Monthly Archives: November 2012

Savoury Feta and Pomegranate Cheesecakes with Pistachio, Mint and Parsley

This is a very elegant dinner party dish that looks impressive but is surprisingly simple to make. It is perfect for the festive season because it can be prepared in advance and served when you are ready.

Feta & Pomegranate Cheesecake with Pistachio, Mint & Parsley

Serves 2, Vegetarian

  • 2 unsweetened oat biscuits (I used Paterson’s Olive Oil Oatcakes)
  • about 25 gr shelled pistachios (45 gr with shells)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 100 gr  Greek feta
  • 100 gr cream cheese (I used Philadelphia light)
  • 2 or 3 tbsp creme fraiche (or queso fresco batido)
  • a handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 5 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • pinch dried oregano
  • pinch dried mint
  • pinch sumac (optional)
  • pinch ground cumin
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 pomegranate

Blitz the oatcakes and pistachios in a blender until sandy then add the honey and blend again. I used two 3 inch/7cm diameter chef rings which I oiled inside. You could put this in a ramekin too but you may have to serve it in it aswell, I’m not sure if it would come out cleanly.

Put the oiled rings on a sheet of greaseproof on  a flat plate and spoon half the biscuit mix into each ring. Push it down and spread it out evenly.

Blend the feta, cream cheese and 2 tbsp creme fraiche until smooth. Only add the third tbsp if your mix is really stiff, remember that it has to stand up by itself. Add in the herbs and spices and season with a little salt & some black pepper. Blend again and taste for seasoning.

Spoon half of the cheese mix into each ring, pushing it down evenly and smoothing out the top. Put them in the fridge for at least an hour preferably longer so they set.

To remove the pomegranate kernels: cut it in half widthways through its middle. Hold the pomegranate half in your palm, cut side down over a bowl. Using a wooden spoon smack the back of the pomegranate to release the kernels into the bowl. Continue until all the kernels are out and remove any bits of white membrane that may be attached to them.

Just before serving remove the cheesecakes from the fridge and slide the rings onto your serving plates. Lift the ring slowly and carefully and the cheesecake  should slide out of the bottom and onto the plate. (Don’t do this until you are about to serve or they may start to sag or collapse). Top with a tumbling pile of pomegranate jewels, a halved pistachio and a parsley leaf. Serve immediately.

Tandoori Spice Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Quiche

 

Tandoori Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Quiche Recipe

Makes 1 large quiche, Vegetarian

Tandoori Spice Mix Adapted from My New Roots

You only need 1 Tbsp for this recipe

  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 whole nutmeg grated
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 sticks cinnamon, broken
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp paprika

Grind everything except last 2 ingredients in a mortar & pestle or spice grinder to a powder then mix with the turmeric & paprika. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

  • 350-400 g cauliflower florets
  • 200 g cooked chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 1 Tbsp tandoori spice mix (recipe above)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pot (125 ml) goats or Greek yoghurt
  • 50 gr toasted almonds or cashews
  • a handful of fresh coriander

Tip all the ingredients except the nuts into a plastic freezer bag, seal and mix together well by smushing it about in the bag with your hands. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour minimum.

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Tip the contents of the freezer bag onto the tray and spread out evenly. Roast for 25-30 minutes until dried and slightly browned then leave to cool. Stir through the toasted almonds/cashews and chopped coriander. Taste and add more salt & lemon juice as required.

You can use the cooled mixture as a filling for samosas, see recipe here or continue on to make the quiche.

Makes a 28-30 cm quiche. Vegetarian. Pastry recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini

  • 250 g spelt or wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tandoori spice mix (see above)
  • 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • up to 120 ml (1/2 cup) cold water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pot (125 gr) goat’s yoghurt (or greek yoghurt)
  • milk ( I used oat milk)
  • salt & black pepper
  • a handful of grated manchego/cheddar (optional)

Lightly oil & flour your tart tin. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and spices, drizzle in the olive oil mixing/mashing it in with a fork until well combined (a bit like crumble mix). Measure out the water then drizzle slowly into the flour a bit at a time and mix it in with the fork until just absorbed then bring it together with one hand kneading a little just until it forms a cohesive ball. you may not need all the water. Do not over work or it will be tough. You can refrigerate it now if it is warm.

Preheat the oven to 190C. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface, turning it quarter turns as you go to stop it sticking, to the correct size about 2-3 mm thick. Flour your rolling-pin and roll the pastry onto it lifting it gently over to the tart tin and unroll the pastry onto the tin. Push the pastry into the tin (do not stretch it) and trim off the excess. Keep it to make a little tart if you have enough.

Prick the base of the tart all over with a fork. Separate one of the eggs and use the white to brush all over the base of the pastry and the sides. Bake for about 8 -10 minutes until the egg white is cooked and the pastry is starting to dry out. This creates a barrier and stops the bottom from becoming soggy when you add the liquidy filling.

Spread the roasted cauliflower chickpea mix over the base of the pastry in an evenish layer, you will probably not need all of it. In a measuring jug whisk together the two remaining whole eggs and the extra yolk then add the goat’s yoghurt and whisk again. Add enough milk to take it to the 450 ml mark, season well with salt & black pepper and mix again.

Open the oven, put the tart on the middle oven shelf, pull it out and then pour the egg mixture into the tart, top with the grated cheese (if using), gently push the shelf in and close the door. This stops the mixture slopping everywhere hopefully.

Bake until the quiche is just set and nicely browned about 30-40 minutes. Leave to cool slightly and serve warm (not hot) or at room temperature.