African Plate

World flavors fascinate me. I grew up in South Louisiana, where global influences were built into our food culture – Spanish, French, and African influences can all be seen.

Since those days in Louisiana, I’ve experienced Mexican, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, and many more foods of the world. One of my favorites, recently, is African cuisine. Herbs, aromatics, beans, vegetables – all are well represented. From simple foods come superb flavors.

African food is still quite unusual to people in America, and it still delights me to experience it. Here is a plate of Eastern African lentils and eggplant, accompanied by a side of avocado, which is a prominent crop in South Africa.

Braised Radish

Crunchy, snappy, and little flavor sponges, radishes are great for braising. Just saute some garlic and onions, toss in some fresh herbs, and add some butter (I prefer Earth Balance, since dairy doesn’t agree with me). Don’t forget to salt a little. Cover over medium-low heat and cook for at least 10 minutes until they start to soften just a bit. They’ll take on a bit of sweetness and absorb that lovely garlic and herb flavor. Delish!