Tender garlicky eggplant cooked alongside lemon and bay leaf makes for a lovely plant-based alternative to the more usual fish or chicken. I like to colour them in a pan before finishing off in the oven to ensure the eggplant is meltingly soft. Leave the bay leaves out if you can’t source fresh ones as dried won’t be the same here. If you’re a fried-cheese fan, you could add cubes of haloumi along with the eggplant.
Recipe Category: Emma Galloway Issue 198
This fresh herb-centric salad is perfect eaten as is or served alongside your favourite protein. Add a little crumbling of feta if you like a little extra salt and creaminess.
Cheese and tomato is one of the finest pairings ever. Here I’ve upped the ante a little by wrapping the haloumi in vine leaves before baking until soft. You can find vine leaves preserved in brine at specialty food stores or online (make dolmades with any leftovers). To use fresh vine leaves, choose only new-season, fresh leaves as older ones are too tough. To prepare, trim the stalks off and cook in boiling water for 5 minutes before draining and rinsing in cold water. Dried oregano can be used in place of the fresh oregano in the salad if that’s what you have, oregano being the one herb I find is just as good dried as fresh.
Cauliflower makes a lovely stand-in for the traditional potato in my take on a Greek skordalia. Dried butter beans (sometimes called lima beans) aren’t that easy to come by here in New Zealand, so use tinned if not available.
Although buckwheat is not an overly common ingredient in Greek food, it acts as the perfect high-protein base for this lemon and herb-kissed salad. You’ll find whole raw buckwheat at selected supermarkets or health-food stores.
For salads like this, where you don’t want excess moisture, I like to scrape the seeds from the cucumber using a teaspoon first. It might seem pedantic but it’s well worth the extra few minutes of prep, and I simply eat the scraped seeds as a little pre-meal snack, so there’s no food waste either.