eat in my kitchen

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Tag: dried tomatoes

Juicy Zucchini Steaks with Dried Tomatoes, Sage and Chèvre

 Zucchini, Dried Tomatoes + Chèvre

When I went to the market on Saturday I bought one of my favourite goat cheeses from a tiny stand run by a sweet lady who produces her own cheese. She just uses goat milk for her products and her display offers delicious soft chèvre rolls and creamy cheese balls coated in spices and herbs, with chili, herbes de provence, rosemary and basil. These soft cheeses are her absolute speciality, mild and milky with a soft hint of goat milk.

I planned to buy a plain cheese roll but a beautiful white chèvre covered in parsley leaves and pansy flowers caught my attention. The lady explained to me that it’s filled with dried tomatoes, I was currious and forgot about my plain cheese immediately. I tried it, liked it and bought it! My plans for dinner involved golden sautéed zucchini cut into thick round steaks, juicy inside but far away from soft and soggy, topped with fresh goat cheese and sage. My find at the market inspired me to add some dried tomatoes, it was a good choice, the Mediterranean flavours were great together with the mild goat milk!

 Zucchini, Dried Tomatoes + Chèvre

 Zucchini Steaks with Dried Tomatoes, Sage and Chèvre

For 2 people you need

zucchini, cut into 1,5cm / 1/2″ steaks, 300g / 10.5 ounces
garlic, thinly sliced, 1 clove
chèvre/ soft goat cheese, thickly sliced, 70g / 2.5 ounces
dried tomatoes, cooked in a little boiling water for 1 min, rinsed, dried and chopped, 1 1/2 -2
sage leaves, thinly sliced, 5
olive oil for frying
salt and pepper

In a large pan, heat a splash of olive oil together with the garlic and fry the zucchini on high-medium temperature for a few minutes until golden brown on each side. Add the cooked dried tomatoes and sage, season with salt and pepper and fry for 1 minute. On a plate, pile the zucchini steaks on top of each other and let them sit for 1 minute, that makes them a bit softer and juicy. Spread them on a big plate and place the chèvre on top of the warm zucchini and sprinkle with the dried tomatoes and sage from the pan.

 Zucchini, Dried Tomatoes + Chèvre

 

 Zucchini, Dried Tomatoes + Chèvre

Broccoli Pesto with Spaghetti and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Broccoli Parsley Pesto + Spaghetti

Finally pesto! I love it, bunches of basil, parsley, chopped green or black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, garlic, anchovies mixed with olive oil, nuts or cheese. There are endless possibilities to bring one of the most satisfying meals onto the table, pasta with pesto. It’s so simple yet so special! When I make pesto I just follow my mood and appetite, picking what the kitchen herbs on my window sill offer and mixing it together with the Mediterranean fruits and vegetables preserved in salt or oil I keep in jars in my fridge. Sometimes I mix fresh vegetables in as well, like green asparagus or broccoli.

Today is a broccoli day! I cook it al dente, put some of it in a blender and mix it with parsley, ginger, garlic, anchovy, lemon juice and olive oil. Some of the water used to cook the broccoli stirred in makes the pesto nice and smooth, it’s lighter than using just olive oil. When the warm spaghetti has been mixed with the broccoli pesto, I sprinkle some broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes and red chili on top. There are lots of different flavours in this pesto but they blend in perfectly and allow the broccoli to show its fresh side.

Broccoli Parsley Pesto + Spaghetti

Broccoli Pesto with Spaghetti and Sun-dried Tomatoes

For this meal it’s best to warm the plates in a 75°C / 165°F warm oven for a few minutes. I prepare them while the pasta is cooking.

For 4 people you need

spaghetti 400g / 14 ounces
broccoli, florets and the soft part of the stem, 450g / 16 ounces
water used to cook the broccoli 50ml
sun-dried tomatoes, cooked in a little water for 2 minutes to wash off the salt, dried and chopped, 1 1/2 tomatoes for topping
water used to cook the sun-dried tomatoes 3 tablespoons
parsley, chopped, 3 heaped tablespoons
garlic, crushed, 1 big clove
ginger, grated, 1/2 teaspoon
anchovy preserved in salt (optionally), rinsed and dried, 1 fillet
lemon juice 2 teaspoons
olive oil 3 tablespoons
salt and pepper
fresh red chili, chopped, 1 for topping

In a large pot, bring water to the boil, add some salt and cook the broccoli al dente. Keep 1/3 of the cooked florets, cut into bite sized pieces and set aside.

Cook the spaghetti al dente.

Put the rest of the broccoli (florets and stem cut into pieces) in a blender and mix together with some of the water used to cook the broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the parsley, garlic, ginger, anchovy, lemon juice, olive oil and mix well. Season the pesto with salt and pepper but keep in mind that the tomatoes used for the topping will add some saltiness as well.

Arrange the spaghetti and the pesto on big plates and sprinkle with the chopped tomatoes, pieces of broccoli, chili and some more black pepper.

Broccoli Parsley Pesto + Spaghetti

The taste of Summer in my Mediterranean Sandwich

Maltese Sandwich

Maltese sausage, tomatoes, capers, olives, basil, red onions, garlic and olive oil on Maltese Ftira bread – as soon as I started to make this sandwich the sun came out, literally! You can’t really put more of the taste of summer into a sandwich than in this one. In Malta, this is a local hero, the famous Ftira, enjoyed by everyone on this island. It’s a celebration of their specialities combining quite a few different tastes, all strong and honest, and creating one of the best sandwiches you can imagine.

I made it last weekend when I had all the ingredients at hand, freshly delivered from Malta by Emma. I fried the coarse Maltese sausage with its strong coriander flavour until golden brown, without its skin and cut in half. It looked a bit like a burger stuffed with herbs. You can also use Salsiccia as it’s made with similar spices and herbs as well. I recommend a white bread with a nice crust but soft on the inside to soak the  juices and olive oil like the Maltese bread I used. I cut a few cherry tomatoes, half a red onion, 4 green olives, 1 dried tomato and a few basil leaves into slices and piled everything carefully onto a slice of bread drizzled with olive oil. I finished it off with 1 crushed clove of garlic and a few capers and closed it with another slice of bread. When I took a bite, I was on my favourite island in the Mediterranean again!

Maltese Sandwich

 

Maltese Sandwich

 

Maltese Sandwich

 

Maltese Sandwich