feta

Vegetables

Roasted Broccoli + Chickpeas

Roasted Broccoli + Chickpeas | www.hungryinlove.com

Do you roast broccoli? What about chickpeas? If you don't, you should start. Both are very roastable. You might have roasted chickpeas straight into snack territory before, but if you stop about halfway they'll be toasty on the outside and creamy on the inside, perfect for adding to salads. Roasted broccoli gets so nutty and crispy any bad broccoli memories you've been harboring will be instantly erased. This week I discovered that the two can do even more when sharing a sheet pan, namely make you dinner in one fell swoop. Roasted together the results are everything January should be - virtuous, warming, and restorative. All that and there's only one pan to clean up. If one of your new year's resolutions is to dirty fewer dishes this is a good place to start.

Roasted Broccoli + Chickpeas | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Broccoli + Chickpeas | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Broccoli + Chickpeas | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Broccoli + Chickpeas| www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Broccoli + Chickpeas | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Broccoli + Chickpeas | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli or broccolini
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 radish, thinly shaved
  • 6 oz feta, crumbled (see this post for my suggestions on scouting out good feta)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Lemon wedge
  • Salt + pepper

Prep

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Trim broccoli and cut into small florets
  • In a bowl toss together broccoli, chickpeas, olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated
  • Spread on a baking sheet and pop in the oven to roast
  • At the 15 minute mark, use a spatula to toss
  • Return to oven and roast for another 15 minutes
  • When done chickpeas will be browned and toasted on the outside but still creamy on the inside; broccoli stems will be easily pierced with a fork and florets will be crispy
  • Transfer broccoli and chickpeas to a serving platter and scatter with radish and feta
  • Garnish with a squeeze of lemon and serve

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Snacks, Vegetables, Cheese

A Holiday Mezze Spread

Mezze Spread | www.hungryinlove.com
Mezze Spread | www.hungryinlove.com
Marinated Carrots | www.hungryinlove.com

Who's getting ready to host a party? I'm off duty this year but if I was it'd look like this. I've had mezze on the brain since my birthday last month. My fam and I went to one of my most favorite places in Cambridge, Sofra Bakery + Cafe, and ordered about three quarters of the menu. If you live within walking, driving, or flying distance I recommend you make a date to get your tush over there. (Pro tip: bring friends who are down to share. You're going to want it all.) Turkish, Lebanese, and Greek flavors get friendly on the menu and the results are otherworldly. I have not strolled through a bazaar with a fork but I imagine it would taste like this cafe.

Of all the feasting to be done at Sofra, the mezze plate is what really makes my heart flutter. Mezze simply means a sampling of small dishes - cheeses, spreads, salads + vegetables. A brightly hued platter of contrasting textures and flavors paired with warm bread might be my favorite way to eat. It was high time I attempted to compose my own. The brilliant mind behind Sofra, Ana Sortun, has kindly shared many of her secrets in her cookbook, Spice. The beets + yogurt and whipped feta are both renditions of Ana's recipes though I've made slight modifications to mix up flavor profiles and make prep less time-intensive.

There is nothing particularly holiday-y about this spread, except that it lends itself very well to a party. Not only can you make everything ahead, you should. The flavors will become more vibrant overnight and then you can tackle your party day to-do list (take out of fridge, let come to room temperature) with feet up and a glass of wine in hand.

PS - I gave myself an early Christmas present this week and rolled out a new word mark for the site. What do you think? The font is called 'smitten' which is appropriate because I am!

Beets + Yogurt | www.hungryinlove.com
Olives with Thyme + Orange | www.hungryinlove.com
Fried Pine Nuts | www.hungryinlove.com
Whipped Feta | www.hungryinlove.com
Marinated Carrots | www.hungryinlove.com
Beets + Yogurt | www.hungryinlove.com

Beets + Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. beets
  • 8 oz. strained yogurt (labneh, yogurt cheese, or full fat Greek yogurt)
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • olive oil + nigella seeds for garnish

Prep

  • Boil beets until easily pierced with a fork; remove from water and allow to cool (cooking time will vary based on size of your beets)
  • When beets are cool enough to handle, massage skins off under running water and discard
  • Using a box grater, finely grate beetroot (This is messy! Set you grater atop wax paper or another surface to protect your table or countertop)
  • Mix grated beets with yogurt, lemon juice, mint, honey, salt + pepper until well blended
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving
  • Serve at room temperature garnished with a drizzle of olive oil + nigella seeds

 

Cumin Marinated Carrots

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. maras pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Prep

  • Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil
  • Boil carrots until cooked through but not mushy (about 5-7 minutes)
  • While carrots are cooking use a mortar and pestle to mash garlic, maras, cumin, and salt into a paste
  • Drain carrots and place in bowl
  • Toss with garlic-spice paste, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil until well coated
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving
  • Serve at room temperature

 

Whipped Feta with Mint + Lemon

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. feta (ideally sheep's milk or goat's milk)
  • 2 Tbs. half + half (milk or cream may substitute)
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. mint, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Tbs. pine nuts

Prep

  • In a food processor blend feta, half + half, lemon zest and mint on high speed until feta is smooth and fluffy (about 1 minute)
  • Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate before serving to all flavors to meld
  • When ready to serve fry pine nuts in a skillet with a glug of olive oil over medium high heat; stir constantly so as not to burn
  • Bring feta to room temperature and top with toasted pine nuts

 

Warm Olives with Orange + Thyme

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Kalamata olives
  • 6-8 strips orange zest
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil

Prep

  • Toss olives, orange zest, thyme, and olive oil in a bowl
  • When ready to serve preheat oven to 375
  • Transfer olives to an oven-safe dish and heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes

 

Za'tar Flatbread

Ingredients

  • Dough for 1 pizza
  • 2 Tbs. za'tar spice blend
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Prep

  • Place a pizza stone in the oven + preheat oven to 500 degrees
  • Mix za'tar spice with olive oil and salt
  • Roll out pizza dough to desired thickness on a pizza board
  • Pierce dough all over with the tines of a fork
  • Brush olive oil + spice mixture all over dough right up to the edge of the flatbread
  • Transfer dough to pizza stone and bake 6-8 minutes (until edges are browned and dough is crisp)
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool
  • Cut into thin strips for dipping
  • Store leftover flatbread in a resealable plastic bag

Salads

Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad

Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad | www.hungryinlove.com
Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad | www.hungryinlove.com
Chopping Watermelon | www.hungryinlove.com
Chopping Cucumber | www.hungryinlove.com
Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Feta | www.hungryinlove.com
Basil | www.hungryinlove.com
Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad | www.hungryinlove.com

My heart is so happy right now I could squeal! We've just returned from our family's 29th annual reunion in South Carolina. Back when I was a wee lass my grandparents had the good sense to institute a summer tradition of gathering their five children plus families for a week at the beach. God bless them, they stuck with it. I've always cherished this trip but have grown to appreciate it more with each passing year. With a new crop of itty-bitty babies our head count this summer totaled 33. Besides the good company, I adore that this week is a true vacation. There's nowhere to go, nothing to see. Upon arrival it takes but minutes to fall into the familiar routine we've perfected over nearly three decades. Tennis/jogging/straight up lounging in the morning; lunches of build-your-own honey baked ham sandwiches and pimento cheese (while it lasts); afternoons on the beach, stocked coolers in tow; cocktails and hor d'oeuvres on the porch; dinner together at the big long table (actually three pushed together to make one); party and card games in the evenings. Sleep and repeat. It's magic. Scroll on for a few snaps.

Every night a different family takes a turn cooking dinner for the crowd. Some version of this watermelon salad usually makes an appearance, and for good reason. It's simple, brilliantly pretty, and a surefire crowdpleaser.

The beach house...

The beach house...

...and 180 degrees.

...and 180 degrees.

South Carolina surf.

South Carolina surf.

My adorable grandparents with their five children. Props to my mom for holding her own with four brothers!

My adorable grandparents with their five children. Props to my mom for holding her own with four brothers!

Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 small watermelon, cubed (if you have a large melon, use 1/2)
  • 4 Persian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 1 serrano chile, sliced into thin rounds (if you don't like heat, omit!)
  • 8 oz. feta*, cubed 
  • 12-16 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 12-16 mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • Juice of one half lime
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil

Prep

  • Toss watermelon, cucumber, serrano, feta, basil and lime juice in serving bowl
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil
  • Serve immediately (If allowed to sit the watermelon and cucumber will release water. Toss ingredients as close to serving as possible.)

*A few notes on feta from our resident cheesemonger. High quality feta will make this salad sing. Feta can be made from cow's milk, goat's milk, sheep's milk, or some combination of these. In the States cow's milk is the most ubiquitous, found in those little vacuum sealed squares at the grocery store. Those will do in a pinch but you're better off seeking out a feta packed in brine. 100% sheep's milk is my favorite. French, Greek, or Bulgarian are all excellent bets but never rule out the feta you find at your local farmer's market. 

Salads

Carrot Salad

Carrot Feta Salad | www.hungryinlove.com

I turn the big 3-0 this week and this blog is something of a gift to myself, a fresh hobby to ring in a new decade. While I assure you this very important birthday will be marked by cake at some point, today it is marked by carrots. But they aren't just any carrots. They're the new rainbow mix that just appeared at our Whole Foods. I sincerely hope they aren't just pinch hitting for Thanksgiving because, goodness look at them!

This salad is a riff on one I've made several times with grated carrots. While wonderful, I wanted to give a new version a whirl. A version for those I-don't-want-to-pull-out-the-Cuisinart-and-clean-all-those-attachments days. And I'll say this hit the mark.

Happy birthday to moi!

Peeled Carrots | www.hungryinlove.com
Moody Carrot Sticks | www.hungryinlove.com

I cut these into your classic 'carrot stick' shape but really any cut would do - large chunks, small coins, whatever you please. The lengthwise cuts here highlight the awesome golden core of the purple carrots.

Garlic in Mortar and Pestle | www.hungryinlove.com

If you're not a garlic enthusiast you may want to proceed with caution. The bite of the raw garlic is an awesome foil for the carrots' sweetness, but scale back according to your taste.

Carrot Salad Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com

Rainbow carrots aside, nigella seeds are really the star of the show here. I was introduced to these little buggers recently and have been sprinkling with abandon ever since. They're edgy - literally, shaped like roughly chiseled sesame seeds. The flavor is subtle, a little smoky, a little peppery but their visual effect is striking. I haven't seen these widely available in grocery stores yet but of course we live in the golden age of specialty food mail order so not a problem.

Dressed Carrots | www.hungryinlove.com
Carrot Feta Salad | www.hungryinlove.com

CARROT SALAD

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 6-10 carrots, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and ground to paste
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds
  • 2 Tbs. chopped parsley (have dill, mint, basil on hand? sub or a try a combo)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta

Prep

  • Peel carrots and cut to your liking; I did your classic 'carrot stick' shape though you easily do big chunks or coins
  • Bring salted water to a boil (use enough water to submerge carrots by 1 inch)
  • Cook carrots in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork but not yet mushy (cooking time will depend on size of your cuts)
  • Drain carrots, let cool
  • Grind garlic in mortar + pestle until you have a thick paste (adding a pinch of salt helps this along)
  • Place carrots in serving dish, dress with lemon juice, a few glugs of olive oil, garlic and nigella seeds
  • Give it all a stir, top with chopped parsley and feta
  • Serve at room temperature

Make ahead and marinate in the fridge to amp up the garlic factor.