe by Nigella and found the entire recipe for a Rosemary Loaf instead. All I had to do was add the lemon because I wanted to and voila, it was ready and devoured!