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Emma x

Category: Starter

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Next up as part of this banquet is this delish Greek salad. Traditionally a Greek salad is made up of the classically Greek ingredients Romaine lettuce, feta and olives to make a beautiful salty, sweet and refreshing salad all in one! This salad, like most, is very quick and easy to put together, and makes a delish light lunch on it’s own! In this selection of mezes though it acts as a great refreshing dish to pair with the warm, aromatic ones.

Recipe

Makes 1 Meze dish

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Vine tomatoes
  • 5cm Length of Cucumber
  • 1/4 Red pepper
  • 2 Leaves of Romaine lettuce
  • 5g Feta cheese
  • A few Olives, halved
  • A Drizzle of Balsamic vinegar
  • A Drizzle of Olive oil

Method

  1. Take a sharp knife and quarter the tomatoes. Then slice the cucumber into quarters length ways, and then chop along the batons to make small pieces. Then dice the pepper into similarly sized pieces.
  2. Rip the lettuce into pieces and scatter the over over serving dish. Then scatter over the tomatoes, pepper and cucumber. Crumble the feta over the salad and then scatter the olives.
  3. Finish with a drizzle of the balsamic and olive oil and serve!

Thanks for reading!
Emma x

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

 In every Greek meal there has to be tabbouleh. It’s refreshing, zingy and a great palette cleanser for the richer, spicier dishes on the table. Personally, I’m not a massive fan of tabbouleh because on its own it’s a bit too herby for my liking, but I will admit that it’s delicious when paired with anything else on the table!

Recipe

Makes 1 Mezze dish

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 50g Bulgar wheat
  • 40g Flat leaf parsley
  • 40g Mint
  • 200g Vine tomatoes
  • 2 Beef tomatoes
  • 3 Spring onions
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • A pinch of Sea salt

Method

  1. Put the bulgur wheat into a sieve and rinse under cold water. Then put this into a bowl and pour over 200ml boiling water. Cover with clingfilm and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll the parsley into a bunch and then roughly chop it. Do the same with the mint so that it’s chopped super fine. Next take your tomatoes and chop them roughly into bits. Put all the herbs and tomatoes into a big bowl.
  3. Slice the spring onions in half and then finely chop them. Add this to the big bowl.
  4. Drain the bulgur wheat and then mix this into the herbs. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper to season. Mix it all together and then serve!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Pita Bread

Pita Bread

Pita bread is one of those incredible foods that is so versatile and will just work with everything. Whilst now I prefer my pita dipped in hummus, back in primary school I used to stuff them with Mini Cheddars to make an improvised crisp/cheese sandwich. My culinary experiments have moved on a lot since then, but I still have a fondness for these bread pockets and they pair super well with the other meze dishes in this banquet!

Recipe

Makes 4 Pitas

Time: 20 minutes, plus proving and baking time

Ingredients

  • 250g Strong white bread flour
  • 7g Instant yeast
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 160ml Water
  • 2 tsp Olive oil

Method

  1. Put the flour, yeast and salt into a bowl and stir to combine. Be careful not to put the salt directly on top of the yeast as this will kill it and prevent your dough from rising. Add the oil and then slowly add the water, mixing as you do, to get a smooth dough.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a worktop and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and stretchy. Place this dough into a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise until doubled in size (about an hour).
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C and pop a baking tray in the oven to warm up.
  4. When the dough is ready turn it out onto your surface and knead for 20 seconds to knock out the air bubbles.
  5. Split the dough into 6 and roll each portion into a ball. Then lightly flour a surface and roll each ball out into a 5cm long oval.
  6. Take the tray out of the oven and lightly dust with flour. Put each pitta onto it and then bake for 5-10 minutes until they start to brown slightly.
  7. Serve with lots of hummus!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Stuffed Aubergines with Feta and Pomegranate

Stuffed Aubergines with Feta and Pomegranate

Inspiration for my recipes comes from loads of different places – books, websites, social media, tv shows, and everything in between. The other day I was watching the new TV series with Nigel Slater about his trip around the middle east – a very good watch if you come across it by the way. I’ve never done much middle eastern cooking but I’ve always wanted to as I love those kind of flavours, so when I saw his stuffed aubergine dish on the show I knew I wanted to do a little variation of my own.

This is the first time I’ve worked with roasted garlic and I’m definitely going to use more of it in the future. By roasting the cloves the pungent garlic flavour is muted and instead a caramelised, nutty flavour is created, which in this case goes really well with the earthy aubergine. I’ve also used coriander here as it adds some bright colour and a bitter herbal element which works really well in the dish. However, I’m not a big fan of coriander, and I’ll admit that I picked the leaves out of my portion when it came to eating it, so if you’re like me and the mere thought of coriander makes you recoil don’t worry, it’s not essential to the recipe.

 

Recipe

Serves 4

Time: 20 minutes, plus cooking time

Ingredients

  • 2 Aubergines
  • 4 Garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 Pomegranate
  • 100g Feta
  • 35g Runny honey
  • 4 tbsp Corriander (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Cut each aubergine in half and then score the flesh into a criss-cross pattern, being careful not to pierce the skin.
  3. Put the aubergines, skin side up, and the garlic cloves into a roasting tin. Drizzle over the oil and sprinkle with the salt. Rub this into the flesh and then bake for 30 minutes, or utill soft.
  4. Take a spoon and scoop out the flesh from the aubergines, being careful not to tear the skin.
  5. Take the skin off the garlic. Then put this roasted garlic into a bowl with the aubergine and crush it all into a pulp. Then fold in 2/3 of the pomegranate seeds, the honey and 1/2 of the feta. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
  6. Spoon this mixture back into the aubergine skins. Crumble over the rest of the feta and then garnish with the rest of the pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves. Serve!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Tomato, Basil and Puy Lentil Salad

Tomato, Basil and Puy Lentil Salad

As promised here’s the starter dish I made for my friend Emma’s 18th Dinner Party the other day. Basil, tomato and mozerella is a match made in heaven, so it’s no wonder that when put on a plate all together it tastes insanely good! It’s also surprisingly simple and healthy for one of my dishes. With the puy lentils and mozerella there’s plenty of protein and all the tomatoes load up the plate with vitamins and fruity/vegetably goodness. These portions are fairly small as I was making them as a starter, but if you want to make this into a hearty meal you can just double all the quantities.

Recipe

Serves 4

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200g Puy Lentils
  • 8 Golden Cherry Tomatoes
  • 8 Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Beef Tomatoes
  • 1 Ball of Mozzarella
  • 3 tsp Pesto
  • A few Basil leaves

Method

  1. Cook the puy lentils according to the packet instructions. Then spoon the puy lentils onto your plates.
  2. Slice the beef tomatoes into thin slices and then half the others and arrange them around the puy lentils.
  3. Tear the mozzarella into pieces and place on the plates.
  4. Spoon the pesto over the salad and finish with a drizzle of the pesto oil and garnish with the basil.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x