Green Beans with Tomatoes | Fagiolini in Umido

Green Beans are versatile and delicious. They are common in many parts of the world, so common in fact that we take them for granted. The humble green bean is always there, forming part of our meals without hogging the lime light and without us paying too much attention to them.

But I have some recipes that will change that view. This recipe is Italian, a simple dish but delicious in that the flavours of the beans shine against the tomatoes. It is rustic, a farm dish indeed, but worthy of any table.

Similar dishes include Green Beans Braised in Tomatoes and Olive Oil, Gujarati Green Beans, Green Beans with Freekeh, Green Beans with Lentil Crumble, and Italian Flat Beans with Blue Cheese.

Browse all of our Green Bean recipes and all of our Italian dishes. Or feel free to browse our Early Spring 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 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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Lentils and Orzo Pasta with Caramelised Onions

Orzo, that tiny rice shaped pasta not to be confused with barley which is  called orzo in Italy, pairs well with rice and with lentils. In this Greek dish it is cooked with lentils or beans and then topped with deeply flavoured caramelised onions. Yum.

There is some debate about whether the practice of combining pasta and lentils began in Italy or Greece, but what is known is that regions in both countries have traditionally made this pairing. It extends through the Middle East where rice and short pieces of noodles are also cooked together.

Similar dishes include Orzo and Rice, and Orzo Salad with Spinach and Pinenuts.

Browse all of our Orzo recipes, and all of our Greek dishes. Or take some time to explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Leeks with Quinces | Praso Lathro me Kydonia

I always associated Quinces with English food, for some reason, but in my quest for Quince recipes (thanks to buckets of them from a friend), I find the best ones in Middle Eastern and Greek cuisines.

This one is a Greek recipe, from Macedonia and Thrace. It simmers leeks with tomatoes and quinces for an excellent wintery side dish. It can be cooked in the oven too, should you wish to warm the kitchen as the dish bakes. It is a variation on another local dish which cooks leeks with prunes and tomatoes.

Similar recipes include Quince and Split Pea Stew, Spiced Quinces, and Quince Pickle.

Browse all of our Quince recipes, and our Leek dishes. Our Greek recipes are here. Or enjoy browsing our Late Winter collection of dishes.

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Sweet Quince Mustard | Mostarda Dolce | Quince Relish

Oh the Greeks! How wonderful is their food. This recipe is a mustardy Quince relish where the Quinces are cooked in port or Marsala. It is divine, and we use it when we are making large plates of mezze style food – spreads and dips, pickles, olives, crusty bread, fruits, dried fruits, nuts, charred vegetables, and so forth. Recently we have been using our wonderful Cumquat chutney as part of this plate – a new batch was made late one night after a gift of these small tart globular citrus.

For this year, we had half a quince left after braising some Quince and Leeks yesterday (also very delicious served with our Cumquat Chutney). This is the very last of this year’s buckets of quinces from our good friend. Sadly, the house no longer is permeated with the glorious scent of quince, but our cupboards are full of pickles, chutneys, quince paste, quince leather, quince jam, quince vinegar and quince molasses. Glorious.

So, back to this half quince. It was cooked in Marsala, but sweet port can be used, or a sweet wine like Madrodaphne if you have access to Greek wines. The roots of this type of dish is probably English, but it is now common in parts of Greece. Dried fruits can be used in stead of Quince,or added with the quince.

It is glorious with cheese. Try some of this relish and some Quince Paste, with your favourite cheeses.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Leeks with Quinces, Onion Jam, Caponata, and Red Pepper and Apple Relish.

Browse all of our Relishes, all of our Quince dishes, and all of our Greek recipes. Or enjoy our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Dakos with Tomato, Herbs and Feta

Throughout Italy and Greece, dried bread is common – bread that has been baked, sliced, then baked again until very very dry. The most loved use of this bread, called Dakos or Paximadia in Greece and Friselle in Italy, is in salads where the juice of the tomatoes and oil and vinegar dressing soak into the bread, softening it and adding the flavours of Summer. They can also be used like a bruschetta as a base for a variety of Mediterranean toppings.

We have made a couple of other Dakos dishes, a salad that also confusingly called Dakos, and a baked Dakos dish – both are delicious. This is a variation on the salad, with a few different spices.

Similar dishes include Tomato and Roasted Lemon Salad, Braised Tomatoes with Herbs, Fattoush, Simple Tomato Bread Salad, Dakos and Baked Dakos.

Browse all of our Dakos dishes, our Italian food and Greek recipes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Greek White Bean Soup | Fassoulatha Se Tessereis Ekdoseis

Bean Soup is a national dish of Greece, and is also popular through nearby countries such as Turkey, Kurdistan and Armenia. Simple and honest, it is still offered to guests along with accompaniments such as crusty bread, cucumbers, olives, sliced celery, and sliced radishes. Beans are so popular in Greece that road side stalls and even petrol stations sell them during harvest time.

There are many variations to this soup as you can imagine. Each household will have its favourite way of making it, and that will vary with the seasons and the available ingredients. Ingredients that are swapped in and out include mint, parsley, celery, hot pepper flakes, red capsicums and cracked wheat (burghul) or roasted non-sweet corn kernels which are often added with the beans to make a creamy soup.

Similar soups include French Bean and Leek Soup, Fava Bean Soup, White Bean Soup, and Italian Barley and Vegetable Soup.

Try other Greek recipes, and other White Bean dishes. Browse all of our Soups. Or take some time to explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Don’t Waste your Spring Onion Greens | Spring Onion Greens Salad

Good on the Greeks! They have a use for the green parts of Spring Onions. Whether you use what we in Australia call Salad Onions (larger bulbs) or what we call Spring Onions (Green Onions, Scallions, small bulbs), this salad will work. If using the larger bulbed ones, the greens can be snipped and the bulb left to mature in the ground.

Similar dishes include Spring Onion Dip, Spring Onion Soup, and Steamed Eggplants with Spring Onions.

Browse all of our Spring Onion dishes and our Greek recipes. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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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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