Silk Road Lentil Soup

Tenkei just told me he almost never takes second servings in the zendo during oryoki meals, but this time he did. Apparently he wasn’t the only one either. He often says how much he loves the flavours of Middle-Eastern cuisine. This soup reminds me of one they once served in an Mediterranean restaurant in Groningen, whose menu […]

Five Colour Tagliatelle

Twice a year at Zen River, a junior practitioner makes the transition to a senior only after completing a traditional Soto-school rite of passage known as shuso hossen shiki. It’s held at the end of a three-month training period, or Ango. During this choreographed ceremony they must give a dharma talk on a koan in front of the sangha […]

Orange, Banana & Lychee Compote

During a busy sesshin with forty people, I accidentally discovered that slicing the oranges and lychees the night before and letting them marinate with the lychee syrup and lemon juice taste even better than serving them immediately. All the flavours mingle into the yummy syrup. The bananas mingle well too, becoming soft and oozy, but don’t expect them to […]

Whole Baked Pears

Pears are one of my most favourite fruits. I love them with ginger and lemon, or poached in spiced grape juice. And when baked in the oven they are surprisingly divine. The weather has been rather cold this April, and it felt nicer to serve something warm for breakfast, rather than cold. Because it was […]