Lemon-Dill Dressed Noodles with Chicken, Olives, Cucumber and Feta (4)

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If I had a garden I would set aside  a patch for growing herbs. How nice it would be to gather them fresh for a recipe – to make mint sauce to go with lamb or add basil to a tomato sauce for pasta or to chop some fresh parsley for a garnish. Luckily my supermarket has a wide range of fresh herbs – oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and dill among others.

Dill is a common ingredient in Russian, Scandinavian and Eastern European cuisines where it is used in such recipes as sauces and salads and for pickling.

I didn’t realize how many beneficial properties it has. It boosts digestion and the immune system, contains calcium, is an anti-inflammatory and an anti-flatulent!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

4 oz. rice noodles

1 x chicken breast

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp. olive

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 an English cucumber – sliced then each slice quartered

12 black olives – cut into quarters

2 oz. feta cheese – cut into little cubes

Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. dill – finely chopped

1/4 of a shallot – finely chopped

Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and leave to cool.

Place chicken breast on a piece of aluminum dish in an ovenproof dish, pour over the lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Make a parcel out of the aluminum foil, place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven, let cool then cut into bite-size pieces.

Into a large bowl put the rice noodles, chicken pieces, cucumber, olives and feta cheese.

Make the dressing by whisking together the juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon, Dijon mustard, olive oil, dill and shallot. Pour dressing into the bowl and toss together well (the ‘hands’ in the photo and really good for tossing the salad and separating the strands of noodles).

 

 

 

 

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Roasted Beetroot with Pickled Red Onions Sprinkled with Halloumi and Feta Cheese (4 as an appetizer)

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Have you noticed pickled red onions cropping up as a condiment these days? They are so easy to make and add a tangy crunch to a dish. Because I used apple cider vinegar there was no need for any sugar in this recipe. You will have more than enough pickled onions than needed for this dish and they can be used for other purposes. They go well with the other ingredients in this dish – diced beetroot and the diced cheeses (I can tolerate halloumi and feta cheese as they aren’t derived from cow’s milk).

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

PICKLED ONIONS

Boiling water

1 largish red onion – halved and cut into fine slices then separate the pieces

3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

Boil the water while chopping the onion then place onion pieces in a pan, pour over boiling water until pieces are covered, leave to stand for 3 minutes and drain.

Pour the apple cider vinegar into a bowl and add the salt.

Tip onions into this bowl and stir.

Leave to stand for a couple of hours before serving, stirring occasionally.

BEETROOT

3 medium beetroot

Place beetroot in a dish and roast in the oven for about an hour and a half until tender to the touch.

Let cook, then chop into cubes.

CHEESES

1 good ounce each of Halloumi and Feta cheese

Cut cheeses into small cubes

ASSEMBLY

Top beetroot with the cheeses and surround beetroot with pickled onions

 

 

 

 

Jo’s Greek Meatballs (4)

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Meatballs to me are comfort food. These meatballs are very quick to make and combine what I think of as Greek flavors – lamb, oregano and feta cheese. I cook them in the oven on a metal rack over a roasting tin so that the grease drops into the tin and leaves you with moist but not greasy meatballs. They go nicely with a salad I serve them with a salad as I think a sauce would drown the taste. If you want a new idea for cocktail nibbles make them very small and serve on a toothpick.

1 pound of ground lamb seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 oz. feta cheese – crumbled

1 egg – beaten

Place the lamb, oregano and feta in a large bowl and mix well together.

Add beaten egg and mix again, then make into palm of hand size meat balls.

Cook in oven at 350 degrees for between 20 – 30 minutes depending on size of meatball (cut in half to see if cooked).

Mediterranean Eggplant (4)

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Many countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea use eggplant (also known as aubergine) in their cuisines: ratatouille (France); eggplant parmesan (Italy); moussaka (Greece). My recipe borrows ingredients common to these countries and combines them with harissa paste which is found in many Tunisian dishes.  The topping is melted feta cheese.

Makes  a nice side dish or a good vegetarian meal.

To prepare the eggplant and get rid of any possible bitterness, I peeled, sliced and chopped it into small pieces. Then I liberally salted it in a colander and left it for an hour. After that I rinsed it well and dried the pieces in a dry T-towel.

2 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 medium eggplant (prepared as above)

1 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup roasted red peppers from a jar – roughly cut

1 – 2 tbsp. harissa paste (depending on how fiery you like things)

3 oz. feta cheese

1 tbsp. vegetable broth

Start by heating oven to 350 degrees.

Heat seasoned oil in a cast iron casserole dish on the stove top and when sizzling add the grated garlic and turn down the heat.

Let garlic cook but not brown, for a few minutes then add the eggplant chunks and cook for 10 minutes, stirring fairly frequently. They should be lightly browned by then

Add tomato sauce, red peppers and harissa paste. Stir well together and place in oven (with lid on casserole dish) for 20 minutes.

Five minutes before eggplant mix is ready place 3 oz. feta cheese (crumbled) in a saucepan and add 1 tbsp. vegetable broth. Heat on stove top and whisk till mixture is smooth.

Take eggplant mixture from oven and top with feta sauce.

Summer Prosciutto Platter (2)

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An absolutely no-cook recipe. Prosciutto and melon are often paired together as an appetizer and I have had them as an entree with some interesting leafy greens. The prosciutto platter is a mixture of sweet and salty foods that all work well together – prosciutto, melon, feta cheese, black olives and nectarine.

For 2 people allow:

2 slices of prosciutto each

handful of black olives – pitted and halved

3 slices of melon – chopped into pieces

2 oz. feta cheese – chopped into pieces

Half a ripe nectarine – sliced

Arrange all on a serving dish and let people help themselves

Jo’s Feta Pesto

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Pesto has been off my menu for several years but since I have recently found I can eat sheep/goat cheese happily because no cow milk is involved, I have been experimenting. I made this pesto and spooned it over baby new potatoes accompanied by thin slices of flank steak and, honestly, it was delicious.

2 cups basil leaves

2 large cloves of garlic – roughly chopped

2 oz. feta cheese – roughly chopped

1 1/2 oz. pine nuts

1 1/2 oz. chopped walnuts

1/2 cup olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper (no salt needed because of saltiness of feta cheese)

Place basil, garlic, feta, pine nuts and walnuts in a food processor.

Turn on food processor and add the oil gradually. Process until mixture is smoothish.

Season with pepper.

 

Feta, Tomato and Olive Canapes

Made these delicious little canapes yesterday to hand round for a family gathering. Everyone loved them!! The Mediterranean flavors work so well together.

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Cut feta into slices and then into squares (same size as half of cherry tomato)

Cut cherry tomatoes in half.

Small black olives or larger ones cut in half.

Place tomato on top of feta and place olive on top of the tomato and skewer with a toothpick