Chickpea and Orzo Pasta Soup

Chickpeas combined with orzo (rice shaped pasta), other pasta or rice is quite common in Italy, Spain and Greece. The dishes are usually simply cooked, perhaps with one herb or spice addition. Garlic, saffron, rosemary and hot peppers are quite common choices.

Today we have a soup with chickpeas and orzo, flavoured with rosemary. It is a simple, rustic and delicate soup, meditative to eat and quiet in its flavour profile. But bang full of nutrition and so very enjoyable. It can be a meal in itself, perhaps with a green salad and crusty bread to follow.

Similar recipes include Chickpea and Carrot Salad, Falafel, and Rice and Orzo.

Browse all of our Orzo dishes, and all of our Pasta recipes. Our Chickpea dishes are here and Greek recipes here. Or browse our Early Spring collection of recipes.

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Red Cabbage with Apple, Pinenuts and Sultanas

Red cabbage is so rare in our kitchen, but this is one of our favourite dishes when we are lucky enough to have it. The recipe is a Spanish one, from Catalonia, which is known for its love of combining sweet and savoury flavours.

We use red cabbage for this, but truly, any green leafed vegetable can be used – green cabbage, spinach, chard, kale, pak choy, for example. Cooking times may vary depending on the variety used.

Similar recipes include Cabbage Baaji, Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese, and Cabbage Thoran.

Browse all of our Cabbage recipes and all of our Spanish dishes. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Pimento Peppers Stuffed with Tomatoes and Feta

On a recent trip to our Central Adelaide Market, these most gorgeous pimentos were available from the organic vegetable store.  They are the sweet capsicum variety that is used to stuff olives. You’ve seen pimento stuffed olives of course. Did you know that in the 1800s, chopped pimento was shot by hydraulic pump into end of each olive, inserting the pimento while, at the same time, ejecting the pit out of the other end. Now pimentos are pureed then formed into strips with a natural gum, for the easy mechanisation of olive stuffing.

Pimentos can be stuffed too, and we do them  in the traditional way – filling them with tomatoes and garlic and topping with feta. The skin of the pimento is quite thick, so we slow bake them to allow the tomatoes to soften down and the pimento to also become tender. We love stuffed vegetables and are glad that they are making inroads again into the fashionable food world.

We have a similar recipe for stuffing capsicums, one that drizzles the cooked capsicums with a delicious herb oil. Other similar recipes include Capsicums Stuffed with Kidney Beans and Feta, and Banana Chillies Stuffed with Tomatoes and Spices. Also try Lauki Melon with Tomato and Feta.

Browse all of our Stuffed recipes, and our Capsicum dishes.  We have a couple of Spanish dishes to check out. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Crispy Cauliflower with Capers

This dish of deep fried cauliflower is from Spain. The cauliflower is dusted in chickpea flour (gram flour) and deep fried  until crisp. Then, like the old fashioned beach-made fish and chips, sprinkled with plenty of salt and vinegar. In a modern day twist, capers are added. It makes a great snack, mezze dish, entree (starter) or side dish.

There are a range of traditional dishes that deep fry cauliflower. Think of Cauliflower Pakora, for example. Even Ottolenghi makes a salad or side dish of deep fried cauli with a tahini sauce. There’s Southern Fried Cauliflower, Fried Cauliflower Steaks, Moroccan Fried Cauliflower, Cauliflower Tempura, and many more such recipes. There is a simple reason for so many dishes. It tastes very very good. This recipe will knock your socks off.

Similar dishes include Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips, Cauliflower and Okra Pakora, Roasted Cauliflower Soup, and Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree.

Browse all of our Cauliflower dishes. All of our Snacks are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Ensalada

A salad for every day.

Ensalada is a Spanish salad of perfect tomatoes and mild, sweet onion slices. It is found around the world in countries or regions that have had a Spanish influence in their history. It’s not to be confused with the Italian insalata. Ensalada is centre piece on the table at meal times. They can be simple with just the 2 perfect ingredients dressed with olive oil and white wine vinegar, or they can have addition ingredients added to the simple base. In this way, the salad can vary from day to day, yet still feature the 2 main ingredients. A few olives, some cucumber slices, a little cos lettuce, a tiny amount of soft herb. A salad that is sweet, cool and fresh.

Made this way, the salad is perfect. Over stuffed with numerous additions, it is no longer ensalada, but a mish mash of complex flavours that negate the beautiful simplicity of the traditional way of serving this salad.

Similar recipes include this terrific Tomato SaladTomato and Roasted Lemon Salad, Tomato Salad with Parsley Oil, Broad Bean and Tomato Salad, Cherry and Hazelnut Salad, and Tomato Salad with Green Olives.

You can find other  Tomato Salads here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Quick Gazpacho

Cold soups are all the rage at our place in Summer – the hot Summer days of over 35C, often over 40C, demand cooling foods, yet we still want them to be nourishing and healthy. In our garden there are often tomatoes to spare, and so making Gazpacho, that Spanish delicious cold soup, makes such sense.

This is a quick version, takes no more than the time it takes to wash the tomatoes and peel the cucumber. I like these ratios, but nothing is fixed and you can play around with this delicious blender formula. Add a few herbs, lemon instead of vinegar, a small amount of fresh green or red chilli. Enjoy yourself as you make variations on this theme.

Are you looking for cold soups? Try this quick Tomato and Cucumber Cold SoupTomato and Watermelon Gazpacho, Beautiful Cold Avocado Soup, Chilled Beetroot Soup, and Roast Tomato and Corn Cold Soup.

What about Cucumber recipes? Try Cucumber Salad with Ricotta and Capers, Cucumber Raita, and Cucumber Lassi.

Try these Tomato recipes – Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime, Italian Tomato Sauce, and Tomato and Peach Salad.

You can browse all of our Cold Soup recipes, all of our Tomato recipes, and all of our Cucumber recipes. Have a look at our Tomato Soups, Cucumber Soups, or all of our Soups, hot and cold. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Tomato Paella | Vegetarian Paella

A Spanish hit

Maybe it is the soccer world cup being held in Europe that is turning my tastes that way. Maybe I am on a tomato and rice kick. Maybe RED is my colour of the moment. Whatever the cause, I found myself looking for a paella the other night.

There is a history to paella in my life. I first came across it at Carclew Arts Centre in North Adelaide years ago when my daughter was involved in some summer classes there. Carclew had an open day of food, performances and exhibitions. One food stall was cooking an amazing open pan rice dish – the wait was 15 minutes until it was ready to serve – and the taste of it was so fantastic it took me by surprise. Continue reading “Tomato Paella | Vegetarian Paella”