vendredi 27 juin 2014

Mediterranean Spring Tapas and a bonus recipe

Lately we have been in tapas mode. I think I can identify the culprit quite easily: my new Morito Cookbook. It’s from a tapas restaurant in London called… Morito. All the recipes are delicious, easy to do and the taste is delicious, just like in the restaurant.
With the weather being so nice in May and June (mostly, we are in London…), we have tried about 10 of their recipes already and I keep craving for them all the time.
We have selected our favourite three for you today. I have replaced some ingredients when they were not easy to find and have still ended up with delicious dishes. 

Sweet onion salad with grilled halloumi
For me onions are the most underrated of all vegetables. They are cheap, taste delicious, come in a multitude of varieties and can be cooked in many ways. Red, white, spring onions, salad onions, Egyptian onions, cipollini… some are sweet others tangy, some are small or smooth and white, others are red, large and rough… A real delight!
This recipe uses red and / or white onions and makes them soft and sweet…
The sauce can seem a little cumbersome but the quantities give you more than enough for about 4 or 5 of these onion salads. And believe me you will be making it again soon!


· Pomegranate dressing
o   Freshly squeezed juice of one large pomegranate
o   One tbsp. of good quality red wine vinegar with a pinch of sugar
o   2 tbsp of pomegranate molasses (I used agave syrup and it worked perfectly)
o   4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
·         4 to 6 medium red or white onions

Pop your onions whole into your oven (gas 6 or 7) for 35 minutes. I put them on a grill above a tray. The onions will ooze a little and it’s easier to wash then the bottom of the oven.

In the meantime prepare the sauce:
Peel the pomegranate. Put the ruby coloured (yummy, don’t eat them all!) in a strainer above a larger bowl and squeeze with the back of a spoon until all the juice is extracted.
Add the olive oil, the vinegar and the molasses to the juice.
Pour in a sealable glass container (such as an old bottle with a cap or an old jam jar), close the lid/cap and shake.
Once the onions are done, let them cool for a bit, they will be easier to manipulate. Once cooled, remove the first (and second if needed) outer layers and the hairy end. Slice into two. Put in a serving dish (with high sides) and pour some of the pomegranate sauce onto them.
Grill slices of halloumi in a hot pan (no oil needed).

Serve with the halloumi still hot and enjoy!

Aaah a great classic, but so easy and so good when it’s home-made!
I have to say for me it works better with canned chick peas. They are tenderer and softer than when I cook them myself, despite the 24h soaking.


·         Juice of one lemon
·         400g tin of cooked chickpeas drained and rinsed
·         One large garlic clove crushed to a paste with one teaspoon of salt
·         5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
·         1 ½ tsp of tahini

Mix all the ingredients together, I used a handblender.
Spread in a bowl, sprinkle with olive oil and smoked sweet paprika and tuck in!

Rhubarb and Tarragon
I ordered rhubarb only for this recipe. I tried making rhubarb pies before but found I wasn’t very successful. The pie was still very acid despite the half a ton of sugar I had added… hmm not very healthy either…
I was hence a bit sceptic for this recipe as the rhubarb is…raw! I turned out just delicious and the simplest as well.


·         300g young thinnish rhubarb stalks
·         1 small bunch of tarragon leaves
·         Small squeeze of lemon
·         2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Slice the rhubarb into 1 to 2 cm pieces. Wash and cut the tarragon, slice and spread over the rhubarb in a serving dish.
Just before serving, squeeze half a lemon and sprinkle with the olive oil.

And a little bonus recipe: Rhubarb Chutney

We had some rhubarb left and after a week it didn’t look very good for a raw recipe. Thankfully, the blog Better than Butter proposed a rhubarb chutney recipe at about that time. I adapted the recipe with what I had at home:

15cl of water within which dates were soaked (I made the choconette 2 days before… 0:) )
100g of rhubarb, sliced into 1 to 2 cm pieces.
50g of prunes, pitted
1 small white onion, sliced thinly
50g of sugar
1cm of fresh ginger
¼ of a fresh chilli, sliced thinly
3 pinch of nutmeg powder
3 pinches of cloves reduced to powder
2 pinches of cinnamon
Ground black pepper

Put all the ingredients in a pan with a lid and bring to a small boil. Stir frequently. Remove the lid and let it boil very gently for about 1h to 1h30, until most of the water has evaporated and it has the consistence of chutney. Don’t forget to stir once in a while.
Put in an old jam jar. When it has cooled down, pop in the fridge for a month before using. You can use it before that of course but the flavours blend better after a month left alone. I cheated a bit to taste it out of curiosity. It’s really delicious, sweet and sour and a little hot at the back of tongue at the end. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it to whatever old and rotting secret ingredients your kitchen holds.

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