My za’atar

The joy of discovering spices is such an exciting experience for me. I am always on the lookout for new ingredients that I can fill my store cupboard with. The latest addition to my cupboard is sumac. It is a red powder that is used as a spice in Middle Eastern food, it adds a sharp lemony taste to many dishes.

Middle Eastern food is still a bit of a mystery to me, I have only eaten in a few Lebanese restaurants and had a few falafel wraps but without a doubt, I am a huge fan. Until recently I hadn’t attempted to cook this mysterious food at home. Armed with sumac, I have started to recreate my own versions.

This recipe for my version of za’atar is a new favourite of mine. Za’atar is a spice mixture that has many variations. The great thing about making your own is that you can cater it to your tastes. I have used my version with roasted broccoli and eaten it with olive oil and pitta bread. I will also try adding some to my hummus recipe and sprinkled over salads. I will be continuing to explore this exciting cuisine.

Store this spice mix in an airtight container away from direct sunlight. Continue reading “My za’atar”

Rhubarb crumble

It’s official, it’s Spring! I love this time of year, the days are getting longer, flowers are coming into bloom and it is the season for field harvested rhubarb. What better way to enjoy it than with a crumble. The zingy, zesty rhubarb contrasts well with the crumbly sweet topping. Agave nectar balances out the sharpness and intensifies the rhubarb flavour.  Continue reading “Rhubarb crumble”

Cumin coated halloumi with spiced tomato and pepper chutney

I had noted down ideas for this recipe a couple of years ago, and it wasn’t until Friday that I thought of it, after buying some halloumi ready for the bank holiday weekend. The idea of combining cheese with cumin seeds came from my first raclette whilst on a skiing holiday in France. Raclette cheese is melted in a raclette and then served with cold meats, salads, and potatoes. My friend suggested sprinkling cumin seeds on top of the melted cheese, which I did, and it was so delicious. The intense, and warmly bitter flavour of the cumin seeds combined with the creamy, melted cheese was memorable. I chose to use halloumi for my recipe, as it cooks so well on a bbq or griddle pan, which adds an extra toasty nutty flavour to the cumin.

The spiced pepper and tomato chutney is the perfect accompaniment to the halloumi. The sharp, sweet and spicy chutney cuts through the intense saltiness of the cheese and works well with the distinctive spice of the cumin. The quantities here for the chutney will give you enough to have plenty left over. Try it with fish, roasted cauliflower or other cheeses.

We combined the halloumi and chutney with toasted wholemeal pitta bread and salad. The perfect dish for a sunny bank holiday. Well, the Sunday was nice at least. Continue reading “Cumin coated halloumi with spiced tomato and pepper chutney”

Spicy mung bean and roasted carrot salad

On a Sunday night, I prepare my lunch for the upcoming week. I create recipes that I can enjoy whilst at work. This recipe is full of vibrant colours and flavours. If you find yourself looking at your lunch with disdain and despair, it’s time to start getting creative. It only takes 45 minutes and you can leave it all to cook whilst you get on with something else.

I find that mung beans go well with Indian spices, they are a great carrier for different flavour combinations. The roasted carrots add a sweetness that cuts through the zesty, sharp dressing.

Here is to no more boring lunches! Continue reading “Spicy mung bean and roasted carrot salad”

Cinnamon and raisin biscuits

As a result of making my own almond milk, I have an abundance of ground almonds which can be used for many dishes. I used some for my rhubarb crumble recipe a few weeks ago. Never one to waste food, I am frequently putting together recipes from ingredients that I already have in the kitchen.

So these little crumbly biscuits are a result of a me being at home on grey Saturday afternoon and wanting something sweet. Cinnamon and raisins is one of my favourite flavour combinations and the smell of these cookies baking in the oven is enough to make anyone hungry. Continue reading “Cinnamon and raisin biscuits”