Schiacciata with Cheese Topping

If Focaccia is half way between pizza and bread, then Schiacciata is half way between Focaccia and Pizza. It is flat and usually infused beautifully with olive oil.

Originally cooked in the ashes of the hearth, schiacciata, meaning squashed, is flat and 2 – 3 cm thick (but can be thinner). Variations of the bread are made throughout Italy. In Tuscany, it is simply brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Herbs such as rosemary can be added. A sweet version with grapes and sugar is also made.

This recipe with onion and cheese is great weekday lunch-at-home fare, even for Sunday night supper. It is great with a hearty soup. Maybe Onion Soup would be fabulous. In late Summer, pair it with ripe, bursting figs and celebrate the end of summer.

You might also liked our Focaccia recipes. Our pizza recipes are here. If you need pizza dough, the recipes are here. Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Grilled Pecorino Wrapped in Vine Leaves

Do you have a grape vine, or access to grape vine leaves? Then this is for you. A great tea time snack, they are definitely delightful.

Pecorino is wrapped in vine leaves and then grilled until the cheese melts and the leaves crisp a little. You can even cook these on a BBQ.

Grape leaves are best picked from grape vines in the Spring and Early Summer, while they are still tender. Select young whole, medium leaves. Make sure  that the leaves haven’t been sprayed.

Similar recipes include Mushrooms Baked in Grape Vine Leaves and Grape Vine Leaf Powder.

Browse our grape vine leaf recipes, our Italian dishes and our French recipes. Or take some time to explore our collection of Late Spring recipes.

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Sweet Pepper Salad | Roasted Red Capsicum Salad

The BBQ is lit to make a quick lunch, so afterwards I roast some red capsicums while we eat. These will make a super salad to go with dinner. There is definitely something about roasted capsicums, skin removed, flesh soft. It evokes summer nights with its colour and utter deliciousness.

This recipe is a quick version of the delicious Peperoni in Padella.

Similar recipes include Sweet Onions with Roasted Peppers, Roasted Red Pepper with Mozzarella and White Beans, and Sweet Red Pepper Salads.

Browse more of our salads and explore our Capsicum recipes. Or check out our BBQ recipes. Alternatively, explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Char Grilled Banana Chillies Stuffed with Tomatoes and Spices | Bharwan Mirch

Perfect for a light lunch.

While this dish can be cooked on the stove top or in the oven, it is the perfect dish for a weekend BBQ. Served with yoghurt and flatbread, it is a perfect light weekend lunch.

Use either hot or mild banana chillies. Hot Banana chillies contrast well with the more mild filling. Mild Banana chillies have a mild sweet flavour, despite their chilli-related name. They are not at all hot or spicy. And we temper the heat of the spices in the stuffing by using warming spices and only a little chilli, adjusted to your taste.

Bharwan means stuffed in Hindi. The stuffing is made from chickpea flour and spices, moistened with tomatoes. You can basically add any ingredient of your choice into the stuffing. The combination of the banana chillies and mild tangy stuffing is quite flavoursome and this dish makes a great light lunch or side dish. It is a recipe from Rajasthan in India.

Similar recipes include Stuffed Okra with Onions and Spices, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice.

Feel free to explore our Capsicum recipes, and our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here, and Late Spring recipes can be explored here.

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Mushrooms Baked in Grape Vine Leaves

Grape vine leaves add a subtle flavour to dishes that are cooked on them – even wood-fired BBQs using grape vine “wood” adds a subtle taste and aroma to foods cooked over that fire.

It is a wonder that we don’t use vine leaves more for baking foods. As well as the flavour, the leaves themselves can be eaten if you have baked in a low heat (otherwise, they go a little crispy).

Elizabeth David in her beautiful book An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, gives a recipe for baking mushrooms with vine leaves. She first saw the recipe in Edmond Ridhardin’s 1913 book L’Art du Bien Manger. It is as good today as it was a century ago.

Similar recipes include Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, Grilled Mushroom SaladGrape Vine Leaf Powder, French Slow Cooked Mushrooms, and Shiitake Mushroom Sauce.

You might like to explore other Elizabeth David recipes, or browse Mushroom recipes. This dish could also be cooked in a covered BBQ – have a look at other BBQ dishes also. Or simply scroll through all of our Mid Spring recipes.

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BBQ’d Spiced Asparagus

This recipe comes from the Asparagus Growers in Victoria, and it is quite a Summer hit. It is the recipe attached to the bunches of Asparagus we buy in the shop. With the BBQ (Grill) heated to roast some eggplant, it seemed perfect to throw the Asparagus on too. The asparagus spears are coated in a yummy dressing with cumin and coriander powder before being quickly grilled on the BBQ hotplate. Straight to the table from there, it is a quick and easy recipe.

AND we put the leftover oil-lemon juice-spice mixture to good use  in the Grilled Eggplant with Tahina (the reason the eggplants were being roasted). A perfectly timed coincidence.

Are you after other Asparagus Recipes? Try Asparagus Risotto, Asparagus Pesto, and Asparagus Soup.

Are you looking for BBQ’d Recipes? Try Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, Stuffed Mushrooms, Spicy Potatoes, and Marinated Eggplant.

Feel free to browse all of our Asparagus recipes and all of our BBQ recipes. Or take some time to explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Stuffed Mushrooms on the BBQ

Cooking Mushrooms on a Sunny Autumn Day

On a sunny and beautiful day in Autumn or Spring it is tempting to fire up the BBQ on the balcony, and get the field mushrooms out of the fridge.

Mushrooms cook well on Aussie BBQs (I guess these are called grills in the US). Drizzled with oil, cooked over a medium heat until softening, topped with some fresh and beautiful ingredients, and served when bubbling and sizzling. Truly a taste worthy of an outdoor meal.

Similar recipes include Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves, Risotto with Mushrooms, and Slow Cooked Creamy Mushrooms.

Feel free to browse our Mushroom recipes and our BBQ recipes. Check out our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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Marinated Eggplant on the BBQ with Tomatoes and Asparagus

Smokey charred eggplant from the BBQ

It is really nice to come home from work, turn the heater on, and light the BBQ. With a bit of forethought, I had remembered to marinate some eggplant in the morning and left it to sit for the day in the fridge. Eggplant has a wonderful ability to absorb flavours, and the smokiness that cooking it on a hot plate on the BBQ makes a surprisingly divine dish.

While the BBQ is hot, cook some side dishes too – tomatoes, onions, fennel, asparagus, capsicum – there are so many vegetables that are also BBQ-friendly. And the aromas that surround you while they are cooking! Aaah, life is good.

Are you looking for other Eggplant dishes? Try Eggplants in a Creamy Peanut Gravy, Baked Eggplant Stuffed with Cheese and Tomatoes, and Aubergines in Coconut Milk.

Feel free to browse all of our Eggplant recipes. Or you might like to browse all of our BBQ recipes. Or explore our Early Autumn recipe collection.

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Oven Baked Tomatoes

A simple dish with a lot of punch.

Tomatoes are very special fruits, very versatile ingredients that match well both with so many cooking methods and with a variety of other ingredients. Can you imagine a world without the humble tomato?

This recipe is very simple, paring it back to the basics. Yet the result, as so often is the case, is outstanding. Bake a double batch and use the left over tomatoes in salads, sauces and soups, using them whole, chopped or pureeing them for their intended use.

The tomatoes can be cooked in the oven or in or on a BBQ. It is a perfect vehicle for home grown organic tomatoes. In autumn, serve with grilled polenta and a salad.

Feel free to browse our Tomato recipes here and here. Our favourite is Tomato Kurma. Or you might like to browse BBQ recipes here and here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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Tandoori Aloo | Spicy Marinated Potatoes Roasted, Fried or BBQ’d

More’ish, this dish will not last long in your kitchen

Who doesn’t like tandoor-style dishes? Although we can’t normally have a tandoor oven at home, cooking tandoor dishes in the oven or on the stove top, even on the BBQ, is very possible. These Tandoor Potatoes are amazing – don’t expect them to last very long in your kitchen. A perfect snack, or a side dish for your meal.

Are you are looking for Potato recipes? Try Aloo Gobi, Potato Subzi, and Aloo Palak Subzi.

You might like to browse our other Potato recipes, and our Snack recipes. You will find all of our Indian recipes here. And explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Eggplants, Garlic, Lemon and Rosemary | Marinated Eggplants for the BBQ or Indoor Grill

Late Summer and Autumn are the best times for BBQs.

As we launch into Autumn, every sunny day is precious. While the sun shines, marinate some eggplant and toss it on the grill for a smoky lunch with some BBQ’d onions, hot lentils and a salad.

You might also like to try other BBQ dishes, including Fennel on the BBQ, Baked Pears on the BBQ and Bananas on the BBQ. Browse our Eggplant recipes here and here.

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Baked Garlicky Eggplant with Feta

Perfect eggplants are a glory to look at. Shimmering purple, with a promise of so much under that sometimes tough outer purple layer. Then ther are the Thai globular eggplants, gorgeous again in their sheer perfection. It is rare that a week goes by without us slice or dicing, baking or grilling eggplants. Japanese cuisine, Indian dishes and Middle Eastern food are just rife with the best of ways to use eggplants.

Nigel Slater though, is generally purely British in his approach to food, and unashamedly so. He doesn’t like to steam eggplant, for example (one of my favourite ways with this vegetable. However I love his books and his one-eyed approach. At the moment I am finding Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries I and II very inspiring for evening supper-type meals. Quick to cook, open to adjustment, not too many steps or ingredients, his (vegetarian) food is my food at the moment. I am often home late-ish, so something quick and healthy is perfect for me.

And just to break the stereotype, this dish have overtones of, perhaps, a combination of Greek, Italian and Middle Eastern food.

Are you looking for other Eggplant dishes? Try Cheese and Eggplant Torte, Baked Eggplant Stuffed with Cheese and Tomatoes, and Roasted Eggplants with a Garlic Sauce, Pinenuts and Basil.

Our favourites are Brinjal Fry (Indian Deep Fried Eggplant) and a Persian Saffron and Rosewater Scented Eggplant.

You might like to browse all of our delicious eggplant recipes and other dishes from Nigel’s books. Or find inspiration in our Late Autumn recipes. Continue reading “Baked Garlicky Eggplant with Feta”

Smashed Chickpeas with Broccoli and Dukkah

With a little pre-cooking, it does not get much easier.

The cookbook that is featuring at the moment is Community, Salad Recipes from Arthur’s Kitchen. Great food is on every page. The salads do take a bit of pre-planning and time to prepare, but are worth it, and I always make enough to last for lunches and quick dinners.

This salad can be made a lot more simply than appears on the pages of the book IF, like me, you always have some bibs and bobs around that you have precooked, perhaps in the freezer, definitely in the fridge.

Are you looking for broccoli recipes? Try cooking it on the BBQ. There are other Broccoli recipes here and here. And other Chickpea recipes here and here.  Explore our Salads here and here. You will love our Autumn recipes here and here.

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How to Char Grilled / Roast Sweetcorn

The secret to pulling a meal together really quickly is to have prepared lots of bibs and bobs beforehand, so that there is always inspiration in the fridge.

The secret to pulling a meal together really quickly is to have prepared lots of bibs and bobs beforehand, so that there is always inspiration in the fridge. Toppings for soups, ingredients for salads, pastes and sauces, for stirfries, things to be mixed into batters and doughs, chopped herbs, frozen and dehydrated bits, stocks, juices, jams, pickles and chutneys, …… Endless, endless varieties.

Here is another quicky. Char Grill some sweetcorn while you are cleaning up from the evening’s meal. It will be cooked before you finish. Use the kernels in salads and soups.

Are you looking for Sweetcorn dishes? Try Roasted Sweetcorn Salad with Avocado, Most Heavenly Corn Soup, Grilled Corn on the BBQ, and Roasted Tomato and Sweetcorn Soup.

Browse all of our Sweetcorn recipes. You will love our Late Autumn recipes. Continue reading “How to Char Grilled / Roast Sweetcorn”

Asparagus in Pastry with Cream and Fresh Pecorino

Another warm day, and cooking on the BBQ seems like a good idea. It is quite easy to cook these pastries in a covered BBQ.

Another warm day, and cooking on the BBQ seems like a good idea. It is quite easy to cook these asparagus pastries in a covered BBQ. But it does need good quality asparagus – stringy stalks spoil the experience. You can, of course, cook these in the oven as well, at about 200C.

Similar recipes include Tomato Tarte Tatin, and Potato Tatin.

Are you looking for asparagus recipes? Look no further. Or perhaps some BBQ recipes? Browse our Nigel Slater recipes here. Or explore our Summer recipes here and here.

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