Babaganoush | Roasted Eggplant with Tahina

Suddenly the eggplants in the garden have found their mojo and are producing so many eggplants. It has me scrambling to find different ways to prepare them. Today they are grilled and the flesh is combined with tahini. It is another lovely mezze or tapas dish, or an any-time snack with flatbreads. You will love this. A take on Babaganoush, it is rich, smoky, and creamy.

You can grill/bake the eggplant in several ways. Cook it under the griller, turning often until the skin is blistered and blackened, and the flesh is soft. Or it can be cooked over a gas flame in the same way. But my favourite way is to grill it whole in a covered BBQ (grill) until the skin is blackened and the flesh collapsed. It is the easiest and quickest way at our place.

Are you looking for other Eggplant recipes? Try Eggplant Simmered in a Beautiful Broth, Grilled Eggplant Salad with Pinenuts and Pita Chips, and Deep Fried Eggplant.

Is it Dip Recipes that you are looking for? Try Coriander-Walnut Dip, Tomato and Chilli Jam, or Tahina Tarator.

You can explore all of our Eggplant recipes here, and all of our Dips here. Browse the Middle Eastern recipes, or take some time to explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Green Tomato Salsa with Green Coriander and Chilli

Since the garden has includes some tomato bushes I have been playing around with green tomatoes, and adore them a lot. In the simplest form, they go amazingly well in salads, and mixed in with ripe tomatoes to top your pasta dinner. This recipe is a Salsa and it plays to the green tomato’s flavour and texture. I hope you enjoy it.

We have some other Green Tomato recipes – check here to see if they have been published yet (they are scheduled for later).

If you are after other Salsa recipes, try Tomato Salsa, Peach Salsa and Pawpaw Salsa.

You can browse all of our Salsa Recipes here, all of our Green Tomato Recipes here, and all of our Tomato Recipes here. Or take some time and browse our Late Summer recipes.

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Zhug | Zhoug | Skhug | A Coriander-Chilli Paste, Dip and Sauce

A versatile Yemini-Israeli paste made from green coriander (cilantro), green chillies and earthy spices

What to do with the left over coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems at the end of the week – a perpetual problem in a family that uses a lot of green coriander. One solution we have is to make Coriander Paste. Another is to make Zhoug, a Yemeni-Israeli sauce or dip full of spices. Traditionally a perfect accompaniment to pita with falafel, it also serves as a sauce, spread and dip. It can be stirred into soups and stews to spark them up. Zhoug can be fiery hot, depending on your chilli level, and Yemenites believe that eating zhoug daily strengthens the immune system, keeps away illness and strengthens the heart.

Once you have experienced the fragrant spiciness of Zhoug, you will be making this weekly with your left over coriander, or, indeed, buying extra coriander each week, just to make this pesto-like sauce. Actually, Zhoug is a green cousin to Shatta, which is a similar dish, except Shatta uses mild red chillies. Zhoug has also been called Israeli Chilli Paste, a green harissa, a Middle Eastern Gremolata and a hot chermoula.

Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Coriander Paste, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

Or try these: Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Pudla with Green Coriander, or Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Green Coriander.

Read some more about Green Coriander, and also How to Use Leftover Green Coriander.

You might also like other Coriander dishes and other Coriander Pastes. Middle Eastern dishes are here and here. Or enjoy our easy Late Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Zhug | Zhoug | Skhug | A Coriander-Chilli Paste, Dip and Sauce”

Green Peppers in Yoghurt

The Middle East has a variety of flavours and dishes that are amazing and under-explored in other countries. And yoghurt, one of my favourite food stuffs, features strongly there as it does in India. The recipes using yoghurt are often simple – take a vegetable, some yoghurt, garlic, dried mint and some spices, mix and serve.

Traditionally it is used as a pre-dinner snack or appetiser, generally served with pita bread., but you can use any flat bread. We get a great Afghan flatbread cooked fresh on the tandoor from our local shop, and it is amazing.

You can use the Green Peppers in Yoghurt as you might use a salad. If you use thick, drained yoghurt they can be used as a dip or spread, or it can be used as a sauce or dressing.

If you are looking for other Middle Eastern dishes, try Fragrant Eggplant with a Garlic-Yoghurt Sauce, Cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze, and Chickpea “Tabbouleh”.  All of our Middle Eastern dishes are here.

Capsicum recipes you might like to explore include Grilled Peppers and Eggplant Salad, Roasted Red Pepper Salad, and Baked Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes. All of our Capsicum dishes are here. All of our Salads are here.

Our Dips are here if you are after dips and sauces. Or simply take some time to explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Hand Made Pesto | Zeffirino Pesto

Hand made, home made pesto is the most exquisite of creations. Do try it.

I first made it long ago, when I took a cooking class with Bill Grainger of the famous Bills Restaurants in Sydney, and author of many Sydney-style cookbooks. He made pesto by hand in the class. At home, Bill didn’t keep a lot of gadgets in his kitchen and didn’t have a blender!! So at home he always made it by hand. A man after my own heart – Meditation in the kitchen through manual grinding. There is something about pesto that you make yourself, especially if you grow your own basil.

This recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and bring the mortar and pestle out of the cupboard. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta.

Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato.

You might also like our Pesto recipes here and here. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes here and here. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Vellarikkai Thayir Pachadi | Cucumber Yoghurt Salad

The joy of yoghurt is beautifully expressed in this flavoursome recipe for Cucumber Raita. Cucumber Raita is a dish known all over the world, and if you must equate it, it is the Indian version of Tzatziki. The combination of cucumber and yoghurt, in what ever form or from what ever cuisine, is well known all over the world. Both ingredients are cooling, so it makes it a special dish for hot weather, but this does not mean that you need to forgo it on cooler days. An essential part of an informal gathering, Cucumber Raita always wins over your guests.

You might like to read more about Pachadi. Browse our Pachadi recipes here and here. Or explore our Yoghurt recipes here and here. Our Indian dishes are here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

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Roasted Eggplant Salad with Unripe Grape Juice (Verjuice)

An unusual use of verjuice in a Greek eggplant dish

In Greece, I hear that one of my favourite ingredients, verjuice, is used as a replacement for lemon juice when the fruit is out of season or unavailable. What a great idea!

Are you looking for eggplant recipes? You can browse here and here. Greek recipes are here and here. Or perhaps check our Autumn recipes here and here.

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Coriander and Coconut Fresh Chutney

A fresh South Indian Chutney made from pureed coconut and coriander.

This is a simple Indian chutney. There are three varieties of chutney: fresh chutneys, cooked chutneys, and dry chutneys. Fresh South Indian chutneys are smooth purees made from uncooked ingredients, perhaps seasoned with a tadka of mustard seeds, dal, and curry leaves. They are best freshly made, but they stay good for a couple of days if refrigerated. Made from raw ingredients this type of chutney is unlike most other dishes which have at least some degree of cooking.

Chutneys add zing to a meal and are an essential part of a South Indian meal time. They can be prepared with a limitless variety of ingredients.

Are you looking for chutneys? There are a range of Eastern and Western Chutneys here and here. Browse our Coriander dishes here and here. Or explore Indian recipes here.

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Spicy Moroccan Carrot Dip

A versatile and delicious dip.

This is a dip from the North of Africa, delicious as part of tapas or a mezze plate. It can also be thinned slightly and used as a mash as part of a main meal. Wonderful as part of a vegetarian BBQ. Use as a dip with Turkish or Pita bread, even Olive bread.

If you are looking for carrot recipes, please browse here and here. Or are you looking for dip recipes here and here? Our favourites are Roasted Carrot and Apple Soup, Thick Yoghurt Dip, and Haydari. Perhaps some Moroccan recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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Salty, Garlicky Labneh | Thick Thick Yoghurt

A beautiful, garlicky thick yoghurt for salads, soups and dips.

Labneh is a particular favourite, going into salads, soups, pasta dishes, dips, vegetable dishes, deserts and breakfast dishes.

We call it Thick Thick Yoghurt. See these previous posts on our love for this wonderful food. And this is how to make it: Making Thick Thick Yoghurt. Recently we began making it pre-flavoured with salt and garlic. You will love it too.

You might like to browse all of our yoghurt recipes here and here, and our Middle Eastern recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn recipes here and here.

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Tomato and Chilli Jam

A spicy sauce for all kinds of uses.

Welcome to the world of chillies. Where would I be without them? Indeed, lost in the culinary wilderness. A Tomato and Chilli Jam (jam in the loosest sense, more like a thick sauce) is another way to enjoy their wonderful heat, but with a touch of sweetness.

The jam is a great addition to any dish – tonight, for example, a pasta sauce of blended rocket, peas, grilled eggplant with a generous dollop of the Tomato Chilli Jam makes a wonderful, very late, Australia Day supper.

A wonderful accompaniment to dishes, served like a chutney. With dosa or other flatbread. With a stirfried vegetable or tofu dish, stirred into a soup that wants a little more spice, smeared over pizza or farinata.  Spread very thinly on toast and topped with bocconcini, fresh greens and herbs. Over plain rice. In a salad dressing. Drizzled over steamed or baked vegetables.

The possibilities are endless. Continue reading “Tomato and Chilli Jam”

Cacik | Turkish Cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze

Cool off in hot weather with a classic yoghurt dip from Turkey.

Cacik is a wonderful dish, cooling in summer and endlessly versatile. It can be made very thick with thick thick yoghurt to serve as a dip or along side curries, rice dishes and pastry dishes. Make it with ordinary yoghurt as a sauce to drizzle over vegetables or salads or some filo pastry dish. Or make it thin with some ice cold water and eat as a soup.

Here we love yoghurt, so there is quite a collection of yoghurt recipes, including drinks, dips, curries and salad dressings. I hope something inspires you there. Or our Dips are here and here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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Asparagus Pesto

A beautiful pesto from a gentle ingredient.

Isn’t it great that there are lots of ways to mush things together and the results taste spectacular? Soups, for example, smoothies, combination juices. The wonderful pesto and hummus. The wonderful mushing together of pastes, oils, nuts, seeds, cheeses, yoghurts, creams, fruits, herbs, spices and vegetables make for an endless variety of goodies. Even lentils and rice, ground together, make amazing fritters and even better fermented or unfermented flatbreads.

Especially great in all things mushed together is that the variety is endless. For example, in the warmer months, I am likely to be seen picking green things from my small pot-garden. Nasturtium leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, cardamom leaf, parsley, curry leaves, basil, lemon  verbena, rosemary, thyme – whatever looks good on that day. My handful of herbs gets chopped finely with some nuts or seeds, maybe some cheese or maybe not, garlic, maybe chilli, sometimes some rocket or spinach, lemon zest and whatever else is fresh and on my kitchen bench at the time.

Asparagus can also be used. Steamed and chopped, it makes a very rustic Asparagus Pesto. Glorious. Gentle.

You might also like to read The Joy of Asparagus, Spring Salads, and Cream of Asparagus Soup. All Asparagus recipes are here and here, and our Dips are here and here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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Yoghurt, Feta and Mustard Dip

Take some yoghurt, feta and mustard and you have a dip for a Summery day.

Gathering the thick thick yoghurt, some home made mustard, a smidgen of honey, and a copy of Turquoise, Greg Malouf’s mustardy creation was manifested. It can be a dip, sauce or dressing and the combination of flavours is quite synergistic – beyond what you might expect.

You might like to try other Yoghurt dishes here and here, and other Dips here and here. All of our Turquoise dishes are here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs

Thick yoghurt and tahini dip with walnuts.

Try this Yoghurt Tahina Dip with herbs. You might like to eat it with Oatmeal Crackers, or perhaps, just by the spoonful. It is made with Thick Thick Yoghurt, a favourite ingredient in this kitchen.

Turkish in style, it combines two of the most common ingredients – yoghurt and Tahini. The lemon will thicken the tahini quite a bit, and then it is thinned with olive oil and a little water.

Are you looking for yoghurt dishes? You might like to try Shrikhand or Haydari. Or see A Dozen Ways to Use Thick Yoghurt.

Are you looking for more dips? Try Cacik (Yoghurt and Cucumber), a Moroccan Carrot Dip, and Zhug – a Coriander-Chilli Dip.

Or browse all of our yoghurt dishes, or our Turkish dishes, and the also Middle Eastern dishes. Find inspiration in our Late Spring recipes.

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