Savoury cookies with parlsey and tahini spread

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B. was wondering what to do with a bottle of tahini he had sitting on his fridge. “What is this used for?”, he asked. “Oh, well, plenty of stuff like humus… and errrr… humus…. or even maybe carrot hummus, if you will“, I answered a bit mortified by the lack of options. Seriously, is tahini used just  for hummus? After googling for a few minutes, it seems it also very popular in vegan cuisine, including lebanese inspired brownies (add beetroot for extra touch of healthiness), it is fundamental for baba ghanoush and  the hero in all sorts of  yoghurty-garlicky-herb-y dips. Like for example, this one  I found in Jerusalem (but of course…). As a bonus, these savoury biscuits, a favourite of Yotam’s father. Totally addictive…

Savoury cookies with parsley and tahini spread  (adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi‘Jerusalem)

Ingredients 

Cookies

  • 500g of plain flour sifted
  • 100mL of sunflower oil
  • 100 unsalted butter diced and left to soften
  • 1 teaspoon of fast action dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds toasted and very lightly crushed
  • App 100mL of water
  • 1 medium egg, whisked
  • 2 teaspoon white (and black) sesame seeds

Dipping sauce

  • 35g flat leaf parsley (stems and leaves)
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 25g light tahini paste
  • 125g Greek  yoghurt (drained)
  • 25mL lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt

Method

Cookies

Preheat the oven to 200 oC. Place the sifted flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the oil into the well, add the butter, yeast, baking power, sugar, salt and the spices and stir together until the dough is formed. Add the water gradually while stirring until the dough is smooth. Knead for a couple of minutes.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Divide the dough into small bowls, about 25g each. On a clean surface, roll the balls into long snakes, around 1cm thick and 12-15cm long. Make a closed out of each snake dough, and put on the parchment paper leaving a 2 cm distance between each of them. Brush each ring with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds. Leave to prove for 30min.

Bake the biscuits in the oven for 22min, until golden brown. Allow to cool before storing. They will keep for 10days.

Dipping sauce

Blitz all the ingredients together to get a smooth, uniform green sauce you can use to coat the cookies. Add a bit more water if necessary.


Breakfast oat bars

It came to my attention that yesterday, October 1oth, was World Porridge Day. While it is unlikely I’ll post a porridge dish any time soon, I indeed had on archive something that called for oats. It is a super easy recipe of home-made breakfast by Nigella I first saw on Canela moída. I tend to avoid this sort of snacks, no matter how many claims of “healthy  food” they have. Most of the times they are too sugary, too chewy, too fatty, too synthetic, too caloric…. But, this home-made one is almost a guilt-less treat, packed with different flavors and textures. A healthy sugar-rush, if you will.

As usual, a few tweaks. Cranberries are difficult to source in this part of world, so I used muesli oats with added fruit. But, this is the type of dish you can do with your favorite ingredients, as long as you keep the proportion of solids and condensed milk the same. It is very quick to do, but it takes about one solid hour to bake and another one to get it cool.

Be warned: once you start doing this, there is no back to the vending machine to get a plastic one.

Breakfast oat bars

Ingredients

  • 1 x 397g can condensed milk (=1 tube of condensed milk)
  • 350g  oats (not instant) with 50% added fruit, including a lot of cranberries (original recipe called for 250g rolled oat and 100g dried cranberries.
  • 75g shredded coconut
  • 125g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)
  • 125g natural unsalted peanuts

Method

Preheat the oven to 130°C/gas mark 1/2, and oil a 23 x 33 x 4cm baking tin, or use a throwaway foil one.

Warm the condensed milk in a large pan.

Meanwhile, mix together all the other ingredients and then add the warmed condensed milk, using a rubber or wooden spatula to fold and distribute.

Spread the mixture into the tin and press down with the spatula or, better still, your hands to even the surface. Just make sure you are wearing disposable vinyl gloves to do this, otherwise you will end up with the sticky oats all over your fingers.

Bake for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and, after about 15 minutes, cut into four across, and four down to make 16 chunky bars. Let cool completely


Red onion confit, fresh thyme and goat cheese tartelettes

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I first saw the onion confit and and goat cheese tartelettes on Mafalda Pinto Leite’s website (here, in Portuguese). It looked easy enough, but things went South when ready-made caramelized onion the recipe called for was nowhere to be find in Zurich. The only solution was to embark on a quest for the perfect red onion confit recipe. Finally, it was C’est moi qui l’ai fait who offered the perfect method for a luscious red onion confit.  And, since they had gone through all the trouble of doing their own jam from scratch, it was only fair to give it a go to their tartelette. It was a good call – the whole batch was gone in less than a sigh.

Red onion confit, fresh thyme and goat cheese tartelettes

Ingredients 

  • 1 roll of puf pastry
  • 1 pot of red onion confit (recipe here)
  • 1 fresh soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • Fresh thyme

Method

Preheat the stove to 210oC

Spread a bit of flour all over the kitchen top, and lay the pastry roll. Mix the yolk with the milk, and brush it all over the pastry surface.

Cut it in squares (4cm side), and place them on the baking tray.

Drop a teaspoon of onion confit at the center of each square (the corners should be free, so they can puff). On top of the confit, put the equivalent of a small teaspoon of cheese. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.

It is now ready to put on the stove, for about 8min, or until the pastry is golden.