Asparagus, Artichoke and Roast Pepper Salad with Feta, Olives and Parmesan

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So there are a few cheats in this one, but honestly one of the yummiest flavour combinations that will transform your mid week meals into something special! Super quick to make and packed with deliciousness!

  • 3 cups of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tub of marinated artichokes
  • 1 Roasted red pepper with skin removed
  • About 10 pitted black olives
  • 1 round of feta cheese
  • 2 cups of fresh green asparagus
  • Fresh Parmesan Shavings
  • Rocket leaves (Arugula) to garnish
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle
  • Balsamic Glaze to drizzle

Wash and drain the spinach leaves and arrange on a serving plate / dish and drizzle a teeny bit of balsamic glaze over to dress lightly.

Steam the asparagus for 5 -6 minutes and then add them to ice water to cool. Then remove and pat dry and season with salt and pepper and put aside.

Arrange the sliced roast pepper, olives, feta, artichokes and seasoned asparagus on top of the spinach leaves and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Top with parmesan shavings and rocket leaves and then drizzle the balsamic glaze over the top and serve.

Enjoy x

Home made flat bread with Chicken, peppers, hummus, feta and Tzatziki

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There’s nothing better than having a meal made for you with lots of love all wrapped up in it. I was on the receiving end of this a few months ago when a special friend made this for my family. It was ridiculously comforting and yummy! I have made it a few times since and have played around with the topping options as they are pretty much limitless, but this one is the Courtney Original and always the favourite of the varieties that I now make. Thanks Courts! Come and cook for me again!!

For the flat bread

  • 2 Cups of Self Raising Flour
  • 1 Cup of plain, natural greek double cream yoghurt
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to season

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Once a sticky dough is formed, turn out onto a floured surface and kneed until well combined. Add more flour if the dough stays too sticky. Tear dough off in ‘balls’ that are roughly 1 and a half times the size of a golf ball. Roll out and then dry fry on both sides until done. Set aside.

This makes about 5. You can double if making more.

For the topping 

  • 3 x Chicken breasts , diced into small squares
  • 1 large red pepper diced into small squares
  • Seasoning of your choice for the chicken (I used sweet sticky chicken spice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 2 – 3 rounds of feta cheese
  • Hummus
  • Tzatziki
  • Rocket (Arugula) for garnish

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the chicken and the seasoning and the red pepper into the frying pan and stir fry together until the chicken is just done.

Spread a layer of humus on the flatbread. Then top with the chicken mixture and then crumble the feta on top of the chicken mixture and then top with blobs of tzatziki and serve.

Serves: 4 to 5 people

Courtney’s special touches: 

You can add cubes of roast butternut and caramelised onions. DELISH!

 

 

 

 

Lentil ‘Tabbouleh’

Lentil Tabbouleh

This recipe is another winner from my cooking guru, Rene. I just love her food. Its always, always packed with fresh ingredients and full of amazing flavour and her ability to pair flavours together is remarkable! Sigh, I have such a long way to go!

Tabbouleh is a middle eastern salad that is usually made with bulgar or cous cous which you can totally substitute here for the lentils. I really like that this one has lentils as they are so much better for you and packed with protein.

Please adhere to the last step which is to let it sit  for at least 1 hour before serving as the flavours need to develop. Its well worth it! Its a great side to some baked fish or even chicken breasts or serve it as a salad at a braai. So yummy! Thanks Rene! xx

1 tin lentils, well rinsed and drained

3 cups flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped

1/2 pack Ina Paarman  sundried tomato quarters, chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 spring onions, finely chopped

125 ml olive oil (I used half of this to be a bit more ‘fat conscious and it worked perfectly, just halve the lemon juice as well if you are reducing the oil)

125 ml fresh lemon juice

2 discs feta cheese, crumbled

  • Place all ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Season to taste.
  • Mix gently and allow to stand for at least 1 hour before serving.

 

Recipe by Rene Kairuz

 

Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad

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I’ve seen a few recipes for watermelon salad and it made me quite curious! I made this one by Nigella the other night as a side dish to some Chicken thighs that I cooked with chinese 5 – spice and sweet chili sauce, sesame seeds and rice noodles.  It worked beautifully together. You may be hesitant to try black olives, feta and red onion with watermelon!! But it’s a fantastic combination 🙂  The little trick with soaking red onions in lime (or lemon juice) works brilliantly if you want to add red onion to any salad. I will use that trick for the rest of my life! 🙂

1 small red onion

4 limes

1.5 kilograms watermelon (sweet and ripe)

250 grams feta cheese

1 bunch fresh flatleaf parsley

1 bunch fresh mint (chopped)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

100 grams pitted black olives

black pepper

  • Peel and halve the red onion and cut into very fine half-moons and put in a small bowl to steep with the lime juice, to bring out the transparent pinkness in the onions and diminish their rasp. Two limes’ worth should do it, but you can find the fruits disappointingly dried up and barren when you cut them in half, in which case add more.
  • Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into approximately 4cm / 1½ inch triangular chunks, if that makes sense (maths is not my strong point). Cut the feta into similar sized pieces and put them both into a large, wide shallow bowl. Tear off sprigs of parsley so that it is used like a salad leaf, rather than a garnish, and add to the bowl along with the chopped mint.
  • Tip the now glowingly puce onions, along with their pink juices over the salad in the bowl, add the oil and olives, then using your hands toss the salad very gently so that the feta and melon don’t lose their shape. Add a good grinding of black pepper and taste to see whether the dressing needs more lime.

Recipe by Nigella

The photo is mine

Lindsay’s Rebellious Salad of Walnut, Avo, Feta and Bacon… and a whole lot of other ‘stuff’

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I once went on a diet that required me to eat salad (but the boring lettuce, tomato cucumber type things) day in and day out. When I stopped the diet I fiercely disliked salad. When people asked me to bring a salad to a braai I would secretly groan as I just couldn’t bring myself to look at a lettuce, let alone get creative with it. But then, in my rebellion to the ordinary salad, I created this guy. It became a hit at social events. It has a LOT of awesome goodies in it. But that’s what makes it!

Layer the salad in the following steps, starting from the bottom layer working your way up!  This makes enough for 8 – 10 people, so you can scale it down accordingly 🙂

1)    A mixture of butter lettuce and Crisp water lettuce and baby spinach – enough to cover your salad platter

2)    1/2 a cucumber, sliced

3)    a handful or two of baby carrots sliced in half lengthways

4)    a handful of cherry tomatoes – halved

5)    1/2 of each (Red, yellow and orange peppers) sliced  julienne

6)    1 packet of bacon chopped into small chunks– fried and cooled

7)    3 or 4 rounds of black pepper feta cheese crumbled

8)    1 packet of black, pitted (if possible) marinated olives

9)    2 Avos – cubed. or sliced

10)   1 packet of thinly sliced sundried tomatoes in vinaigrette

11)    100g raw walnuts

12)    1 packet of Woolies Salad nut and seed sprinkle (or any seed and nut salad sprinkle)

13)   Croutons or veggie chips to garnish

14 ) Balsamic glaze to finish it off.

 

Char-grilled Baby Butternut Salad with Lemon, Garlic, Feta and Mint

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I have been eyeing out these little baby butternuts for ages now and finally my curiosity got the better of me and I bought them. They are teeeeny tiny little butternuts. About the size of a small baby marrow. But once I had bought then, I didn’t have a clue what to do with them.

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I did a bit of research and came across Jane-Anne Hobbs’ Scrumptious blog. She has a recipe for them that really appealed to my flavour senses. I tried it, I loved it and I will make this again and again! It was amazing! And so great to find and try a new veggie that tastes and looks great on a plate! If you don’t have baby butternut you could substitute with baby marrows. I served this with some plain old ordinary baked fish fillets. I topped the fish with this salad and then gave it all another drizzle of the dressing that was left over and it worked amazingly well and elevated those boring old fillets to a much higher standard! But I can imagine it going well with anything really! Absolutely gorgeous flavours!

10 baby butternut squashes

Olive oil for rubbing

Juice of a lemon

For the dressing:

4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled

Juice of a large lemon (about 3 T; 45 ml)

130 ml fruity olive oil

a pinch of salt

freshly milled black pepper

3 T (45 ml) fresh, finely chopped mint

A dash of green Tabasco sauce

crumbled feta cheese

salt and freshly milled black pepper

–   Heat a ridged griddle pan on a hot plate for 7-10 minutes, or until very, very hot. Wash and wipe each little butternut squash well to remove any furry bits. Cut the squashes, lengthways into four ‘leaves’. Using your fingers, rub each slice, top and bottom, with a little olive oil.

–   Place the slices on the griddle, in batches, and cook until dark-gold lines appear on the underside, and the edges of each slice begin to darken. Add more olive oil, if necessary. Flip the slices over. When they are nicely striped on both sides, remove them from the pan and put aside on a plate. When all the slices have been browned, pile them back into the griddle pan, turn the heat down to medium-low, wait for a few minutes for the pan to cool slightly, and squeeze over the juice of one lemon, plus a tablespoon of water. Cover the griddle pan a saucepan lid of the right size. Leave the slices to steam gently until they are just cooked: that is, tender-crisp, but not raw, and certainly not mushy.

–   In the meantime, make the dressing. Finely chop the garlic, or smash it to pieces with a mortar and pestle. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, mint and bash it all together in the pestle and mortar until smooth and slightly creamy. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar you can blitz it in a small food processor. Let the mixture sit and infuse for ten minutes while you finish cooking the butternut slices.

–   Lift the cooked baby butternut slices from the pan, arrange on a big platter, drizzle the dressing over it and allow to cool for five minutes. Crumble the feta cheese over the salad, and set aside, at room temperature, for 20 minutes to an hour or two so the flavours can mingle.  Don’t put it in the fridge.

Serves 6

Original recipe by Jane-Anne Hobbs, slightly tweaked by me.

Photo courtesy of Jane-Anne Hobbs