Easy Homemade Hummus

We just love Hummus. The well known Middle Eastern cream is versatile and perfect for every occasion. So much that we would hardly imagine a gathering without it served to accompany crudités or some crunchy bread. And we love homemade hummus even more, whether it’s the strong garlic flavour, or the extra virgin olive oil to do the trick, you have the power to make it your own and enrich it with your favourite ingredients.
All you need is a can of chickpeas and some tahini. In case you don’t have tahini, this recipe will tell you how to make your own using sesame seeds and sesame oil.

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Spinach and Chickpeas Tapa (Espinacas con Garbanzos)

This meatless dish with spinach and chickpeas is a popular Sevillian tapa, in which the cumin seeds and paprika will titillate your palate: these spices makes this very simple dish an unforgettable starter for your guests and a perfect dinner fix when all you have at home is cans and frozen spinach! Popular as a meatless mid-week meal option, we often have it with bread like a bruschetta, or on a bed of roasted potatoes, or just as it is, with a sunny side up on top!

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Salmorejo – a Spanish Cold Soup

Weather you’re in Europe and in the middle of a heatwave or, like me, in a tropical country when heatwaves are the only weather you get, cold soups can be very helpful! Salmorejo is more of a cream rather than a soup. It’s a proud dish from Cordoba and very much dislikes to be so often associated with the liquid, drinkable cousin, Gazpacho. So much so that Cordoba university even conducted a scientific study to find the perfect consolidation of ingredients for Salmorejo, with the aim of creating some sort of controlled designation of origin and standardize the perfect proportions for its final homogeneous result. This recipe will serve up an excellent Salmorejo: bring it to its utmost by relying on good quality seasonal tomatoes and garnishing it with well-sourced fresh ingredients. It’s also suitable for vegans!

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Spanish Tortilla (Tortilla de Patatas)

Considered the key dish of Spanish cuisine, tortilla is one of our go to recipes when we have guests or when we are looking for an easy fix with few ingredients. Distinguished from its Italian cousin frittata by its characteristic thickness, it can also contain other featured ingredients, such as chorizo, like this one does. But of course, tortilla can be enjoyed by vegetarians, who instead of adding chorizo can add their favourite greens, or simply add a lot of parsley to the mix. This serves eight if eaten as a starter or four as a main – but keep it between two, and you can have seconds! Continue reading “Spanish Tortilla (Tortilla de Patatas)”

Aubergines_chili_honey_sauce

Aubergines/Eggplants Chili and Honey Sauce

Keeping a balanced diet means playing a lot with your veggies to find ways to create interesting meals that involve vegetables only. This is what I do in order to reduce the amount of meat consumed weekly in the household. Keep some chilies in your fridge and you’ll realise that they can really add a lot of character to your dishes.
In this case, I simply grilled some vegetables I had in the fridge, but thanks to the magic combo of chili, vinegar (or lemon) and honey, they felt like a very special dish. I served them with roasted potatoes, which added crunchiness and substance to this super healthy dinner.

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Roasted Aubergines/Eggplants Crispy Onions and Feta

Aubergines, or eggplants, are amongst my favourite vegetables to cook, and I really enjoy finding new ways of presenting them at the table and giving them a new taste. This aubergines recipe is inspired by a dish I found in the book Jerusalem, by Ottolenghi and Tamimi, which was given to me as a present not so long ago. As you can imagine, in the land where baba ghanoush was created, aubergines have an essential place in the kitchen and perhaps aubergines are the reason why I lust so much over Levantine and Middle Eastern cuisine. The original recipe comes with a sauce made of chopped lemons, which I had to change because my other half doesn’t like lemon that much. Also, I had to change some of the spices compared to the original recipe, simply because I did not have the required ones in my cupboard. The result was still magnificent, I believe, thanks to the feta cheese, something I would have never dreamed of adding to fried onions. If you don’t believe it, please try this recipe, you won’t regret it!

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Melanzane Parmigiana_Recipe

Aubergine/Eggplants Parmigiana – a Classic Veggie Bake

Whatever the season, here’s a classic Italian veggie bake: Aubergine Parmigiana. As usual with typical dishes, this is a homemade tradition and every family has their own method and ingredients to make it. My friend Gianfranco from Puglia always says “You can be as beautiful as ever, but if you don’t know how to make parmigiana, you have no charm!” – this saying, applicable to men and women alike, illustrates how big a staple of the Italian kitchen this recipe is. Continue reading “Aubergine/Eggplants Parmigiana – a Classic Veggie Bake”

Three Chinese Summer Cold Dishes – Tomato Cucumber and Wood Ears

When you think of summer food, salad usually comes to mind (got to love a good summer salad). They are, actually, just as common in Chinese cooking, although instead of having a mix of different leaves, Chinese veggie cold dishes are usually made from a single ingredient. These are all very easy to make, so here are three salads with different flavours! They can all be prepared in advance and left in the fridge for dinnertime – no need worry about wilting leaves. Continue reading “Three Chinese Summer Cold Dishes – Tomato Cucumber and Wood Ears”

Courgette pancakes hu ta zi

Courgette Pancakes – a Hu Ta Zi Recipe from Beijing

Summer has brought courgette spaghetti/noodles onto the shelves in some supermarkets here, so yes, this is another courgette recipe! If you can’t buy courgette spaghetti, then just spiralise a normal courgette.

Hu Ta Zi is a snack from Beijing, and is originally made with calabash (bottle gourd), but as that’s difficult to buy in many countries, I’ve adapted the recipe using courgette, and it’s just as delicious! The pancakes is best served hot, and usually dipped in a rice vinegar, soy sauce and garlic powder/chopped garlic sauce. However, they are also delicious by themselves. Continue reading “Courgette Pancakes – a Hu Ta Zi Recipe from Beijing”

Tofu and Chinese Cabbage

Tofu and Chinese Cabbage

Just home from a trip to Kyoto, the city of tofu, I’ve been thinking more about easy home-cooking tofu recipes, and this tofu and Chinese cabbage combo is a typical one to make at home. It’s not quite a completely stir-fry recipe, so I haven’t called it as such. You will need to drop the tofu and the cabbage leaves into boiling water to remove the slightly odd taste that tofu sometimes has when you just unwrap it, and will need to wilt the cabbage a little so that you don’t need to stir vigorously once it’s in the oil pan – so as not to break the tofu apart. Continue reading “Tofu and Chinese Cabbage”