A scriptwriter’s life is very often governed by deadlines.

When a deadline looms,  life is put on hold and the universe shrinks to a keyboard and a pair of hands orbiting a brain. Scrabble games are interrupted, conversation dries up and, unsurprisingly, meals might be missed.

If you find yourself inhabiting such a universe, and you’re not the scriptwriter, I suggest you scamper into the kitchen and have a bit of solitary fun making a tasty supper suitable for the scriptwriter slaving away in the study. You might even find that a cook’s creativity can eclipse that of a scriptwriter.

I made a three part supper that consisted of:

A  salad of carrot and coriander with spicy mango chutney sunflower seeds

carrot salad

Georgian lobio, a staple in our family introduced to us by my sister Penny,  and based on Lesley Chamberlain’s recipe from The Food and Cooking of Russia.

Wikipedia says Lobio (Georgian: მჟავე ლობიო, also Lobio Nigozit) is a family of dishеs of various kinds of prepared beans (cooked or stewed), containing coriander, walnuts, garlic and onion, popular item in the cuisines of the South Caucasus nation of Georgia. There are many varieties of lobio, both hot and cold.’

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And fried haloumi

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Carrot and coriander salad with sunflower seeds

Ingredients

8o ml raw sunflower seeds

20 ml spicy mango chutney

2 large carrots

one bunch fresh coriander

juice of half a lemon

60 ml olive oil

salt and black pepper

Method

Heat a heavy bottomed pan  over moderately high heat and scatter the pan with the sunflower seeds.

Stir the seeds until they just start to brown. 

Add the spicy mango chutney to the pan, stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated and the seeds are sticky and nicely browned.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Separate the seeds in to little clusters.

Cut the carrots into ribbons with a Microplane Spiral Cutter.

Chop the coriander  and toss with the carrots.

Mix the lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper together and toss with the carrot and coriander mix.

Scatter with the sunflower seeds.

Lobio (my inauthentic version)

Ingredients

2 large onions chopped

4 bay leaves

15 ml black pepper corns

5 ml togarashi seasoning (forgive me, the real recipe calls for chili)

80 ml tomato paste

30 ml honey

30 ml cider vinegar

2 x tins red kidney beans

Method

Fry the onions in oil until soft and translucent.

Add all the other ingredients except the kidney beans and simmer until nicely combined.

Add the drained kidney beans and some water (as needed) and cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are heated through and all the flavors have amalgamated.

Serve at room temperature.

Fried haloumi

The trick here is not in the cooking but somehow managing to by a brand of haloumi that doesn’t melt into one gigantic disc in the frying pan. In South Africa, the Woolworths brand is good. Here in the UK I haven’t had any problems. The type I bought for this recipe released quite a bit water but it evaporated and as you can see turned out crisp and golden.

Method

Cut the haloumi into 7mm slices and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan – either non-stick or a heavy bottomed one. Fry the haloumi over a moderate heat turning a couple of time until golden and crisp.

P.S. I’m just sneaking this in while the cook is planning tomorrow’s menu. The sunflower seed salad came as a total shock and delight to my senses. RJB