Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup

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Serves four:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin powder
750 ml/3 cups water
1 cube vegetable stock
1 tsp curry powder
1 medium cauliflower, raw, broken into florets
400 g chickpeas, cooked or canned, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp cilantro, fresh

Gently sauté the onion in olive oil for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, turmeric and cumin powder and cook, stirring, for another minute or two.

Add the vegetable stock and curry powder and bring up to the boil. Add the cauliflower and chickpeas. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Transfer half the soup to a bowl and blend the rest until smooth. Return what has not been blended to the pan and add the cilantro. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the soup is piping hot. Season to taste.

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Lentil and Smoked Trout Salad

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An easy and lovely salad – very suitable for a summer evening.

Ingredients for two:

120 gr green or Le Puy lentils
1 shallot
100-120 gr smoked trout, cut into small pieces

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp strawberry vinegar
1 tsp mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the lentils with the chopped shallot according to package instructions – usually 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the olive oil, vinegar and mustard in a salad bowl.

Drain the cooked lentils and allow to cool a little. Add them to the bowl and mix. Add the trout and mix again. Season to taste and chill for at least an hour.

The warm lentils and vinegar will ‘cook’ the trout so that it will turn pink.

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

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My recipe is a variation on chef Marcus Samuelsson’s pickled cucumbers. I have used his recipe as a basis and have added several ingredients (suggested here and there online).

Ingredients for one small garden cucumber:
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dry dill or 1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp black peppercorns and Jamaican peppercorns

Slice the cucumber as thin as possible. Put the slices in a colander, toss them with the salt, and let stand for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, herbs and spices in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.

Rinse the salt off the cucumbers, and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Put the cucumbers in a clean jar and add the pickling solution; they should be completely covered by the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours before serving.

Mango and Citrus Fruit Salad

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Citrus sauce:
Juice of one grapefruit, orange and lemon (or lime)
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
½ of a vanilla bean, split and scraped

2-3 mangoes

fresh mint for garnish

Put fruit juice, honey, cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Peel and chop the fruit into bite size pieces. Pour over the citrus sauce and leave in the fridge at least for a couple of hours.

Serve with a sprig of mint for garnish.

French Tabbouleh and JPiX

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French Tabbouleh differs from the Lebanese version in that we use couscous grain instead of bulgur.

250 g pre-steamed and dried fine grain couscous
4 tomatoes
1 cucumber
2 lemons
1 tbsp olive oil
10 leaves of fresh mint
parsley
salt and pepper

Place the couscous grain in a large salad bowl.

Coarsely grate the tomatoes and cucumber and pour over the couscous. Squeeze the lemon and add to the bowl. Season with the olive oil, mint, parsley, salt and pepper and gently mix with a fork.

Put in the fridge for at least three hours – a whole day is better. Stir once or twice.

Don’t miss the latest edition of JPiX – Jewish Photo Bloggers Carnival 2013 on Leora’s blog!

Rhubarb and Banana Crumble

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Fruit mixture:
500 g rhubarb, washed and cut into small pieces
1 tbsp cane sugar
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
Freshly grated ginger (optional)

Topping:
100 g plain flour
50 g cane sugar
50 g butter

Place rhubarb and sugar in a pan with 2 tablespoons of water and simmer until soft. Add sliced bananas. Drain off excess liquid if necessary and add the grated ginger. Place mixture in ovenproof dish.

In a bowl rub together flour, sugar and butter. Place crumble mixture on top of the fruit and bake at 180C/350F for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

Lean Baked Falafels

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Serves 4 people:

For the falafels:
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped, parsley can be used instead
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/4 cup plain flour
salt

For the dressing:
1/2 cup low-fat natural yoghurt
1 tbs tahini
2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Place chickpeas, onion, garlic, salt and spices in a food processor and process until combined. Add bicarbonate of soda and flour and pulse again until combined. Shape mixture into 12 patties and let stand for 15 minutes.

Place the falafels on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake turning occasionally for 25 minutes or until golden.

Meanwhile whisk yoghurt, tahini and lemon in a small bowl.

Serve with cubed tomatoes and cucumber as well as pita bread.

This WW recipe eliminates deep-frying. Thus you end up with a healthier dish while retaining the lovely flavours of more traditional falafels.

Homemade Ice Cream

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I am reposting an old favourite of mine this week as I have had little time for new recipes recently. When I spotted cheap local strawberries the other day, this recipe came to mind and I made it for Shabbat. It is easy, quick and lovely and requires no ice cream maker. The amount of sugar can be cut down by a third.

1 can (12 fl oz. (354 ml)) of semi-skimmed evaporated/unsweetened condensed milk
250 g / 1 cup sugar
500 g / 1 pound fruit (one of the following: strawberries, peaches, blackcurrant, mango) washed, peeled if necessary and pureed

Put the can in the fridge one or two hours before you start the recipe.
Pour the milk in a glass bowl and whisk it until it is quite foamy. Fold in the sugar and the fruit. Mix carefully.
Pour into a mold and put in the freezer for at least four hours hours.

Spicy Rice and Kidney Beans

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1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
120 g of basmati or jasmine rice
25 cl of vegetable stock
200 g canned diced tomatoes
200 g canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
fresh coriander, finely chopped

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil in a large pan or pot for 5 minutes or until soft. Add spices. Add rice and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent.

Add stock and tomatoes. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. Add red kidney beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Season to taste and serve and sprinkle with coriander.

Easy Indian Flatbread

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Ingredients for eight flatbreads:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp ajwain (or cumin seeds or thyme)
salt to taste
2 potatoes cooked until soft, peeled and mashed
water as needed
a little oil or clarified butter to apply on the cooked flatbreads (optional)

In a large bowl mix together the flour, ajwain and salt. Add mashed potatoes and mix into the flour.

Add water as required to knead into a soft and non sticky dough. This does not require much water since potatoes contribute some moisture too.

Divide the dough into equal golf-ball sized balls. With the help of a little extra flour, roll out dough into an even circle of even thickness of choice. Heat a flat pan/ griddle on medium heat. Place rolled out dough on the heated pan.

Cook for a little time, then flip over and cook the other side until it gets light golden brown spots. Apply oil or clarified butter if using on the side facing upwards and flip over, cook just a few seconds.

Remove and serve hot with dhal or curry of your choice.