This recipe is really easy and tastes fantastic… the aubergine caramelises in the baking process and becomes sweet and sticky with a hint of chilli. You could have it on its own with the rice, with roast fish or as a side dish with sashimi.
This salad is very simple and takes moments to prepare…it’s got all the classic Italian flavours of fresh lemon, parsley, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with tender octopus, which I buy ready cooked from my Spanish deli in Portobello Road or my local fish monger in Primrose Hill but you can also use the jars of it in olive oil that some supermarkets and delis stock. It’s a perfect starter to a pescatarian dinner, or just as a light supper with crusty bread to mop up the dressing.
I love Lebanese food and tasted manouche for the first time in Covent Garden the other day with my Lebanese friend Ralph at The Lebanese Bakery which is worth a visit if you want proper fresh Lebanese flatbreads. Manoushe is freshly baked flat bread with Za’atar on it and it’s a delicious combination of Middle Eastern flavours with thyme. The bakery put hummus and parsley, rocket and pine nuts on top, but you can have it as is or dipped into baba ganoush with salad. It tastes amazing with any mezze.
These pickled shallots go a pale rose colour from the pink outer bits of the shallot. They are ready in about half a day, so you can start using them fairly quickly. They are sweet savoury with a bit of acidity so they work really well with cheese, in sandwiches, salads, tacos, with burgers and delicious with barbecued food. The list is endless. They are super easy to make too and last in the fridge for several weeks.
These delightfully neon pink pickles are a Middle Eastern speciality and a staple in all Middle Eastern households. They are served with falafel, madjadura, humus, kebabs and roast meat or as nibbles with drinks and olives I even put them in salads and sandwiches. They taste salty and vinegary with the flavours that you add to the jar.
I am a massive fan of the Swedish cafe Joe and The Juice and am slightly obsessed with their Tunacado sandwich. So I try and copy them and make them at home. I can’t get their delicious crisp rye bread here as they don’t sell it in the UK so I either use thinly sliced toasted rye bread or sourdough crackers from Peters Yard… but standard sourdough bread is fine. They are perfect with a freshly made juice for a saintly lunch or as canapés with drinks and Netflix.
This is the easiest most delicious salad which is so fresh and summery and perfect with a bbq or any alfresco eating. The Thai basil give it a slightly aniseedy flavour which works really well. I eat it for lunch with roasted sourdough or for dinners with any of my pasta recipes and the tomatoes taste even nicer if you mix them up with the vinaigrette and onions in advance and leave them in the fridge for a few hours before assembling the salad.
I saw this traditional Israeli sandwich being made on “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix and I had to recreate it as it looked so delicious. It’s got fried aubergines, boiled eggs, pickled vegetables, salad and a tahini dressing. What’s not to like? After the Gothenburg (also on this blog), this is my other favourite sandwich – and it’s not called the best sandwich in the world for nothing… It’s usually folded over or the filling is tucked into the pocket of a flat bread, but I’ve made it like an open sandwich so you can see the gorgeous ingredients. I have left Amba out (which is a mango pickle which you can buy online or make yourself) as it’s full of sugar, but you can add it if you prefer it and I used Sriracha instead of making chili sauce from scratch.
It’s a vegetarian dream.
Freekeh has a fantastic flavour and texture and it’s even better for you than quinoa, although it’s not gluten free it’s packed with good things if you google it. I wanted to make a warm salad with it with a Middle Eastern vibe that was easy and delicious. I serve it on its own or as a side dish to a main meal and everyone loves it.
This sushi ginger is a game changer, I made it when I ran out of sushi ginger and thought I’d give it a go to see what happened and it has a more delicate flavour than commercial sushi ginger, which can sometimes taste a bit chemical. I eat it with sushi and sashimi… and in salads with avocados and eggs and in sandwiches. Try it it’s super easy.