Ember roasted Aubergine Pate

aubergine pate

Aubergine is one of the main dishes of Mediterranean cuisine I suppose, but mainly an Ottoman heritage… It is native to India and had a long journey all around the world and grows pretty much everywhere.  Once I read on a book that there are 100 different ways of cooking aubergine in Ottoman cuisine. I am not sure I can make it that much but I will try to add new ones as I cook.

Funny enough, it is rich in nicotine, but it does not make you a passive smoker, so no worries! But I vividly remember when I quit smoking I adored aubergine…(Quit fags have aubergine instead?)

This recipe is particularly nice in summer, when you have picnics. We can call it `picnic aubergine`, as it is a very nice meze, you can have it like hommus, with some pitta bread or any bread really or as a side dish to your meat, sausages, or almost as a main course for piscaterians like myself.

Right let`s begin then:

Serves 4

What do I need to buy?

2 big aubergines
half a pack of feta cheese (if you don`t have enough you can replace it with some yoghurt)
3 – 4 cloves of crushed garlic
dill (optional could use parsley as well or may be coriander? It is all up to your taste)
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil

How do I cook it?

1. The best way to cook this is to have hot embers of course or a fireplace but if not, you can grill the aubergines till the skin turns dark and literally burns. But score through the skin a few lines so that the inside will cook better. (I would say grill about 20 – 25 minutes, but check occasionally as you might make the smoke alarm go off like mine!)
2. Remove the skins, don`t worry about little bits of leftover skins as they give nice smoked taste.
3. Put the flesh in a bowl, then add the crumbled feta, crushed garlic, more than half of lemon juice, a little bit of olive oil and half a spoonful of yoghurt and stir them well. Feta should become almost invisible, you can mash them if it is easier.
4. Add some chopped dill or parsley, have a taste if it is not lemony enough add more.
5. Serve on a flat plate topped with dill or parsley and possibly black olives.

Enjoy!

Tabbouleh – KISIR

bulgur wheat

“If you were leaving for a desert island which three mezes would you take along with you?” The reporter asks. Lebanese cook does not hesitate: “Tabbouleh, tabbouleh and tabbouleh.”

This was on BBC radio the other day while I was about to start making tabbouleh or Kısır as it is said in Turkish. And I do believe that it is one of the easiest and tastiest meze i ever had. Also very healthy as it is cooked with bulgar wheat.

It is one of the dishes my mom used to do for tea when her friends were coming over. In Lebanon, they like it is more like parsley salad. which I quite like as well. Ok, let’s begin then!

What do I need to buy?

  • 1 Cup Bulgur Wheat (fine grained you can find two types of bulgur wheat either fine or for rice)
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup lemon juice
  • 2 – 3 tsbp of tomato and pepper paste
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bunch flat parsley
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 5 -6 spring onions
  • 2-3 ripe tomatoes finely chopped (optionally peeled)
  • pomegranate sauce (optional and could be found in middle eastern shops)

How do I cook it then?

  1. Cover the wheat in boiling water and let stand for five minutes it will absorb all the water
  2. mix lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper then add half of it over the wheat.
  3. Chop the spring onions, parsley, mint, tomatoes and cucumber.
  4. Mix all the vegetables with bulgur wheat while stirring add the rest of the oil- lemon juice mixture.
  5. If you can find some pomegranate sauce this is the time to add it. It has a sour taste so It is important not to add a lot if you put lemon juice already.
  6. Refrigerate few hours but you can have it without refrigerating.
  7. Tabbouleh is ready, you can have it with some iceberg lettuce a well, enjoy!

Courgette and peppers

Courgette and peppers

Hello everybody!

After a long break, I am back with many recipes, but this time I won’t run away promise.

Now this is a very easy and healthy recipe. You can also keep thıs dısh in the fridge for few days so good for busy days at work. I will write alternative courgette recipes as it is one of the favorites for many vegetarians.

What do I need to buy?

2 or 3 courgettes depending on the size

2 medium size peppers (different colours look nice when you serve:)

onion

2- 3 cloves of garlic

olive oil

yoghurt

How do I cook it?

1. Chop the courgettes and peppers in cubes. Onions the same in another bowl.

2. Put the olive oil in the pan, and cook the finely chopped onions until they start turning yellowish. Do exactly the same with peppers.

3. Then add the courgettes, stir them altogether then let the courgettes leave and absorb their water back. You can pt the chopped garlic at this time. Simmer them for 15 minutes and after that your dinner is ready, serve it hot or cold with a spoonful of yoghurt and some toasted bread!