Florentine Fennel with Parmesan

Elizabeth David has a lovely recipe for gratineed fennel that is a simple and refreshing dish. It’s a dish that bakes fennel with cheese, and of course, butter. This dish can also be cooked in a covered BBQ.

We adore fennel, as you can tell by our recipes. It can be eaten raw, steamed, sauteed, grilled, BBQ’d, baked and gratineed. It can be cooked on it’s own, or combined with other ingredients. You can make soups, salads and sides. One of the easiest salads to make is to shave a fennel bulb and dress with olive oil and lemon juice. I dare you to make this and not eat the whole bowl by yourself, it is so delicious.

Similar recipes include Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli and Garlic, Fennel a la Grecque, and Grilled Fennel with Fresh Mozzarella.

Browse all of our Fennel dishes, and all of our Italian dishes. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Creamy Winter Bake of Carrots and Parsnips

Carrots and Parsnips are a classic combo in English cooking and they do go well together. Two roots, side by side, creamy white and rich orange, they certainly are a picture.

In this dish the two vegetables are grated, sweated in butter, mixed with cream and topped with breadcrumbs and cheese. So English! But so very good too as an accompaniment to a main meal, or on its own with some flatbreads for a late supper.

Similar recipes include Turnip and Swede Gratin, Carrot and Parsnip Soup and Carrot and Parsnip Mash.

Browse all of our Baked dishes and all of our Gratins. Carrot dishes are here and Parsnip recipes here. Or explore our collection of Late Winter recipes.

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Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Red Capsicum

Baked Feta is a perfect mezza dish, served with crackers or flatbread. Flavoursome, soft, mouth watering, the baked feta is aromatic and elicits sounds of approval from your friends at your shared table. It is the sort of dish that you can make at the last minute – your friends arrive unexpectedly at meal time, as they do.

Or it is a great snack, mid afternoon, with a pot of mint tea. And it goes really well on Summery days when the BBQ is lit and people are milling around, nibbling, while the salads are made and the vegetable kebabs are cooking. We have also had it on a Winter’s day as we sit around the fire, reading, writing and chatting. Best of all, it is a perfect Summer Holidays dish, when no-one wants to cook much at all.

This recipe is a mish-mash of Italian and Greek. Definitely Mediterranean.

Similar recipes include Slow Braised Peppers in Olive Oil, Parsley and Barley Salad with Feta, Du Puy Lentils with Feta, and Baked Eggplant with Feta.

Browse all of our other Feta dishes, our Italian recipes and our Greek dishes. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Asparagus Baked with Butter, Wine and Herbs

I do love those dishes you can do in under 10 mins, or if you are throwing them in the oven and they don’t take any effort, under 20 mins. We are all busy women, right? Doing a hundred things, with responsibilities for a hundred more. Between running my business, doing my “giving back” community volunteering work, running a house and large garden, cooking my heart out, grabbing coffees with friends – well, life is always full. Days are long, tummies get hungry (especially mine) and dinner is demanded on the table, like, NOW.

Right now, life is busier than it has been, and so the focus is on more of the dishes that are wonderful-without-effort.  For example, I’ve been known to put on a pot of pasta (to eat with olive oil, black pepper and pecorino), throw these asparagus in the oven, cook some Quick Zucchini and Garlic, and serve all with slices of crusty bread, to great family applause. All done in 15 mins if you turn the oven on when you come through the door, and before while you open some great wine to sip while cooking and chatting. Then for dessert – fruit and soft cheeses. Done.

You have to have these types of dishes. Some days you want to spend 3 hours on a meal. On other days you want a decent meal between the time you get in from work, and the time you rush out to meet the girls from the book club.

Similar recipes include Quick Zucchini and Garlic, Asparagus Raita, and a Quick Asparagus Soup.

Browse all of our Asparagus recipes, and explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Baked Fennel with Mint and Parsley, with a Creamy Sauce

It is late winter and the fennel in my green grocer is still both superb and cheap. Today we bake it with lemon and herbs. It is served with a lovely creamy sauce, almost like aoli, but made with cream. As we are vegetarians, we don’t cook with eggs, so this dressing of pouring cream, seasoning and lemon juice, beaten till it thickens, is a perfect substitute. You should try it! Different flavourings can be added as needed.

Today, we caramelised some cumquats to serve with the fennel. The caramelisation deepens the cumquat flavours and as they are abundantly in season we are using them in place of lemons in many dishes.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Florentine Fennel with Parmesan, Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Orange and Garlic, Grilled Fennel with Fresh Mozzarella, and Fennel a la Grecque.

Browse all of our Fennel recipes and all of our Dressings. Our Baked dishes are good in Winter to warm the kitchen. Or take some time to explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Cheesy Baked Aubergines with Saucy Tomatoes

Winter brings that longing for hot, oven baked dishes that are filling and so comforting on a chilly night as the wind whistles around the house. The oven warms the kitchen and living room, and the aromas make everyone hungry (even the neighbours). How I love baked dishes in the cold cold days. I am warm and so is the kitchen, and I potter around doing this and that in my favourite room. The results are always delicious.

This is another baked eggplant dish, and it is layered with cheese and a tomato sauce. It’s great! Wintery and lovely – another quick and simple cold weather dish.

This recipe first makes a tomato sauce, and then layers golden eggplant slices with the sauce and cheese, before baking it until bubbling and browned. What more do you need in cold Winter weather? Serve with a salad for lunch, or as part of a larger meal for dinner.

Because it is Winter, tinned tomatoes might be your best option for making the sauce, but this year we’ve had really good quality tomatoes available all through Winter. Another option is to use those tomatoes that you threw into the freezer last Autumn. Also, if you made your own Tomato Pastes or Purees to keep in the freezer for Winter, now is the time to use them in place of the Tomato Puree. You can even make it with one that includes a little chilli! As little as 0.25 cup and up to 1 cup of puree is needed.

Similar dishes include Cheesy Bake of Carrots and Parsnips, Potatoes and Cheddar Gratin, Baked Eggplant Steaks, Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese, and Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini.

Are you looking for Eggplant recipes? Try Creamy Bake of Carrots and Parsnips, Eggplant and Zucchini Baked with Chickpeas and Harissa Sauce, Baked Eggplant Stuffed with Cheese and Tomatoes, and Cheesey Eggplant Torte.

You might also like to browse all of our Eggplant recipes. And browse Baked recipes. Or take some time to check out our easy Mid-Winter recipes.

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Fennel and Potato with White Beans and Garlic

A whole-heartedly winter dish, this bake combines aniseed-flavoured fennel with the soft beauty of potatoes and white beans.. And, if you go for the alternative noted below the recipe, Jerusalem artichokes can feature too. You probably know that we adore dishes that go into the oven on cold winter days – they warm us, and both scent and warm the kitchen and living areas. It draws the family together, addicted as we are to warmth and flavours, and by the time the meal is served everyone is laughing and the wine is already poured.

Similar dishes include Baked Fennel with a Creamy Sauce, Pasta, Cabbage and Cheese Bake, Eggplant and Zucchini Bake, and Potatoes Baked with Tomatoes and Cumin.

Or browse all of our Baked dishes, all of our Fennel recipes, and all of our Potato recipes. Alternatively, you might enjoy exploring our Late Winter collection of dishes.

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Baked Dakos with Spiced Chickpeas, Tomato and Feta

Having just made Dakos (the wonderful Greek salad), using Dakos (the bread that has been dried until very hard), we turned to a recipe for baking Dakos (bread) with chickpeas and tomatoes, spices and feta. It is delicious, and it is just the day for turning the oven on.

The recipe is another one of Ottolenghi’s, but not from his books. It is published on the Ottolenghi website.  It is a great way to use up a packet of Dakos crisp bread, and I know you will enjoy it. Cook the chickpeas the day before if you like (or use canned ones).

The dakos becomes quite soft as it is soaked in tomato juices and a marinade of red wine vinegar and oil. The contrast of the vinegar in the dacos with the tomatoes and chickpeas is absolutely divine. Cook the recipe using a table-friendly oven proof dish, so you can take it direct from oven to table. It is harder to plate, but not impossible.

Similar recipes include Dakos, Dakos with Tomatoes, Herbs and Feta, Pasta Baked with Cabbage and Cheese, and Baked Eggplant Steaks.

Browse all of our Dakos recipes and our Greek dishes. Our Baked dishes are here. and all of our Ottolenghi dishes are here.. We have written about our experiences cooking through his book Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Lima Beans Baked with Spinach and Feta

I am a sucker for great Greek and Italian dishes, but abhor dishes that have lots of different processes with an associated mountain of pots and pans to wash. However, this 6-process dish is worth the effort. Allow enough time to cook the dish – you need soaking time for the beans plus cooking time of 3.5 hours. Perhaps it is a Sunday dish.

The flavours are beautiful. Soft, creamy butter beans with intense spinach flavour, salty feta and crispy breadcrumbs. I have to be honest, it is not the most instagram-ready dish when cooked, but despair not! You will melt over the flavours, and ask for a second helping.

Don’t avoid the kneading of the spinach. I have seen versions of this recipe where the spinach is blanched or steamed before cooking with the beans, to avoid the kneading. What we are looking for here is an intensity of flavour, and cooking the spinach beforehand diminishes that flavour. You will be quite surprised what the salting and kneading does to the spinach – it is broken down and quite edible at that point. And the flavour that it adds to the finished dish is a surprising intensity.

The recipe comes from The Glorious Foods of Greece by Diane Kochilas. It is a beautiful collection of regional and rural Greek dishes.

Similar dishes include Baked Lima Beans with Celery, Rustic Spicy Baked Butter Beans, and Florentine Beans.

Browse all of our Lima Bean recipes, and all of our Greek dishes. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Baked Okra in Dukkah

Are you looking for a TV snack – something to eat while you are curled up binge watching the latest series, or watching Eurovision, or Tour de France, or Master Chef, or The Voice, or any other favourite program?

Well here it is. Forget the bag of crisps or corn chips. Go for okra rolled in dukkah and baked. A few minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook, and you are right for the evening. You can make your own dukkah beforehand, or purchase from any providore or shop that sells Middle Eastern ingredients.

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