Char Grilled Vine Leaves Stuffed with Goat’s Cheese and Pinenuts

There is so much to celebrate in Spring, so many spring things that it is hard to keep up with them. One such abundant item in Spring is Grapevine Leaves. Of course, you think of Dolmades, but there are also other ways to enjoy this green taste of spring. For example, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves (delicious) and Grapevine Leaf Pecorino Parcels. Then there are rice mixtures, baked in vine leaves, and, of course, feta or goat’s cheese wrapped in vine leaves.

This recipe also uses goat’s cheese – I love a goat’s milk feta too – which is mixed with herbs, pinenuts and preserved lemon, and wraps the mixture in vine leaves before grilling. My preference is to make these when the BBQ is lit, perhaps to roast red peppers, and we make them as a snack with a squeeze of lemon juice. Grab your goat’s milk feta from your local Middle Eastern shop.

If you are using fresh vine leaves, the leaves from a fruiting grape vine are softer then those of an ornamental grape vine. I have used the ornamental vine leaves, and they are great, particularly for baking, but fruiting vines are better for stuffing and wrapping.

Do you have mixture left over? No worries, it is great on crusty bread or crackers.

Browse all of our Grapevine Leaf recipes, our Snacks, and all of our Greek dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Grilled Goat’s Milk Feta Wrapped in Vine Leaves

There is so much to celebrate in Spring, so many Spring things that it is hard to keep up with them. One such abundant item in Spring is Grapevine Leaves. Of course you think of Dolmades, but there are also other ways to enjoy this green taste of spring. For example, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves (delicious) and Grapevine Leaf Pecorino Parcels.

This recipe uses goat’s cheese – I love a goat’s milk feta especially – and wraps it in vine leaves before grilling. My preference is to make these when the BBQ is lit, perhaps to roast red peppers, and we make them as a snack with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Left over filling is wonderful in toasted sandwiches with tomatoes, or spread on crusty bread or crackers. Top the spread with thin slices of cucumber or tomatoes.

Similar recipes include Vine Leaves Stuffed with Goats Cheese and Pine Nuts.

Browse all of our Grapevine Leaf recipes, our Snacks, and all of our Greek dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Grilled Goat’s Milk Feta Wrapped in Vine Leaves”

Fennel with Garlic and Orange

Toasted in a pan, this fennel dish is a delight.

Fennel is a wonderful vegetable with a strong aniseed taste when raw and a mellower taste when it is cooked. Raw fennel makes wonderful salads, and baked, grilled or fried fennel make excellent side dishes.

Here, a simple pan fried fennel dish flavoured with orange (a wonderful pairing with fennel) and lemon or pomegranate for acidity. Easy to make, this dish will surprise. It could also be cooked in a foil pan in a covered BBQ.

Are you looking for Fennel recipes? You will love Fennel and Potato with White Beans and Garlic, Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella, and Fennel a la Grecque. You might like to read about Sweet Green Fennel and Florence Fennel.

Browse more Fennel recipes here.  Or explore our collection of easy Early Winter recipes.

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Smoky Eggplants and Tomatoes

Adding a smoky flavour to vegetables and other foods – garlic, eggplant, tomatoes, beetroot, tofu etc – adds an additional flavour dimension to dishes. It is worth doing for a special occasion. Today’s recipe is a Greek-inspired dish. I have added the instructions for smoking the foods in the recipe, but if you are not inclined to go to this effort, char-grill your veg in your normal, favourite way.

Similar recipes include

Browse all of our Eggplant recipes and Tomato dishes. Our Greek dishes are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Smoked Beetroot with Yoghurt and Caramelised Nuts

I have always been a little timid to try smoking food, although friends have given me the instructions for smoking tofu and also garlic. I had in the back of my mind that I might purchase one of those smoker trays for my Weber Q one day but, you know, never got around to it. And I have absolutely no desire to smoke out my kitchen and ruin my wok smoking food on the stove top, setting off all smoke alarms.

But my dear friend Ottolenghi has a recipe for smoked beetroot, and one cool Autumn morning, the Weber Q is lit, a smoker fashioned out of foil trays and tin foil. The tray is layered with rice and lemon rind and thyme, beetroot is placed on top, it is wrapped tightly, and my smoker is made.  The recipe is from Plenty More.

A timer is essential, as the flavour of the beetroot becomes too intense if smoked for too long. If you are smoking inside, a strong extractor fan is highly recommended.

This recipe is one with multiple steps, process and pots and pans. Smoke the beetroot. Bake the smoked beetroot. Make the salad. Toast the nuts. Make the caramel. Spread on a tray with nuts. Make the yoghurt sauce. Quite a few pots and pans along the way.

But it is a stunner of a salad – both in flavour and looks – and a fantastic way to open a fancy meal. The smokiness of the beetroot with the sweet-bitter caramel, both lightened with the curd. Heaven.

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

Similar recipes include Kohlrabi, Beetroot and Celery Leaf Salad, Beetroot and Yoghurt Salad, Beetroot with Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing, and Roast Beetroot with Sweetcorn.

Browse all of our Beetroot dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Marinated Roasted Mushrooms

This is a favourite recipe for mushrooms – shiitake, portabello, field mushrooms, brown mushrooms – and the mushrooms can be roasted in the oven, cooked in a covered BBQ, or grilled. Your choice. Today, they have been made in the oven, but BBQing them is a real favourite.

To BBQ them, they go into a foil pan that has been oiled lightly. They can even go straight on the grill for the BBQ. For the oven they perch on a baking paper lined tray.

Before cooking, the mushrooms are marinated in a mixture of garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander, with a touch of honey.

Similar recipes include Mushrooms with Black Glutinous Rice, Stuffed Mushrooms on the BBQ, Grill Mushroom and Red Onion Salad, Shiitake Mushroom Sauce, and Mushrooms for Toast.

Browse more recipes for the BBQ, and other Mushroom dishes. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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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 Dolmades, Burghul Dolmas, Baked Yoghurt in Vine Leaves, 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 Pimentos, Baked Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes, 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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