mediterranean food

All posts tagged mediterranean food

Mediterranean Madness: Two easy, healthy and delicious recipes

Published August 7, 2014 by The Feminist

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I think my trip to the South of France and Italy has infected me with the “I want to eat Mediterranean food the entire time” virus.

I am obsessed with Mediterranean food at the moment. Especially vegetarian Mediterranean dishes. (And when I say “obsessed” I do mean “I dream about it when I go to sleep and I even crave olives and feta cheese when I wake up at 6 in the morning” )

Hence the following two recipes.

Believe me, dear readers. These recipes are the sh***. They are sunshine and summer on a plate! And mind you, I’m not saying this because I invented and cooked them myself – I  would even praise their deliciousness if they were made by my very own enemy!- but because they are just too awesome not to be replicated by all my followers.

Aubergine and Halloumi tray bake with Pomegranate and aromatic spices

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Ingredients (serves 1 hungry person, i.e. me)

  • 1 aubergine, cut into 0,5cm slices
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • Seeds (or should I say “mesmerizing jewels”?) of ½ pomegranate
  • 70gr of halloumi cheese, cut into cubes
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp za’atar
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp Martini (Because no Martini, no party right?)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Fresh basil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and fry the aubergine and halloumi for a couple of minutes until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and all the other spices I mentioned in the ingredient list. Transfer to an oven-proof dish.
  2. In that same pan, fry the shallot for a couple of minutes. Add the honey and martini and a splash of water. Let it simmer until you get a lovely jus. Drizzle the jus over the aubergine and halloumi and put in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Scatter the pomegranate seeds on top of the dish and put back in the oven for 5 minutes. Before serving, finish with a generous sprinkling of fresh basil.
  4. Delish!

Grilled Vegetable and Halloumi Filo Pastry Pie

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Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 courgettes, sliced
  • 4 peppers (different colours, of course)
  • 200gr halloumi cheese, thinly sliced (I do love my halloumi cheese)
  • 1 large (or gigantic!) Coeur de boeuf tomato, thinly sliced
  • Fresh basil
  • 6-8 sheets of filo pastry

Method:

  1. Grill the peppers in a hot oven until their skin turns black. Let them cool slightly before removing the burnt skin (to spare your lovely and delicate fingers!) Switch the oven to 200°C.
  2. Grill the courgette slices.
  3. Grease a round loose-bottomed baking tin with olive oil. Put approx. 3-4 sheets of filo pastry in the thin, and make sure some of the pastry is hanging over the edges of the tin.
  4. Now put a layer of courgettes onto the pastry, followed by grilled peppers, halloumi and tomato. Do not forget to season with salt and pepper and make sure you put some basil leaves in the pie as well! Use up all the ingredients and cover the pie with the remaining filo pastry sheets and the edges of the bottom layers. Brush with olive oil and put in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Serve with a fresh salad.

Simplicity At Its Best: Mediterranean Dinner in France

Published July 28, 2014 by The Feminist

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When I was on holiday in the South of France (I don’t mean to rub it in) I discovered one simple truth: simplicity is the key to good Mediterranean cooking. With ingredients that you can count on just one hand, you can conjure up the most delicious dish imaginable.

So there I was…in my (temporarily rented) garden… watching how the boats sailed into the harbor… and I just knew that I had to attempt one of those classic, simple dishes myself.

So meet this delicious Coeur de Boeuf and Burrata mozzarella starter. In my homecountry  Belgium, I would never have voluntarily opted for a tomato and mozzarella salad at a restaurant. The tomatoes taste like water, the mozzarella tastes like water… I just found it really bland and boring most of the time. Until the French Riviera made me realize that a simple plate of tomato-mozzarella can be truly magical if you have the best products on the planet to work with. These Coeur de boeuf tomatoes were juicy, succulent and bursting with flavour and the burrata mozzarella… by golly, don’t get me started on the mozzarella! Burrata is the creamy King of mozzarella cheese: a texture that almost resembles thick yoghurt and a lovely rich flavour that almost does not require any additional seasoning. To make my version of this Italian classic dish extra special, I used some extraordinary olive oil I bought in Nice in the restaurant Oliviera (which I already blabbed on about in my previous post). It has a lovely sweet and nutty, almondy flavour and gives a peppery finish at the back of your tongue.

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Ingredients:

  • Burrata mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Coeur de boeuf tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Fresh basil

Following  the rules of simplicity, I also made this lovely fish dish: locally sourced fish topped with an almond and red pepper tapenade on a bed of courgette and fresh flageolet beans. Served with some homemade garlic bread (really really garlicy!)

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Just spread some good quality, store-bought almond and pepper tapenade (preferably bought at a local market, of course) on top of your fish. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 200°C until tender and juicy. Cut the courgettes into thick slices and take the beans out of the pods. Blanche the beans al dente. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a huge pot, add the courgettes and salt and pepper and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the blanched flageolets and let it simmer for a further 10 minutes. Right before serving stir in some fresh basil leaves and sprinkle on some lemon juice.

Now pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the sun!