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Entries in feta (17)


broccoli and feta couscous salad

a new year and a renewed commitment to packed lunches – i expect this is not uncommon at the moment and this broccoli and feta couscous is a delicious, healthy starting point.

i used a mix of normal and giant couscous (mograbiah) and then it was all about adding flavour. i fried sliced red onions and cavolo nero with chilli and garlic over a low heat, until the onions had started to caramelise and the cavolo had turned a very dark colour. broccoli was boiled and chopped into small pieces. feta was crumbled. this was all mixed with the couscous plus the juice and zest of a lemon and some herbs (mint and flat leaf parsley). i had intended to add toasted pine nuts but forgot – never mind, it tasted delicious nonetheless.


nigel’s top ten – potato pancakes with dill and yoghurt sauce


these little cheesey potato cakes are served with a herby yoghurt and described by nigel slater as “a vegetarian answer to the fishcake” which, as you can see, was not how i viewed them.

the grated potatoes are mixed with crumbled feta, grated carrot and dill plus egg to bind. this felt a bit austere as a meal  so i decided to do them as a breakfast, with smoked salmon to add a bit of luxury.

so, how did i get on?

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prawn, fennel and feta tagliatelle

i recently saw an ottolenghi recipe for a prawn, feta and fennel dish and given it also featured oregano, my herbal nemesis at the moment, was instantly intrigued!

the original recipe really ramps up the fennel flavour with pernod and tarragon which i decided not to add, but i did like all the lemoniness that it had – zest, juice and sumac (a berry which is dried, powdered and has a lemon flavour). instead of serving this as a starter i did it over pasta, which means i can share it with theresa of the food hunter’s guide who is hosting this week’s presto pasta nights.

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couscous with feta and butternut squash

each week david and i try and sort out packed lunches that we can be guaranteed of something healthy and delicious to eat without having to spend too much cash. neither or us are fond of bread and i don’t have any way to chill/heat mine so whatever we choose has to be quite flexible.

pilaf is a much-loved favourite (use the search function, there are several recipes on here worth trying) but this week i fancied something different and decided to use up a pack of couscous.

i was never keen on couscous until i realised that packing lots of flavour into the “stock” that rehydrates it is key – for 250g couscous i used a vegetable stock (check your couscous pack to see how much it needs as this can vary by brand etc) and then added the juice and zest of two lemons plus a heaped teaspoon of harissa paste (pesto would also be nice). once the couscous was ready i fluffed it up with a fork and mixed in cubes of roasted butternut squash, diced feta cheese, some leftover baby spinach leavea, a chopped preserved lemon plus a handful of both mint and flat leaf parsley. a heavy hand with the freshly ground black pepper was all that was needed to finish it off.

this is quite a stodgy lunch but just what you need when the weather is settling back into a chilly rut.


slow-roasted lamb with sassoun and roasted pumpkin salad


i can’t quite believe april is almost here. however, it does make (very clichéd) sense of the very strong cravings that i’ve been having for lamb.

i have a leg of lamb in the freezer which will make an appearance over easter but in the meantime i’ve returned to an old favourite – slow cooked neck of lamb. neck is a good value cut and if it is cooked long and slow it becomes meltingly tender.

i put the lamb, sliced onions and garlic into a foil parcel with rosemary, preserved lemon and a glug of white wine and then cooked it as noted here. this was served with roasted pumpkin and feta (pumpkin is tossed with olive oil, chilli flakes, salt & pepper before cooking, crumbled feta added for the final 10 mins of cooking) and sassoun.

i read about sassoun in a recent copy of cuisine and was instantly reminded of agresto, a zingy walnut-based paste  which i love. sassoun uses almonds in place of walnuts, and mixes them with anchovies, herbs, fennel and olive oil. it works wonderfully with lamb and i will definitely make this again but with one change from the original recipe – i’ll add some lemon zest, and possibly a bit of lemon juice, to lift the flavours so they are even more spring-like.

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