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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Side dishes

14Jun 12

Oven-Baked Artichoke Dip

Oven-baked Artichoke DipArtichokes are a wonderfully tasty vegetable that bring an authentic Mediterranean flavour to any dish, and this oven-baked artichoke dip is no exception!  As an added bonus, artichokes are known to have one of the highest antioxidant capacities of all vegetables, are diuretic and even help to reduce cholesterol!

This dip has a sweet roasted flavour and will be sure to impress your guests at your next dinner party.  Serve it in a bowl with a plate of fresh chopped veggies, savoury biscuits, crisps, or my rosemary focaccia recipe.  I guarantee the bowl will be empty long before the night is through!

 

You Need:

  • 125ml fresh lemon juice
  • 185ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package (400g) frozen artichokes, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, or soy alternative
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • A selection of chopped mixed vegetables or crisps or biscuits for dipping.

 

Steps:

 

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 175ºC.
  2. In a large, heavy frying pan, combine 6 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, salt, and pepper.  Mix well until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
  3. Add the artichokes to the lemon juice mixture and toss to coat them in the liquid.
  4. Bring the mixture to boil, remove from heat, and transfer from the frying pan to an oven-proof dish.
  5. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the artichokes are tender and lightly browned.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. Place the roasted artichokes in a food processor and add the rest of the lemon juice, the remaining oil, and the thyme, basil, and Parmesan cheese.
  8. Process until thoroughly blended and smooth.
  9. Taste the dip and add additional salt and pepper if required.
  10. Serve immediately with some chopped veggies, crisps or savoury biscuits.

 

Ready In:  60 minutes

Serves:  8

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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26May 12

Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves

Greek stuffed grape leavesA great appetiser or party food, these Greek stuffed grape leaves have a more subtle and mellow flavour than the pre-made variety. For more Greek goodness, try these lamb kebabs with cucumber and feta relish.

You Need:

  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 250g long-grain white rice
  • 375g gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 can (about 200g) grape leaves
  • Juice of 2 lemons

 

Steps:

 

  1. In a medium heavy pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add 125ml of the broth.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is just tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the rice mixture to a bowl and stir in the dill, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  7. Fill a deep, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid with water and bring to the boil.
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low and blanch the grape leaves in the hot water 5 for minutes.
  9. Drain the leaves on paper towels and trim away the stems and hard veins. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels.
  10. Lay a grape leaf on a work surface, shiny-side down. Put 2 tablespoons of the rice filling near the stem end of the leaf.
  11. Fold the stem end over the filling, fold both sides toward the middle, and roll up into a cylinder. (Don’t roll too tightly as the rice will expand as it cooks.)
  12. Repeat with the remaining grape leaves and filling placing the rolled leaves in the pot, seam-side down in a single layer.
  13. Pour the remaining broth, olive oil, and lemon juice over the stuffed grape leaves.
  14. If the liquid doesn’t reach at least halfway up the rolls, add more water.
  15. Cover the pot and simmer 30 to 40 minutes over low heat, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  16. Can be served warm or cold.

 

Ready In:  60 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

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02May 12

Cheddar Cheese and Courgette Quesadillas

Cheddar Cheese and Courgette QuesadillasQuesadillas basically means “Little Cheese Things” in Spanish, and are simply mini toasted cheese sandwiches made using tortillas instead of bread.  These scrumptious cheddar cheese and courgette quesadillas are made with finely sliced courgettes as well as the cheese, but feel free to make them with just cheese or add your own favourite fillings such as  shredded chicken, beef, or pork; caramelized onions; black olives; or avocado. (For more Mexican flavours, I recommend these chicken fajitas with red onion and guacamole.)

 

You Need:

For the filling:

  • 250g shredded cheddar cheese
  • 65g chopped fresh coriander
  • About ½ a small courgette, washed and sliced as thin as possible

 

For the tortillas:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 gluten-free tortilla wraps

For the garnish

  • 100ml sour cream

 

Steps:

 

  1. Combine the cheese and fresh coriander in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. To make the tortillas, brush half of the olive oil over the surface of a flat, non-stick grill pan or frying pan large enough to hold the tortillas.
  3. Lay a tortilla down directly on the pan, but do not turn on the heat just yet.
  4. Spoon the cheese and coriander mixture evenly spaced over the tortilla.
  5. With a spatula, gently spread the filling evenly over the tortilla to within a centimetre or so of edge.
  6. Place a layer of the thinly sliced courgette over the cheese, not too close to the edges.
  7. Gently place a second tortilla on top of the filling and gently press down.
  8. Turn the heat on to medium and cook, covered with a lid large enough to cover the tortillas, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until tortillas are gently browned.
  9. Carefully turn over the tortilla either with a large spatula or by flipping it with the pan as with an omelette.
  10. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Gently lay the cooked tortilla on a flat surface, such as a large cutting board, and cut into quarters with very sharp knife.
  11. Remove the pan from the heat to let it cool off a little.
  12. Repeat the process for the rest of the tortillas.
  13. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream or salsa.

 

Ready In:  20 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   1 out of 5

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