Some of my recipes. My favorite cooking books include Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classical Italian Cooking. Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian World.

Avocados in Balsamico-Soy dressing

This dish has interesting contrast in the creamy taste of avocado and the spicy dressing. If you have very good (very expensive) balsamic vinegar, you may want to substitute it partially by black rice vinegar.

Mix soy-sauces, vinegar, sesame oil. Lightly crush the garlic clove with a knife, and add to the sauce. Steep for 20 minutes. Taste and correct for vinegar/soy-sauce balance.

Roast pine nuts in a skillet or under the broiler.

Divide the avocado in half, and take out the stone. Scoop out the flesh in one part using a spoon. Cut in strips, and arrange fanwise on the plates. Remove garlic from the dressing. Dribble dressing over the avocado and sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately, as the avocado will turn brown if left too long.

Serves 2

Saffron Riz-au-lait

This is the saffron-fetishist version of rice boiled in milk.

Put the milk in a pan with thick bottom. Add saffron, salt, sugar and lemon strips and bring to a moderate boil. Add rice and stir quickly. Turn down the heat to the laziest simmer available. Let it cook until the grains of the rice have almost dissolved. The mixture should be very thick but not mushy. This will take about 2 to 3 hours. Be careful: at the end of the cooking period the mixture will easily burn.

Leave to cool. Use some uncooked milk to thin the dessert until its consistency and sweetness are to taste. Serve with a little cinnamon on top Serves 4-6 (more to come)

Pears with blue-cheese

Peel and quarter the pear. Cut out the core, and cut into thin slices. Make a syrup using honey, sugar, lemon juice and some water. Put on medium heat and add pears. Cook until the pears look glazy. Arrange the pear slices and cheese slices on plates. Cook the syrup until the desired sweetness is reached, and add some starch to thicken. Pour sauce over the pears. Serve directly.

Serves 2

Yoghurt-semolina pudding

Een dessert that I invented when I didn't have enough milk for a regular pudding. The yoghurts adds a delightful fresh taste to the pudding. Heat the milk in a sauce pan. When it is boiling, add sugar and semolina, and simmer for three minutes on low heat. Take off heat, mix in the yoghurt, and put into a bowl. Serve when thoroughly cooled down, optionally with some drops of balsamic vinegar or cherries.

Serves 5