Pasta with Yogurt, Peas and Chili

Another winner from Jerusalem – I love this cookbook! This one is perfect Meatless Monday. Be sure to use shell pasta.

1 1/4 c Greek yogurt
5 TBSP olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lb large shell pasta
1/2 lb peas
2 tsp Aleppo
1/4 c pine nuts
3/4 c basil leaves, torn
4 oz feta crumbled
Salt and pepper

Combine yogurt, 3 TBSP olive oil, garlic, and 1/2 the peas in a blender and purée till smooth.

Cook pasta according to package.

In a small pan, heat 2 TBSP olive oil, add pepper and pin nuts. Cook over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes until pine nuts are toasted.

Drain pasta and toss with peas, feta, basil, pine nut mixture and yogurt sauce.

Serves 3.

Blueberry Yogurt Waffles

Nothing says Sunday morning like Waffles! This week it’s Blueberry Yogurt – sweet and tangy goodness.

4 TBSP butter, melted
1 3/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c coconut palm or brown sugar
1 c plain yogurt
1 c buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat waffle iron.

Mix dry. Add wet, stir till well combined.

Cook accounting to waffle irons instructions.

Makes about 12 waffles.

Blossom, Goat Cheese and Egg Cassarole


20140727-063057-23457783.jpgThis was loosely inspired by Patricia Wells, in the fact that it has similar ingredients, but that is where is stops. This is a Zuk blossom and goat cheese casserole with some egg poured over the top to hold it together. This dish is rich and tangy from the goat cheese with a sweet hint of the Zuk blossom.

1 TBSP olive oil
1 small onion, sliced thin
30 squash blossoms, stamen removed
Espelette pepper
6 oz mild soft goat cheese
2 TBSP finely grated Pamegiano
4 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven up 425. Spray a loaf pan with olive oil.

In a small skillet, warm oil over medium heat, add onions and cook until soft.

Line the bottom of the loaf pan with 1/3 of the squash blossom so they overlap and cover the bottom. Crumble 1/2 the goat cheese over the blossoms, add 1/2 the onions, sprinkle with Espelette pepper and salt. Put down next 1/3 of blossom, layer with the remaining goat cheese and onion. Season with Espelette and salt. Lay down the last 1/3 of a blossoms the sprinkle with parmigiano. Pour the beaten eggs over the top and tap the pan on the counter a few times so the eggs seep down.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Serves 2 – 4


Grilled Eggplant with Date, Walnut and Yogurt Salad

This is from Diana Henry’s “A Change of Appetite” and like all the other recipes it is amazing. I served it with Kisir.

1/2 c Greek yogurt
1/2 c pitted dates, chopped
1/2 c chopped walnuts, toasted
1 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 eggplants, sliced 1/2 thin
Salt and pepper
Juice of one lemon

Combine yogurt, dates, walnuts, olive oil and garlic in a bowl and chill until ready to serve.

Heat grill on high, brush eggplant with olive oil salt and pepper and cook about 3 minutes per side until soft.

Serve with yogurt any Kisir.

1 TBSP olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 1/2 TBSP tomato paste
1 1/2 c bulgur wheat
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 c mint, chopped
1 1/4 c parley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c olive oil
1 1/2 TBSP pomegranate molasses
1/2 c pomegranate seeds

Heat oil in saucepan and sauté onions and garlic for two minutes. Add cumin and chili, cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and 2/3 c boiling water. Mix in bulgur, remove from heat and cover for 15 minutes. Fork through and stir in tomatoes and herbs. Combine olive oil and pomegranate molasses in a small bowl. Stir 3/4 into the bulgur, but don’t soak it. Add more if it’s too dry. Stir in Pom seeds and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

Penne with Spicy Vodka Sauce

Meatless Monday, crazy day =
Pasta dinner. This is my spin on vodka sauce made with fresh tomatoes, because it’s that time of year.

2 TBSP olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
20 oz tomatoes, diced
8 oz creme fraiche
2 oz volka
8 oz penne
1/4 c parsley, chopped

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add tomatoes, garlic, chili and a little salt, cook until the tomatoes start to breakdown, about 15 minutes. Lower heat to low and stir in creme fraiche. Add pasta, stir in vodka and cook for 2 minutes until pasta has absorbed some of the sauce. Top with parley.

Serves 4.

Fresh Veggie Salad

Love the blend of fresh veggies! This was inspired by Jerusalem.

10 1/2 oz tomatoes, small dice
1 red pepper, small dice
1 red onion, small dice
2/3 oz cilantro, chopped
1/2 oz parley, chopped
10 oz kirby cucumbers, small dice
8 oz radishes, diced
4 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/2 TBSP sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed

Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine.

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl, toss to combine. Toss with salad dressing.

Serves 4.

Lamb Shawarma

Another winner from Jerusalem. I made some minor changes, mostly because TJs had a boneless leg of lamb. This dish is amazing, the meat literally melts in your mouth. Serve with light tahini, flat bread and crisp salad.

2 tsp black peppercorns
5 cloves
½ tsp cardamom pods
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 TBSP cumin seeds
1 star anise
½ a cinnamon stick
½ a nutmeg, grated
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 TBSP sweet paprika
1 TBSP sumac
¾ TBSP salt
1 oz fresh ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2/3 c chopped cilantro
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 c peanut oil
3 – 4 lb leg of lamb

Put the first eight ingredients in a cast-iron pan and dry-roast on medium–high heat for a minute or two, until the spices begin to pop and release their aroma – take care not to burn them. Add the nutmeg, ginger and paprika, toss for a few seconds, just to heat them, then transfer the whole lot to a spice grinder. Process the spices to a uniform powder, then transfer to a medium bowl and stir in all the remaining ingredients, apart from the lamb and 1 c water.

Use a small, sharp knife to score the leg of lamb in a few places, making slits through the fat and meat to allow the marinade to seep in. Place the lamb in a roasting pan and rub the marinade all over; use your hands to massage the meat well. Cover the pan with foil and set aside for at least a couple of hours or overnight, in the fridge.

Heat the oven to 325. Put the lamb in the oven with its fatty side facing up. Roast for a total of about four and a half hours, until the meat is completely tender.

After 30 minutes of roasting, add about 1 c of boiling water to the pan and use this to baste the meat every hour or so. Add more water, as needed, making sure there is always about 1/4 inch in the bottom of the pan. For the last three hours of cooking, cover the lamb with the foil to prevent the spices from burning.

Once cooked, remove the lamb from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Serves 6 – 8