Labneh, also known as Laban, which means yogurt in Arabic, is a traditional food in the Middle East. It can also be served on its own as an appetizer – sprinkled with some olive oil and herbs and accompanied by some pita bread – a real delight!
Here is a recipe to prepare your own cured olives. It only works with freshly harvested olives. You can’t obtain fresh ones? Then you might want to take a look at this recipe, so you buy the right variety for your Mediterranean dishes.
It’s one of the most popular dishes in a Spanish tapas bar, Russian Potato Salad. During the Franco dictatorship the word Russia was “prohibido” hence the dish was called – in public only – Ensalada Nacional. As part of a tapas dish tuna (canned or small shrimps are added as well as sliced hard boiled eggs as garnish. I love Ensalada Rusa also as a side dish without tuna.
I am quite a fan of corn fritters. They herald the summer with their sunny color. They are easy to make and always a winner at BBQs. The good news is that you do not need to wait for the summer season to have them. When using canned corn, run them briefly under water and drain. Frozen corn needs only to be thawed.
Here is the recipe for the traditional black Tapenade, the most common one used in the Provence. Use it as a spread for hors-d’oeuvres or to season meats and fish. Tapenade can be kept in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Ripe figs are naturally sweet and do not need a lot of embellishments. For a dessert dish like this one, you can bake the figs and add a bit of honey, cinnamon and serve it with a Faiselle or some Greek strained yogurt. When buying figs in season pick the ones which are firm, especially if you are planning to bake them.
Grilled slices of halloumi combined with a few roasted vegetables and tzatziki give this wrap an incredible ﬂavor that is hard to beat. Halloumi is my favorite grilling cheese. It softens rather than melts.
Cacik or yogurt with cucumbers and herbs, is a Turkish favorite. Its versatility and easy preparation makes it a perfect companion for grilled meats and roasted vegetables. It can be enjoyed before or during a meal in place of a salad. It is a cooling dip that can be eaten alone or with pita bread on the side as part of a meze.
Ensalada de Huevos Duros y Pimenton is a traditional Tapas dish from Spain. Tapas are certainly Spain’s best food invention, real soul food. Simple ingredients presented with flair, especially appealing in warm weather.
The red peppers gain in flavor when served at room temperature. The substantial amount of garlic and parsley in the vinaigrette, make this salad particularly tasty.
Tomates à l’Antiboise, a well known dish from Antibes on the Côte d’Azur. Really easy to make. Best of all, you can prepare them a day in advance. They can also be part of a tapas selection. But I would use small tomatoes (not cherry tomatoes) and just 1 tomato per tapas dish.
A savory custard that can be served any way you like it, with fruits for an impromtu brunch, lunch with a salad and cold meats or as a side dish to an elegant dinner.
An easy side dish, appropriate for many occasions.
Spring in the Provence, mounds of white asparagus deck the stalls of weekly green markets. They are often referred as “the vegetable of the kings”, rated far superior as their green counterparts. Unlike green asparagus, white ones need to be peeled to remove the bitter skin before cooking.
Funghi alla Toscana is incredibly popular in Italy. This recipe uses different types of mushrooms many of them not readily available in US. Not to worry, pick ones available at your market. Do not use frozen ones or dried. Freshness is the key to the flavor. Excellent pairing for meats, fish and egg dishes.
A tasty and versatile recipe for an appetizer, light lunch or as a side dish to your preferred meat or roasted veggies.