homemade pita – israeli style

8th March 2019

Making pita bread feels like magic!  It is surprisingly easy to make and starts with a simple yeast dough that gets baked in a very hot oven. The heat activates the yeast and creates steam, which makes the dough puff up dramatically, forming its signature pocket. The pita will deflate as soon as it cools, but the pocket remains.

To note  

  • It is important that the temperature in the oven is very hot and stays hot.
  • A pizza stone is very helpful to have when making pita, however,  preheating a baking tray works just as well.
  • To ensure a pocket, don’t roll your pita out too thin.

homemade pita

Makes 8 medium pita

ingredients

1½ cups warm water

2½ tsp dry yeast

1½ Tbsp sugar

3 Tbsp olive oil

3¾ cups/490g all-purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

preparation

1.  Grease a large bowl with oil or ghee. Set aside.

2.  In a bowl with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or a large bowl (if mixing by hand), combine the water, yeast, salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes, at which point the mixture should look foamy. Add the salt and oil, and then gradually add the flour with the mixer running on low speed.

3.  Knead the dough for 5 minutes, it will look a bit shaggy at first but as it continues to knead, it will come together. After 5 minutes if the dough is still sticking to the bowl add a tablespoon of flour at a time so that the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Do not add too much flour. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky.

4.  Using oiled hands or a bread scraper place the dough in the oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth or a beeswax sheet to rest at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 – 2 hours.

5.  Using an oiled bread scraper or a knife, turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and divide into 8 equal portions – approximately 105g each.

6.  Flour your hands and mould each into a ball by stretching the top and tucking the edges under, achieving a round shape with a smooth top. This is a great video demonstrating how to do this – jump to 3:00 mins.

7.  Place the balls 1-inch apart on a well-floured board, cover them with an oiled sheet of plastic wrap and let them rise for 30 minutes.

8.  While the pita rounds are resting, preheat the oven with the baking stone inside to 250C/480F.

9.  Use a rolling pin to lightly roll out the balls of dough into circles, ¼ -½ inch thick and approximately 13 -14 cm in diameter, you don’t want to press out all the air and make them too thin. Do your best to keep an even thickness.

10.  If using a pizza stone, gently lift a pita, with your fingers and flip it onto the hot baking stone (if your stone is large enough place three more pitas onto the baking stone) – bake for 5 minutes, or until cooked through and puffy. You don’t want them to brown.

11.  Take out of the oven and repeat with the remaining four. Cool on a rack. Fill with home-made hummus and salad or the next day cut into triangles, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with za’atar and toast in the oven to serve with your favourite guacamole.

Suggestions

  • If using a baking tray, preheat the baking tray when resting the pita rounds and when sufficiently hot flip the pita onto the tray and bake as above.

Variations

  • For a whole wheat variety, replace some of the all-purpose flour with 1¾ cups/230g of whole wheat flour.

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cabbage carrot palya

23rd February 2019

Growing up as a child, dinner was always six o’clock sharp, no later and no earlier. I grew up on the same weekly menu for as long as I lived with my parents and they still, to this day, eat according to this same menu.

This routine seems to be deep-rooted, as I get older I see a pattern emerging; Sunday is pasta night, Monday mornings pepper rasam and in the evening chapati night, Tuesday morning is a garden inspired rasam and Fridays are becoming sandwich night.

On chapati night, I serve this simple dal, a quick guacamole and this cabbage carrot palya. It is a combination which goes well together and has become a regular on the table for years now.

I prefer to keep this palya simple, as it is normally served with other complex dishes. For a more deeply flavoured dish, add 1 tsp finely grated ginger, roughly chopped toasted cashews and a squeeze of lemon towards the end of cooking.

cabbage carrot palya

Preparation – 20 minutes

Serves 3 – 4, as a side dish

ingredients

2 Tbsp peanut or coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp split channa dal

1 tsp split urad dal

12 curry leaves

2 – 4 Tbsp water

3 cups/200g cabbage

1 medium/80g carrot

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery

¼ cup/20g dried shredded coconut

to serve 

one pot dal

chapati

preparation 

1.  Finely chop the cabbage – measuring 3 cups, peel and grate the carrot using the larger side of a box grater – measuring 1 cup. Set aside.

2.  In a skillet, on medium-high heat, add the oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the channa and urad dal – fry until both dals are golden-brown, then add the curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.

3.  Turn down the heat, pour in the water and immediately add the cabbage. Cover and simmer the cabbage until cooked but still firm, stirring every few minutes – approximately 4 minutes. If there is any liquid left on the bottom, uncover and increase the heat to high until it has evaporated.

4.  Stir in the grated carrot – cook 1 – 2 minutes more, uncovered, stirring until the carrot is soft.

5.  Season with salt and jaggery, sprinkle in the dried coconut – combine well. If you like, add a small amount of finely chopped fresh coriander.

suggestions 

  • Use a variety of cabbage (Savoy Cabbage) with dark outer leaves for a variation in deep greens. It doesn’t affect the taste but the contrast is lovely.

variations 

  • In spring, add in fresh green sweet peas, when adding the cabbage.
  • Replace the carrot with finely chopped fenugreek leaves.

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no knead bread

17th February 2019

No knead bread gives a gorgeous, crusty loaf, with very little hands-on time. The use of a dutch oven (cast iron pot with a lid) creates a moist environment for the bread as it bakes, I use an old Le Creuset pot for this, however, I have read that an enamel, Pyrex or ceramic pot works just as well. The wet dough and long fermentation are the keys to success. The rough seam, when placed in the hot pot, creates unexpected beautiful results, so there is no need to slash or score the bread.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast.

Pour in the water.

Then stir with a wet hand or a wooden spatula to form a sticky dough.

Cover the bowl with cling film or beeswax sheet and leave overnight or for at least 12-18 hours in a warm place.

With oiled hands, pull the sticky dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over a few times forming a ball.

Lightly dust a proofing basket or a medium bowl with flour and place the dough inside, seam side down and cover for another 2 hours.

About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 260C/500F and place your dutch oven inside (with the lid on) to heat up.

After the second rise, take the preheated dutch oven out (taking care and wearing oven mitts) and lightly flour the bottom surface.

Invert the dough into the floured dutch oven. If the dough didn’t land evenly, give the pot a shake and it should right itself.

Cover the pot with the lid, and pop it back in the oven. Bake the bread for 30 minutes covered and then 10 – 15 minutes uncovered.

Tip the bread out of the pot and cool on a wired rack. Allow the bread to cool completely, to fully establish the crust and set the crumb.

no knead bread

Preparation – 15 hours

Serves 8

ingredients

3 cups/390g unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp/2g dry yeast

1¼ cups warm water

preparation

1.  In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast, pour in the water, then stir with a wet hand or a wooden spatula to form a sticky dough.

2.  Cover the bowl with cling film or beeswax sheet and leave overnight or for at least 12-18 hours in a warm place. The slow fermentation is the key to flavour.

for the second rise

3.  With oiled hands or a bowl scraper, pull the sticky dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over a few times forming a ball. I like to gently lift up the dough as I fold it over so that the dough is being stretched.

4.  Lightly dust a proofing basket or a medium bowl with flour and place the dough inside, seam side down and cover for another 2 hours.

5.  About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 260C/500F and place your dutch oven inside (with the lid on) to heat up. It may be cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic.

6.  Once your dough has finished its second rise, take the dutch oven out (taking care and wearing oven mitts) and lightly flour the bottom surface.

7.  Invert the dough into the floured dutch oven. If the dough didn’t land evenly, give the pot a shake and it should right itself.

8.  Cover the pot with the lid, and pop it back in the oven. Bake the bread for 30 minutes covered and then 10 – 15 minutes uncovered.

9.  Tip the bread out of the pot and cool on a wired rack. Allow the bread to cool completely, to fully establish the crust and set the crumb. It has a lovely crackling sound as it cools!

Enjoy!

suggestions

  • Cover the proofing basket in a heaped tablespoon of seeds (black and white sesame, flaxseeds & poppy seeds) before putting the bread inside.
  • If you think that your dough will be sitting out for a longer 24h period, then reduce the amount of yeast to a ¼ teaspoon. 

variations

  • Replace 100g of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
  • Replace the wheat flour with spelt flour. You may need to lessen the amount of water because wheat absorbs more moisture.

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Mary’s lemon semolina cake

28th January 2019

This cake recipe was shared via Kristin, who had received it from our dearest friend Mary. Mary is at the heart of our community, guiding us on this yogic path and as things progress she continues to be a joy-filled light leading the way for us all. I had the privilege of baking this cake with Leela (Mary’s daughter) while visiting Mary and her family in Boulder.

Heartfelt gratitude to Kristin for sharing this recipe with us and thank-you Leela for such an experience of contentment and joy in playful baking together. Such grace!

This cake actually improves with time, this allows the flavours to come together. You can serve it with yoghurt as a simple dessert, or with a cup of kashaya at the end of the meal. It is moist yet light in texture and aromatic with lemon.

Mary’s lemon semolina cake

Preparation  – 10 minutes

Baking time –  30 minutes

Serves 8 – 10

ingredients

½ cup/65g whole wheat flour or coconut flour

1½ tsp baking powder

1 cup/170g fine semolina

¼ + 2 Tbsp/75g raw sugar

½ cup/90g coconut oil

¾ cup/180g plain yoghurt

1 lemon, zest and juice

for the syrup

¼ cup/50g sugar

½ cup water

1 lemon, zest and juice

for garnishing

shredded coconut

icing powder

extra lemon zest

prepare the cake

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan lightly with ghee or coconut oil. Set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, semolina and sugar, stir to combine – set aside.

3.  In a small pan over low heat, slowly melt the coconut oil, remove from heat and stir in the yoghurt, lemon juice and zest.

4.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients – fold together until well combined, then using a spatula, scrape the batter into the greased cake pan and smooth or press down the top.

5.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly golden, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

prepare the syrup

6.  Near the end of the baking time prepare the syrup. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and mix well with a wooden spoon, bring the syrup up to the boil, add the lemon juice and zest – simmer gently for 1 minute or until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat, and set aside until the cake is ready.

finish the cake

7.  Once the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven – set aside to cool.

8.  Use a small, sharp knife to cut the cake down the centre, then 2 parallel lines either side 3 – 4 cm apart, followed by another set of lines at a 45-degree angle, creating a diamond pattern.

9.  Drizzle the syrup evenly over the cake and sprinkle with shredded coconut and icing sugar. Allow the cake to sit a few hours to allow the flavours to mingle.

Goodness shared by Stacey

Baked and assisted by Leela

Artwork by Kristin

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easy one-pot kichadi

30th December 2018

This is a quick satisfying one-pot meal to prepare. It is easy to digest, nourishing, balancing and a complete protein in one bowl. When eaten together, rice and dal provide all the essential amino acids for a nutritionally sustainable meal. Perfect for when you don’t have a lot of time to cook and need something fast but with enough nutrients to sustain you. It can be eaten in the morning or evening and takes only half an hour to prepare.

When preparing Kichadi, it is important to understand the different types of dal or legumes used and their energetic qualities.  There is one type of dal which is favourable and used most often – whole moong(mung beans) and when husked and split becomes split moong. These two are easy to digest, gentle on the system and cause minimum disturbances to all constitutions.  All other dals or legumes are recommended to use in moderation and small quantities.

When serving Kichadi, drizzle with a spoon of ghee. GHEE is a magical golden substance that has many benefits for the human system including improved digestion as well as making everything taste better.

I recently spent a week with my daughter and helped her organise her first apartment in London. She needed a few quick no-fuss meals she could make while balancing studies and working – this was one of them.

Easy One-Pot Kichadi

Preparation – 35 minutes

Serves 2

ingredients
⅓ cup/60g split moong dal
⅓ cup/60g white basmati rice
3 cups/750ml water

1 Tbsp ghee
¼ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
½ small red chilli (optional)
6 curry leaves
⅛ tsp turmeric powder

½ cup/30g chopped cabbage
½ cup/70g finely chopped carrot

¾ tsp fine rock salt
½ tsp jaggery/brown sugar
1 Tbsp dried shredded coconut
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 – 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
to serve
ghee
Indian spicy pickle

preparation
1.  Place the dal and rice in a bowl, rinse with water until the water runs clear, drain and pour in 3 cups water. Set aside.

2.  In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when the mustard seeds turn grey and pop, turn down the heat and add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, and chilli – fry for a few seconds, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly.

3.  Add in the curry leaves and turmeric powder – fry for a few seconds.

4.  Pour the dal, rice and water into the voggarane, bring to boil over high heat, then lower to maintain a rapid simmer.

5.  While waiting for the dal and rice to boil, finely chop the carrot and cabbage and add this to the simmering rice and dal.

6.  After 20 minutes, turn the heat to low and cover. When the dal and rice have softened, add the salt, jaggery, ginger, dried coconut and stir in the lemon juice – turn off the heat, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to meld together.

Taste adding more lemon or salt as needed. Serve drizzled with ghee.

suggestions

  • Soak the dal and rice in the morning for quick evening preparation.

variations

  • Replace the white basmati rice with quinoa. Using ½ cup quinoa and ¼ cup dal.
  • Change the vegetables to suit the seasons.

 

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5 ingredient almond & tahini cookies (vegan)

17th October 2018

Deliciously moor-ish satisfying cookies that are chewy on the inside (due to the fluid stretchy nature of tahini) and crispy, crumbly on the outside (due to the almond meal).

~the relief and release of autumn

5 ingredient almond & tahini cookies

Makes 12 cookies

Recipe from Cook Republic.

I have written this recipe as is from the link above, as most people preferred them that way.  My son and I needed more sweet, so the second and third time I baked these –

  • I added 2 Tablespoons(35g) of light brown sugar and found them just right in balancing the bitterness of the tahini.

If wanting to use unrefined brown sugar instead of the maple syrup, dissolve ½ cup sugar in ½ cup hot water and proceed with the recipe or for less sweet, ¼ cup sugar – ¼ cup water.

Almond meal is finely ground almonds. I grind whole almonds in my food processor or vita-mix.

Use a traditional brand of Tahini which is runny and smooth.

ingredients

2 cups/225g almond meal

¾ cup/200g tahini paste

½ cup/130g maple syrup

½ tsp fine rock salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

chopped pistachio, almonds or sesame – to garnish

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 170C/340F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2.  Place the tahini, maple syrup, salt and vanilla in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly until smooth and blended. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes.

3.  Add the almond meal to the tahini mixture and mix until a rough dough forms. Let sit for a few minutes for the dough to come together.

4.  Roll 2 tablespoons of the dough in the palm of your hand into a ball. (My dough was quite oily due to the runny tahini I used).  Place on the prepared tray and garnish the cookies by gently pressing the nuts or seeds on top with your fingertips. 

5.  Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes. Switch off the oven and let the cookies brown slightly in the hot oven for another 5 minutes before removing. Cool on wire racks.

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sandwich night with sesame-tempeh, charred fennel & pepper rings

3rd October 2018

Usually, sandwich night falls on Friday when it is just the three of us and I have made a fresh loaf of challah bread. The meal comes together in half an hour and is so delicious and satisfying. Slices of homemade bread are brushed with strong English mustard, followed by a thick layer of vegan mayonnaise and filled with avocado salsa, green garden leaves, tamari-sesame coated slices of tempeh and charred fennel and red pepper rings.

sandwich night

Preparation – 30 minutes

Serves 3

for the fennel-pepper rings and charred tempeh 

1 small red and green bell pepper

1 large fennel

1 packet/200g tempeh

6 Tbsp oil/ghee

3 Tbsp sesame seeds

3 Tbsp tamari

for the sandwiches

slices of your favourite bread

strong English mustard

avocado with tomato, coriander salsa and mustard seeds

vegan mayonnaise

bitter salad leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper

cook the vegetables and tempeh

1.  Slice the fennel and bell peppers into rounds and the tempeh into strips or rounds. (Depending on the shape of the tempeh you are using). Set aside

2.  In a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Drizzle in a tablespoon of oil and cook the fennel rounds until charred around the edges. When sufficiently charred, scoop them out onto a large plate and repeat the same procedure with the red and green peppers – add to the same plate as the fennel.

3.  Lower the heat to medium and pour in the remaining oil, fry the tempeh until golden, flipping over and doing the same with the other side. Once all have been done (may need to do in two batches), return all the tempeh to the pan, sprinkle over the sesame seeds and saute, coating the tempeh with the seeds for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and drizzle the tamari over the tempeh. Stir a few times and scoop out onto the plate. Making sure you brush out all the seeds leftover in the pan over the charred peppers, fennel and tempeh.

to assemble the sandwiches

4.  Drizzle each slice of bread with olive oil, a swipe of mustard and spread a thick layer of mayonnaise, add a dollop of avocado salsa, and a layer of garden green leaves, a few slices of tempeh, a generous sprinkle of fennel and pepper rings and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Enjoy!

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shaved carrot salad

21st September 2018

This is a salad that comes together quickly, it is one I make confidently for a last minute addition to a meal when you want something fresh, with a bit of crunch. I serve it with a spicy warm bowl of dal and rice.

Carrots are the bulk of the recipe, however, at times I combine them with shaved beetroot. The sunflower sprouts add a bit of colour and more crunch, with the sesame seeds providing that nutty earthiness. The dressing enlivens everything; adding a sweet tangy zingy lift. It can be made with cucumbers or fennel, it doesn’t require an exact recipe, normally I do one or two carrots depending on the number of people. I usually make a good amount of the dressing to use throughout the week.

shaved carrot salad

Preparation 20 minutes

Serves 6 – as a side dish

This simple salad is a joy to make, can be ready within minutes and has been requested many times whenever it is served. The dressing is from this salad recipe which I make so often.

for the salad

3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

4 medium/420g carrots

two handful’s of sunflower sprout

3 Tbsp sesame seeds

for the dressing

1 Tbsp finely grated fresh ginger

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp agave or honey

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

tsp fine rock salt

to make the salad

1.  Toast the sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat. This will only take a few minutes until they start getting a little colour and become fragrant – set aside to cool.

2.  Remove the carrot tops, wash and trim the carrots. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel ribbons of carrots into a salad bowl. Apply pressure as you peel to achieve thicker ribbons. For the very end pieces which are difficult to ribbon, chop them and add them to the salad.

3.  Wash the sunflower sprouts, dry and add them to the shaved carrots. Set aside while you prepare the dressing.

prepare the dressing

4.  Grate the ginger (skin and all) and whisk the lemon juice, agave/honey, salt, and oil together – taste adding extra sweet, if needed.

5.  When ready to serve, sprinkle over the sesame seeds and pour over the dressing. Gently lifting the shaved carrots and distribute the dressing through the salad without over mixing. Sprinkle over a few nasturtiums flowers if you have them in the garden.

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lasagna tart

11th September 2018

sunkissed and content…

A very decadent and comforting dish for a special occasion. A bit rich on its own but goes well as part of the main meal, accompanied by a simple rice dish and a variety of salads. The parmesan crust is divine, crunchy and flavourful.

lasagna tart

Preparation time  – 40 minutes

Baking – 15 minutes

Serves 6 – 8 or one 9-10 inch tart.

Recipe adapted from here. 

ingredients

2 medium/350g zucchini, sliced into very thin coins

¾ tsp fine-grain rock salt

tart crust

½ cup/75g unbleached all-purpose flour

½ cup/70g whole wheat flour

½ cup/115g unsalted butter, well chilled + cut into small cubes

2 cups/100g loosely packed grated parmesan cheese

½ tsp fine-grain rock salt

2 Tbsp ice cold water

tomato sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp each of finely chopped fresh rosemary and oregano leaves

¾ tsp red pepper flakes

400g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

½ tsp fine-grain rock salt

½ tsp brown sugar

 

1 cup/250g ricotta cheese

¼ cup small basil leaves

preparation

1.  Preheat your oven to 190C/375F. Oil a 10-inch tart pan and set aside.

prepare the zucchini

2.  Slice the zucchini using a mandoline or knife into 2mm slices. Place in a bowl, sprinkle over the salt and gently toss until evenly covered with salt. Transfer to a colander and let drain while you make the tart shell and tomato sauce.

make the tart crust

3.  Place both flours, butter cubes, parmesan and salt in a food processor and pulse quickly about 25 times. You are looking for a sandy textured blend, with pea-sized pieces of butter. With a few more pulses, blend in the 2 tablespoons of ice water. The dough should stick together when you pinch it with your fingers.

4.  Pour the dough into the tart pan. Working quickly, press the dough uniformly into the pan by pressing across the bottom and working up towards the sides. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes. You can use this time to finely chop the tomatoes.

bake the tart crust

5.  Pull the tart out of the refrigerator and poke a few times with the tongs of a fork. Cover the tart with baking paper and fill generously with pie weights (I used chickpeas). Bake for 15 minutes, pull the tart out of the oven and gently remove the baking paper containing the pie weights.

6.  Place the uncovered tart back in the oven, weight free, and allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

prepare the tomato sauce

7.  Stir the olive oil, red pepper flakes and finely chopped herbs in a saucepan, cook over medium-high heat until the herbs start to sizzle just a bit.

8.  Stir in the finely chopped tomatoes, bring to a simmer, cook the sauce down, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then stir in the salt and sugar, set aside.

to assemble the tart

9.  Use a spatula to spread half the ricotta cheese across the base of the tart shell. Then spoon half the tomato sauce over the ricotta and arrange half the zucchini in a single layer on top of the sauce. If your zucchinis are still quite wet, press them with a paper towel. Spoon the remaining ricotta over the zucchinis and push it around a bit with your fingers so that it forms a layer. Arrange another layer of zucchini and finish with the remaining sauce. You want the filling to nearly, but not quite fill the pan.

to bake the tart

10.  Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet (in case you end up with an overflow) and bake for 40 minutes or until the tart is cooked through. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the top with fresh basil leaves.

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slow cooked zucchinis with basil

4th September 2018

ZUCCHINI

This year I staggered my planting to have a continuous supply of zucchini throughout the summer, but I forgot how quickly they grow from seed to plant and now I have an endless supply.

Just when I think I have them under control, I venture out into the garden and miraculously there is another batch ready to be picked! I have been giving away a lot and trying many new recipes to use them up.

I have been returning to these zucchini fritters and recently sitting in my drafts is this lasagna tart recipe from 101 Cookbooks which I will make for my daughter before she returns to University.

I have also been making a sweet zucchini palya to accompany any dal or sambar.

In the garden…..

slow-cooked zucchinis with basil

Preparation – 1 hour

Serves 4, as a side dish.

Recipe adapted from `Spring´ by Skye Gyngell.

ingredients

6 small/530g firm zucchinis

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp ghee/butter, melted

rock salt & freshly ground black pepper

preparation

1.  Trim the zucchinis and slice them into fine rounds, about 3mm thick. I used a mandoline for this.

2.  Place a medium heavy-based pan over medium heat and pour in the olive oil and melted ghee, add the zucchinis and stir well to coat the slices in the ghee and oil. Add a good pinch of salt.

3.  Turn down the heat to its lowest setting possible and cover the pan with the lid. Cook for 40-50 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure the zucchinis do not stick to the bottom or brown. As the zucchinis cook they will soften and their flavour will deepen. Eventually, they will begin to disintegrate, becoming almost like a thick mushy jam.

4.  At this point, remove from heat and add half the basil leaves, plenty of pepper and a good pinch of salt. Stir well, sprinkle over the remaining basil leaves and serve.

These zucchinis are surprisingly good eaten cold as well. Serve as an antipasto with crusty bread, stirred into pasta or as a vegetable side dish.

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