Turkish Pide: The Flexible Vegetarian – Jo Pratt

The Flexible Vegetarian

Images and recipes from The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99)

Turkish pide with spinach and aubergine

Pide (pronounced pee-day) is much like a pizza, but has no tomato sauce and a colourful, aromatic Turkish

flair. Traditionally, this boat-shaped ‘pizza’ is filled with vegetables, spices, cheese and/or meat, most commonly

lamb. I’ve made this one into an exceptionally tasty vegetarian version using spinach, aubergine and feta, but

you can be as creative as you like by using a selection of ingredients to top the dough, as you would a pizza.” p. 143

 

_TurkishPide-

Time taken 1 hour + 30 minutes rising / Serves 4

 

7g/¼ oz sachet fast action dried yeast

1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar

300g/10½ oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tsp salt

olive oil

2 medium aubergines, thinly sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

250g/9 oz baby spinach leaves

150g/5½ oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp nigella seeds

flaked sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

small handful mint leaves

 

Put the yeast and caster sugar in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of

warm water. Mix and set aside for a few minutes until the mixture

starts to show some bubbles on the surface.

 

Put the flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Add

the bubbly yeast mixture and slowly add 170ml/5¾ fl oz/2⁄3 cup of

warm water while bringing everything together with your other

hand. If you feel it needs it, add extra water but take care not to

make the dough too wet.

 

Once the dough starts to stick together, tip

onto a floured surface and knead for 6–7 minutes until you have a

smooth, stretchy dough. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover loosely with

cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, heat the grill to high. Brush the aubergine slices with

olive oil. Set on a baking sheet and grill for a few minutes each side

until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

 

Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion for around

8 minutes until softened and golden. Add the garlic and cumin. Cook

for around 1 minute before stirring in the spinach allowing it to wilt.

Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat.

 

Heat your oven to its highest setting. Divide the risen dough into four

pieces. Shape each piece into an oval, dust with flour and thinly roll

out. Transfer to a couple of baking sheets and prick the surface of the

dough several times with a fork.

 

Divide the spinach mixture and aubergines between the dough,

leaving a border around the edges. Pinch the ends of the dough and

roll the edges of the border over the filling, to form a boat shape.

Scatter with the feta cheese, sesame seeds and nigella seeds, drizzle

with olive oil and season. Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes

until the dough is golden. Garnish with mint leaves to serve.

 

Flexible

For a meaty twist on this recipe, omit the aubergine, and sauté around 200g/7 oz

minced lamb with the onion, continue to cook as above. Alternatively, to make this

into a seafood pide, omit the aubergine and mix 200g/7 oz cooked prawns into the

cooked onion and spinach before spooning onto the dough.

 

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A CookBook To Suit Everyone’s Needs

Recently I came across a cookbook that asserts that: “Whether you’re an occasional meat-eater, a vegetarian who needs to cook for meat-eaters, or even a dedicated veggie, you’ll find this very flexible book filled with delicious and practical recipes for every lifestyle. The Flexible Vegetarian’s beautiful and tasty dishes offer two solutions: they can be served as completely vegetarian meals, or with the addition of a simple meat, chicken or fish recipe, making them suitable for meat-free days and meat-eaters alike. Recipes cover international flavours, from spiced poke to peashoot and asparagus gnudi, and they are all simple, quick, packed with protein and well-balanced. As well as easy meat and fish additions and hacks for each vegetarian recipe, The Flexible Vegetarian shows you how to ace a handful of classic recipes, from the perfect roast chicken, to the perfectly cooked fillet. Chapters include: Brunch, Broths, Small Plates, Large Plates, and Dips & Bits.”  https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/tv-celebrity-chefs/The-Flexible-Vegetarian-Jo-Pratt-9780711239043

The Flexible Vegetarian

 

I have a dilemma  – do I give this to my vegetarian daughter so she can cook the occasional meal for her non vegetarian friends and family ? Or do I keep this one to source recipes for when my daughter visits?  (I am always looking for new and tasty meals I can prepare that we can all share when she visits.) What would you do?

 

**As a bonus this book contains many recipes that include cheese, and one I will  definitely be making in summer, Grilled Peaches, Burrata and Mint Pesto – YUM.   The section “Dips and Bits” deserves a special mention – there are so many of my favourite foods presented here: labneh, hummus, tahini dressing, pesto…and section, “Small Plates”… well I just have to try smashed bean, kale and tomato toast – what a great breakfast idea!  So many good ideas here. I dont think I could choose just one favourite.

 

 

 

Apricot and Peach Fruit Wine: Ferment – Holly Davis

Ferment cover

Ferment

Holly Davis

Murdoch Books 

ISBN: 9781743368671

 

Images and recipes from Ferment by Holly Davis (Murdoch Books, RRP $45) Photography by Ben Dearnley.

 

apricot and peach fruit wine
first fermentation

Apricot and Peach Fruit Wine

“Here is a sweet, slightly alcoholic fruit wine ideal for those hot summer days. Choose seasonal, ripe and semi-ripe fruits with some acidity, which will improve the mix. ” p. 84

Makes 3 litres (105 fl oz/12 cups) Ready in 4–6 days

 

660 g (1 lb 7 oz/3 cups) raw sugar

1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) lightly brewed black tea

2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) ripe unblemished peaches, stones removed and quartered

2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) ripe unblemished apricots, stones removed and quartered

2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) filtered water

 

Combine the sugar and strained tea in a non-reactive bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar completely. Take a wide, deep crock or bowl, which will hold the fruit leaving stirring space, and add the fresh peaches and apricots. Pour the sweet tea over the fruit and stir in the water.

capture Cover with a clean tea towel (dish towel) and leave in a cool spot for 4–5 days. As frequently as possible, during each day (5–6 times or more), stir the liquid using a wooden spoon to create a swirling vortex, then change direction and repeat. (Stirring this way helps to draw air into the liquid and encourages yeast activity.)

At day 3 or 4 the mix should be bubbling, and around day 6 or so it should seriously bubble and froth. Keep stirring and smelling for another couple of days, watching to see when the froth subsides, indicating that fermentation has slowed right down. Trust your nose; if it smells fruity and delectable don’t wait for it to improve, move to the next stage. Strain the mix through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, pressing as much of the liquid from the fruit as possible. Decant the strained fruit wine into swing-top bottles and chill in the fridge.

This is best consumed within 1–2 weeks. Open daily to avoid overly boisterous effervescence.

 

Pumpkin, Chestnut and Almond Brown Rice Balls: Ferment – Holly Davis

Ferment cover

 

Ferment

Holly Davis

Murdoch Books 

ISBN: 9781743368671

 

Images and recipes from Ferment by Holly Davis (Murdoch Books, RRP $45) Photography by Ben Dearnley.

 

pumpkin, chestnut and almond brown rice balls

 

“Rice balls are a favourite of mine, and this particular combination of textures and flavours is a match made in heaven. Perfect fare for autumn lunchboxes, these also make excellent canapés, to be dipped into the toasted sesame and miso dressing below. Serve with any of the Japanese-style pickles in chapter seven.” p. 52

pumpkin chesnut almond Rice Balls

Makes approximately 12 balls

Ready in 1½ hours

 

220 g (73⁄4 oz/1 cup) short-grain brown rice

500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water

large pinch sea salt

120 g (41⁄4 oz/1⁄2 cup) pumpkin (winter squash) cut into 3 cm (11⁄4 in) dice

12 large freshly peeled chestnuts, cut into chunks (or use vacuum-packed peeled chestnuts)

80 g (23⁄4 oz/1⁄2 cup) dry-roasted almonds or crisp and crunchy almonds (see p.50), roughly chopped

 

Wash the rice very well in cold water and drain. Take a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid then add the rice, water, sea salt, pumpkin and chestnut. Put on the lid, place over high heat and bring to a rolling boil (don’t be tempted to take the lid off during the cooking and standing time).

Reduce the heat to very low and cook for 45 minutes. After that time, turn off the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

Use a wooden rice paddle or large spatula to gently combine the rice, pumpkin and chestnuts then tip into a large, shallow bowl or tray and allow the rice to cool until you can easily handle it

Scatter the almonds on a plate. Using slightly damp hands, carefully divide the rice mixture into 12 and roll into balls. Roll each in the chopped almonds, coating well all over. Cool a little and eat as is, or serve at room temperature.

 

 

Marly’s Toasted Macadamia and Banana Pancakes: Ferment – Holly Davis

Ferment cover

Ferment

Holly Davis

Murdoch Books 

ISBN: 9781743368671

 

Images and recipes from Ferment by Holly Davis (Murdoch Books, RRP $45) Photography by Ben Dearnley.

 

marly’s toasted macadamia and banana pancakes 

 

“These pancakes are a variation on a recipe I cook for Marly, for whom I am a private chef. They are fabulous and not difficult to make, though as they contain no grain or dairy products to bind them, they require a slightly different cooking technique than regular pancakes. Try them with a spoonful of cultured apricot spread (p. 154) and a generous drizzle of cashew and citrus amazake cream (p. 44). The toasted nut butter has one ingredient and can be used in any way you might use any other nut butter.”  p54

 

marly's toasted macadamia and banana pancakes

Makes 10–12 pancakes 

Ready in approximately 1 hour 10 minutes 

 

Toasted macadamia nut butter

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) macadamia nuts

 

Macadamia and banana pancakes

4 eggs

120 g (41⁄4 oz/1⁄2 cup) toasted macadamia nut butter
(see above)

2 large or 3 small ripe bananas

125 ml (4 fl oz/1⁄2 cup) water

pinch sea salt

pinch ground cinnamon

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

ghee or macadamia oil, for frying

 

Deactivate by toasting Preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F) and place the macadamia nuts on a baking tray. Place in the oven and toast for 20–30 minutes, or until they are an even golden brown. Cool to room temperature then add to a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste. Portion out the amount you’ll need for the pancakes and transfer the remaining nut butter to a spotlessly clean airtight glass jar. This will keep in the fridge for a month or more.

Combine all of the pancake ingredients in a blender or food processor, blitzing well until the mixture increases slightly in volume and becomes lighter.

Preheat the grill (broiler) to medium and set up a wire rack with a clean tea towel (dish towel) draped over it.

Heat a 14 cm (5½ in) round cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. (The pan will be transferred to the grill so use one with an ovenproof handle.) When the pan is hot wipe it with paper towel and a little ghee then lift it off the heat slightly and pour in enough of the pancake batter to cover the pan in an even 3 mm (1⁄8 in) layer, tilting the pan to spread the mixture out evenly. Cook over medium heat until it is golden brown underneath and you can see the edges of the pancake lifting slightly.

Transfer the pan to the grill and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the top is dried but not browned. Return the pan to the stove top and, using a palette knife, carefully flip the pancake over.

Cook for 2 minutes to brown, then transfer the pancake to the cooling rack and cover with another tea towel. Wipe the pan out with paper towel and add a little more ghee, and repeat until the mixture is finished.

Serve the pancakes warm or cold, with a selection of toppings if you like. Once cooked, these pancakes keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 3–4 days and can be gently reheated in a hot pan.

 

Om….and the Art of Bread Making

Ommmmmm….there is nothing like bread making to ground you, to relax you, to develop your sense of patience. I am rediscovering the art of relaxation, deep breathing, yoga and…sour dough bread making.

Bread making and in particular using wild fermented yeast (sour dough) is an art that develops your patience and attunes you to the local environment – favourable weather conditions are a must – a too cold a house equals bread bricks 🙂   I am guilty of rushing…and sour dough will not be rushed!

Mother Nature has fooled me into thinking that it is a good time to start making bread – the skies have been blue, the roses are budding, the veggie patch is looking good.

spring garden

But I have been fooled- the sun may shine but it is not that warm (16 degrees maximums this week) and each time I have started the bread making process I have reached a particular stage and then the temperature has dropped and …the yeast has returned to dormancy.

Ferment cover

However I have had some success and have learnt alot this week, about  bread making and fermenting in general thanks to the assistance of Holly Davis’s new book Ferment.   This book provides recipes and lots of information relating to the various methods of fermenting ( Activate, Capture, Steep, Infuse, Incubate and Cure). One of the most useful things I learnt this week was the  “float test” to check if your leaven mix is active and ready to go. Getting this right makes such a difference to the success (or not) of your sough dough bread making.

The Float Test

Successful float test and I was ready for action..then the weather changed…it cooled down, rapidly…my sough dough sunflower and rye loaf became a a delicious sunflower and rye brick 🙂  The crumb is great. The flavour is awesome but it needed a few more degrees of warmth to have risen that bit more …I will not give up, I will just have to wait a few weeks for the temperature to increase a few degrees and all will be fine. I’ll let you know how I get on.

sunflower and rye bread

Back to the deep breathing exercises….Ommmmmm…..

Waffles & Date Chocolate Sauce – The Goodness of Nuts & Seeds: Natalie Seldon

It’s World Chocolate Day – let’s celebrate with a little something that combines decadent with wholesome.

goodness-of-nuts-and-seeds

http://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/Goodness-of-Nuts-and-Seeds/Natalie-Seldon/9780857834133

 

WAFFLES & DATE CHOCOLATE SAUCE

 

*VEGETARIAN *GLUTEN-FREE *DAIRY-FREE

Decadent yet wholesome, these are drizzled with warm, sticky sauce and vibrant fresh berries for an indulgent affair to savour. Golden and crispy on the outside with a soft and fluffy centre, these griddled, healthy treats contain gluten-free buckwheat flour, supplying a multitude of vitamins and minerals. These provide a little sweet solace on wet and windy days and are sure to warm the hearts of family and friends.

Makes 3–4 (depending on the size of your waffle iron)

75g buckwheat flour

75g almond flour or ground almonds

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons date syrup  (or unrefined sugar)

1 egg, lightly beaten

275ml almond milk

2 tablespoons almond butter

2 teaspoons vanilla bean  paste or extract

 

For the date chocolate sauce

100ml date syrup

75g raw cacao powder

2½ tablespoons maple syrup

 

To serve

200g fresh red berries, such as raspberries, strawberries and redcurrants

25g toasted flaked almonds

 

  1. Sift both flours, the baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the date syrup, egg, almond milk, almond butter and vanilla bean paste or extract, then mix well until combined. Leave the batter to rest for 5 minutes.

 

  1. Make the date and chocolate sauce by heating all the ingredients together in a small pan over a gentle heat. Stir until combined and glossy, then set aside until needed.

 

  1. Preheat a waffle iron as per instructions, spray both sides of the iron with oil spray (I use coconut oil) and pour a large ladleful (about 150ml) of batter in the centre of the iron and spread out towards the edges with a flat-bladed knife. Close the lid and allow to cook. Repeat until all the batter is used.

 

  1. Serve the waffles with the fresh fruit, a drizzle of date chocolate sauce and the toasted almonds.

Waffles with date Chocolate sauce

 

Recipes from The Goodness of Nuts & Seeds by Natalie Seldon. Published by Kyle Cathie. RRP $19.99