Greek Influenced Scallop Salad with Lemon Dressing.
This is a very quick and tasty light meal. I was worried that the olives would overwhelm the dish so I only put a few in. It ended up working well. It had the tartness of the olives, the saltiness of the feta and the sourness of the lemon dressing. If you don’t like olives I suspect capers would be a nice alternative.
- Small Spinach Leaves
- Extra Light Olive Oil or Canola Oil
Chop feta, olives, avocado and add to a bowl with the spinach leaves.
Heat the oil in pan to a high temperature. Add garlic and scallops. Don’t cook the scallops too long, as soon as they loose their translucency and turn opaque they’re done. I normally cook until lightly seared on each side, turning once (around 5 mintues cooking).
Once the scallops are cooked place on top of the salad. Quickly add some lemon to the remaining oil and garlic, stir for 20 seconds then remove from heat. Pour a little on to the salad as a dressing.
This calzone was the second course for a dinner we hosted last week. Thomas had a day off work so he did all the cooking!
The calzone was made and assembled before-hand so all we had to do was pop it in the oven, which meant no running in and out of the kitchen and more time to sit and talk with friends (and drink wine!).
The bread was golden and crusty and the filling had a lovely tart taste due to a combination of olives and feta.
- 1 1/3 cups warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 tsps active yeast
- 4 cups ‘strong’ bread flour
- 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- extra flour (for kneading)
- extra olive oil
Prove the yeast by putting the warm water into a small bowl, dissolving the sugar into it and then adding the yeast. Leave in a warm place and the yeast should start bubbling and frothing within 5-10 minutes. If not – you need to start again with better yeast.
Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the olive oil and the yeast/water mixture. Mix to combine into a dough. Remove the dough and knead for five minutes on a flat, floured surface.
Put a dribble of olive oil into the bowl and coat the bottom and sides with it. Put in the kneaded ball of dough and move it around so it too has a fine coating of olive oil. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and leave in a warm place. It should rise to 2-3 times the size in an hour or two.
Optional – knead the dough again and then let it rise again.
Briefly reknead the dough and then divide into two. Roll/spin/press the first half into a flat sheet. Either flour or oil the tray/pizza-stone you’re going to cook it on and put the dough on it. Then it’s time to start adding ingredients.
Filling Ingredients (adjust to taste)
- 2 tbsp basil pesto
- 1 head broccoli – chopped into small florets
- 1 leek, chopped
- 2 large portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 100gms feta, crumbled
- 20 kalamata olives, pitted and cut into two
- 150gm roasted capsicum, chopped
- 100gms mozzarella, grated
- 50gms cheddar cheese, grated
Spread the pesto over the base. Add the rest of the ingredients in roughly the order given, finishing off with the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses on top.
Take the rest of the dough and roll/spin/press out into a second flat sheet and use it to cover the other one. It needs to go all the way to the sides so you can seal the calzone by pressing down on the edges.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp rosemary and/or oregano (fresh is best, dried is ok)
Coat the top with the olive oil. Sprinkle on the rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper.
Make three 5-10cm diagonal cuts in the top of the calzone. This lets steam escape while it’s cooking.
Put into a hot oven (220c) until done – approximately 20-30 minutes. Cooking time is fairly imprecise as it’s going to depend on the size and composition of the calzone. Towards the end of the cooking time you may wish to remove the calzone and tip it slightly – any excess liquid should drain out – return to the oven to finish.
Let cool for a few minutes and then cut into long slices (it looks more dramatic that way) and serve. (serves 5)
Asparagus and Feta Mousetraps
It’s another wintry Sunday afternoon here and I was all on my lonesome in our rather cold house (welcome to New Zealand). Time for comfort food like mousetraps with asparagus, served with a nice pot of tea.
We’ve featured mousetraps here before but I just wanted to point out that the addition of lumps of feta cheese under the cheddar makes a good thing even gooder.
The Dominion Sunday Times did a little survey of the commonly available types of cow’s milk feta today. They favoured the Zany Zeus variety followed by the Bouton d’Or. Unfortunately they didn’t cover my favourite budget feta from Mainland. It’s on the crumbly side of the family and is quite salty which makes it perfect for cooking.