A touch from the Middle East, a classic French pate, Greek ingredients and a Sicilian influenced salad! These starters/antipasti bring to your table 3 vegetarian options and if served all together they make a little feast with which you can entertain and impress a small group of friends for a lunch. What’s missing? A good bottle of wine I guess! Buon Apetit!
Yield: Makes 15
2 Cans Chick Peas – rinsed & drained
4 Tbsp Gram Flour (or Plain Flour)– or as needed
1 Small Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Grated Lemon Zest
½ Cup of Chopped Parsley
Juice of Half a Lemon
In a powerful food processor, blitz the onion, garlic and parsley until fine. Add the lemon zest , and chopped chilli and blitz again. Add the chick peas, lemon juice and cumin and season to taste. Blitz, using the pulse action until crumbly to fine. Transfer mix into a clean bowl. If the mix is too soft, add the gram flour a little at a time to achieve a thick pasty consistency. Gram flour is made from ground chickpeas or lentils. If you do not have any, use regular flour. Place the whole mix in the fridge and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. Shape into patties and fry until golden in vegetable oil. Drain on kitchen towels. Serve warm or at room temperature, with a salad of mint, parsley, rucola and onions and lemon wedges.
Goose Pate with Poached Pears and Melba Toasts
300 Grams Goose Pâté (you can find several type of pâté and terrines from the delicatessen at Arkadia Foodstore)
1 Crusty Baguette
150 Grams Walnuts
In a large pot of water, poach the pears for about 15 minutes (depending on size) or until cooked. Drain and cool. Cut the baguette in very thin slices. Toast on both sides until very crisp. Set aside.
Arrange a board with the toasted baquette, the goose pâté, shelled walnuts and sliced poached pear.
Grilled Fennel Salad
Yield: Serves 2
2 Fennel Bulbs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Some Mint Leaves
Cut the fennel in half and slice very thinly. Season with salt and pepper and toss in some oil. On a very hot griddle, grill for a few minutes until cooked but still crunchy. Peel and slice the oranges, and arrange the grilled fennel with chopped mint and fennel tips on top. Serve warm or cold.
Stewed Pumpkin with Black Olives and Authentic Greek Feta Cheese
Yield: Serves 4
400 -500 Grams of Pumpkin – washed, seeds removed and cut into slices
Glass of White Wine
150 Grams Authentic Greek Feta Cheese
100 Grams of Black Olives
Salt & Pepper
1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
Pinch of Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
Use a large pan that can permit you to lay all the sliced pumpkin flat. Place the pumpkin (skin on). Add the salt, pepper, rosemary and spices, a drizzle of oil, wine and a glass of water. Cook covered until the pumpkin is soft, then remove the cover and cook until all the juices have evaporated and the pumpkin starts to caramelize slightly. Switch off, scatter with the olives and crumble the feta cheese. Serve warm from the pan. Also delicious when cold.
This feature was published in our September/October ’13 issue of the foodie.