Greece: The land before time

Greece was a haven for me when living in Europe. Finally a place where able to eat restaurants properly! As a travelling herbivore you find some places more welcoming than others to animal free plates of food. Greece was one of them! Not to mention the incredible history of the place. I was blown away by its beauty. This is my take on a Moosewood Cookbook (Thank you Mollie Katzen!) recipe for stuffed courgettes, hummus, and a spicy aubergine tapenade.

Turned out exquisitely & definitely reminded me of the smells & flavours of Greece. Its worth making your own hummus too, as its healthier. But in a bind a well produced store bought one does the trick too (sabra is my favourite!).

Greek Feast

Stuffed Courgettes served with hummus, spicy aubergine relish & wholemeal pitta 

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Ingredients: Spicy Aubergine Relish

  • 2 small-medium small aubergines cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup green pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt & lots of cayenne
  • juice from one lemon

Ingredients: Hummus

  • 1-2 cans chickpeas/garbanzos, drained and boiled until very soft (1-1.5 hours)
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • dash of tamari
  • juice from 2 medium lemons
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup packed finely minced parsley
  • lots of black pepper
  • dash or two of cayenne
  • 1/4 cup minced spring onions/scallions

Ingredients: Stuffed Courgettes/Zucchinis

  • 2-4 medium courgettes/zucchini depending on how many you want to serve! Normally I do 1-2 per person.
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil (roughly)
  • 3/4 cup finely minced onion
  • 3 smallish cloves crushed garlic (spice it up using smoked garlic)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional, omit if you want to make it vegan)
  • 2 tbs freshly chopped parsley or 1 tsp if using 2 courgettes/1 tbs if using 4 dried parsley
  • 1 tbs fresh dill finely chopped or 1 tsp dried dillweed
  • couscous of your choice! I used roasted vegetable.
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • paprika & breadcrumbs for the top

Serve with: Pita Bread of your choice (I use wholemeal)

Method:

  1. First off is the prep for the relish. Get your aubergines into a colander with a paper towel underneath. Salt those bad boys and let the bitter juices floweth! This should take about an hour. This allows them to fully soak up the marinade for the relish which = nice & juicy.
  2. Get your hummus sorted, as it can be left in the fridge to cool or on the side while you finish the rest. Mash the chickpeas to a thick paste, using a food mill or grinder or a masher. Combine everything and chill thoroughly for best taste. Make sure you taste test to correct seasonings. You may find you want more garlic, tamari or tahini so just experiment!
  3. Next up is the stuffed courgettes. Get the oven heated up to 180˚C/375˚F. Scoop out the insides of the courgettes to leave a half-inch rim. Chop the innards into little bits and cook in olive oil with the onions, garlic, salt (a few shakes), pepper until the onions are soft. Combine with feta & herbs & couscous. Taste test and add salt & pepper if you want. Take this filling and stuff your courgettes. Dust the tops with paprika & breadcrumbs. Place on an oiled tray and bake for 30 minutes or until the filling solidifies.
  4. While the zucchs are doing their thing, get back to your relish. Cook onions & aubergines together in some oil with a little salt. Cook slowly over a low heat, until soft. Add remaining ingredients, and season to taste. This can be served hot or cold.

Stuffed courgettes 1-1 Stuffed courgettes Hummus spicy aubergine relish Greek Meal 1

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