preserved lemons

Preserved lemons are a key ingredient in Moroccan cooking. The Moroccans put them in tagines and salads. They become sweet and mellow after pickling and are a sort of tangy condiment, pepping up the flavour of anything you stick them in. You only need a small amount finely chopped but according to John Gregory-Smith in his Moroccan cookbook Orange Blossom and Honey, you can also cut a slice and put it in your martini. Lemons are really healthy too, and good for your immune system, liver function, eyes and is the only food in the world that is anionic, which makes them really beneficial to your health.

Recipe

Ingredients:
1 sterilised jar
4 unwaxed lemons
7 tablespoons of salt
Water

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moroccan orange salad

I had this salad as a starter in a Moroccan restaurant in Paris and I have made it ever since. It’s divine and reminds me of that restaurant I think was called the Star. I went there twice with my boyfriend with a ten year gap between visits and when we told them that we loved it there and had come back ten years later they were very blasé and not interested, however the food was fantastic still. This salad is great as a dessert too. It’s perfumey with orange flower water so you feel transported to an exotic place in Morocco, at least I do, and it’s pretty healthy. So give it a try….

 

Recipe

Serves 2-3.

Ingredients:
2 large naval oranges skin and pith cut off and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of orange flower water
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
A few sprigs of coriander, finely chopped
Icing sugar, for dusting

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fresh nectarine salad

This salad is simple and sweetly delicious and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. I really love salads that are using just one main ingredient. It’s the zen way. Also I have always secretly put vinaigrette on my fruit salad when it’s just for me. So this recipe, which could also use peaches, hits the sweet and savoury thing on the head, if you like that sort of thing. I love the sweetness of the nectarine with the zingy dressing. It’s particularly lovely with my winter slaw. A friend of mine makes it all the time…she’s completely hooked on it.

Recipe

Serves 2.

Ingredients:
4 nectarines or peaches, peeled and cut into segments or just cut in half and remove the stone and chuck in a bowl with the skin on, rustic style
A small sprig of mint chopped very finely
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
A little pepper and salt

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healthy raspberry sorbet

Raspberry sorbet always reminds me of summer holidays in France with my family when I was little. And when I eat it now in all its jewel red gorgeousness I am transported back to places we visited there and adored. Anyway, ices have always been my favourite thing, my Italian grandfather made Gelato so it’s in my blood.
This raspberry sorbet doesn’t need an ice cream machine and is made with raw raspberries that have been frozen and the only other ingredients are lemon juice and maple syrup, so it’s raw and low glycemic and really easy to make. I usually get a punnet of raspberries and stick them on a plate so they are separated as much as possible from each other and them bung them in the freezer till rock hard or over night, alternatively you can buy a punnet or bag of already frozen raspberries.

Recipe

Makes about 1/3 litre.

Ingredients:
300g or one punnet of frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of maple syrup

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greek salad tartines

What could be nicer…an open salad sandwich always does it for me and my girlfriends. We love that combo of crunchy bread and salad. It’s healthy clean food and perfect for lunch or as a starter. This version of Greek salad is taken from all the most interesting recipes I could find for Greek salad and I mixed them up. I also cut the vegetables very small so it’s easier to stick the bread in your mouth if you want to eat them without a knife and fork, like I do.

Recipe

Serves 4.

Ingredients:
One loaf of sourdough bread sliced into 8 slices and cooked using my scorched bread recipe
A handful of baby tomatoes
Half a small red onion
quarter of a cucumber
A handful of black olives stoned and chopped (they taste better if they have had he stone in)
6 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Half a red pepper
A sprig of chopped fresh oregano or a teaspoon of dried
A sprig of chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of capers plus another tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of orzo or pasties
150 g of feta cut into thin slices
Salt and pepper to taste

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creamy bean hummus

Beans make a smoother paler paste than chick peas, and I sometimes like that. I know versions of humus are everywhere. And bean humus can be served as an alternative to hummus and is a great healthy store cupboard standby. It’s also perfect if you are dairy free and want an alternative to butter that is healthy. They are now saying that margarines and damaged fats are really bad for you, so things like hummus are a much better and tasty alternative. I like to serve it with bread drizzled in a little olive oil, see my scorched bread recipe in the index, and dry fried in a frying pan till it’s got a slightly overdone crunchy chargrilled flavour with a nice thick layer of the bean humus and with salad and pine nuts on top. Its great with roast veg on it too or its fab with crudités or tortilla chips as a dip.

Recipe

Ingredients:
1 400g can of beans (I use cannelli beans)
Juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon of maple syrup (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
A handful of toasted pine nuts

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