Baked Lima Beans with Celery | A Creamy Rustic Greek Dish

Gigantes are Greek Giant Beans (the name always reminds me of Jack and the Beanstalk). You can get them from Greek shops, or Lima Beans (Butter Beans) are wonderful substitutes.

Recipes for Gigantes abound across Greece, and they often involve baking. If soaked, cooked and then baked, the beans are so soft and creamy. Often they are cooked in a terracotta pot.

Our recipe today, a traditional one from Greece, bakes the beans with celery and a tomato base. It takes some time to make – soak the beans overnight, simmer for 60 – 90 mins, then bake for 60 – 90 mins. I recommend it for a quiet Sunday morning (for lunch) or afternoon (for dinner). Slow, wonderful cooking. However, each step is easy, with hardly any oversight required.

The success of this dish depends on each step – soak well, cook the beans until tender but not completely cooked, bake until creamy. And it depends on the quality of the olive oil – ensure current season, good quality oil if you can. And always store your oil in dark bottles or tins in a dark cupboard away from heat, light and the sun’s rays.

Similar recipes include Rustic Spicy Butter Beans, Chickpea and Lima Bean Noodle Soup, and Florentine Beans.

Browse all of our Lima Bean recipes, and all of our Greek dishes. Our Baked Bean dishes are here. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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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, chargrill your veg in your normal, favourite way.

Similar recipes include Smoky Aubergine with Tomatoes and Sweet Peppers, Smoky Aubergine and Asparagus Salad, Lebanese Roast Potatoes and Eggplants, Baked Eggplant and Zucchini with Chickpeas, and Roasted Aubergine with Garlic Sauce.

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

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Fava | Split Pea Puree

Fava is a puree or spread made from yellow split peas, not Fava Beans (Dried Broad Beans).  The naming of these Mediterranean dishes is a mine field! A puree made from dried Broad Beans is known as koukofava.

There are many versions of Fava, some with cumin and sumac, but this one is made from split peas which are topped with capers and caramelised onion, eaten warm and served as a starter dip. Ottolenghi, whose recipe this is, says the dish is soothing yet exciting. It is indeed. It is a delight to see Ottolenghi use white pepper in several of his recipes – a rare thing these days but an exquisite taste.

You know we love pastes, purees, dips and spreads here and this is a delightful addition to our collection.

Similar recipes include Green Olive Tapenade, Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, and Fava Bean Puree with Dill and Olive Oil.

Browse more of our Purees and Spreads. Our Greek dishes are here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Beautiful Buttered Orzo Pasta

Orzo is a tiny rice-shaped Greek pasta, not to be confused with barley which in Italy is also called orzo. When you see Orzo called for in a recipe, you always have to think twice! Is it pasta or is it barley? Sometimes it is not very clear.

In this recipe orzo Pasta is simply cooked and then bathed in butter. It is a delicious way to serve it, either as an accompaniment to other dishes (perhaps a replacement for rice), or tossed with herbs and cheese as a snack. We also love it with some cream and breadcrumbs added as well.

Orzo is available from Greek groceries, and can be found in Italian groceries under the name of riso, risoni, orzo, and rosmarino. The difference is in size. Riso is very small and rosmarino is larger than orzo.

Similar recipes include Pasta with Tomato and Salted Ricotta, Elegant Orzo Salad with Spinach, and Rice with Orzo. Also try Fava.

Browse all of our Orzo recipes and all of our Pasta dishes. Our Greek recipes are here and Italian ones here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Jerusalem Artichokes with Halloumi and Basil Oil

A beautiful dish from Ottolenghi – one that takes time to produce a marvellous dish

Pottering in the kitchen today, I had a little more time so brought together Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem Artichoke recipe from his book Plenty. Simple to make, it takes just a little time as you need to roast the artichokes, make the charred tomatoes, blend up the basil oil and grill the halloumi. It appears a random combination of ingredients, but it is not so. A perfect combo of bitter, sour, sweet, crispy, crunchy, soft and creamy.

Sometimes bitter greens are not available, so I substitute nasturtium leaves which are always plentiful here. And some rocket leaves.

Are you after other Jerusalem Artichoke recipes? Try Jerusalem Artichoke and Cumin Salad. We have some others  planned, so check back here later for updates.

Or some Halloumi dishes? Try Halloumi and Orange Salad, Halloumi Pizza and Halloumi and Watermelon Salad.

Browse all of our Halloumi recipes, our Tomato recipes, and our Jerusalem Artichoke dishes. Explore all of 0ur Ottolenghi recipes. Or browse our Late Autumn dishes.

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Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange

Nothing says “Winter” quite like baked fennel

Fennel raw in the warmer parts of Autumn is a must; fennel braised, roasted, pureed, baked, grilled or otherwise cooked in Winter is so heavenly.

Today, slow baked in olive oil and lemon juice – almost cooked a la Grecque – is a suitably Wintery dish for this weather. Enlivened with a Roast Vegetable Salt and Orange Zest, and replacing some of the lemon with pomegranate vinegar, set the scene for a Sunday lunch.

Are you looking for similar Fennel dishes? Try Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella, and Fennel a la Grecque.

Also try Fava.

You might like other Fennel recipes and a la Grecque dishes. Our Greek Dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Bamies Laderes | Rustic Greek Okra in Tomatoes and Olive Oil

All through the Mediterranean, okra is cooked in a thick tomato sauce, and in Greece they are also liberal with the olive oil. Its a delicious dish that can be eaten as part of a table laden with Mediterranean vegetable dishes, or serve with fresh crusty break and feta. It also goes so well with rice, burghul, polenta, quinoa or any grain pilaf.

Vinegar helps to reduce the sliminess of the okra, and there are various ways of using it. Some sprinkle it on the okra and leave to rest for an hour (or don’t rest it), others soak in acidulated water from 1 – 12 hours. Take you pick – I soaked these for some hours as I was pottering around the kitchen doing other things. When I was ready, they were drained, rinsed and used in the dish.

Are you looking for other Okra dishes? Try Baked Okra with Gingery Tomato, Ladyfingers Masala, Malaysian Lemak-Style Vegetables, Armenian Pickled OkraOkra with Mustard Oil, and Sambar.

What about other Greek Recipes? Try Roasted Eggplant Salad, Braised Parsley and Slow Cooked Cauliflower.

Or, for more information, browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Greek dishes. Or simply take some time to explore our Mid Autumn collection.

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Domatokeftedes | Santorini Style Tomato “Patties” | Indian Tomato Pakoras

Greek Tomatoes in Batter, a delicious snack

Domatokeftedes are delicious Greek tomatoes in batter, in fact they are similar to Pakoda/Pakora. They are often referred to as fritters or patties, although they don’t always conform to a uniform shape.

Domatokeftedes are a  specialty of Santorini in Greece. They are traditionally made with the island’s native tomato that is grown in the volcanic soil. It does not require watering, and yet the small tomato is sweet and intensely flavoured. This recipe uses any juicy tomato – Roma tomatoes are good. The fritters can be served as a snack or as part of a mezze platter – they are delicious dipped into tzatziki or any yoghurt sauce, sweet chilli sauce, or a herby blended fresh coriander and mint chutney.

This dish is very versatile. And it is such an innovative way to use tomatoes!

Similar recipes include Okra and Cauliflower Pakora, and Vegetable Bhajji.

You might also like to explore our Greek recipes, and our Tomato recipes. And have a look at the Snack recipes. Check out our easy Late Summer recipes.

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Mushrooms a la Grecque | Mushrooms Cooked with Herbs

Versatile Greek style mushrooms

A quick lunch that does not miss out on flavour. A gorgeous brunch for a Spring day. Or part of a tapas style meal. Or a snack under the grape vines. This recipe even works well with mushrooms that are, well, a little tired and still sitting in the bottom fridge drawer.

Similar recipes include Pearl Mushrooms with Thyme.

Read more about a la Grecque cooking. Feel free to browse our “a la Greque” recipes and our Mushroom recipes. Check out our easy Mid Spring recipes too.

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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 similar recipes? We have Smoky Aubergine with Tomatoes and Sweet Peppers, Smoky Aubergine and Asparagus Salad, Smoky Eggplant and Tomatoes, Eggplant and Zucchini with a Chickpea and Harissa Sauce, Eggplant, Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary, and Saffron and Rose Scented Eggplant.

You can browse all of our Eggplant recipes here, and Greek recipes. Or perhaps check our Mid Autumn recipes for more inspiration.

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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”

Fennel a la Grecque | Fennel Slow Cooked in French-Greek Style

Fennel is delicious raw, but sometimes I love to cook it too. Here is an easy dish, a gentle dish, full of gentle flavours.

Fennel is delicious raw, but equally as good cooked. Here is an easy dish, a gentle dish, full of gentle flavours.

The fennel is cooked loooong and slow in herbs and olive oil for a beautiful, soft dish so well paired with the soft and creamy Persian feta. Use goats cheese or fresh buffalo mozzarella if you cant get Persian feta.

Looking for other fennel dishes? Try Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes, Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella, Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange and Fennel on the BBQ.

Other a la Grecque dishes include Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque and Gentle Vegetables a la Grecque.

All of our Fennel recipes are here. Browse our a la Grecque dishes, French dishes and Greek dishes. Or be inspired by our Early Spring dishes.

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Courgettes a la Grecque | Zucchini Cooked in Greek Style | A Rustic, Cold dish.

A perfect dish for hot weather

I love early morning cooking on hot days, if cooking must be done at all.  5 or 6 am is really the only comfortable time to put pot on stove. So dishes that can be eaten cold later in the day are ideal.

This recipe is a cracker. I found some scribbled notes once when I was going through my recipe paper files. And I can tell you this is good! One of Greece’s amazing and simple dishes.

Are you looking for Zucchini recipes – Try Zucchini Preserved in Olive Oil, Making Zucchini Juice, and Salad of Marinated Zucchinis and Tomatoes.

Other a la Grecque dishes include Green Beans in Tomato and Olive Oil.

Or browse all of our Zucchini recipes, and we have a number of a la Grecque recipes as well. Or explore our Greek dishes. Be inspired by our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Courgettes a la Grecque | Zucchini Cooked in Greek Style | A Rustic, Cold dish.”

Cauliflower Slow Cooked with Lime and Spices | Cauliflower a la Grecque

Cauliflower slow cooked a la Grecque for hot summer day eating.

Let’s face it, days and days of 45C (113F) temperatures does not leave a lot of energy for cooking. It is days of cucumber sandwiches (albeit with French butter, Celtic sea salt and just-ground pepper), iced coffee and buckets of icecream.

If early mornings allow, slow cooking of cauliflower in oil and flavourings is essential preparation for the day, as is grilling of slices of large zucchini to be stuffed between bread with the same french butter, goat’s cheese and diced tomatoes. Eat with a cup of icy cold herbal tea.

Similar dishes include Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts and PomegranateRoasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, A Plate of Perfect Cauliflower, and Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce.

Other a la Grecque dishes include Green Beans in Tomato and Olive Oil, Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque, and Mushrooms a la Grecque.

We have more cauliflower recipes here, and a la Grecque dishes here. Explore our Salads too, and browse our Italian recipes. Or be inspired by our collection of late Summer dishes.

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Gentle Vegetables a la Grecque | Vegetables Poached in Wine

Oh how seductive are Autumn mornings. Full of golden light, rayed so jaw-droopingly beautifully through the leaves. Plants in autumn reach up lovingly to the sun, after months of shrinking away from the heat of summer. Long tendrils holding flowers wave in the breezes and welcome your passing smile — they nod knowingly in that gentle breeze. Chives and spring onions are flowering. Geraniums as red as lipstick. Mint and lemon verbena. Bog sage. Curry leaf. Earlier, my Lemongrass flowered — the first time ever!

How fitting then to find a recipe of matching gentleness, a warm salad of wine poached baby veggies, needing nothing else but the magnificent flavours of plants, leaves, wine and the very best of oils. Yes, Ottolenghi, you understand Autumn.

Are you after other a la Greque dishes? Try Slow Braised Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange, Zucchini a la Grecque, and Parsley Braised with Olive Oil and Tomatoes.

You might like to browse other Ottolenghi recipes and all of our a la Grecque recipes. Be inspired by our collection of Mid Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Gentle Vegetables a la Grecque | Vegetables Poached in Wine”