OK... I promised some recipes and here they are... more later.
Some are a bit more fiddly than others, but worth it.
A vegetarian recipe to start...
Savory Potato Cakes
Cooking time 30 mins, seves 4.
100g (3 1/2 oz) good-quality black olives,
2 tablespoons torn fresh basil,
Zest of 1/2 lemon,
2 tablespoons lemon juice,
50g anchovies finely chopped,
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Fresh groud pepper to taste,
1/2 large chilli, chopped,
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
600g (1.5lb) potatoes,
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
1 small red onion, quartered and sliced,
2 red bell peppers (capsicums) deseeded quartered and sliced'
1 large clove garlic, chopped,
1 large flat mushroom, sliced,
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed and chopped (if you like them, I don't :^P),
2 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh basil,
Plain flour, for dusting,
Olive oil, for frying
To make the olive tapenade, removed the stones from the olives and chop coarsely. Place in a bowl and add the basil, lemon zest and juice. Mash the garlic and add in the anchovies, chilli and olive oil. Mix well into a chunky paste. Set aside.
To make the potato cakes, cut the unpeeled potatoes into quarters and boil in lightly salted water until soft. Drain and set aside. Menawhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion, peppers (capsicums) and garlic for about 20 mins, until soft. Add the mushroom and cook for a further 5 mins, stirring ocassionally.
Well cool, lightly mash the potataoes and add the onion mixutre, capers and basil. Season with freshly ground pepper, and mix briefly.
Shape the mixture into 4 large or 8 small round cakes and dust lightly with flour.
Pour just enough olive oil to cover the base of a frying pan and cook over a medium-high heat for 2-3 mins on each side, until tlightly browned and heated through. Serve the cakes with the olive tapenade.
Serve with a fresh salad.
Note: Low-fat yoghurt or harissa can be mixed with coarsely chopped basil and substituted for the olive tapenade if you like.
Harissa - makes about 4 cups
500g (1lb) small hot red chillies, stalk removed,
2 large red bell peppers - already roasted and peeled (blackened in oven or gas cooktop and 'sweated' in a plastic bag to remove skin easily),
1 preserved lemon (see how to make below),
3 garlic cloves,
Half a bunch of coriander/cilantro chopped,
2 tablespoons ground cumin,
1 teaspoon salt,
olive oil, to cover
Mince the chillies, roast peppers, lemon and garlic by hand, mortar and pestle, or in a food processor. Mix with the cilantro, cumin and salt until well combined. Let the misture stand for 1 hour, then transfer to a preserving jar and cover with oil. Store indefinitely in the refridgerator.