Friday, 7 February 2020

Roasted Beetroot with Labneh and quick-pickled shallots


Labneh (you can see the "how to make it" here and here), roasted beetroot, quick-pickled shallots, roasted hazelnuts, lemon thyme, extra-virgin olive oil and seasoning. All assembled in tapas style. A type of lunch, in the best Mediterranean way, that really suits me.
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Beetroot is a great source of dietary fibre, betacarotene, betanin (an antioxidant responsible for that beautiful red colour), vitamin B6, folic acid and potassium. It is also a good source of iron, which can help to prevent anaemia especially for those who follow a vegetarian diet. In addition, labneh makes this dish even better for your gut health die to its rich probiotic content. YOu can see other beetroot recipes here or here.
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When seasoning the beetroot you can add spices like cumin for a more Tunisian style or fresh mint leaves instead of thyme for a Lebanese touch. Whatever takes your fancy.


Till next week!
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Thursday, 30 January 2020

Green chilli and coriander sauce - or a basic version of Zhoug

Zhoug (a Middle Eastern spicy sauce)

I had this leftover bunch of fresh coriander leaves that I didn’t want to go to waste so I grabbed a few other ingredients from my fridge and came up with this zingy sauce. There are lots of variations to the traditional recipe. You can add cumin, cardamon, black pepper, fresh red chilli instead of green etc.
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In a food processor (I could have used the pestle and mortar, but time was not on my side) I blended the coriander (stalks and all), 1 deseeded green chilli and 2 small garlic cloves. With the blender on, I added about 50ml of Extra-virgin olive oil, a juice of 1 lime and a juice of 1 tangerine. I then seasoned with sea salt. Zhoug is ready!
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To use it straight away, I sliced an aubergine and roasted it with EVOO and some sea salt. When it was ready, I drizzled the slices with some grape syrup* and a generous amount of zhoug. Make sure you have a nice piece of bread to mop it all up.
* I get mine from @oliveology. You can also use maple syrup or honey instead.
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You can mix zhoug with yoghurt, eat it with falafel, use it as a dip, add on top of fried eggs, mix it with grains, use it in marinade etc.
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The aubergine dish ticked all the boxes to my lunch. It's Mediterranean, nutritious and zero waste.


A healthy note: Coriander (Coriandrum sativum): It has anti-inflammatory properties and it is often blended in herbal remedies to help fight cold and flu. It may also facilitate the digestion of carbohydrates, alleviate indigestion and colic, lower bad cholesterol and prevent halitosis.

Till next week!
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Thursday, 23 January 2020

Blood Orange with Honey, Pistachio and Cinnamon


Blood oranges season. They are beautiful and they are deliciously juicy. Blood oranges are rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C and the antioxidant Anthocyanin that is responsible for the red colour in the oranges.

This recipe was a regular in my family table when I was growing up. Last year, I adapted it a bit for my Mediterranean inspired workshop at @oliveology. I used some of their top Greek honey and pistachios. The dessert was a hit for it’s simplicity and flavours.

This dish can be made with any other type of orange, but choose the ones in season, preferably. You can serve it with or without yoghurt cream.


You can add a dollop of Yoghurt cream
Blood Orange with honey, Pistachio and Cinnamon

Ingredients 

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5 blood oranges
2 tbsp wild flower honey (or any other type)
1 tablespoon orange flower essence
Chopped pistachios and pomegranate seeds for garnish
A large pinch of ground cinnamon


Method

Top and tail the oranges and using a small sharp knife cut away the peel and the pith. Then slice the oranges into rounds. Arrange on a platter, drizzle over honey and orange blossom water, cover and set aside at room temperature.  Serve topped with chopped pistachios and pomegranate seeds with a light dusting of cinnamon

Yoghurt cream (optional)

Ingredients


250ml full fat Greek yoghurt
Honey (optional)
 


Sit a large sieve over a bow, line the sieve with a large piece of muslin, spoon in the yoghurt.  Then lift up the excess muslin to enclose the yoghurt and make a little parcel. Squeeze lightly and leave for about 1 hour to drain. Serve with honey to add some sweetness.

Enjoy it!

Till later!
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Monday, 20 January 2020

Short Grain Brown Rice with Carrot Leaves

Brown shortgrain rice with carrot leaves, broad beans and gochugaru - Korean chilli

I‘ve been getting beautiful bunches of carrots lately, with the greenest of leaves. There are lots of things you can do with carrot tops, not only to avoid food waste but also to increase the nutritional value of your meals. Creating a habit of adding new foodstuffs to your diet is very important to maintain a healthy gut.
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Carrot leaves are rich in dietary fibre and are great source of iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamin C.


I like to pick the leaves to add to my rice, salads, juices, make a pesto and so on. The stalks I use to add to other food scraps to make a homemade vegetable stock, along with the emptied pods and skins of broad beans, which are also in season. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If you haven’t given your carrot leaves a go, do try them, don’t waste them.


This is how I made my rice: 


I heated some extra-virgin olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Added chopped onions and let them cook until they were translucent (about 5-10 min). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In the meantime, I brought a small pan of water to the boil and added some podded beans. I cooked them for 3 mins, then drained. I placed them into a bowl with very cold water and left them to cool.


Returning to the the other pan, I tossed the carrot leaves into it and sautéed them with the onions until the leaves were wilted. I added the rice, mixed it well, seasoned and added stock (you can add water instead). I let it cook until the rice had a nice bite.
Before serving the rice, I folded in the cooked broad beans and sprinkled some gochugaru on top. Voilá!


I like adding some grated carrots too, but I had other plans for them this time.

See you soon!
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