I’ve been out of action in the kitchen for a little while as I’ve been ill, away on vacation and at the moment I’m in recovery mode from abdominal surgery. Yesterday was the first day that I was able to make it in the kitchen and cook, mainly because the husband was eating out and I had to fend for myself. Luckily for me I had a grocery delivery earlier in the day and had all my favourite ingredients to make baked smoked chipotle chilli marinated sheeps milk feta, with peperonata on bruschetta.
This dish is so simple to make and can be eaten at lunch or dinner, warm or cold, alone or in company, its a summery dish with all the right elements: salty, sweet, savoury, tart, creamy, bitter and spicy, I guess thats what’s called umami.
My favourite part of this dish is the feta, but it needs to be a pure sheep milk or a sheep and goats milk mix as I find that it has a sharper cleaner flavour than ones that contain cows milk. The creaminess of the feta next to the warm smokey heat of the chipotle chilli for me is like a marriage made in heaven and the sort of food that I can’t stop going back to and nibbling on while waiting for the rest of the elements of the dish to finish cooking.
To make this dish you will need the following
For the feta
1 x 250g block of sheep milk feta
2 large teaspoon of smoked chipotle chilli paste
For the bruschetta
slices of good quality fresh white bread
1 garlic clove
sprinkle of mixed herbs
For the peperonata
6 Ramiro peppers, deseeded and sliced
1 x large red onion, thinly sliced
2 x plum tomatoes, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Aged balsamic vinegar for dressing.
Heat the oven to 170c
Place the feta in a heat proof bowl, spread the chipotle chilli paste over the feta, and leave to marinate.
In a roasting tray place all the ingredients for the peperonata, give it a mix to ensure all the ingredients are seasoned and coated in the olive oil. Place in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.
When the pepronata has been in the oven for 35 minutes, give it a little stir and place the marinated feta in the oven as well and bake for 25 minutes.
Prepare the bruschetta by rubbing the bread with the garlic clove, place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and mixed herbs, and place in oven for 10 minutes or until golden.
Remove the peperonata, feta and bruschetta from the oven, assemble on the plate, dress with balsamic vinegar and serve.
Over the last week I’ve been feeling really sick with a cold resulting in me feeling really lethargic and irritable, everything I’ve eaten has not satisfied me in the slightest not even soup and being on a diet hasn’t helped much either.
I was determined that lunch today would be full of the things I love, the dish served was a delicious warm Lebanese spiced roasted butternut and sweet potato salad with beluga lentils and pomegranate. I was really pleased with the results as I could actually taste all the spicing and flavours for the first time in days, the road to discovery is definitely in sight. I guess eating bright vibrant food helps to rebuild the soul too.
Warm Lebanese spiced roasted butternut and sweet potato salad with beluga lentils and pomegranate
Prep 15 minutes
Cooking time 1hr
1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
1/4 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
2 romanesco peppers, cut in half
1 tbsp Lebanese spice blend ( equal quantities of ground: cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, all spice, coriander)
1 tbsp olive oil
1tsp sea salt
For the salad
1 small pomegranate, de-seeded + juice
10 on the vine cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 portion cucumber, chopped into small cubes
mixed lettuce leaves
125g ready to eat beluga lentils
1tsp olive oil
sea salt, to season
plack pepper, to season
Pre heat the oven to 180c
In a tray add all the ingredients for roasting except for the peppers, combine the ingredients and roast for 40 minutes.
While the sweet potatoes and butternut squash are roasting prepare the rest of the salad ingredients and combine in a bowl.
Oil the peppers and add to the roasting pan for 20minutes.
Remove the peppers, sweet potatoes and butternut squash from the oven after 20 minutes.
Peel the skin from the peppers and slice into strips, add the peppers, butternut squash and sweet potatoes to the rest of the salad ingredients, combine and serve.
A great addition to this dish would be toasted walnuts…… wish I thought of that before i ate it !