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Posts Tagged ‘Middle Eastern’

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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Middle-eastern Veggie Pizza.jpg

These were so easy and would make a great weeknight supper or lunch at the weekend. A great way to use up Turkish red pepper paste!

Wine Suggestion: we’d suggest a light red wine or dry rosé to compliment these. For a splash out we drank the Felton Rd Vin Gris from Central Otago. This is made from Pinot Noir juice, only in selected vintages and is very dry and textural with summer fruit flavours and aromas with hints of chervil, fennel and an earthy spice we can’t put our finger on. Together with the pizza it all came together to make us feel like we were on holidays, even though we aren’t!

Middle Eastern Veggie Pizzas – makes 5

  • 5-10 tbsp Turkish red pepper paste (you could always use tomato paste)
  • pack of 5 large pitta breads or Middle Eastern flatbreads
  • ½ a bag of frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 balls mozzarella, patted dry and torn
  • 5 eggs
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • small bunch basil
  • shaved Parmesan, to serve

Preheat your oven to the highest setting.

Put the  flatbreads onto baking trays and spread 1-2 tbsp red pepper paste over each one.

Squeeze the spinach with your hands to get as much water out as possible, then scatter on top, leaving a little space in the centre (to crack an egg into). Divide the garlic & mozzarella between the pizzas and season generously.

Carefully crack an egg into the middle of each pizza, into the space you made with the spinach, and season with nutmeg and some of the basil. Bake for 7 mins until the cheese has melted and the egg is cooked as you like it (you will probably have to cook them in batches).

Serve with a little more basil and some Parmesan shavings.

 

 

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Stuffed Courgettes with currants

Another delicious Middle-Eastern dish from Honey & Co. This is really unusual and tastes delicious. It serves 4 as a main course but you could also serve smaller portions as a side with lamb.

Wine suggestion: perfect with a lighter, fruity red from Spain or Italy. Our choice was the Rocca delle Macie Chianti Vernaiolo which is a very youthful, easy-drinking Sangiovese with less extraction (tannins and colour) than a full-blown Chianti Classico or other Tuscan greats. By being lighter it was charming with the courgettes and the low tannins didn’t fight the spices. If you were having them as a side alongside lamb we would have stepped up to a richer Primitivo from Puglia, a Nero d’Avola from Sicily or maybe a good Lebanese red like Ch Musar or Massaya.

Medias – courgettes filled with lemon rice & currants – serves 4

  • 4 even-sized courgettes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • salt
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 125g risotto rice
  • 40g dried currants
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 375ml water
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes
  • 15-20g parsley, picked and chopped
  • 1 tbsp dill

Halve the courgettes lengthways and remove the seeds with a teaspoon. Lay the scooped out halves in a  baking tray with sides that come up a bit higher than the courgettes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then gently fry the onion, cinnamon stick and ½ tsp salt to soften the onion without colouring. Then mix in the turmeric, allspice and cayenne. Cook for 30 seconds before adding the risotto rice and stir to coat. Add another ½ tsp salt and the currants and pour over the lemon juice and water. Bring to the boil and allow to boil for 1 minute, then drain through a colander over a bowl to catch the liquid.

Cut the tomatoes into thin slices and stir into the rice along with the chopped parsley and dill (reserve a little parsley to garnish). Divide the rice mixture between the courgettes – don’t overfill as the rice will swell as it cooks. Pour the reserved liquid into the tray so the courgettes are half-submerged (top up with a bit of water if needed).

Put a sheet of greaseproof paper directly on top of the courgettes and cover the tin with tinfoil to entirely seal.

Cook in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, then open and baste the courgettes with the liquid. Recover and return to the oven for another 30 minutes. Pierce the courgettes with a small knife to check they are very soft.

Baste again and sprinkle with the reserved parsley and another pinch of cayenne pepper.

Serve with a green salad and some fresh goats’ yogurt if you like.

(Original recipe from Honey & Co.: Food from the Middle East by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich, Saltyard Books, 2014.)

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