Broccoli and string beans with optional sardines 

Ingredients:

One bunch green string beans 

1/2 bunch broccoli including stems chopped

3 garlic cloves minced

1/4 cup crushed tomato and sauce

2 sprigs fresh oregano 

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp turmeric powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1 can sardines in water drained (optional)

Method

Bring a large pot of water half full to a boil, add the broccoli and the string beans, allow to steam. Drain the water after 5 minutes and turn heat down to low, add remaining ingredients except sardines, mix well and let cook another 5 minutes. Plate the dish and serve with sardines on the side as an option. Other ideas for serving add more olive oil, hot peppers, serve with rustic bread, rice etc.

Have a fun summer and stay healthy

Jim

   
 

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Turlou Turlou (mixed up vegetables)

This is a summer dish, but because of the winter we’re having so far I think I need a taste of summer. Turlou turlou means “all mixed up” in Greek. This resembles a vegetable casserole, similar to Briami or French Ratatouille, or even a Sicilian Caponata. Moms version is done in a pot on the stovetop instead of the oven. Even though my father was a hunter and liked his wild game this happened to be one of my dads favourite meals. I use cilantro here but flat leaf parsley is more common. You can omit the beans if you cannot find them, also I use a chilli for some heat and squash but again it’s not that traditional. Classic Mediterranean Diet food, (olive oil, veggies, tomato, herbs). This is a very healthy meal as a meal in itself or a side or appetizer for fish, chicken, rice, pasta or even a salad of mixed bitter greens. Allow the eggplant to be the star here… should be the most important vegetable in Turlou Turlou. Okra, sweet potato, cauliflower and a few other veggies would all work but I’ve personally never tried them. Have fun a please comment. Thank you.

Ingredients

2 zucchini
1 large eggplant
2 tomatoes
1 small butternut squash
2 red or orange bell peppers or combo
2 large carrots
2 small potatoes
1/2 cup large frozen Lima beans
1 onion chopped
12 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
Pinch of sugar
Olive oil
Handful chopped cilantro leaves
3-4 fresh basil leaves torn
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 birds eye chilli smashed (optional)

Instructions

Wash all the veggies (tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, carrot, peppers, squash, potatoes) and chop into 1″ cubes but DO NOT peel the skin off any vegetables. Set aside cubed veggies in a large bowl tossed with a couple big pinches of sea salt and a couple glugs of olive oil. Using your hands mix everything together until well coated in oil. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, add the a coating of oil and begin to fry the onions and half of the garlic. Toss in half the veggies and begin to gently stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes until all the veggies have had a chance to touch the bottom of pot and are well coated in the hot oil-onions-garlic. Add in the remaining veggies and keep stirring gently for a few more minutes, now add the remaining garlic, sugar, tomato paste, oregano and chilli pepper if using. Lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot and allow to steam for about 15-20 minutes. Uncover pot and mix the veggies, add the herbs and using a fork pierce a bean, potato or squash to make sure that they have softened to your liking. Turn off the heat and if mixture is too dry mix in a little water, taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. If you want it to be oily, add more raw extra virgin olive oil or to preferred individual serving plates and garnish with more herbs.

You will not be disappointed with the sweetness of this wonderful food. Serve hot or cold or even at room temperature, cut up a bunch of crusty bread and let people at a party help themselves to some turlou turlou. Other serving suggestions that will compliment include cheese plates, crackers, smoked fish. Alternatively you can take leftovers and purée in a processor and there you have it: “veggie dip”

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Gigantes Plaki (baked Greek giant beans)

This dish is usually eaten as an appetizer, with crusty bread, I do recommend a red wine with a lot of body and soft tannins.

Ingredients

400g dried Gigantes beans or large Lima beans
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 french shallot, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup passata tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Greek dried oregano

When beans are cooked add
1 tsp fresh dill weed
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
1 tsp sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Feta cheese (optional)

Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water unless the beans package does not recommend it. Drain, rinse, then place in a pan covered with 2″ of water. Bring to the boil, boil vigorously for 5 minutes, drain water and fill pot with new cold water and bring to a boil again, reduce the heat, then simmer for approx 50 mins until slightly tender but not soft. Drain, then set aside.
Heat oven to 350. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, tip in the shallots and garlic, then cook over a medium heat for 2 mins, add the passata and cook for a further min, add remaining ingredients, then simmer for 2-3 mins. Stir in the beans. Tip beans into a large ovenproof dish, then bake for approximately 30 minutes uncovered until the beans are fork tender. The beans sauce will thicken, if sauce is too thick loosen with some water. Check beans for tenderness and take out of oven, then scatter with parsley, dill, salt and pepper and drizzle with a couple more glugs of olive oil to serve.

Serve with Feta cheese, more parsley and really good extra virgin olive oil, with crusty bread as an appetizer or side dish.

Please note: there are certain beans that do not need soaking, read directions on package.

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Gigantes Plaki (baked Greek giant beans)

This dish is usually eaten as an appetizer, with crusty bread, I do recommend a red wine with a lot of body and soft tannins

Ingredients

400g dried Gigantes beans or large Lima beans
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 french shallot, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup passata tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Greek dried oregano

When beans are cooked add
1 tsp fresh dill weed
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
1 tsp sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Feta cheese (optional)

Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain, rinse, then place in a pan covered with 2″ of water. Bring to the boil, boil vigorously for 5 minutes, drain water and fill pot with new cold water and bring to a boil again, reduce the heat, then simmer for approx 50 mins until slightly tender but not soft. Drain, then set aside.
Heat oven to 350. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, tip in the shallots and garlic, then cook over a medium heat for 2 mins, add the passata and cook for a further min, add remaining ingredients, then simmer for 2-3 mins. Stir in the beans. Tip beans into a large ovenproof dish, then bake for approximately 30 minutes uncovered until the beans are fork tender. The beans sauce will thicken. Check beans for tenderness and take out of oven, then scatter with parsley, dill, salt and pepper and drizzle with a couple more glugs of olive oil to serve.

Serve with Feta cheese, more parsley and really good extra virgin olive oil, with crusty bread as an appetizer or side dish.

Please note: there are certain beans that do not need soaking, read directions on package.

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