Tag Archives: feta

Plenty of lemons were harmed in the making of this pesto

18 Mar

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There are some foods that improve pretty much everything they’re added to. Cheese, for instance, and green pesto. So I thought I was being very clever indeed when I seized upon the idea of feta pesto. After a quick Google search, I based my attempt on this one from The Inadvertent Gardener, but substituted the pine nuts for walnuts.

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American measurements proved, as ever, my nemesis. I’ve said it many times and I’ll repeat it once more for emphasis: since when is a ‘cup’ a reasonable means of measuring things? If nothing else, nuts are not a valid shape to be measured in such terms. (You can stop sniggering at the back now.)

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Also, three cups of basil is a lot more basil than you’d think. In fact, it’s enough basil to necessitate a run out to the supermarket for more basil. This may be testament to my own idiocy, however; I’m willing to let that stand.

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My biggest problem, though, was the salt. I may have been using a different type of tablespoon to the one in the recipe (I tend to use a proper measuring one, which probably errs toward the generous side in comparison to a normal spoon) and I used sea salt rather than kosher salt (I didn’t even know salt could be kosher) but my first iteration was almost inedibly salty. You can definitely have iterations of food, right?

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Unwilling – and too time-pressed – to start again from scratch, I did the one thing that sprang to mind as a means of salvage: I started adding lemon juice. It seemed to be improving things, so I added some more. And then some more. Hell, and then some more after that. In short: quite a lot of lemon juice. Turns out, lemon does help to counteract salt. I must have read this at some point previously and stashed it away a the back of my brain where the cobwebs live.

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A bit more olive oil to balance things out, plus a few more walnuts blitzed in to re-thicken, and things were actually almost saved. A near-disaster, then, but one that just about got clawed back – and that could easily be avoided in future. And let’s face it, there will be a future iteration, because this was quite tasty with lamb steaks.

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My big fat Greek packed lunch

12 Jul

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Yep, I’m still trying to chase down that Greek food dragon.

I get bored of normal salad (or indeed any packed lunch) fairly quickly, so I’m always keen for new spins to put on it. I’m fairly pleased with this combo: salad leaves, crumbled feta, Greek-style new potatoes and home-made tzatziki.

The potatoes are somewhere between a roast and a fondant – drizzled with olive oil and then shoved into a roasting pan with chicken stock, an oregano-heavy herb mix and an almost-literal ton of lemon juice. Thanks to a bit of confusion with the recipe (which called for two tablespoons of the seasoning mix; apparently this didn’t mean the properly measured type) the tzatziki is about more garlicky than I’d have ideally liked. Still, it’s pretty close, and a good way of incorporating cucumber, which I don’t really like on its own – plus, I should be able to nail it next time.

Monday’s attempt fared less well. After a morning sat in the office fridge, tzatziki and potato marinade had conspired to turn things into a sad, soggy mess. This morning, though, I stumbled upon a two-compartment takeaway container in the kitchen cupboard. Problem solved! I need to get me one of these ace Black + Blum lunchboxes.