by cookbookarabia

Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

Beans & veggies

In Chickpeas, Pugliese kitchen, Southern European kitchen on December 29, 2010 at 4:43 pm

As often we tend to get an addiction when back from a foodie destination. So recently we made a Puglia feature for Dutch women’s magazine VIVA and we should share one of the recipes here. It just shows how poor kitchens can give so much satisfaction. So whenever it’s cold and you’re hungry, a plate of this farmers food will warm your stomach and satisfy your soul. At least that’s what it does to us. And this chickpea puree, does it remind us of something? did someone say hummus?

Chickpeas with endive and olive oil
Serves 4

800 g canned chickpeas ** (or 400 g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in advance in plenty of water …. much better!)
endives or scarola or another green leave vegetable from the bitter endive family.
anchovy fillets in oil
olive oil

Cook the chickpeas in a small amount of water during 5 minutes (if you’re using fresh chickpeas, boil them in plenty of water for about 45 minutes until tender: of course this is much nicer than the canned friends). Cut the endive coarsely. Heat a little oil with lots of chopped garlic and add to taste quite a few anchovy fillets. Allow to simmer 2-3 minutes, add the endive. Stir fry until the endive is almost completely wilted. Mash the chickpeas with a little cooking liquid, salt and a generous dash of olive oil until a thick puree. Serve with some more olive oil  and next to it, the endives!

Image courtesy Sven Benjamins.


Olives & more from Puglia

In Olives, Pugliese kitchen, Southern European kitchen on December 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

Last week we were in beautiful Puglia in the south of Italy, for a very special occasion: Qoco : a young chef’s competition about the special Pugliese olive oil, made from the Coratina olive variety, and we were members of the jury. We got out of the plane, in the bus, and we saw olive trees, olive trees, olive trees and more…olive trees!

A beautiful countrysite rustic and pure.

Antonella Millarte, our Pugliese olive oil expert told us there are 60 million olive trees in Puglia! One for every Italian.

There were some chef’s from Italy and some more from nordic countries, as far up as the talented Magnus Nilsson’s Faviken, in the north of Sweden. We brought along Wally Bosman, chef at our Amsterdam favorite Toscanini restaurant (look how he’s enjoying the olives in the above picture), who made some nice dishes (with chickpeas, raw mackerel and orzo) but it was Magnus who deserved to win! But aside from these wonderful dishes the chefs presented with the high quality extra vergine Coratina olive oil –which is an oil that is often still stone crushed, temperature not higher than 27°C and has therefore and also due to the Coratina variety high levels of antioxidants and a very pure taste of green tomatoes and artichokes
we discovered something very very interesting! Not only was everyone telling us Puglia still has Arabic influence in their food, but we could taste it, like everywhere! Mashed up chickpeas like hummus, with cooked bitter vegetables (like endives) and other indigenous bean vegetables dishes, lentils, in combination with fresh cheeses (like the burrata), the typical sweets all was pointing in the same direction. And even the ancient olive trees, as they came to Puglia from Greece and Syria. We’ll be back soon in Puglia for our next book.

Souk el Tayeb meets Arabia

In Israelian kitchen, Lebanese kitchen, Middle Eastern kitchen, Palestinian kitchen, Turkish kitchen, Za'atar on December 1, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Now here’s some pictures of our wonderful dinner at Proef! First let’s start with the menu, by Kamal Mouzawak and us.

Arabia’s Pistachiospread & Pumpkinhummous & cauliflower couscous (see previous post)

Hommos & labne

Tabbouleh – the parsley burghul salad with lots of lemon juice

Fattoush – the fresh salad with mint, parsley romaine lettuce, crispy golden flatbread and pomegranate molasses

Manaiish za’atar – little pizza (manoushe) with za’atar

Salatet el rahebb – Roasted aubergine  with tomato and spring onion

Frikeh with wild herbs – traditional soaked briefly cooked frikeh mixed with rosemary, tym and oregano: our version.

Arabia’s  yufka rolls with garlic yoghurt and hot paprika oil.

Arabia’s pistachio custard

Sfouf b debs – Lebanese cake with carob

Kamal arrived on sunday with Christine, his business partner in Souk el Tayeb and Magyu, who owns our favorite little fish restaurant on the rocks in Batroun on the seaside. A lovely brunch was waiting for them…of course this time with Dutch delicacies and some good friends who went with us to Lebanon, of course including Marije Vogelzang from Proef. We were very happy cause another good friend specially arrived for the occasion of the dinner; Shir from the Tel Aviv farmers market. After an afternoon filled with food, stories and laughter we were ready for the real work the next day.

But…not without starting the day with warm apple pie at one of the oldest café’s in Amsterdam Café Papeneiland. From eleven on it was cooking time at Proef! As we are now used to cooking together, we did so many times in Lebanon, it was a pleasant morning and afternoon, with a nice lunchbreak at The Bakkerswinkel, and everything done in time. Of course Magyu was in charge of the aubergine salad, but she took the advantage of doing the pomegranate dressing for the fattouche, which was basically the pomegranate molasses, some garlic, salt and olive oil mixed together. Lotte was back in the kitchen too, sometimes almost in funny despair cause Kamal was telling her to squeeze the lemons like this, and then Magyu said oh no, you have to do it like this…which was of course the complete other way round. That’s what we call the Lebanese way…your own way.  But we were all proud when everything was looking so fresh and appetizing all set and done on the tables. Waiting for hungry forks. And then the evening came, people sat at the tables, laughing, eating, drinking and enjoying every bite (so they told us all the time). And we were the happiest people on earth, sharing friendship and good food!