Tag Archives: zucchini

Farrosalad with feta, zucchini and mint

5 Sep

Finally I am back again, after our holiday and move to the Netherlands. Hooray! I needed a few weeks to start eating normally again and shopping for groceries myself. While doing groceries in my new neighborhood I found this great Turkish shop in Maastricht where they sell fruit and vegetables by weight. Much cheaper than other supermarkets, where they sell eggplants for 1 euro instead of eggplants for 1 euro a kilo. Also, I think it is much more fun buying fruit and vegetables in a fruit & vegetables shop. They have the best pieces and you can only buy products that are in season.

I wanted to share this healthy recipe with you, because it uses a product which they use a lot in Umbria, a province in Italy. It is called farro and in the Netherlands you can buy spelt instead. It is some sort of thick brown rice and it has a nice tough bite. If you cook it, it looks a bit like risotto, but it is less sticky. You can buy it in a healthy food shop (natuurvoedingswinkel) and you can use it to fill up your salads or make this delicious Jamie Oliver recipe, with zucchini, feta and mint.


300 g. of farro, 1 chicken stock cube, 400 g. of zucchini, 6 garlic cloves, 1 spanish red pepper (without the seeds), 1 hand of fresh mint, 6 springonions, 200 g. of feta, 1 lemon, salt and pepper.


Put the farro in a pan and add water until the farro is completely under water. Let the farro cook for about 20 minutes. The farro is ready if it has softened, but has a nice bite, without being sticky. If they are done, put them aside and leave them. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini, garlic and pepper and add them, with a splash of olive oil to a pan. Bake them until they glace. Then, rinse and cut the mint and the spring onions. Add them to the pan with zucchini, together with the lemon juice.  When it is ready, take the farro and add the zucchini mix and a bit of olive oil. Cut the feta in small parts and add these to the salad. Season it with salt and peppers and enjoy!









Dutch Peasoup with an Italian Twist

23 Jan

Last week I was in the Netherlands for my new job and I realized that I had missed the winter conditions so much! Here in Rome it’s just around 13 degrees and this weekend it was raining constantly. But, even though I am complaining right now, in 2 months the weather will definitely be much better!! Anyway, I got this amazing cookbook of Sophie Dahl from the girlfriend of my brother over christmas, and one of the recipes is a perfect example of the situation I am in right now. A peasoup with homemade pesto! When I told my boyfriend, or ‘fidanzato’ in Italian which sounds more mature than boyfriend :-), that we were about to eat peasoup, he looked at me almost disgusted! The peasoup that we dutch people are supposed to eat when we go iceskating outside, is not an extremely delicious dish.. however, this recipe of Sophie Dahl made the whole memory of thick and not so tasty peasoup go away!! And please, make the pesto yourself, because it’s soooo good..


For the pesto: 1 hand of fresh basil (only the leaves), 1 clove of garlic, a few tablespoons of pine nuts, 4 tablespoons of oliveoil, 25 g. of grated Parmezan cheese (Grana Padano for instance), salt and pepper. For the soup: 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 small onion, 2 small zucchini chopped in pieces, 8 dl. of chicken or vegetable stock, 450 g. of peas (from a can or from the freezer), 1 large hand of rucola.


Add the ingredients for the pesto together in a bowl and blend them until you will get a smooth sauce. You can also make it a bit thinner with some water. Flavor it if you’d like. Then, add the olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion. Wait until the onion is soft, then you can add the chopped zucchini and stock. Let it simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the peas and the rucola and heat the soup until it cooks. When the soup cooks, let it on the fire for about 3 to 4 minutes until everything is soft. Take the blender again and blend the soup until it is smooth. Let everyone add the pesto to their soup themselves. Buon appetito!



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Zucchini filopie with chickpeas and rice

13 Jan

For Christmas I got this wonderful Nigella Lawson book with the hilarious title: “How to become a domestic goddess”. The book features all kind of baking recipes like pastries, cookies, pies and flans. Many of the recipes need strange ingredients such as baking soda and I am very curious where I will be able to find these ingredients here in Rome.. I will keep you posted!

Today on this rainy Sunday afternoon I chose this nice recipe to try out. Again with no meat in it! Sorry Tom 😉 However if you’d ask me, you can easily add chicken to the pie.


1 teaspoon of cumin (large seeds), 1 small onion (finely diced), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of tumeric powder (‘kurkuma’ in Dutch), 1 teaspoon of diced coriander, 3 small courgette(s)/zucchini, 125 gram of basmati rice, 500 ml. of vegetable stock (or chicken if you’d prefer), 2 cans of chickpeas (about 460 gram drained), 100 gr. melted butter, 200 gr. of filo pastry (‘filodeeg’ in Dutch) and a Springform.


Preheat the oven on 200 degrees. Cut the onion and the courgettes in small dices and let the chickpeas drain. Bake the onion dices together with the cumin seeds on high fire until they’ll soften. Add the coriander, tumeric powder and courgettes. When the courgette dices are softened, add the rice. Wait until the rice is well coated in the oil of the other ingredients. Add the stock 1 dl. at the time and stir until all the stock is absorbed by the rice. This is a sign that the rice is ready. Take the pan off the fire and add the chickpeas.

Let the butter melt in a pan and brush the insides of the Springform with the melted butter. Add a few layers of filo pastry and butter each layer carefully. Leave a little filo pastry overlapping the sides of the tin form. Add the cooled rice filling and fold the overlapping pastry to the middle. If the pie is not fully covered with pastry, add a layer on the top. Butter the last layers of pastry and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes until the filo is golden brown.

Buon appetit!

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