Wonderful food at Honey & Co, Fitzrovia

IMG_1760.JPG

I’ve wanted to go to Honey & Co, a small all day restaurant on Warren Street, run by a seriously passionate couple, for ages now. It’s difficult to get a table, so book ahead.

IMG_1762.JPG

I went here with my friend Daisy on a Friday night and the small space was filled to the brim with guests and staff. The atmosphere was nice and busy without being too loud.

We started our meal with three different types of mezze as they all sounded so nice! My favourite was the poached quince with curd cheese and hazelnuts (top), the flavour combination was just fantastic. The citrus and tomato salad with za’atar (above) was also nice, but not as amazing.

IMG_1764.JPG

The hummus with fried mushrooms, crispy onions and pitta was one of the best hummuses I’ve ever eaten. The mushrooms worked so well with it, I feel the urge to instantly copy it at home.

IMG_1766.JPG

The mezzes were all really big, so three was too mush for two people but we really wanted to try them all so ate as much as we could.

We decided to share two main courses as well. The barbecued aubergine with tahini crust and jewelled rice salad (above) was just amazing.

IMG_1769.JPG

And the slow-cooked duck with clementines and apricots baked in kadaif pastry was tasted like nothing I’ve ever tried before. It was a little sweet and a little sour and just full of flavour. The meat was very tender and rich and the crispy pastry was a nice contrast.

Apart from the bad lighting (too white for an evening), I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner here. The service could have been a little more switched on, but they did a decent job and besides the amazing food makes up for everything else.

Honey & Co, 25A Warren St, London W1T 5LZ

Feta and pistachio dip

IMG_8643

Surprisingly I have actually managed to cook a little this summer, but only little and nothing too advanced. One thing I threw together was this easy feta and pistachio dip that went down a treat. The recipe is from the fabulous cookbook Persiana.

I also made some homemade flatbreads to scoop up the lovely dip with. Super easy and tasty – summer food at its best. 

Feta and pistachio dip, serves 

Recipe from Persiana

100 g shelled pistachios

75 ml olive oil

300 g feta cheese

1 handful dill, chopped

2 handfuls coriander, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 röd chilli, chopped

3 tbsp Greek yoghurt

zest from 1 lemon, juice from 1/2 lemon

sea salt to taste

Mix nuts and oil in a food processor for 30 seconds. Add feta, herbs, garlic, chilli, yoghurt and lemon zest and juice and mix for another minute. Season to taste with sea salt and serve.

 

 

Mezze: Baked aubergine with pomegranate and stuffed courgettes

As always when I go on holiday, i filled my bags with groceries when I was on my way home from Syria. Soon thereafter I bought the fabulous cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi and he uses alot of the things I brought back in his recipes. Perfect or what?!

These two recipes from Plenty don’t require any strange ingredients though, and I highly recommend you trying them. I utterly adored the aubergine dish, but my boyfriend fell in love with the courgettes. I have followed the recipes, but have veganised them where needed. You find the stuffed courgette recipe here in which I omitted the currants. It is from Ottolenghi’s culumn The New Vegetarian on the Guardian’s website, where many of the recipes in Plenty are from.

And below you find my adapted recipe for the baked aubergines with pomegranate.

Baked aubergine with pomegranate, serves 4 or 6 as a buffet

2 medium aubergines

olive oil

thyme

150 ml soy cream

1 garlic clove

juice from 1/2 lemon

salt

pepper

pomegranate seeds

Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and place them skin down in a greased roasting tray. Cut a diaond pattern in the flesh with a knife, being carfel not to pierce the skin. Brush with olive oil a few times, so it gets soaked up by the aubergine. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and a few thyme sprigs. Add salt and pepper. Bake in 200C for 40 minutes. Leave to cool completely.

Mix the soy cream wuth garlic, lemon, salt and pepper. Pour it over the aubergines just before serving and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Mezze: Hummus, chilli dip and flatbread

I have grouped the recipes from Friday’s dinner, so this is the first lot.

When eating mezze it is a must to have a few dips for the bread. The most common one is of course hummus, and here is my version:

Hummus, serves 6 as mezze

1 can chickpeas (400 g)

a splash of water

olive oil

2 tbsp tahini

2-3 tbsp lemon juice

salt

white pepper

1/2 clove garlic

Pour lemon juice, tahini, water and drained chickpeas into a food processor (or use a stick blender) and add some oil. Mix and add oil as you go until the hummus has the desired texture. Season to taste with lemon, garlic, salt, pepper and tahini. 

The next dip is almost as common as hummus in the Middle East, but less known here. The proper version is the one I made with ground almonds, but sometimes you can get a cheaper version were the almonds are substituted by breadcrumbs. We learned the rule in Syria, that if you get the almond-version in a restaurant it is a good restaurant, and if you get the bastard-version then of course, it is not as good.

Muhammara, serves 6 as mezze

120 ml ground almonds (or breadcrumbs)

2-4 garlic cloves

1/2 small onion, finely chopped or 1 tsp onion powder

spicy pepper purée (mine is from Syria, but a combination of sambal oelek and pickled peppers will probably work)

70 ml tahini

70 ml pomegranate molasses

salt

ground cumin

aleppo/cayenne pepper if more heat is required

60 ml olive oil

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with cumin and salt. The dip should have she same texture as hummus so adjust accordingly.

Flatbread is another must when it comes to mezze, and the homemade version is miles  better than the storebought option. This recipe is from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage Everyday and it is incredibly easy to make. We had a few leftover and I can happily tell you that they were just as good the next day.

Flatbread, makes 8

250 g plain flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil/ rapeseed oil

150 ml varm water

Pour the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the oil to the water and pour it into the bowl while stiring with a wooden spoon/fork. Mix thorougly and knead with your hands for a few minutes. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Divide it into eight pieces. Roll each piece flat with a rolling bin with plenty of flour. Heat up a dry frying pan on high heat, then lower to medium heat before cooking each bread for a few minutes on each side.