I have posted recipes from “Moro The Cookbook” by Sam and Sam Clarke before. After Ottolenghi’s “Jerusalem”, this is one of my favourite collection of recipes from the Middle East. As the name “Moro” suggests, the recipes in this cookbook are a Spanish-Islamic fusion dating back to the Moors who came from Morocco and ruled the Iberian peninsula (Spain, Portugal, Andorra, parts of Southern France and Gibraltar) for nearly 700 years.
Given I am a vegetarian, I have probably not used this book to its full capacity but the vegetarian recipes such as Aubergine and red pepper salad with caramelised butter, Carrot and cumin salad with coriander and fatayer that I have tried so far have been spectacular. This recipe is another one of Sam & Sam’s vegetarian gems – the sweet tartness of the orange, the salty-oiliness of the olives and the crispy-gooey-saltiness of the grilled feta are a match made in heaven.
A colleague of mine who is a keen gardener and has an allotment, turned up to work one day with what he called “mutant zucchini”, offering them to anyone interested. I asked him why they were named so and if one should be eating them given they were mutant. Apparently they just grew really rapidly and doubled in size overnight, thus making them mutant. Convinced that I wasn’t going to be eating anything toxic, I brought home 1 giant yellow and 1 giant green zucchini.
That was the easy bit. The hard part was to figure out what to do with them. Zucchini bread maybe – but I didn’t ave the patience or the time to knead and allow the dough to rise. Zucchini cake – I didn’t think vegetable cakes would go down too well and I would end up with most of the cake in my belly. So I did the usual thing of querying fellow wordpressers for some ideas. Lots of great stuff out there but I settled on this one for proportions http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/zucchini_breakfast_casserole/. As with most recipes, I added my own things to it and removed things I didn’t feel like using. I served my zucchini bake with a tomato chutney (that I will provide a recipe for) and some rosemary bread (thank you Waitrose!) . Hope you like it.
Zucchni bake with tomato chutney and rosemary bread
Those who have seen “My big fat Greek wedding” might remember the scene when the other kids in school mock Nia Vardalos’ lunch calling it “Mous-ka-ka”. I thought it was hilariously cruel (it’s easy to make me laugh at silly things shall we say). So I decide to run around the house on evening announcing that I was going to make a Vegetarian mous-ka-ka and my partner looked at me like I’d lost it. Clearly, he hasn’t watched the movie.
Simple dishes can be tasty and not take as much time to make. This is one such recipe. I will admit that I am a bit of a slow cook and my partner has come to accept that if it is my turn to cook, dinner won’t be served until 8 (if I start at about 6:30 that is). With the spanakopita, we had well and truly finished by 8. Hooray!
I have previously made this pastry with puff pastry sheets and they turn out as well but are on the greasy side. I much prefer the filo pastry sheets where I can control the amount of butter/margarine in the dish. I’m all for fresh vegetables and greens but in this particular recipe, I prefer using frozen spinach as it doesn’t contain as much moisture as its fresh counterpart. Too much moisture will make a soggy pastry so I would squeeze as much water out of the spinach as I could before adding it to the pastry. My favourite part of this pastry is the gooey feta as it comes out of the oven so eat it hot – even if it threatens to burn your tongue.
Spanakopita oozing with sundried tomatoes, spinach and feta