It was so good to be back with my cooking group this week. To see their dear faces, hear their crazy stories, and join in with everyone jolly and bustling in the kitchen whipping up delectable Mediterranean fare.
With glasses of red wine at hand, we churned out one dish after another. Darren made creamy regular hummus and roasted red pepper hummus, now known collectively as “The Best Hummus In The Whole World.” NOTE: This must be said with great exuberance and enthusiasm, preferably with arms flung wide.
Selwyn made a sprightly tapenade that went beautifully with the hummus.
I made white bean crostini: white beans pureed with garlic, onion, rosemary and olive oil topped with sea salt and spread on blue cheese jalapeno bread rubbed with garlic.
Jenny made one of the best Greek salads I’ve ever had! Filled with all the usual red onion, cucumber, tomato and feta, she worked her magic and added dill and who knows what all to make it special.
Toby made his own witches brew couscous adding a little of this and a little of that until he had a savory, spiced dish that was a perfect foil for the main entree.
Jon had slow-cooked a leg of lamb in all manner of deliciousness for 12 hours. The result was a heavenly scented, cut-with-your-finger-tender meat that we piled on Deb’s gluten-free pitas and topped with Jon’s cool tzatziki.
We ended things with Don’s amazing and killer Lemon Drop Martinis, perfectly sour with a sugared rim. Twas a grand evening. 🙂
Jenny’s Cucumber and Feta Salad
(Adapted from David Lebovitz’s blog and Joanne Weir’s From Tapas to Meze)
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced into pea-sized pieces
8 ounces feta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
freshly ground black pepper
1 small red onion, peeled and finely-diced
1 tablespoon (each) chopped fresh mint, parsley and fresh dill
- Put cucumber in bowl, mix with bit of salt, and let drain 30 minutes to an hour, shaking the colander from time to time.
- Crumble the feta into a bowl and smoosh with olive oil, lemon juice, water, and a bit of black pepper.
- Fold in cucumbers, onions, and herbs. Taste for seasonings and serve.
Krista’s White Bean Crostini
1 bag white beans, cooked or 2 cans
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 onion, grated
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper
One baguette, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, halved
- Add beans and cooking liquid to pan with garlic, onion, and rosemary. Bring to boil and simmer for ten minutes.
- Drain and cool.
- Place in food processor and add 1/4 or more olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste. Whir until smooth.
- Toast baguette slices and rub with garlic. Top with bean spread and sprinkle with sea salt.
Jon’s Leg of Lamb
Place Boneless Leg of Lamb into crock pot.
Add in a handful of fresh mint leaves, a heaping teaspoon of Oregano, a couple pinches of sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.
Pour approximately 1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar into pot.
Chop 1 onion and add to pot.
Fill with water to just cover meat.
Let it marinade overnight, then cook whilst at work the next day.
1 cup greek yogurt
1 cup sour cream
4 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dill
pinch of salt and pepper
2 cucumbers, peeled and finely diced
1 tbs white balsamic vinegar
- Combine yogurt and sour cream in one dish, and all the other ingredients in another. Stir each, combine, and chill for two hours.