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Archive for the ‘Side dish’ Category

Yoghurt with cucumber and mint

A perfect cooling accompaniment for barbecued lamb kebabs and Persian rice dishes. The fresh mint can be replaced with fresh dill.

Yoghurt with Cucumber & Mint – serves 4-6

  • 200g cucumber
  • 500g Greek yoghurt
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp sultanas
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Cut the cucumber in half and scoop out the watery middle and seeds with a teaspoon. Grate the cucumber and squeeze out the excess water over a bowl using your hands.

Mix the cucumber into the yoghurt, along with the garlic, dried mint, fresh mint, dill, sultanas, salt and pepper. Stir well before serving.

(Original recipe from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

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Thrill of grill couscous

This is an old favourite that we make every summer. The chopped up mushrooms give it a fantastic earthy flavour and it works really well with barbecues and on picnics.

Tasty Couscous Salad – serves 4

  • 200g couscous
  • 400ml boiling vegetable stock (we still use Swiss Marigold Bouillon Powder)
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 175g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • half a bunch of scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp pesto
  • a handful of toasted pine nuts, almonds or rough chopped hazelnuts
  • a generous handful of basil

Put the couscous into a bowl and pour over the hot stock. Cover with cline film and leave to soak for 5 minutes.

When the 5 minutes is up, fork the couscous through to break up any lumps, then stir in the oil and pesto, then tip in all the veg and nuts and tear in the basil. Taste and season.

Simple as that!

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, August, 2002.)

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Griddled courgettes with parmesan & basil

We have used some fancy yellow courgettes for this dish but the usual green variety will be just as good. An excellent side dish for barbecues… of which we are having many at the moment. If you don’t want to light the barbecue you can also griddle the courgettes with good results.

Griddled courgettes with Parmesan & basil – serves 4 as a side dish

  • 5 medium courgettes
  • 2 tbsp salt flakes
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 25g Parmesan, finely grated
  • a handful of basil leaves, roughly torn
  • a few mint leaves, roughly torn

Preheat the barbecue (or griddle pan). Cut the ends of the courgettes and cut a long thin slice off two opposite sides and discard. Cut each courgette into 4 long strips. Mix the courgettes with the salt and place in a colander to drain with some plates on top. Let them drip over the sink or a bowl or an hour or so.

Shake off any excess salt from the slices, then rub each side with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Cook the courgettes on the barbecue/griddle for about 5 minutes per side or until softened and well charred. Transfer to a serving dish and squeeze over a little more lemon juice.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes or until golden.

Scatter the pine nuts, parmesan, basil & mint over the courgettes. Trickle over the rest of the olive oil and serve warm.

(Original recipe from by Valentine Warner in BBC Olive Magazine, July 2009.)

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Radish & broad bean salad

We’ve been revisiting the original ‘Cookbook’ from Ottolenghi and found this delicious spring salad. Works well as a side for a barbecue or on its own with some warm pitta breads. The leftovers didn’t suffer too much packed into lunchboxes the next day.

Radish & broad bean salad with green tahini sauce – serves 4

  • 500g broad beans, fresh or frozen
  • 350g small radishes
  • ½ red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 30g preserved lemon, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

For the Green Tahini Sauce:

  • 150ml tahini paste
  • 150ml water
  • 80ml lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 30g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped if making by hand

First make the tahini sauce by using a food processor or blender to whizz all the ingredients except the parsley together until smooth. Add more water if necessary until you have a honey-like consistency. Add the parsley and blitz for another few seconds, then adjust the seasoning to taste. (If you don’t have a processor you can whisk the ingredients together in a bowl and add the chopped parsley at the end.)

Chill the tahini sauce until needed. It will thicken the longer it is left in the fridge so add a bit more water if necessary before serving.

Simmer the broad beans in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Remove the beans from their papery skins by squeezing them gently.

Cut the radishes into 6 wedges each and mix with the broad beans, onion, coriander, preserved lemon, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with warm pitta breads.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi: the cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2008.)

 

 

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Radish & fennel salad

Let’s eat more radishes. They’re delicous and in season right now. Try this easy spring salad that tastes good with almost anything.

Lemony Radish & Fennel Salad – serves 4

  • 2 bunches leafy breakfast radishes
  • 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced into rings
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

Separate the leaves from the radishes, then wash & dry them.

Finely grate the zest of half the lemon, then juice all of it.

Put the lemon zest into a salad bowl and stir through the shallots. Leave to macerate.

Trim the fennel & slice it as finely as possible (a job for your mandolin if you have one). When you’re ready to serve, toss all the ingredients, including the radish leaves, with the lemon juice & olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Greek salad

Perfect with many Greek dishes, but none mores than barbecued lamb cutlets or kebabs/souvlaki. You could also serve it as as starter with some crusty bread. A very popular salad in our house when the days get warmer. In fact, we blogged it here a few years ago and it’s still a firm favourite.

Greek Salad – serves 4

  • 450g ripe tomatoes
  • ½ a cucumber
  • 1 red onion (we only use half an onion)
  • 200g Greek feta cheese
  • 4½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp ouzo/Pernod
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 20 small black olives
  • large pinch of dried oregano – Greek if you can find it

Cut the tomatoes into chunky pieces and cut the cucumber in half lengthways and then across into thick slices. Slice the red onion as thinly as possible (a mandolin is good for this if you have one). Crumble the feta into chunky pieces.

To make the dressing whisk the olive oil, ½ tsp salt, the red wine vinegar, ouzo/Pernod and some black pepper in a large salad bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber and onions and toss gently. Add the feta, dill and olives and mix briefly.

Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with the dried oregano and some coarsely ground black pepper.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes, BBC Books, 2007.)

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Feta salad with spinach, crispbread, sumac & pinenuts

Another success from Sam & Sam Clark of Moro. Great textures and interesting flavours. Works as a starter or a side with grilled meat.

Feta salad with spinach, crispbread, sumac & pinenuts – serves 4

  • 500g young spinach, washed and dried (in a salad spinner ideally)
  • 200g good-quality feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 dessertspoon fresh oregano or marjoram leaves
  • 75g pinenuts, very lightly toasted
  • 25g butter
  • 2 pitta breads
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed to a paste with salt
  • 1 tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Melt the butter. Split the pitta in half lengthways and brush the melted butter on both sides. Put the pittas on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool.

Whisk the garlic, red wine vinegar, sumac, olive oil together to make a dressing. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Put the spinach, roughly broken crispbread, half the feta cheese, the oregano/marjoram and pinenuts into a large bowl. Pour over most of the dressing and toss together. Serve with the rest of the feta and dressing on top.

(Original recipe from Moro: the cookbook by Sam & Sam Clark, Ebury Press, 2001.)

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