Category: Olives

The Dishiest Dish- Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts

I have wondered for a long time how to get more posts out each week and I think I have finally figured out how to do it.  My plan is that each week I will do a very quick post on the best thing I have made that week.   It may come from the huge list of recipes I want to cook, a Tasty Reads or other cook-along selection or even a retro recipe that I would not have otherwise blogged about. 

Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts2

To kick things off, here is a recipe I made for Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts which was super!  This is a recipe which may never have seen the light of day – I have this thing I where, when I go on my mid year holidays, I take a stack of food magazines with me.   Whilst on holiday, I clip all the recipes that appeal.  And they become my “master list” of recipes to cook over the next 12 months. 

Weird and convoluted I know.  But it works for me! 

Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts4

When I went through my magazines this year, I found the recipe which was the basis for the Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts.  And I had not even marked it as a recipe to cook when I initially marked up the magazine!

I came quite late to fennel.  I am not a great fan of liquorice //aniseed and so I think, back in 2002 which is where is recipe came from, the double dose of fennel and dill would not have appealed to me.  Now, I love them both!

Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts3These toasts were delicious! It is such a great combination of ingredients, the creamy goat’s cheese, the sweet caramelised fennel and onion, the salty olives and the zing of fresh dill and lemon zest.  Add in the crunch of toasted bread and you have a lovely appetizer! 

The mix would be lovely placed on tiny toast rounds for a one bite canape.  Or would be equally amazing as a pizza topping!!! 

The original recipe did not have the goat’s cheese and to make it without would change this from a super vegetarian option to an amazing vegan choice!

Here’s the recipe:

Fennel, Dill and Olive Toasts
My meal of the week! These fennel, dill and olive toasts are super easy, super delicious and look gorgeous!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 bulbs of baby fennel, ends trimmed, sliced thinly lengthways
  2. 1 small red onion ,cut into thin half moons
  3. 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  4. 2 tbsp water
  5. 2x1 tbsp olive oil
  6. 1 baguette, cut into 1 cm thick rounds
  7. 40g kalamata olives, sliced
  8. 2 tbsp fresh dill leaves
  9. zest of half a lemon
  10. 100gm goats cheese (optional)
  11. Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat one tablespooon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the fennel, onion and garlic and stir until they are well covered in oil.
  3. Add the water and reduce the heat to medium low.
  4. Cook, covered, stirring occaisionally, for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is golden.
  5. Preheat your grill to medium high.
  6. Drizzle the baguette slices with the remaining olive oil, place on a baking tray and cook under the grill for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden.
  7. Zest the lemon, then stir the zest, olives and dill into the fennel and onion mixture. Season to taste.
  8. Spread the toasted bread with the goat's cheese, top with the fennel mixture and serve.
Notes
  1. Omitting the goat's cheese makes this vegan.
Adapted from Good Taste Magazine 2002
Adapted from Good Taste Magazine 2002
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 This week I am excited about cooking:

  • A strawberry cheesecake with a white chocolate and macadamia nut brownie base (adapted from Taste.com). I am making this for a friend’s birthday.  Lord,  I hope turns out well!
  • Duck Meatballs  – we are reading  and cooking from this book for Tasty Reads this month.  A friend lent me her meat grinder so I can make these.  I hope they are worth the effort.
  • The River Cafe Spinach Rotolo for a very long overdue contribution to the Cookbook Guru.
  • This salad from my “to be cooked” list.  The combination of ingredients had me at hello. Oh yeah, I smoked some duck the other night.  For serious.  I feel like Martha.  Or Nigella.  I feel like I should start a girly band called Martha and The Nigellas.  That is how high my domestic goddessery is running this week!  (Dammit, Martha and The Nigellas is a really good blog name…wish I’d thought of it three and a bit years ago!!!). 

Stay tuned, one of these may be the dish of the week next week!

Fennel, Olive and Dill ToastsAnd because I am totally nosy and love to know everyone else’s business, what was the best thing you made this week? 

And, what are you looking forward to making next week? 

Do you even know?  Are you a spontaneous cooker or a mad planner like me?

Let me know in the comments. PLEASE!!!!  I”m dying of curiousity!

Have a fabulous week everyone!  Happy Cooking!

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The Margaret Fulton Cookbook 3 – Onion and Olive Pie

“When a substantial first course is called for, it is hard to improve on a savoury tart served warm” 

 – Margaret Fulton

I so totally agree! 

MFCB Olive And Onion Tart
MFCB Olive And Onion Tart

I think the Onion and Olive Pie  looks pretty good in both of these pictures. It’s certainly the best looking item on the 1977 page. In the modern picture though, it really shines.

Both make me wonder why this is not called a Tomato and Olive Pie.

If like me, you really want to eat this, here is the recipe.  From the 1977 version.  This ain’t called Retro Food For Modern Times for nothing.  

 

Onion and Olive Tart Recipe
Onion and Olive Tart Recipe

 Have a great week…if you want to know what I’m up to on holidays check out my daily Instagram!

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Cheese and Date Night

If we are at home on a Friday, we don’t usually eat a big meal, just usually have a couple of snacky things here and there. 

Friday Night Snack Plate 1Tonight’s snack plate had a distinctly retro feel so I thought I would share it with you!

Cheese and Date Bread

First up, we have some Cheese and Date Bread, courtesy of The A-Z of Cooking.  We have jumped somewhat forward here in that this recipe appears under G – Good Health, when technically we are only up to D – Drinks and Dips. And whilst Drinks and Dips are usually  good Friday fare, tonight it was something different.

Cheese and Date BreadI was intrigued by the idea of Cheese and Date Bread.  I really wasn’t sure how the sweetness of the dates would go with the rest of the ingredients.  These fears were completely unfounded.  And my bread looked just like real proper bread!

Cheese and Date Bread2
Cheese and Date Bread2

 If somewhat lopsided…

Cheese and Date Bread3
Cheese and Date Bread3

The bread is pretty good plain but if you want to take it to a whole new level?  Toast it up. 

Cheese and Date Bread4
Cheese and Date Bread4

 Cheese and Date Balls

Like I said, initially I was hesitant to make the Cheese and Date Bread.  What changed my mind was finding this  recipe for Cheese and Date Balls:

Epicurious – Cheese and Date Balls

Of course I made mini balls – because that’s how I roll. Also, I swapped out the lemon in the recipe above for a teeny splash of vermouth. 

Cheese and Date BallsMmmmm…blue cheese, walnuts and dates spread on toasted Date and Cheese Bread.  Life is good!

Cheese and Date Balls2
Cheese and Date Balls2

 But wait…there’s more. 

But first a little bit of disclosure.  I am actually trying something new tonight which is to cook (ok, assemble, I had actually cooked everything beforehand), photo, write, review and post all in the one night.  Normally this process can take WEEKS. I am also doing it whilst drinking a rather large martini which we will get to in due course.  So, if the end of this devolves into absolute gibberish, you know why and apologies in advance. 

Those olives you see on the plate?  Aren’t just any olives.  They are:

Martini Drenched Olives

Normally, you put your olive into a martini.  In this recipe, you put some martini into your olives!  This is so simple and really adds a new and different flavour to some otherwise ordinary olives. 

Martini Drenched Olives
Usually, you put a olive in your martini. This recipe adds a little martini into your olives!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups green olives (I used stuffed olives because I had them)
  2. 3 tbsp vodka
  3. 1 1/2 tbsp dry vermouth
  4. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp shredded lemon zest
  6. 8-10 cracked peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Rinse the olives under cold water and drain.
  2. Combine all the other ingredients.
  3. Place the olives in a bowl.
  4. Pour the other ingredients over.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour. (I kept mine in the fridge for nearly a week).
Adapted from Donna Hay
Adapted from Donna Hay
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 But you know what?  If your going to have some martini drenched olives, why not make also make a Drenched Dirty Martini.  It is Friday after all!

Drenched Dirty Martini2
Drenched Dirty Martini2

 The Drenched Dirty Martini is a dirty martini made with Drenched Martini Olives. 

Drenched Dirty Martini
A dirty martini with a twist!
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Ingredients
  1. Splash dry vermouth
  2. 90ml vodka
  3. 1 tbsp liquid from Martini Drenched Olives
  4. 2 Martini Drenched Olives
  5. Ice cubes
  6. Martini Glass
Instructions
  1. Swirl the vermouth in the glass and discard.
  2. Add the ice cubes.
  3. Combine the vodka and olive liquid. Add to glass.
  4. Add the Martini Drenched Olives
  5. Enjoy!
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Drenched Dirty Martini
Drenched Dirty Martini

 Have a great weekend!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2      PS – Love to hear your thoughts on the quick and dirty post.  I live in awe of the bloggers who manage to do something daily and would love to be able to increase my output.  Your feedback on me just banging something out like tonight v agonising over every comma is most appreciated! Thanks as always. xx

Brazo Di Gitano – The Gypsy’s Arm

Cross my palm with silver and I will tell you tales of magic and wonder.  Or just keep reading ‘cos I cooked something really good!

GypsyI see, in your future a little taste of Spain….because today in a final piece of birthday indulgence, I bring to you The Gypsy’s Arm…aka The Brazo Di Gitano.

And what you may ask is the Brazo Di Gitano?  Well remember back at Christmas when my family took against me for bringing a Potato Salad Roll  to our Christmas festivities?  I felt then that despite their negativity it was my duty to bring the PSR to the world.  This did not start well.  My St Patrick’s Day Corned Beef PSR was an mitigated disaster.  But redemption is at hand with The Gypsy’s Arm. 

I LOVE this recipe.  And yes, I am yelling at you because it’s that good. It’s like someone took every lovely taste of Spain and mixed it together and then wrapped it up in potato.  And mayo.

Gypsy's Arm
Gypsy’s Arm

 Why a Gypsy’s Arm?  I have no idea.  But when something tastes this good why question it?  I found the original version of this recipe in Anya Von Bremzen’s The New Spanish Table which I thought was an amazing book even before I discovered it had a potato salad roll.

New Spanish TableSo what’s so good about this recipe?  Well, potatoes and mayo…

 But also tuna, tomatoes, olives, capers, red onions and anchovies.  And to make things even better, I added some avocado to mine, hence the greenish tinge. 

Gypsy's Arm2The flavours of this dish took me right back to a trip to Barcelona a few years ago.  It really is Spain on a plate.  And so easy.

Make your mashed potato and spread out on a tray.

 Gypsy's Arm3I left mine a bit chunky so it was still a bit like a regular potato salad.  Then put your tuna filling on  top.  Spread to the edges.

Gypsy's Arm4Then, shake, rattle and roll!!!

Gypsy's Arm5Don’t worry if it cracks a little, or a lot, you can just press it together.  Plus you will shortly be adding your mayo (and avocado topping) so small cracks won’t matter.

Then, channel your inner Gaudi and decorate the outside of roll as you see fit. 

Gypsy's Arm7
Gypsy’s Arm7

 Trim the edges so you have a nice clean line before serving. 

Gypsy's Arm6Eat and transport yourself back to the streets of Barcelona…

Enjoy!

Barcelona Barcelona4 Barcelona Gaudi Barcelona1 Barcelona - Casa Batllo 4 Barcelona - Casa Batllo Barcelona3 Barcelona2Have a great week!  And there are only 2 days to go for the Birthday giveaway.  Subscribe or get one of your friends to subscribe to win a fabulous vintage cookbook.  Prize drawn on Monday!

 Recipe Card

Gypsy's Arm
A potato salad roll that transports you to Spain with every delicious bite.
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Ingredients
  1. 900g / 2 pounds medium-size Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
  2. 3 tablespoons milk
  3. 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
For the Roll
  1. 180g oil packed tuna, drained and flaked
  2. 1 medium-size tomato, finely chopped
  3. 1/3 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives, plus more for decorating the roll
  4. 6 to 7 piquillo peppers (from a can or jar),
  5. 8 to 10 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  6. 1 tbsp capers
  7. 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  8. 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  9. 6 sliced pickled jalapeno peppers(optional) plus more to garnish
For The Topping
  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1/2 avocado (optional)
  3. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  5. 1 large garlic clove, crushed with a garlic press
  6. Dash of tabasco (optional)
For The Decoration
  1. Sliced olives,
  2. Slices of Piquillo Pepper
  3. Anchovies
  4. Pickled Jalapenos
  5. Diced Tomatoes
Instructions
  1. Boil the potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes. Let potatoes cool and then peel.
  2. Combine in a bowl with milk and olive oil and mash until fairly smooth. Season with salt to taste.
  3. Cover a large baking sheet with waxed paper. Spread mashed potatoes onto waxed paper in a thin rectangle approximately 30cm x 15cm.
  4. Mix the tuna, tomato, olives, capers, red onions, piquillo peppers, and parsley together. Then spread this mixture over the mashed potato. Spread out to the edges as much as possible.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Starting at the long end, roll the potatoes up jelly-roll fashion, using the paper to shape the roll without catching the edge of the paper in it. When roll is finished, slide the paper out from under it. Pinch together any tears in the potato roll.
  7. Combine mayonnaise, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to mix and season with salt to taste. Spread the mayonnaise mixture all over the roll and decorate with piquillo peppers, anchovies,tomatoes, capers and olive slices. Place the roll in the refrigerator to chill for 2 to 3 hours. To serve, cut the roll into thick slices.
  8. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You can vary the ingrendients to suit your taste. Love anchovies? Add some to the filling. Hate 'em? Leave them out altogether!
Adapted from Taryn Fryer
Adapted from Taryn Fryer
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
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Rocking The Casbah – The Food Of Morocco

The selection for March and April over  at The Cookbook Guru was The Food Of Morocco by Paula Wolfert which really fits in with my explorations into Middle Eastern Food via Persiana and MENA.

 First, the book is ENORMOUS!!!! If you dropped this on your foot, you would be in serious danger of breaking a toe.  Or two. It was really quite difficult to choose the recipes to try, there were so many and so many that sounded delicious.

Second, it is beautiful – not just the recipes, the photography, the writing, everything about it is lovely. I would love to have this in my own collection as it is so well curated and contains so much of interest but sadly, it is quite expensive so, at the moment is just on the wishlist!

I have been sick for nearly a week now so I have left my run here a little late.  Thankfully the anti-biotics have started to kick in and hopefully I can get this post out whilst it is still April somewhere in the world.

I have made four things from this book and whilst I would have loved to have a post for each, for the sake of brevity, I’m putting them all together so I can get something out before Christmas!!!  I have also not included any recipes as that would have taken even more time but, if you like the look of anything let me know and I can send ’em through!

THE FOOD OF MOROCCO // BRIK WITH TUNA, CAPERS AND EGGS

I was not familiar with the brik, (pronounced breek) which is a Moroccan snack consisting of a very thin pastry called warqa wrapped around various fillings, one of which is this delicious but to me, uncommon, combination of tuna and egg. 

Not surprisingly there was no warqa pastry at the local supermarket and because I was running so late on this, I could not shop for it so I used the much more readily available filo pastry for my briks.  You can apparently also use spring roll wrappers, or if really brave, make your own warqa pastry.

So first up you saute up some onions, then add your tuna, capers, parsley and some parmesan cheese.  And yup, this mix just on it’s own tastes AMAZING. I’m surprised there was any left to make the briks. Personally, I blame the hosts of reality tv cooking shows for constantly telling people to taste their food during cooking!

Then you make place the tuna mix on the pastry but make a little hole to hold the eggs.  I don’t think it matters if it spills over a little like mine did.

Tuna Brik
Tuna Brik

Then you quickly seal this up and drop it into some hot oil to fry up – the idea being you want your pastry crispy and your egg still a little bit runny.

So, did I cook the perfect runny egg brik?

Sadly, no.  My egg was cooked through. 🙁

This was not all bad though, it certainly made it easier to take the remainder for lunch the next day.  And OMG, so tasty.  I’ll definitely be trying this again and trying to nail that runny egg.

Tuna Brik
Tuna Brik

 THE FOOD OF MOROCCO //POTATO TAGINE WITH OLIVES AND HARISSA

This tasted as good as it looks.  And one for my vegan friends!!!  The colours are so beautiful and the flavours blend together beautifully!

Potato Tagine With Olives and Harissa
Potato Tagine With Olives and Harissa

 THE FOOD OF MOROCCO // THE BIRD THAT FLEW AWAY

This a lovely chickpea dish with a delightful name.  Paula Wolfert explains that is it a “plat de pauvre” (a dish for the poor) that is made when you can’t afford to buy a chicken.  It’s so good I think I would eat it regardless of whether I had a chicken or not!

The Bird That Flew Away2
The Bird That Flew Away2

 THE FOOD OF MOROCCO INSPIRED // ARTICHOKE SALAD WITH ORANGE, LEAFY GREENS AND DATES.

A Spanish restaurant I am very fond of does a salad with oranges, artichokes and dates which is To. Die. For.  In order to recreate it’s flavour, I used Paula Wolfert’s Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad and added artichokes and some lemon and olive oil in the dressing.  I think it worked really well and I loved the hint of orange flower water.  It was not exactly my restaurant salad but it was pretty close. And look at how pretty it is! 

Artichoke, Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad
Artichoke, Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad

 This was an amazing book and I am so glad that The Cookbook Guru drew it to my attention.  The next few months we will be cooking from a book by a true legend of Australian Cooking, Margaret Fulton.  I can’t wait.  And I promise to be a bit more timely!

Have a great week!

 

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