Baked Marinated Tofu

There is a magnificent Asian grocer near us, their shop is so large it goes on and on. And, well, it has inspired me to play more with tofu. They have every variety from Five Spice Tofu to Deep Fried Tofu, to the hardest firm Tofu to the silkiest Silky Tofu.

For this recipe, I used really firm tofu. It is first marinated then baked for a delightful snack or summery side dish. It is a perfect dish, sticky and dark. Eat with a green mango salad. Or a crunchy, herby, green Asian Style Salad.

You might like to try some other Tofu dishes: Sticky Tamarind and Kaffir Tofu, Peach Salsa with Marinated Tofu; Hou Hod (Deep Fried Tofu with a Sweet Peanut Sauce); and Black Pepper Tofu.

You can browse all of our Tofu recipes here, and our Snack recipes. Or you might like to explore all of our easy Early Summer Recipes.

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Beetroot Salsa with Yoghurt

The first beetroot from the new garden had me looking for a simple yet dynamic way to treat them. This tangy salad has the wonderful flavours of cumin and coriander, and has yoghurt rippled into the salad. Treat it like a salsa, as a side to your main dish or curry. Summery and special, I love this fusion of east and west flavours.

You might also enjoy Smoked Beetroot with Yoghurt and Caramelised Nuts, Simple Beetroot Soup, Slightly Pickled Beetroot Salad with Mustard, Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad, and a Warm Carrot and Beetroot Salad with Spices.

Our Beetroot recipes are all here and our Salsas here for you to explore. Or try our easy Early Summer recipes.

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Schiacciata with Cheese Topping

If Focaccia is half way between pizza and bread, then Schiacciata is half way between Focaccia and Pizza. It is flat and usually infused beautifully with olive oil.

Originally cooked in the ashes of the hearth, schiacciata, meaning squashed, is flat and 2 – 3 cm thick (but can be thinner). Variations of the bread are made throughout Italy. In Tuscany, it is simply brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Herbs such as rosemary can be added. A sweet version with grapes and sugar is also made.

This recipe with onion and cheese is great weekday lunch-at-home fare, even for Sunday night supper. It is great with a hearty soup. Maybe Onion Soup would be fabulous. In late Summer, pair it with ripe, bursting figs and celebrate the end of summer.

You might also liked our Focaccia recipes. Our pizza recipes are here. If you need pizza dough, the recipes are here. Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Mushrooms Baked in Grape Vine Leaves

Grape vine leaves add a subtle flavour to dishes that are cooked on them – even wood-fired BBQs using grape vine “wood” adds a subtle taste and aroma to foods cooked over that fire.

It is a wonder that we don’t use vine leaves more for baking foods. As well as the flavour, the leaves themselves can be eaten if you have baked in a low heat (otherwise, they go a little crispy).

Elizabeth David in her beautiful book An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, gives a recipe for baking mushrooms with vine leaves. She first saw the recipe in Edmond Ridhardin’s 1913 book L’Art du Bien Manger. It is as good today as it was a century ago.

Similar recipes include Mushrooms in Terracotta, Baked Yoghurt in Vine Leaves, Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, Grilled Mushroom SaladGrape Vine Leaf Powder, French Slow Cooked Mushrooms, and Shiitake Mushroom Sauce.

You might like to explore other Elizabeth David recipes, or browse Mushroom recipes. This dish could also be cooked in a covered BBQ – have a look at other BBQ dishes also. Or simply scroll through all of our Mid Spring recipes.

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Georgian Coriander and Walnut Sauce or Dip

Coriander and walnuts – who would have thought the zingy freshness of coriander would pair well with the earthy brown flavours of walnuts? It seems they do, with a plethora of recipes around for pastes and sauces containing the two ingredients.

This recipe is a little different than most. I first saw in The Guardian newspaper. It includes dried apricots. The sauce is both slightly sweet from the apricots, a little peppery and fragrant from the herbs with a pinch of heat from the chilli and, well, garlicky. This sweet, pungent sauce is a mainstay of Georgian national cuisine. It works beautifully as a marinade – try rubbing it on vegetables before baking or BBQing. Stir into cooked red beans. Marinate some tofu in it. Glaze cooked carrots with it. Put it in your soup. And it is rather good with roasted summer vegetables too. It is great included in your salad dressing. Spread it on your salad sandwiches. You will constantly find more and more ways to use this glorious paste.

My most favourite way to eat it is as a dip. It is non-traditional, but I have to let you into a secret. This is very good with some Middle Eastern flatbread. Put it on your next mezze or tapas plate.

According to Georgian legend, God took a supper break while creating the world. He became so involved with his meal that he inadvertently tripped over the high peaks of the Caucasus, spilling his food onto the land below. The land blessed by Heaven’s table scraps was Georgia.

Georgian of course refers to the country in the Caucasus rather than the southern U.S. state or the period of time when knights roamed England.

Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Caponata Siciliana, Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Spread, Coriander PasteZhoug, the Middle Eastern Coriander Paste and Dip, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney. Also similar is an Apricot Chutney that can be made with dried apricots.

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. Coriander Fritters are pretty good too.

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Green Tahini Sauce | Dip | Dressing | Spread

Tahini, aah, such a wondrous ingredient, made from sesame seeds and not understood or used enough in this country. One of its properties is that it thickens in the presence of acid, so you can add lemon juice to it to thicken it as well as flavour it, and gradually thin it with water or milk until you get to the right conistency (depending on what you are using it for).

This classic green sauce includes garlic and parsley as well, for a great dip, spread, sauce or dressing. It is Middle Eastern in flavours, so pair it with pita bread, falafel, herby salads, or any flatbread. It is great in salad sandwiches and wraps. Dress vegetable salads with it, pair it with some steamed beetroot. Dip crackers and crudites into it. Spread tiny toasts and top with chopped cucumber or chopped tomato and chilli. You are going to love it.

You might like to try some other Tahini recipes. We have Crushed Du Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin, Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs or Tahina Tarator | Tahini Spread, Dip or Dressing.

Try these spreads too: Quince Molasses and Tahini Dip, Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Spread, Avocado Mash, and Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread. Or this one: Roast Capsicum Sauce and Dressing.

All of our recipes featuring Tahini are here. Feel free to browse our Middle Eastern recipes, or our Salad recipes. Or all of our easy Mid Summer Recipes.

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Pomegranate Salad with Green Coriander and Lime | Pomegranate Salsa

 

This is a great salad with either sweet pomegranates, or those that have a nice sharp tang amongst the sweetness. It is a great salsa or tiny salad.

Would you like to try other Pomegranate recipes? Try Tomato and Pomegranate Salad, Pomegranates and Bananas, and Green Olive, Walnut, Pistachio and Pomegranate Salad.

We have some other Salsas – try Pawpaw Salsa, Green Tomato Salsa, Green Guava Salad, and Peach Salsa.

Browse our other Pomegranate recipes. Our Salad recipes are here and here. Or explore our wonderful Autumn recipes here and here.

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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.

Similar recipes include Green Tomato Sambar, and Green Tomato and Mozzarella Salad.

If you are after other Salsa recipes, try Green Tomato and Pineapple Salsa, 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 – sometimes spelled skhug, zhug, , schug or s’hug. It is a fiery, garlicky, herby green bowl of goodness. 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. Spread a little on a sandwich or warm pita bread, drizzle it on pasta, or serve it with grilled halloumi or vegetables for an extra herby and spicy kick of flavour.

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. Preparations for Zhoug vary widely, but a few things remain constant – green herbs, garlic, spices and chilli.

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.

Similar recipes include a Green Chilli and Coriander Paste, Sweet Chilli JamCoriander Paste, Coriander Pesto, Soy and Sesame Dipping Sauce, 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. Or enjoy our easy Late Autumn dishes.

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Falafel | Ta’amia | Spicy Middle Eastern Chickpea Patties or Balls

Using cooked or tinned chickpeas, falafels are very easy to make.

Who can resist a good falafel? Wonderful for snacks, meals, in wraps or topping salads, they are wonderfully tasty, textural and healthy. Whip them up using chickpeas you have previously cooked and  frozen, for an easy supper.

Home made falafel are a huge cut above store-bought ones, or even those from some restaurants that must purchase them in bulk and keep them frozen for a long time. One has to wonder why, they are so easy to make, whereas many pre-prepared ones taste like cardboard. Who hasn’t had a wrap or roll stuffed with cardboard-tasting falafel as the “vegetarian option”?

Worry no more, we have your back. These are fantastic. Crispy crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. You can grind the chickpeas coarsely or more finely, which ever is your preference. But they must be ground enough to hold together as they fry.

Here is how to cook the softest chickpeas.

You might like to also try hummus, which goes well with falafel. Chickpeas make a whole range of dishes. Try Chickpea Fingers, for example (it uses chickpea flour). Or Chickpea “Tabblouleh”Chickpeas can be baked, or made into a spread, or smashed and made into a salad.  They are really healthy – have a look at this article.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean and Mint Falafel and Fava Bean Falafel.

Browse all of our Middle Eastern recipes and our Chickpea recipes. Or explore our easy Mid Spring recipes.

This recipe  is one from our  first blog which ran from 1995 – 2005. Feel free to browse other recipes in our Retro Recipes series .

This recipe has its genesis in Middle Eastern Vegetarian Dishes by Arto Der Haroutunian who has written many classic Middle Eastern and Northern African cook books – my copy is a an ancient one, but it has been re-released in recent years.

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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 Thick Thick Yoghurt with Walnuts and Zaatar, Fragrant Eggplant with a Garlic-Yoghurt Sauce, Cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze, Green Tahini Dip and Sauce, and Chickpea “Tabbouleh”.

Capsicum recipes you might like to explore include Grilled Peppers and Eggplant Salad, Roasted Red Pepper Salad, Char Grilled Banana Chillies Stuffed with Tomatoes and Spices, and Baked Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes.

Explore all of our Capsicum dishes, our Middle Eastern dishes and 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.

You should check out our home made eggless pasta too.

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. Use Broad Bean and Mint Puree as a pasta sauce too, by thinning it until a suitable consistency is reached.

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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Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa

Shallow fried chickpea flour bite sized snacks

A really nice snack to have when you are hot or tired or jet lagged, made with chickpea flour. It takes about 30 mins including cooling time.

Chickpea flour, also called besan or gram flour, is an essential ingredient in the kitchen, especially for Indian cooking. It makes a great batter, thickener, thin fritter or pan cake style pudla/cheela, and other goodies. Why not also try Chickpea Flour Socca, Farinata and Pudla, Pudla with Green Coriander and Mung Sprouts, Crispy Battered Onion Rings, and Gram Flour Vada. Going Italian, try the wonderful Farinata with Tomatoes and Onion. If it is desserts that you are after, try this Besan Custard.

Similar salsa recipes include Cucumber and Apple Salsa.

Feel free to browse all of our Chickpea Flour recipes here and here. Our Salsa recipes are here. Or you might like to browse Snack recipes here and here. Check out our easy Mid Summer Recipes.

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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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Stuffed Mushrooms on the BBQ

Cooking Mushrooms on a Sunny Autumn Day

On a sunny and beautiful day in Autumn or Spring it is tempting to fire up the BBQ on the balcony, and get the field mushrooms out of the fridge.

Mushrooms cook well on Aussie BBQs (I guess these are called grills in the US). Drizzled with oil, cooked over a medium heat until softening, topped with some fresh and beautiful ingredients, and served when bubbling and sizzling. Truly a taste worthy of an outdoor meal.

Similar recipes include Stuffed Pimentos, Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves, Risotto with Mushrooms, and Slow Cooked Creamy Mushrooms.

Feel free to browse our Mushroom recipes and our BBQ recipes. Check out our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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