Goat’s Milk Feta with Pine Nuts and Preserved Lemon

Are you looking for a gorgeous, unusual spread for crusty bread or crackers? Look no further. This mix of soft goat’s milk feta with herbs, pine nuts and preserved lemon is just for you.

The spread can be dolloped lavishly onto crackers and bread, and eaten as-is, or topped with slices of cucumber or perfect, halved cherry tomatoes.

It is also wonderful tossed through salads – think green salads, grain salads, lentil salads. Or crumbled over sliced tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil. Top cucumber slices with a tiny dollop and serve as an amuse-bouche.

We love this mix so much that we even stuff grape vine leaves with it and grill them on the BBQ as a pre-meal snack.

Other Spreads include White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, Green Tahini Spread, and Broad Bean Puree.

Browse all of our other Spreads, and our Dips too. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Goat’s Milk Feta with Pine Nuts and Preserved Lemon”

Algerian Eggplant Salad and Spread | Betanjal M’charmel

We love our pastes, purees, spreads, dips and powders, and the kitchen is always full of them. On a cold and rainy early Summer day, we wanted tea and snacks, so two spreads were created for the crusty bread from our Italian fruiterer, and life was good again. We no longer cared about the rain.

This spread (or side salad, mezze style), is made from sliced eggplant which has been baked until soft and mashed with spices. It is then gently fried until all moisture is lost, and served with harissa. Delicious! Sometimes it is referred to as a jam, rather than a salad or spread.

Similar dishes include Broad Bean Puree with Chilli Oil, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, and Green Olive Tapenade.

Browse all of our Spreads, Dips, Pastes and Purees. Our Salads are here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Algerian Eggplant Salad and Spread | Betanjal M’charmel”

Capsicum, Feta and Pistachio Spread and Dip

Feta cheese whips up into a smooth, creamy spread when blended with olive oil in the food processor. It’s a Greek thing, and the favourite way to flavour it in Greece is with garlic, mint and capsicums as a piquant dip for pita bread. A common variation on this is to combine it with capsicums, chilli and pistachios.

The beautiful dip and spread can be served in any number of ways. Serve with crudité or toasted baguette, warmed focaccia, toast, or flat bread. Place on a platter with veggie sticks and crackers. Serve it with radishes and cucumber spears for dipping. Lather it on grilled sweet corn and top with  fresh herbs and grated Mizithra cheese or grated haloumi. Drizzle dakos or friselle with tomato juice and a good olive oil and top with this dip.

Similar recipes include Olive, Pistachio and Pomegranate SaladYoghurt, Feta and Mustard Dip, Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese, and Burnt Spring Onion Dip.

Browse all of our Dips and Spreads, and all of our Feta dishes. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Capsicum, Feta and Pistachio Spread and Dip”

Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens and Roasted Onions

Spring and Broad Beans go together like birds of a feather. But when the fresh green pods of these green-flavoured beans are no longer available, we are fortunate to have dried broad beans. These come in several sizes and colours – the main ones are large, unpeeled beans, and smaller, yellow, peeled beans. Both are great, slightly differently flavoured, and the yellow ones come with the advantage of not having to peel them before cooking.

This is another great puree made from the dried broad beans  (fava beans) – use either type. Today, the puree is used as a dip and spread alongside roasted onions, wilted greens, roasted capsicums, and olives, with toasted ciabatta for spreading and piling on the accompaniments.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Broad Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Ricotta, Avocado and Bread Bean Mash, Dried Fava Bean Puree with Fresh Herbs, Fava Bean Puree with Dill and Olive Oil, and Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread.

Or browse all of our Broad Bean recipes and all of our Italian dishes. Alternatively, take some time to explore our Mid Winter collection of dishes.

Continue reading “Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens and Roasted Onions”

Black Olive, Herb and Chilli Pine Nut Cream Cheese

Cream cheese still features in our kitchen, despite its fall from grace. Over-used in the ’80s and ’90s, cooks have relegated it to supermarket shelves. But, thank goodness, really good cream cheese still exists if you look around. It makes very easy, simple but flavoursome dips and spreads, and snack balls.

This spread mixes cream cheese with olives and herbs. Cream cheese is quite bland, so we spice things up by incorporating some chilli toasted pine nuts. It is hardly a recipe, it is that simple. But we share it here anyway.

Use the spread on crackers, on hot toast or crumpets, and with roasted vegetables.

Similar recipes include Quince Molasses and Tahini Spread, Miso and Tahini Sauce, and Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Leaf Spread.

Browse all of our Cream Cheese dishes and all of our Spreads. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Black Olive, Herb and Chilli Pine Nut Cream Cheese”

Beautiful Fennel Puree

In this recipe, fennel bulbs are cooked a la Grecque in olive oil and lemon juice until very tender and falling apart. They are then whizzed into the most beautiful puree, perfect for spreading, eating as it is, using as a dressing on salads or hot vegetables, or serving as part of a larger meal.

The puree has a wonderful mayonnaise type texture so it acts amazingly well as a dressing over salads, or over baked or steamed vegetables.

This dish comes from Italy, and it is the Italians who seem to use fennel the most. At one time, it was popular at the end of a meal, a delicious way to cleanse the palate. Parts of Tuscany still do this, I hear. The best salad is still fennel, sliced thinly and dressed with olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Just perfect. This dish retains those flavours but cooks the fennel to a soft and gentle puree.

Are you after similar dishes? Try Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Orange and Garlic, and Fennel a la Grecque.

Try some other purees too – Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean, Broad Bean and Butter Bean, and Spiced Tomato.

You can also browse all of our Fennel dishes, and all of our Puree recipes. You might like to check out our Dressings, Spreads and Dips too, and all of our Italian dishes. Or take some time and explore our Mid Winter menus.

Continue reading “Beautiful Fennel Puree”

Avocado Salsa with Deep Fried Tortilla Crisps

Avocado has been so popular for the past decade that it is almost passé. But here we love the out of favour but full of flavour recipes, so in the dying moments of the avocado obsession, we bring you a keeper recipe – avocado salsa with the flavours of lemon, chilli, tomato and coriander. Enjoy!

There are oodles of ways to use this salsa – on toast, with corn chips, to top a lentil salad, for example. We have included 2 ways – serve as a snack or appetiser with fried tortilla crisps, or atop a salad of new potatoes.

Similar recipes include Cold Avocado Soup, Avocado Smash, and Pomelo, Ruby Grapefruit and Avocado Salad.

Browse all of our Avocado recipes, and all of our Dips. Or be inspired by our Mid Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Avocado Salsa with Deep Fried Tortilla Crisps”

Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese

The problem with food fashions is that really useful ingredients get put aside, left behind, left on the shelf. Remember cream cheese? If you are of a certain age you will recall the cream cheese dips. I had a particularly flavoursome one that involved chilli sauce, a jar of sweet and sour vegetables and loads of coriander leaves. It was quick, easy and magnificent.

But over time, cream cheese has lost its appeal in the food world. It is pretty much ignored in place of feta, ricotta, cream, tahini, avocado and other creamy and fashionable ingredients. In our kitchen, however, cream cheese still has its place on the refrigerator shelf amongst these other beautiful ingredients.

It isn’t a dip today, but the recipe is for a spread that we are making with cream cheese. It is so easy it is hardly a recipe, but we share it in the way that we usually do, for consistency. It is cream cheese mixed with orange juice and pecan nuts. Yum.

Use the spread on crackers, or on slices of fruit. If you would like to use it as a dip, simply whip it until it becomes lighter.

Similar recipes include Black Olive and Herb Cream Cheese with Chilli Pine. Nuts, Quince Molasses and Tahini Spread, Miso and Tahini Sauce, and Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Leaf Spread.

Browse all of our Cream Cheese dishes and all of our Spreads. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese”

Yummy Zucchini Dip with Yoghurt Sauce and Buttery Chilli Pinenuts

Just when you had thought you had seen everything, charred/burnt zucchini crosses your path. In the same way that you would char eggplants for dishes like Babaganoush, zucchinis can be roasted and turned into delicious dips and spreads. After charring, the flesh is slippery, silky, smoky and delicious.

Then, in Middle Eastern Style, the mashed zucchini flesh is topped with a sauce made with yoghurt and Roquefort cheese. In the original of this Ottolenghi recipe, the sauce uses an egg to thicken it. As we do not cook with eggs, we use the age old trick of adding besan (chickpea flour) to the cheese-yoghurt mix, and let it cook out to produce the most beautiful sauce. It is tangy and intriguing, this sauce.

THEN, over the top of what already feels like a whole dish, chilli buttery pinenuts are drizzled, and that is scattered with za’atar. Divine. Inspired. Gorgeous. It challenges Baba Ganoush for deliciousness.

As mentioned (you could guess anyway, right?) this is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese, Babaganoush, Baingan Pora, and Smoky Aubergine with Tahini and Pomegranate.

Browse our Dips and our Spreads, and our Zucchini recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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

Continue reading “Yummy Zucchini Dip with Yoghurt Sauce and Buttery Chilli Pinenuts”

Quince Molasses and Tahini Dip, Paste and Spread (or eat it by the spoonful) | Tahin Pekmez

Our Quince Molasses this year is awesome, tasting every so slightly of roses and with a tart-sweet flavour. We make a jar full in Autumn each year to last us through to Summer, but having discovered this recipe we may have to double the quantity in future.

Mixing Quince Molasses with Tahini produces a spread (or dip, or dressing) that could be used for sweet or savoury purposes. The tahini modifies the sour notes of the molasses to form something that is so moreish, I dare you to stop eating it by the spoonful.

In Iraq, this spread is called Ardeh Shireh and in Turkey it is called Tahin Pekmez.

Similar recipes include What to do with Quinces, Quince Pickle, Quince Molasses, and Pomegranate Molasses. Also try Miso and Tahini Sauce and Dressing.

Browse all of our Quince recipes and all of our Sauces, Spreads and Dressings. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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

Continue reading “Quince Molasses and Tahini Dip, Paste and Spread (or eat it by the spoonful) | Tahin Pekmez”