We’ve ventured across the sea to look at foods that come under the banner of Mediterranean cuisine for March.
For us this is going to cover Greece, Southern France, Southern Italy and Spain for the most part. It’s certainly a cuisine we’re more familiar with, but we’ve never concentrated on it before. There’s going to be lots more delicious and healthy food coming out of the kitchen!
We’re going through a hotter patch of weather at the moment, so things that don’t take too much time and effort are rather appealing. Our first Mediterranean meal a pasta dish with a side of vegies. The vegie dish was Roasted Asparagus, Mushroom, Potato and Onion tossed in balsamic vinegar and fresh basil – simple, quick and delicious! The pasta dish was Fettuccine with Walnut Sauce. The pasta dish was a bit of a cheat, since we had a jar of ready-made Walnut Bolognaise by Botanical Cuisine that came in a gift hamper. However its ingredient listing was very close to a Mediterranean Walnut Sauce recipe, which we will definitely try making from scratch after tasting this – oh yum!
In a post around Christmas I talked about making some Mini Tofu Quiches. Well a number of those ended up in the freezer, so we decided it was time to get them out and see how they survived being reheated. They actually turned out really well! They were still frozen so I used a fairly low temperature, 180 degrees (Celsius). To go with those I made a simple Garden Salad with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette. The salad was delicious, with the vinegar, mustard and lots of fresh herbs really kicking up the flavour.
After a frantic day at work, a quick, easy and filling dinner was in order. Tuscan inspired Pita Bread Pizza came to the rescue. Pieces of pita bread, spread generously with a herb chick pea spread, that took just a few minutes to make, topped with slices of tomato and cooked in the oven. Once out it was topped with a big handful of chopped herbs and greens. It was ready in about 30 minutes, and tasted fantastic! The chick pea spread was also great as a dip and on sandwiches.
Steve was feeling the cooking urge, after losing his mojo for a few days, and celebrated by making Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms, and Vegetables in Charmoula Sauce to go with the last couple of mini quiches. You can’t really go wrong with mushrooms and pesto, and this was very, very right. Sometimes keeping it simple yields the best results, and this was a good example. Charmoula Sauce is from Morocco, and is quite light but full of flavour with lots of garlic and lemon coming through.
On a roll, Steve made Provençal Herbed Scalloped Potatoes to go with leftover pasta and vegies in charmoula sauce. They take quite a long time to cook, but it is well worth the wait! So soft and creamy, it’s hard to believe there’s no dairy or dairy substitute used at all. There were no leftovers, and Steve forgot to take a photo before polishing it off, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before this one makes another appearance. I’ll make sure we get a photo of it next time!
It was my turn to feel inspired and cook up a bit of a storm. The outcome was a Provençal Pumpkin & Mushroom Gratin, which was rich and tender. Plus a Greek Ragout of Green Beans, Potatoes & Chick Peas, which was hearty and satisfying, and finally Provençal Lemon-Herb Rice, which was again really simple and just bursting with flavour. I’ve never tasted rice done this way, and it was really quite special. The herbs are mixed in at the end, which adds a lovely colour as well as burst of flavour.
A late lunch of bread and dips left us both ready for a nap, and in no need of anything for dinner!
Now I know I’m terribly slow at posting recipes, but I am trying to improve! There just hasn’t been enough time to type up the scribbles I have on paper into comprehensible recipes. Hopefully I’ll have a little more time now to catch up on things, but don’t expect miracles, I think I’m going to be more of a tortoise than a hare.