i don’t remember where i first read about this idea – but it’s really a great one. those two flavours go together very well and make for a refreshing and light desert. plus it takes only minutes to prepare it: cut a pineapple in bite-sized pieces. chop the leafes of 4-5 twigs of peppermint and pestle with 1-2 tbsp sugar. this becomes peppermint pesto, and it’s used to marinate the pineapple in it. the marinated pineapple can be enjoyed as it is or served with plain yoghurt.
for dinner on sunday evening i gathered all the vegetables remaining in the fridge and put them together into a vegetable lasagna. i found: 2 celery stalks, 3 carrots and one shallot in questionable state, about 100g baby peas, one tomato, half an onion, 150g mushrooms, one zucchini. slice, dice, cut all the vegetables, then sauté for a few minutes each, throwing them in the pan in the following order: onion & shallot > carrots > celery > peas > mushrooms > zucchini > tomato. some origano can go in there as well. add 500ml vegetable stock and let it simmer for another few minutes. add 2 cans (à 400 ml) crushed tomatoes, let it again simmer. finally add 100ml heavy cream and season with salt and black pepper. it is quite runny by now, but that’s ok. i don’t like the bechamél that goes usually into lasagna, so all the liquid needed for the pasta comes from the sauce. assemble the lasagna with about 250g lasagna sheets and lay 125g mozzarella slices on top. ( i also sprinkled a bit grated parmesan – another leftover – between three of the layers.) bake at 175° for 25 minutes.
i wanted to make rolls for breakfast, but did not manage to get up in time. so we had scones, which are really quick and easy to make. i followed this recipe with minor modifications – i replaced the 140ml 1.5%milk with a mixture of 2tbsp crème fraîche and 3.5% milk and baked them at a lower temerature (200°). and since my cookie cutter is only 4 cm in diameter we got not only 6 scones, but 16 mini-scones. they were delicious, and reminded me of holidays in Ireland back in … 1998.
and yet another meze dish: cut 500g potatoes in small cubes and fry in olive oil. meanwhile pestle 2-3 cloves of garlic with 1/2 tsp sea salt thoroughly, until it becomes a thick paste. chop half a bundle of fresh coriander. when the potatoes are done, transfer them on a plate. put the garlic-salt paste and the coriander into the pan and heat for a few minutes. put the potatoes back into the pan, stir well and season, if needed, with some more salt and black pepper. can be served lukewarm or cold.
here comes the next meze dish: grate 500g zucchini and mix with 1/2 tsp salt, let it stand for about 15 minutes. meanwhile chop 1 bundle of italian parsley and cut two shallots finely. transfer the grated zucchini onto a sieve and press a bit to remove excessive liquid. mix zucchini with parsley and shallots, add 50g feta cheese crumbles, 2 eggs and 50g flour. stir well and season with salt and black pepper. fry the fritters in olive oil for about 4 minutes on each side (using ≈1 tbsp dough apiece).
one item from our meze table: mix in a bowl 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 onion, finely diced, 2 tbsp chopped and toasted pine nuts, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 2 tbsp breadcrumbs, and one egg. add 250g minced meat and knead well. cut about 150g feta cheese in little dices (1.5-2 cm edge length). form little meat balls around the cubes and fry in olive oil.
tonight we had a selection of meze dishes, namely:
- meat balls with feta cheese filling (although i just read that usually a meze table does not include meat – this is left for the main dish)
- zucchini fritters
- fried potatoes with cilantro
- baba ghanoush (from here)
- tabouleh (sth. along those lines, but with couscous instead of burghul, and unfortunately no peppermint)
- carrot salad
- yoghurt and bread
it took me quite a while to prepare all these – 3 hours to be exact.
i was secretly hoping for leftovers but all the plates were cleaned (we had three guests).
i will post recipes in the next days. and probably get the image sizes fixed.
tonight we had guests and once again i made the incredible veggie soup, this time with carrots, potatoes, fennel, hamburg parsley and peas. tarte au citron was the desert.
to make a tarte au citron has been a plan for quite some time. i did some research on the internet and found an amazing number of possible variations, finally ending up at david lebovitz’ lemon tarte recipe. the interesting part here is the tarte dough, as it is done in a very uncommon way: first you boil the butter and some other ingredients in the oven for some time, and then add the flour – which makes for quite a bubbling and sputtering experience. (i don’t want to repeat the full recipe here, go check out the french pastry dough). i modified the filling of the tarte a bit, using 100ml lemon juice plus 50ml orange juice, 100g sugar, lemon zest, 3 eggs and 50g butter. after the custard was cooked i added also 2tbsp crème fraîche. the filling is still quite tart (i did not pay attention to this detail while reading the recipe), but with some raspberry sauce it was very nice. next i’ll give the almond version a try.
the request for dinner today was “something stuffed with vegetables”. for the yeast dough i used 500g flour, 100ml lukewarm milk, 100 ml sun flower oil, about 70ml lukewarm water, 1 tsp salt, 20g fresh yeast. i had two different fillings: one with 200g leaf spinach, sautéd with one clove of garlic, and 100g feta cheese. the second filling was made from two tomatoes, cooked with olive oil and origan for about 20 minutes, 100g feta cheese and 3 tbsp tomato paste. served with yoghurt mixed with chive, parsley, salt and black pepper.
we had this for dinner yesterday evening, it’s lamb’s lettuce with fried mushrooms.