A flavour-packed, unusual salad that’s delicious warm or cold – works really well as part of a buffet
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into long pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
250g pearl barley
300g Tenderstem broccoli, cut into medium-size pieces
100g SunBlush tomato, sliced
1 small red onion, diced
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp small capers, rinsed
15 black olives, pitted
20g pack basil, chopped
For the dressing
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Place the squash on a baking tray and toss with olive oil. Roast for 20 mins. Meanwhile, boil the barley for about 25 mins in salted water until tender, but al dente. While this is happening, whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Drain the barley, then tip it into a bowl and pour over the dressing. Mix well and let it cool.
2. Boil the broccoli in salted water until just tender, then drain and rinse in cold water. Drain and pat dry. Add the broccoli and remaining ingredients to the barley and mix well. This will keep for 3 days in the fridge and is delicious warm or cold.
What will you do with your courgette glut? Make the most of them in a fruity chutney with ginger, apples, sultanas and shallots
1½ kg/3lb 5 oz marrow, peeled and deseeded
225g shallot, sliced
225g apple, peeled, cored and sliced
2cm piece ginger, finely chopped
225g demerara sugar
850ml malt vinegar
12 black peppercorns
1. Cut the marrow into small pieces, put in a bowl and sprinkle liberally with 2 tbsp salt. Cover and leave for 12 hrs.
2. Rinse and drain the marrow, then place in a preserving pan or large saucepan with the shallots, apples, sultanas, ginger, sugar and vinegar. Tie the peppercorns in muslin (or put into a small enclosed tea strainer) and place in the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring from time to time, until the consistency is thick.
3. Leave to settle for 10 mins, then spoon into sterilised jars (see tip below), put on the lids and label. Will keep for a year in a cool, dark place.
Italy may have their Eggplant Parmesan but the Philippines has their Tortang Talong or Eggplant Omelette. The word “torta” has many meanings in the Latin based language. In Italy and other countries whose language is rooted in latin it usually means cake or pie. In Mexico it refers to a sandwhich. In Spain it can mean either a cake or an omelette.
The Philippines was under Spanish rule for about 500 years. Much of its language, customs, and cuisine is adapted from the Spanish culture. Hence many favorite Filipino dishes include Arroz Valenciana or Paella, Arroz Caldo, Pastel de Lengua, Menudo, Chorizo, and Torta, just to name a few.
The word “tortang” is derived from the Spanish word “Torta”. In the Philippines when they refer to something as “tortang” it means that it is made like a torta, which in this case mean omelette. So Tortang Talong means Eggplant Omelette since Talong is the Filipino name for Eggplant.
Tortang Talong is a simple yet tasty way to eat eggplant. It uses the long Asian eggplant instead of the large round eggplant normally used in the Italian Eggplant Parmesan. The eggplant is cooked, usually over an open fire or grill, flattened, dipped in beaten eggs, then fried. There are many versions of this Filipino dish, some of which include ground meat. In my family we usually make it without as it’s pretty filling without meat. I make it at home for our meatless dinner nights. Served with a tossed salad and some olives and pickles on the side it’s simply delicious!
You can roast the eggplant up to a day in advance. Leave the skin on and store in the fridge until ready to use. Depending on the size of the eggplant you can either make one to share or smaller individual ones. I usually make 2 and that feeds around 4 people.
1 Asian Long Eggplant
1/2 Tsp. Minced Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
Oil for frying
Roast or broil the eggplant with the skin on. You will know the eggplant is cooked when it is soft and the skin is a bit wrinkled and has turned brownish in color.
Peel cooked eggplant. You can do this by holding the stem and gently pulling off the skin with your fingers. The meat may stick to the skin so be careful peeling it so that you don’t take the eggplant meat with the skin. Do not remove the stem.
Place peeled eggplant on a flat plate and gently flatten with a fork. You should end up with eggplant meat fanning out from the top stem.
Beat eggs, garlic, salt & pepper together in a shallow dish.
Place about 1/2 tsp. oil in a large frying pan and heat.
Place eggplant in egg mixture. Use the fork to gently immerse eggplant (but not the stem) in the egg mixture. Allow the eggplant to absorb as much of the egg mixture as possible.
Holding the eggplant by the stem gently place it in the hot oil. You can pour some more egg mixture over the eggplant in the pan so that the eggplant is completely covered.
Cook until the bottom starts to turn golden brown and the egg mixture on the top starts to get a bit dry.
Gently flip the eggplant over and cook until that side turns golden brown.
Slide finished omelette onto a serving dish and serve.
My husband always talks about how his mother used to pickle green tomatoes when he was growing up in the Middle East. He said pickled green tomatoes are delicious.
I’m sure they. It’s also a great way to use the loads of tomatoes we grown in our backyard. So here’s how we pickle green tomatoes. First off you’ll want to make sure you pick them while they’re green. It doesn’t really matter what type of tomato, we use cherry tomatoes as well as the large varieties, just as long as they’re still green and not ripe.
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Pickled Green Tomatoes
Mason Jars with Lids – I use the 64 oz. jars but you can use any size you like
Lumpia is the Philippines’ version of Egg Rolls. Like so many other Asian countries the Filipino Lumpia comes in many varieties.
There is Lumpiang Sariwa or “Fresh Lumpia” that are very thin crepe like wrappers that are filled with stir fried vegetables, shrimp, meats, or a combination of them. Lumpiang Shanghai are meat filled deep fried egg rolls that are tightly wrapped to look like thin cigars or are cut into smaller pieces when served as appetizers, they are usually served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. Then there are fried lumpia that closely resemble spring rolls. Fried Lumpia can be filled with just about anything including ripe bananas which are actually called Turon or Banana Lumpia.
Fried Lumpia is a favorite in my house; I make them by the dozen and freeze them so we always have some on hand. Making fried lumpia is pretty easy since I usually toss in whatever I have on hand including ground beef, green beans, tofu, carrots, bean sprouts, potatoes, and onions. You can put any combination of meats, seafood, and veggies in a fried lumpia, it’s really not complicated. Whatever ends up as my filling I always serve it with a garlic vinegar sauce, my family loves it!
Today I’ll share my version of Fried Lumpia. I’ll list ingredients just remember they’re all pretty much optional and you can toss in whatever you prefer; but use at least 3 of the optional items in your filling. You can buy frozen egg roll wrappers at any Asian Market, most packages contain 25 wrappers.
1 or 2 Package Egg Roll Wrapper – thawed
1 Lb. Ground Beef – but you can use pork, chicken, turkey, or shrimp instead
1 Small Onion Chopped
1 Tbs. Garlic Minced
2-3 Potatoes – Cooked and cubed (optional)
2 Cups Bean Sprouts (optional)
1 Package Firm Tofu – cut into small cubes
1 Cup Shredded Carrots (optional)
1 Cup Fresh String Beans – Thinly sliced (optional)
1 Cup Shredded Cabbage (optional)
1/8 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Egg slightly beaten (to seal wrappers)
Oil for frying
1/2 Cup White or Rice Vinegar
1/2 Tsp. Garlic Minced
1/4 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Tsp. Chili Pepper Flakes (optional)
Heat about 1 Tbl. of oil in a wok or large skillet.
Saute chopped onions until they start to turn translucent.
Add minced garlic and saute for about 1 minute, be careful not to burn the garlic.
Add ground beef or whatever meat you are using. If you are using shrimp add them later after veggies have cooked as shrimp cook quickly and will over cook if you have to cook veggies.
Add salt and pepper. Cook until meat is well done and crumbly.
Add beans, carrots, cabbage if you are using them. Cook until soft.
Add Bean Sprouts and cook until soft.
Gently stir in Tofu and soy sauce.
Remove from heat, drain liquid from pan, and set aside.
Thaw egg roll wrappers and remove from package.
Separate wrappers being careful not to tear. Place on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. You will be using one wrapper at a time so keep the others under the damp paper towel to keep them from drying out.
Take one wrapper and place on flat surface.
Place about 1 to 1 1/2 heaping tbl. of filling along one side of the wrapper.
Fold over both ends and roll like a burrito.
Brush some beaten egg on the wrapper to seal.
Place on a plate if you will be frying the same day or place in freezer bag if you plan on freezing them for later.
Repeat until you use all the wrappers.
When you’re ready to fry heat about 2″ of oil in a pan or use your deep fryer.
If you are frying the ones you just made, fry them in hot oil until they turn dark golden brown.
Place them on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
If you are frying frozen lumpia, carefully place FROZEN lumpia in the heated oil. Do not thaw them as they will get too soft and fall apart. Fry them until dark golden brown.
To make the sauce just add all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and stir.
Other options for the fillings include shredding sweet potatoes, chopped water chestnuts, sliced bamboo shoots,and pretty much anything you like.
I’m always looking for new meatless recipes, I like to make at least one or two meatless dinners a week, specially now with this pandemic and “Meatless Mondays”.
This week I decided to try a new pasta recipe, sort of like a lasagna without meat. I served it with Garlic Bread and everyone loved it! It will surely be added to our family favorites, I hope your family will love it too!
8 Lasagne noodles
24 oz. frozen chopped spinach – thawed and drained
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
2 cups shredded lowfat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tbls. garlic powder
1 tbls. crushed red pepper (the kind you sprinkle on pizza)
1 bottle pasta sauce garlic and onion flavor (I like to use Betolli brand)
Cook lasagne noodles as directed on the box.
Drain, rinse with cool water to keep noodles from sticking together.
Separate noodles and set aside.
Drain and squeeze all the water from the spinach; place in large bowl.
Add to spinach: cottage cheese, 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, crushed red pepper
Separate spinach mixture into 8 equal parts.
Place 1 lasagne noodle on to a clean surface and spread 1 portion spinach mixture along the length of the noodle.
Roll the noodle in jelly roll fashion.
Place rolled noodle in a deep baking dish seam side down. Do the same with the remaining noodles.
Place rolls in dish close to each other to keep them from unrolling.
Cover the rolls with the pasta sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella over sauce.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese melts and starts to brown.
Remove from oven and serve. It goes great with fresh baked garlic bread. Enjoy!