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. If you prefer it without bread just double the ingredients and make it as a salad.

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guacamole

Guac is the perfect tasty health food and this recipe is bursting with vitamins. Everyone  has their version of it and this is my version , it is silky smooth, except for the chopped red onion and tomatoes on top. It’s got all the authentic Mexican flavours of lime, chilli, oregano and cumin and it has a bit of a kick. You can put in half the chilli if you prefer it milder. I have eaten this ever since I went on the Fit for Life diet years ago. I’d have it on toasted rye bread with butter, but now I’d just make it with bread brushed with olive oil, roasted and sprinkled with a pinch of salt. It’s a lovely combo of crunchy, creamy and spicy and it’s super delicious. Perfect for lunch as it takes minutes to make.

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melanzane parmigiana

I have never met anyone that doesn’t love Melanzane Parmigiana. This is pretty much the recipe my Italian grandmother passed on to her children and with nearly all of my recipes I look at loads of versions of them and take the best bits from each one to create what I think is the perfect hybrid, and that’s what I’ve done with this Sicilian recipe. I really love aubergine and this version of melanzane parmigiana that I have created is great because it’s spot on in the flavour department. It’s low carb and great with meat and/or salad because its really satisfying as well as delicious. You could also serve it with pasta. Tonight, I’m testing it on friends (cooked the night before and reheated in their oven) I’ll get back to you on what they think.
Yes! They really really loved it……

Serves 6 (but you can halve the ingredients)

Ingredients:
4 aubergines sliced into thinish slices , approx one pound coin thick which can be lengthwise or in discs
2 tablespoons of olive oil plus more for the aubergines
1 red onion finely sliced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 400g tins of plum tomatoes
a sprig of oregano or a teaspoon of dried
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
200g of thinly sliced mozzarella
100g of freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper


How:
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Oil a baking tray, place the slices of aubergine on the tray in a single layer and make sure the upper side of the aubergine is sprayed or brushed with oil too.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until brown, you may have to do this in batches. Then set aside.
In a large saucepan, fry the onion gently in the olive oil for about five minutes.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, maple syrup and red wine vinegar.
Gently bring to the boil and let it gently bubble for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Like a lasagna, in a deepish baking dish layer the aubergine in a single layer first and then sprinkle with some Parmesan and slices of mozzarella then a layer of tomato sauce, repeat until all the ingredients are used up.
To get a crispy top, finish with a layer of the aubergine topped with the Parmesan, bake at 180°C for 40-50 minutes or until getting brown, you might want to put tin foil over the top for the first 20 minutes if you don’t want it too crispy, however I like it a bit burnt as the cheese goes a bit Welsh rarebity. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: if you want it a bit less oily, you can boil the aubergines whole for 20 minutes, allow to cool and then slice and put them in the recipe.

 

caponata

Like pesto, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I first tried caponata. It’s the most delicious Italian aubergine stew that’s served at room temperature. It’s great with antipasti, on bread or as part of a salad. You could even leave it hot and serve it on pasta with lots of Parmesan. Even nicer the next day after its cooked.

Serves 2-3.

Ingredients:

4 teaspoons maple syrup or sugar
5 tablespoons olive oil
A few aubergines cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium onion finely cubed
4 garlic cloves minced
1 400g tin of chopped plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of baby capers
A handful of pine nuts
A handful of chopped basil

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