compelling food

One of our favourite pastimes is cooking. (This well and truly predates Masterchef.) There’s something about studying a recipe or the contents of our cupboard, methodically performing all the operations — chopping, combining, stirring — smelling the developing aromas, and finally enjoying the product that is just so … satisfying.

Occasionally, however, things go haywire. Often the product is salvageable — if a little ‘rustic’. Sometimes it’s almost irretrievable (at such moments it’s handy to have some back-up ice-cream in the freezer; there are very few situations you can’t fix by concluding with a bowl of ice-cream).

But sometimes we end up producing food that we like to think of as ‘compelling’. The most outstanding example of this we’ve ever served up was a green tea panacotta. It was fascinating. Every mouthful hinted that maybe, just maybe, it could be a mind-blowingly excellent dish. Either that or it was an abomination. You couldn’t quite decide. And you just had to keep eating in the hope that the next mouthful would bring resolution. It was … well, compelling.

Last night we made something that fell into the compelling category — baked pumpkin, green pea, pesto and fetta lasagne:

The idea was sound. In fact, it had the potential to be amazing. But something didn’t quite work. Not in a Turn You Off Your Dinner sort of way. But in a … compelling kind of way.


  1. G’day Chris,

    I’d be interested to know how often compelling = vegetarian. I know one datapoint is just an anecdote but I cant help but notice that is was an experimental vegetarian dish that was compelling.


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