WHOLE WHEAT OLIVE CRACKERS

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
2-3 tablespoons chopped black olives or tapenade
 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (first four). Add the beaten egg, olive oil, water and chopped olives. Work the mixture into a dough ball. Add a little more water if the dough feels too dry. Knead for a few minutes.

Using a rolling pin, spread the dough a little over 1/8-inch thin on a lightly floured surface. Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut the crackers into desired shape.

Transfer the crackers to the prepared cookie sheet and bake them until crispy, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

 
Makes 50 crackers

EGYPTIAN RICE & LENTIL PILAF

This Koshari dish is a street food sold in large pots on stands or ambulant carts everywhere in Egypt. It is served in a bowl with a generous serving of spicy tomato sauce. It makes fantastic lunches that will keep hunger away for hours and hours. If you’ve ever had mujaddara, you’ll find this dish very similar.

Koshari reheats well, tasting fresh and bright for many days so feel free to make a large batch of this leftover-friendly food.

 
For the koshari
1 ½ cups green lentils, washed
1 cup long grain rice, washed and drained (I used instant brown)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces vermicelli noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
1 ¾ cups chicken stock or water
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 white onions, halved and thinly sliced
 
For the tomato sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 hot chilies, seeded and finely diced
8 ripe tomatoes, chopped
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Chopped cilantro leaves

 


 

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredient for the sauce except the cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro leaves.

Place the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with lots of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, until the lentils are cooked but still firm. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the vermicelli and fry them, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Add the rice and stir to coat it with butter. Add the water or stock, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the lid and turn off the heat. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat for 20 minutes, until dark brown. Transfer onto a paper towel to drain.

Add the lentils to the rice. Add most of the onions, reserving some for garnish. Toss to combine. Plate the kosheri in a bowl and top it with the remaining onions. Serve warm with the spicy tomato sauce.
 
Serves 4
 
Slightly adapted from Ottolenghi.

GLUTEN-FREE MARBLE CAKE

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup milk
1 cup coconut flour
½ cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon water

 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 9- to 10-inch Bundt pan.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the milk and mix again until well combined. Sift the coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, soda powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the wet mixture and mix well to combine.

Pour half of the batter in a separate bowl. Add the cocoa powder and water and whisk to combine. Transfer the batters to the prepared pan alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter. Bake until the cake is set and slightly browned, 30 to 32 minutes. Cool before unmolding.
 

Serves 6 to 8

PUMPKIN BUTTER

If upon tasting the pumpkin butter, it feels a little bit heavy on spices, don’t worry. The sharpness of the spices will mellow down after the butter sits in the fridge for a day or so. Just be patient with it.

2 (15-ounce) cans pure pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar

 


Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring very frequently, until the mixture is thicker and darker.

Let cool and store in airtight containers. Keep the pumpkin butter refrigerated–it is not safe to can it!

Makes 2 cups

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

pumpkin butter

PEACH YOGURT BRULEE

4 peaches, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon rose water

2 tablespoons water

2 cups Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar, divided
 


 
Place the peaches, cinnamon, and ginger in a saucepan. Add the rose water and water. Simmer until peaches are soft but still firm, 3 to 5 minutes.

Layer the peaches on the bottom of 6 ramekins.

Whisk together the yogurt, vanilla, and half of the sugar to obtain a homogenous mixture. Spoon enough yogurt on top of the peaches to fill the ramekins.

Sprinkle the surface of the yogurt with the rest of the sugar and cook under a broiler on high until the sugar is brown and crusty, 7 to 8 minutes.

Let cool then refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
 
Serves 6

GLUTEN-FREE NECTARINE CLAFOUTIS

3 nectarines

1 plum (for color – optional)

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup low fat milk

2 large whole eggs + 2 egg yolks

1/3 cup turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling the pan

3 tablespoons corn starch

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

 


 

Place the baking rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8 ½ -inch square or round pan and sprinkle it with turbinado sugar.

Cut the fruit into wedges. Arrange the fruit wedges in the prepared pan.

Blend the rest of the ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides with a spatula and blend for another 30 seconds until smooth.

Pour the custard over the fruit in the pan. Bake until set, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool completely on a cooling rack before cutting.

Enjoy at room temperature or chilled.

Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Serves 6

gluten-free nectarine clafoutis

SPINACH QUICHE

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 stick unsalted butter
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
8 ounces shredded Parmesan or gruyere
1 (9–inch) frozen deep-dish pie crust (preferably whole grain)
4 eggs
½ cup milk

 


 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in butter over medium heat, about 8 minutes. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Mix in the Feta and half the Parmesan and transfer into the piecrust.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and season with salt and pepper. Gently pour the milk and egg mixture on the quiche, poking little holes in the spinach with a fork to help the liquid penetrate.

Carefully transfer the quiche into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Top the quiche with the rest of the parmesan and bake for 30 minutes.
 

Serves 4

SAFFRON RED PEPPER PASTA

2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pinches saffron
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 (14-ounce) box of multi-grain spaghetti
4 ounces gruyère, freshly shredded
A handful chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

 


 

Place the red bell peppers and shallots in a medium saucepan. Season with salt, pepper, and saffron. Add the olive oil and sauté over medium heat, 4 minutes. Add the broth and simmer until the red bell peppers are very soft and the liquid reduced to half, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the yogurt. Blend on high in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain.

Add the pasta to the red pepper sauce and mix well. Plate, top with shredded gruyère and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serves 4

POMEGRANATE MOLASSES ICE CREAM

2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons honey
3 egg yolks
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon Cortas pomegranate molasses

 


 
Warm the cream and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat.

Energetically whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside and let cool until it becomes room temperature. (It’s important to let the custard cool completely before adding the pomegranate molasses to avoid curdling).

Whisk in the pomegranate molasses. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve topped with pomegranate arils or a shot of pomegranate molasses.
 

Serves 4

DECONSTRUCTED BAKLAVA CUPS

5 phyllo sheets
Cooking spray or melted butter

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pistachios
1 tablespoon unrefined brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespsoons warm honey
 


 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Cut the stack of phyllo sheets into circles the size of your serving glass. Place the circle stacks on the prepared cookie sheet. Spray the top of the phyllo circles with cooking spray or brush them with melted butter. Bake them until golden and crispy, 5 to 10 minutes. Take out of the oven.

Meanwhile, place the walnuts, pistachios, brown sugar, melted butter, orange blossom water (if using) and pumpkin spice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to mix and chop the ingredients.

Place half of the nut mixture in a glass, top it with half of the crispy phyllo circles, then the rest of the nut mixture and finally the rest of the phyllo.

Pour the warm honey over your stacked baklava. Enjoy lukewarm or at room temperature.
 
Makes 1 large cup. Serves 2.

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