brunch

Vine Leaf Pie with Chermoula

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

I got the idea for this from Ottelengi's Plenty - staple favourite cookbook of middle-class middle-aged ladies and pretty much everyone else. His had parmesan and breadcrumbs on top, but I had really no idea what the flavours would be like so put Chermoula on mine (a kid of sweet North-African chutney) to make sure it was at least sort of delicious, and it turned out to be VERY delicious, which is cool. 

Chermoula Ingredients: 

3 zucchinis, cut into small cubes
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 capsicum, cut into thin slices
400g chopped tinned tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Splash of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of honey
Handful of raisins


Turn the stove on high and fry capsicum on high for one minute. Turn the stove down to medium and add the zuccini, garlic and onion and fry until the zucchini is soft. Add the spices and stir fry on high for 2 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and raisins turn the heat down and let it simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. Finish with honey and vinegar, making sure you taste to get the right sweet/vinegar-y balance.

Vine Leaf Pie Ingredients:

300g packet vine leaves (you can get these from most European delis - of pick your own. I think you'd need about 20 fresh vine leaves for each pie) 
4 shallots, finely chopped
50g butter, melted
2 zucchinis, chopped into small cubes
4 tablespoons greek yoghurt
Handful of pine nuts
Half a bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
Half a bunch of dill, roughly chopped
1/2 cup of mint, roughly chopped
1 lemon
1 tablespoon rice flour


Fry zucchini until it's soft with a big splash of oil and the shallots and pine nuts. Leave to cool and then mix with the yoghurt, herbs, rice flour and a squeeze of lemon.

Brush (you can use your fingers, you don't need a pastry brush or anything) the bottom of your pie tins with butter, then lay out enough vine leaves to cover the bottom and edges of the tin, with some draping over the side (if you're using fresh vine leaves you'll need to blanch them in hot water first). Brush the vine leaves with butter, then spoon out the zucchini and yoghurt mixture on top. Fold the overhanging leaves over the filling, then cover the tops with more vine leaves. Brush the tops with butter, and put in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the vine leaves on top are crispy and dry. 

Top with the chermoula and serve. It will be pretty hard to cut up, but what can you do. 

 
 

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

Shakshuka with misc. leaves

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

Shakshuka is the king of baked eggs. These are probably not as good as any you'll get at a fancy brunch place but definitely worth making yourself. 

If you're making this for more than 10 people, you may need two fry pans/ baking trays to fit all the eggs in.

Serves 12 - 15

Ingredients:
2 small capsicums, thinly sliced
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
handful of thyme

2 Onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped coriander

800g chopped tomatoes (tinned)
Pinch of saffron/ a few saffron threads
3 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 Lemon
15 eggs
Misc Leaves (Used beetroot leaves, radicchio, snowpea shoots, and rocket)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and roast the capsicum, cherry tomatoes and thyme for 15 minutes.

In a fry pan that you can also put in the oven (with a metal handle, but if you don't have one of these you can transfer the sauce into a baking tray before you bake the eggs) fry the onions with a splash of olive oil until they go soft but not brown. Add the spices and fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, sugar, and capsicum and cherry tomato mixture and bring to a fast simmer. Turn the heat down and leave to simmer slowly for 15 minutes. Finish with the herbs. You can make the sauce a few days in advance, or add the eggs straight away and serve.

 If you're transfering the mixture into a baking tray, do it now. Otherwise crack the eggs into the hot sauce. Put the saucepan into the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through. To finish, toss the leaves in a hot pan with some salt for a couple of minutes until slightly soft, then lay on the shakshuka. Serve with any kind of bread, but the sweet and soft Israeli challah is traditional and delicious. 

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

Yemeni pancakes with savoury stuff and yoghurt sauce.

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

I really wanted to do some kind of savoury pancake, but I didn't want it to be boring. Enter, this recipe I found in the Honey & Co cookbook. They serve there's with a great kind of herby-paste, but I decided to go real Australian Bastardising Other Cultures Breakfast and serve mine with halloumi, asparagus, smoked salmon and yoghurt and herb sauce.  

Makes about 15 pancakes

Pancake ingredients: 
500g wholemeal plain flour
1 1/2 stale pita bread
2 teaspoons dried yeast
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
700ml water


1 packet of halloumi, sliced thick of thin depending on what you like
20-ish asparagus spears
500g smoked salmon

Yoghurt Sauce Ingredients: 
200g Greek yoghurt
1/2 cup chopped coriander
1/2 cup chopped mint
Handful of dill leaves
Pepper
Splash of olive Oil
Juice of 1 lemon

 

Soak the pita bread in water for about 10-15 minutes until soft. Mush it up into a paste with your hands or a fork. Mix the pita bread and the rest of the pancake ingredients together, cover with gladwrap and leave in a warm area for at least 30 minutes, until the yeast has activated and the mixture gets bubbly.

Lightly toss the asparagus with oil, and roast at 180 degrees for 10 minutes

Heat a light layer of oil in a medium frypan. Spoon a ladle full of mixture and spread it out into a thin pancake. Cook until the top is covered with bubbles. Don't flip the pancake, instead put a lid or plate on top of the frypan for 1-2 minutes, until the top is steamed cooked and not wet to touch.

You can keep the pancakes on a plate covered with a tea-towel while you fry up the halloumi. 

Mix all the yoghurt sauce ingredients together. 

Serve the pancakes on a plate with smoked salmon, asparagus and halloumi, with the yoghurt sauce in a bowl so everyone can put their own pancakes together. 

Photo by Savannah van der Niet

Photo by Savannah van der Niet