Nistisima: The secret to delicious Mediterranean vegan food, the Sunday Times bestseller and voted OFM Best Cookbook
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Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Season generously, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook on a low heat for 1 hour, until the vegetables are tender and the broth is rich. Taste and tweak the seasoning.
Place the nuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for around 3–4 minutes, until golden and toasted all over. Place in the bowl of a food processor and leave to cool as you toast the spices. I’m in Australia, I’m assuming what you call “AP” or All Purpose flour is what we call, not very imaginatively I must say (!) “plain flour” ?? This one of my go-to nistisimo recipes if I have people round for a meal – you can get it ready in advance, it looks impressive and it tastes amazing. It is loosely based on the Greek-Cypriot fasting classic kolokotes – little pumpkin, bulgur and raisin pies – that my yiayia Martha makes. Roasting the pumpkin first is not traditional, my yiayia just uses finely chopped raw pumpkin, but I think it brings a more intense flavour to the dish, which I balance with harissa oil and dill. This hearty soup is a staple of Russian cuisine. There are lots of variations depending on region and season: green shchi made with sorrel or nettles; a sour version made with sauerkraut; some with meat. Lahanodolmades me avgolemono is a rustic Fall / Winter Greek dish with cabbage leaves stuffed with ground meat and rice in an egg-lemon sauce.Add two cups of your sifted flour to your mixing bowl, and with your bread hook attachment, mix to combine. Add the baking powder and vanilla powder. Mix well. Serve fresh pitta with small bowls of this and extra virgin olive oil to dip into; use it to finish dips such as hummus or muhammara; or sprinkle it on soups and salads. If you are not fasting, then it is particularly delicious scattered over eggs. The difference from the usual Greek ones is that in Cyprus we do not add avgolemono sauce but instead we add tomato and cinnamon, similar to many recipes found in the Aegean islands, which adds a heavenly taste to this dish and an irresistible smell while they are being cooked. In Cyprus we also make this dish using other leafy greens such as silverbeet or cabbage or stuffed zucchini flowers or onions. Repeat the filling and rolling process with the remaining sheets of filo and filling, adding each length to the pie spiral, so you have a coiled snake effect.
Whether you are fasting or not – more and more people are waking up to plant-based diets and for many people, the supermarket meat substitutes are a definite no (it worries me what they are actually made of?) I love Chef AJ’s mantra – if I can’t make it in my kitchen then I don’t eat it. Whole food plant-based foods are in my opinion the way to optimum health and longevity – so if you want to eat well invest in books like this and see how your health changes………… During this period I shall try and post mainly Nistisimes Syntages (Lenten recipes). However, I do have lots of recipes I have prepared before Lent, which I shall also post. Add the remaining tomato, olive oil as well as lemon juice and then cover them with a plate (which must be about the size of the pot). I am sure that all of you who love Greek cuisine know what dolmades are and to be frank they are one of many of my all time favourite Greek comfort food. I usually buy a lot of vine leaves during spring when they are tender and store them in the deep freezer to last for a whole year. However, sometimes they finish before spring so during winter a good alternative would be lahanodolmades, which are stuffed cabbage leaves or seskoulodolmades, stuffed chard leaves. And it’s most certainly not for anxiously abstemious or austere eaters! I’ve earmarked too many recipes to list here, but let me just mention Koulouri (Cypriot Village Bread); Eliopites (Olive, Mint and Coriander Buns); Braised Fennel with Saffron; Batata Harra (Chilli-Dressed Potatoes); Kolokithopita (Pumpkin and Raisin Pie with Harissa); Spanakorizo (Sweet and Smoky Spinach, Tomato and Lemon Rice); Milopita (Apple, Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cake); Pistachio and Cardamom Halva; and Shiamishi (Fried Orange Blossom Custard Pies). And the recipe I’m hungrily sharing with you today is the Jewelled Moutzentra: an oniony lentil and rice pilaff, resplendent with pomegranate seeds!Octopus and shell-fish are allowed, as is vegetable margarine, shortening, and vegetable oils, gelatin, olives, as well as honey are allowed. Spoon one-third of the mixture in a line about 4cm above the bottom edge of the pastry, then brush the pastry with more oil. Roll the pastry and filling up like a cigar then curl it into a swirl; this is the centre of your pie. Place the filled swirl in the middle of the cake tin.
A mixture of nuts is good; ideally, half should be almonds and the rest could be pistachios, hazelnuts or walnuts. But try it out with whatever you have. It is worth making a large batch, as it is incredibly versatile and can be used in all sorts of ways.If you’re a fan of squash but not its long cooking time then this is the recipe for you, as cutting it thinly enough dramatically cuts this down. And if you use a grill pan, or a barbecue, you’ll get a delicious, sweet-charred flavour that is complemented so well with the earthy nuttiness of dukkah. I really do recommend using homemade dukkah, it’s a total game changer. Using a mixer, beat together the sugar, and oil for 5 minutes. Add the orange juice, and mix for another couple of minutes (if you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand held mixer will do nicely).
Continue to add the flour, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Alternatively, at this point, if you choose, you can use your hands to knead the dough. There's so much to love and to learn in Georgina's glorious Nistisima. It's really worth fasting to eat like this Koupepia (as we call them in Cyprus) are dolmades made with grape leaves, stuffed with ground pork or veal, rice, fresh herbs and seasoning, cooked with tomato and lemon juice. Hair and makeup: Juliana Sergot using Lancôme and TIGI. Photograph: Pedro Alvarez/The Observer Food writer and cook Georgina Hayden. When ready to bake, heat your oven to 200C fan/gas mark 7. Brush a 22cm springform cake tin with a little oil. Lay out a sheet of filo, longest side nearest to you, and brush with oil, then top with another sheet.I have a story for you – bear with me. Before I left university many many moons ago (15 years?) I wrote to Delicious Magazine to see if I could do work experience there. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after uni, but all I knew was that I was obsessed with food, cooking and art. I was studying Fine Art and assumed I’d end up in design. However a 2 week placement on the magazine led me to meeting food stylists, photographers and being on my first ever food shoot. I had my eureka moment and life changed forever.