Yvette van Boven is a culinary talent, known as a cook book writer, tv presenter and columnist. Together with her husband, photographer Oof Verschuren, she publishes amazing cook books. With her own characteristics illustrations, and short and simple explanations. Yvette and Oof do everything together, up to the graphic design and photography. Her first book, Home Made, became cook book of the year in the Netherlands, and her books are translated in English, German, Spanish and French. Home Made Basics is a culinary heaven. Easy to make recipes for every day. Yvette shows us how to make original meals that fit in every budget. Healthy and sustainable with ingredients sourced from the local farmer, market and beekeeper. We called Yvette van Boven in Ireland, where she lives parts of the year for a interview.
Where did your passion for pure cooking start?
“I was born in Ireland and lived there until I was 10 years old. I come from a creative family. Cooking, sewing, woodwork and lots of wild nature. My parents liked to search for wild plants to eat, it's something I grew up with. In Ireland a lot of people do this. Right now for example there are lots of primroses. I use these to garnish pastry. I love wild, pure food. Why not use what nature gives us?
Yvette divides her time between Amsterdam and Ireland. "the Netherlands is where our close friends and family live. We enjoy socializing, the city and cultural live. It has always been a dream to live in Ireland again. In December 2018 we bought a cottage in West Cork. We searched a lot on internet until we found this house. It's not big but fine for the two of us and a guest. We fell in love with the huge garden. It was in a neglected state and slowly we are bringing it back to life. It's like unpeeling an onion, lots of fun. We discovered fruit trees and now we are learning how to maintain them. It's close to the coast and I love to go for long hikes with my dog Hughie."
"Our new book is all about pure cooking and how nature inspires me in what I do. It's when I walk that the best ideas come, and it's in nature where I find the most delicious wild herbs, for example for this recipe with fresh prunes."
In this recipe I used fresh prunes, but all kinds of stone fruit is nice. Cherries in summer, nectarines of wait, chunks of canteloupe melon would be delicious too. Just be creative!
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Side dish for 4
Lunch dish for 2
for the dressing
60 ml light olive oil
2 spoons of red wine vinegar
1 spoon of grainy mustard
for the salad
red prunes (300 gr.), in halves and without the stone
1 venkel, in thin slices
200 gr. young leaves of salad, or the heart of 1 frisee lettuce
2 boules of Buffalo mozzarella, in parts
handful (15 gr.) of basil leaves, in parts
handful (15 gr.) of fresh herbs like yarrow, wild rucola, fennel tips
a few flakes of salt and freshly grinned pepper
Mix all the dressing in a large salad bowl together with the prunes and leave for 10 minutes to enhance the flavors. Mix the fennel with the salad leaves, add the dressing, the prunes and the buffalo mozzarella and mix it all. Top it off with the fresh herbs, flakes of salt and pepper. Serve your salad with fresh homemade bread.
Order here the Home Made Basics book of Yvette.