Chermoula Eggplant with Quinoa and Yoghurt / Spicy Carrot Salad

After all the  traditional German Christmas food (roulades, red cabbage, potato dumplings, Sacher torte etc.), the recipes from “Jerusalem: A Cookbook” just came in right for a contrast. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested in the Jewish kitchen or just likes wonderful, easy to prepare, non-fancy but still amazing food that tickles your taste buds with all its different and rich flavors.

Chermoula Eggplant with Quinoa and Yoghurt
(serves 2)
adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook

Eggplant3

Ingredients:

1 clove garlic, crushed
1 ts cumin
1/2 ts chile flakes
1/2 ts sweet paprika
1 tsp finely chopped preserved lemon peel (I used lemon zest)
70 ml olive oil
1 big eggplant
75 g bulgur (I took quinoa for a gluten-free version)
25 g raisins
2 TS fresh cilantro, chopped
2 TS fresh mint, chopped
25 g pitted green olives, sliced
15 g sliced almonds, toasted
1 green onion, chopped
3/4 TS freshly squeezed lemon juice
60 g Greek yoghurt (I used sheep’s yoghurt instead)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2. For the chermoula, mix together in a small bowl the garlic, cumin, coriander, chile, paprika, preserved lemon (zest), 2/3 of the olive oil and 1/2 ts salt.

3. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Score the flesh of each half with deep, diagonal crisscross scores, making sure not to pierce the skin. Spoon the chermoula over each half, spreading it evenly, place on a baking sheet cut side up and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until completely tender.

4. Meanwhile, cook the bulgur/quinoa according to the instructions on the package.

5. In a small bowl cover the raisins with hot water and let soak for 10 minutes.

6. When the bulgur/quinoa is ready, let drain in a sieve and in a bowl mix together the bulgur/quinoa with the drained raisins, olives, remaining oil, herbs (leave some for garnishing), almonds, green onions, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

7. When ready, transfer the eggplant halves on a plate each, cut side up, and spoon the bulgur/quinoa mixture on top. Garnish with yoghurt, some sprinkles olive oil and the remaining herbs.
 

Spicy Carrot Salad
(serves 2 as a side dish)
adapted and amended from Jerusalem: A Cookbook

Ingredients:

3 large carrots, grated
1 1/2 TS olive or rape oil
1/2 onion, fine chopped
1/2 ts harissa
1/4 ts ground cumin
1/4 ts sugar
1 1/2 ts apple vinegar
salt
sunflower seeds

Directions:

1. In a salad bowl whisk together the oil, onion, harissa, cumin, sugar, vinegar and salt.

2. Add the grated carrots and sunflower seeds and toss well to combine.

 

And I thought it was winter…Blossoms

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Pomegranate, Pomegranate

Wintertime is pomegranate time. During this season, the fruit grows in Spain and Italy and markets here are flooded with it. So a couple of days ago, when I hadn’t received my copy of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook yet, I found a wonderful recipe by them (which is not included in that book though) that contains pomegranate, fennel (a winter vegetable, too) and quinoa (gluten-free). And since the pomegranate I bought was so big and I only needed half of it for the recipe, I also made a pomegranate and olive relish inspired by The Kitchn.

Jerusalem

 

Quinoa, Pomegranate and Fennel Salad
(Serves 2)

Quinoa

Ingredients:

3 TS olive oil
1 medium fennel bulb, cut lengthwise into thin slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 TS lemon juice
1/2 ts ground cumin
1/2 ts raw cane sugar
110g quinoa, rinsed to remove bittern
1/2 green chile, seeded, chopped
3 TS chopped fresh cilantro
3 TS chopped fresh mint
1/2 ts chopped fresh dill
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate

Directions:

1. Heat 2 TS of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the fennel and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is tender and lightly golden (about 10–12 minutes). Stir in the lemon juice, cumin, and sugar and cook for about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, bring the quinoa and 270ml water to a boil in a pot. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is cooked (about 10 minutes). Set aside and let cool.

3. Gently mix the quinoa with the remaining 1 TS olive oil, add the fennel mixture, chile, pomegranate and herbs. Toss gently to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Pomegranate Olive Relish
(makes one small bowl)

Relish

Ingredients:

110g green olives, sliced and pitted
40g cup roasted pistachios (I used pine seeds)
110g pomegranate seeds
1 TS minced shallots
2 ts finely chopped fresh mint
2 TS olive oil
2 ts pomegranate molasses (I used maple syrup instead)
dash of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Coarsely slice the green olives and chop the pistachios/pine seeds to roughly the size of the pomegranate seeds or a bit smaller.

2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste. Depending on the flavor of the pomegranates and olives, you may need more or less lemon juice and salt.

3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to a day before serving.

4. Serve with crackers, bread, or pita chips. Delicious on crostini with goat cheese.


Stornoway

Goaty Pumpkin and Potato Gratin and Mâche with Pomegranate

After a long walk along the Rhine collecting items for home decoration (I’ve just recently fallen in love with Apartment Therapy), I came home to prepare a hokkaido for yet another pumpkin cake I plan to bake next week and since an entire hokkaido is way too much for one cake, I made a pumpkin and potato gratin with 1/4 of the hokkaido and what other ingredients I had left at home.

 
 
 
Goaty Pumpkin and Potato Gratin
(serves 2-3)

Ingredients:

8 small red potatoes, roughly sliced (I used Franceline)
250g hokkaido, cubed
3 TS olive oil
2 TS fresh or dried sage
2 TS sunflower seeds
2 TS butter or vegetable margarine
2 TS flour
250ml goat’s milk
1 ts instant vegetable broth (glutamate- and yeast-free)
1 small clove of garlic, grated
salt
freshly ground pepper
nutmeg, ground
100g goat’s milk feta cheese crumbles
2 TS Pecorino cheese, grated
1 slice toast or other white bread, crumbled

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 230°C.

2. Spread the cut potatoes and hokkaido separately on a prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Bake on the middle rack for about 25 minutes until lightly roasted.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter or margarine in a pot, stir in the flour and let turn lightly golden. Add the goat’s milk and bring to boil while stirring with an eggbeater in order to avoid the formation of lumps. Turn down the heat when the milk starts to boil, keep on stirring while adding the instant broth and garlic. The mixture should turn into a béchamel-like sauce. Set aside and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg (remember that the feta will also add salt to the gratin).

4. Remove the pumpkin and potatoes from the oven and turn down the heat to 190°C. First, transfer the pumpkin into a prepared baking dish, creating an even layer. Sprinkle with the sage and sunflower seeds. Add the potatoes, creating another even layer.

5. Pour the goat’s milk sauce over the potatoes evenly and garnish with feta, bread crumbs and pecorino.

6. Bake the gratin in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until brown and crisp on top.

 

Mâche with Pomegranate, Dates and Bacon
(serves 2)
This actually is my wonderful flatmate Gesa’s creation.

Ingredients:

2-3 hands full of mâche
3 TS pitted dates, sliced
kernels from 1/2 pomegranate
2 TS lean bacon, small dices
3 TS olive oil
1 1/2 TS balsamico di Modena
1 ts Dijon mustard
1 ts honey
salt
freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1. For the vinaigrette, mix the olive oil, balsamic, mustard and honey in a small bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper and stir well to combine.

2. Put the mâche, dates, pomegranate and bacon in a bowl, add the vinaigrette and toss carefully to combine.
 

 

Berlin Pumpkin

I’ve never spent as much time in Berlin as this year. Every single time I visited my friends I had the most wonderful days – it was magical, really.

Diane Arbus Exhibition at Gropius Bau
Market at Kollwitzplatz
Sushi Zionskirchstraße
Lass uns Freunde bleiben bar
Der Hahn ist tot restaurant
Filmgalerie 451

The picture below looks nothing as delicious as this salad actually is at all!
Inspiration: Healthy Green Kitchen

 

Hokkaido Salad with Pecans and Dates

Ingredients:
(serves 4)

Olive oil
1 TS raw cane sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 TS honey
1/8 ts cayenne pepper
100g pecan halves
1 large hokkaido
6 TS olive oil
4 TS white wine vinegar
1 TS Dijon mustard
100-200g mâche or arugular
a handful of dates, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 165°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat the parchment with olive oil.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar and 1/4 ts salt. Set aside.

3. In a frying pan, warm 2 TS of the honey over low heat. Add the cayenne pepper and stir to mix well. Add the pecans and stir to coat. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, then add the nuts to the bowl with the sugar mixture, and toss to coat. Discard the parchment paper and spread the pecans out in a single layer on the baking sheet to cool completely.

4. Raise the oven temperature to 230°C. Line a second rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and coat generously with olive oil.

5. Cut the hokkaido in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Cut the flesh into cubes (There’s no need to peel the hokkaido but you might want to wash it before use!) and pile them on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 TS of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread the hokkaido out in a single layer. Roast, turning several times, until fork-tender and lightly browned all over, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

6. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and the remaining 2 TS honey. Add the remaining 4 TS olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until a smooth, emulsified dressing forms. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Spread the mâche/arugular on 4 plates, top with the roasted hokkaido, pecans and dates and drizzle with the vinaigrette.