I have quite a large cookbook collection in London (too big for my book case anyhow) so I have to keep some cookbooks in Sweden as well. The ones with easy, summery recipes I keep in the summer house and I just love flicking through Summer by Nigella every time I’m there. This summer I finally tried these lovely aubergine rolls with feta, chilli and mint. They are incredibly easy to make, and utterly delicious to eat.
Griddled aubergine with feta, chilli and mint, serves 4
Adapted from Nigella’s recipe.
2 large aubergines (each cut thinly lengthwise into about 10 slices)
4 tablespoons olive oil
250 grams feta cheese
1 large red chilli (finely chopped & deseeded or not depending how hot you require it)
1 bunch fresh mint (finely chopped – save some for sprinkling over)
juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the barbecue or griddle to a high heat.
Brush both sides of the aubergine slices with the oil, and cook them for about 2 minutes each side until golden and tender.
Crumble the feta into a bowl and stir in the chilli, mint and lemon juice and grind in some black pepper. You don’t need salt, as the feta is salty enough. Pile the end third of each warm aubergine slice with a heaped teaspoon of the feta mixture and roll each slice up as you go to form a soft, stuffed bundle.
Place join side down on a plate, and sprinkle with a little more mint.
This couscous salad is divine. I know, the recipe sounds too simple to create a divine dish but trust me, and my friend Gaby, when we say it is delicious.
I whipped this up one night when I was tired, hot and bothered and had no energy to cook and it turned out great. I just served it with some fried halloumi and a glass of white wine and it turned out to the an amazing supper.
Couscous salad with chilli and mint, serves 2
2 portions coucous
3 spring onions
1/2 red chilli
a handful mint
Cook the couscous according to the packet, but add some stock to the water. Takes max 5 mins. Meanwhile chop/slice the chilli, tomato, spring onion and mint.
Use a fork to puff up the couscous and add some olive oil. Heat up some more oil in a non-stick pan and fry the chilli for a minute or two without browning. Mix the chilli and hot oil into the couscous and add the tomato and spring onions. Add some lemon juice and salt. Adjust the seasoning and add the mint. Serve with fried halloumi, barbecues chicken or what else you fancy.
Preparing broad beans is quite time consuming but is, in my opinion, completely worth it. Sometimes I even enjoy such menial tasks and was stood quite happily by the kitchen window preparing these little treasures.
I prefer a simple approach to fresh new produce but at the same time want the finished dish to be exciting rather than boring and pairing these little goodies with ricotta, lemon and mint really worked.
I had the toast for supper but the toppings would work just as well on crostinis as a nibble before dinner.
Broad bean toast with ricotta and mint, serves 1
1 slice proper crusty bread
3 tbsp ricotta
1/2 tsp lemon zest
3 tsp rapeseed oil
100 ml (or so) podded broad beans
1 tbsp chopped mint
salt and pepper
Toast the bread in a toaster. Leave to cool. Cook the broadbeans in water for about 5 minutes (until they look almost white). Drain and remove the white outer shells.
Mix the ricotta with 1 tsp rapeseed oil and the lemon zest. Season well. Mix the beans with mint and the remaining oil, salt and pepper.
Spread the ricotta on to the bread, top with the broad beans and drizzle with some extra oil before serving.
This pre-dinner cocktail was invented from what I had at home and what I thought would go well with each other. The result was a fruity and refreshing cocktail that may be better suited for the spring summer, than gloomy January, but I still really enjoyed it.
Lemon passion, serves 1
3 cl white Bacardi
2 cl passion fruit syrup
ice (preferrably crushed, but I thought of that too late)
1/2 passion fruit
a few sprigs of mint
Place is in a glass, add the Bacardi and passion fruit syrup. Top up with lemonade. Add the contents of 1/2 passion fruit and place some mint on top. Stir and serve. Cheers!