The stress for the wedding preparations is rising and last weekend my fiancé went on his surprise stag party… which I helped coordinate in secret with the best man. Continue reading
I didn’t see him the rest of the weekend since when he got home he needed to rest. Son on Sunday I had the day to myself and I prepared this casserole inspired by thekitchn
. I ate a big portion and kept the rest for another time. In the evening I was still full but a couple of great friends took me out on a surprise evening between girls. We went to have a nice dinner in the nearby Italy and after that, while there was a band playing we had some gelato. It was just what I needed. I realized how thankful and lucky I am to have them in my life. Being quite sensitive at the moment, I was really moved by their gesture. Friends who are there are are an essential thing in life… like good quality food 😉
Mediterranean Chickpea & Brown Rice Casserole with Feta Cheese
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 40 min
2 tsp. chopped garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil (+ extra for greasing the baking dish)
2 eggs beaten
zest of 1 lemon + the juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp. dried oregano
240 g cooked chickpeas
100 g brown rice (I used the quick cooking type)
200 g feta cheese
0.5 dl cream
Salt and pepper
Heat oven at 180°C.
Cook the brown rice according to package instructions. Once done set aside.
Cut the aubergine lengthways into 1 cm thick slices. Still lengthways cut 1 cm strips out of these slices, then cut them crossways into 1 cm cubes. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil on a medium heat and add the aubergines to brown on all sides, tossing every 2-3 min.
Meanwhile cut the zucchini following the same method as with the aubergine. Once the aubergine cubes are done set them aside and using the same pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and brown the zucchini. Toss regularly and after 5 minutes add the chopped garlic and the dried oregano. Once the zucchini are ready add the aubergine back along with the rice, the chickpeas, lemon zest, lemon juice and the cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Once all the ingredients are tepid pour in the beaten eggs and fold them in.
Transfer everything to an oiled baking dish.
In a bowl crumble the feta cheese, add the cream and mix together. Spread the feta preparation on top of the other ingredients and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 min or until the top has a nice colour. Serve alone or with a salad.
I live in Switzerland and more particularly in the small Italian part called Ticino. Since I was small, except through the silly age that is adolescence, I have always had a passion for food and for history. As my first post I thought that using something which is part of Ticino’s food heritage: polenta. The common food heritage we share with northern Italy is geographical and because we have been made Swiss only since 1803: during Napoleon’s empire. Up to the 15th century, before corn began being imported from America, polenta was made out of spelt or rye wheat. The dish was the food of the poor and still over a part of the twentieth century it was a considerable source of energy. Today I often see it during popular events like a village celebration. My father, who was born in 1933, used to say that he grew up getting his backside kicked and eating polenta; there was little polenta… Today I cooked the traditional corn polenta with some veggies and goat cheese. I used zucchini and red bell peppers but you could also use other vegetables such as tomatoes and/or eggplant.
Olive Polenta slices with Mediterranean vegetables and goat cheese.
For 2 people
Time: 30 mins + 20 min rest time
For the Polenta
600ml water (you can replace half of it with milk)
One vegetable stock cube
120g fine polenta
15-20 chopped black olives
1tbsp olive oil
For the Veggies
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 rosemary stalks
1 red bell pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp tomato puree
Salt and pepper
100g fresh goat cheese
Chop the olives. Bring the water to a boil and add the stock cube. Add the polenta and let it boil on a low heat during 8 min stirring regularly. Towards the end add the olives and mix them in. Then, lay the polenta out on a surface (I used a rectangular shaped container) , distribute the mass evenly and leave it to cool and harden for 15-20 min.
Cut the red bell pepper and the zucchini in 2 cm pieces and the chop the onion and the garlic.
Heat the oil in a non stick pan and add the onions and garlic, once they start browning add the bell peppers and the rosemary. Cook the peppers on a medium heat for 5 min.
Heat oil in a non stick pan on a medium heat. Cut the polenta into the shape that suits you best and leave it to brown on both sides, about 7 minutes per side on a medium high heat.
Add the zucchini to the peppers stirring occasionally for another 10 min. At half way add the tomato puree.
To serve place the slices of polenta with the vegetables and sprinkle over the crumbled goat cheese and serve.