Taking inspiration from the Middle East, this is a dish called Koosa ma Laban and is a delicious zucchini dip for crunchy veggies or garlicky flatbreads.
Fresh from the garden: cucumber, garlic, ginger
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe on thekitchn.com
Serves: 8 or 24 tastes
- Chopping boards and knives
- Measures: cup, tablespoon
- Frying pan
- Salad spinner
- Microplane zester
- Olive pitter
- Food processor
- Flat bowls to serve
· 2 large zucchini
· 2 cloves of garlic
· 3 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 cup Greek yogurt or labneh
· A handful of mint
· A lemon
· Flaked salt and pepper
· 4 green olives
What to do:
- Wash the zucchini, then slice lengthwise and cut into 1cm half-moons. Smash the garlic cloves, peel the skin off and finely chop.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle zucchini slices with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning once, until both sides are nicely browned. Add the garlic in the last minute, then remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.
- Wash the mint, spin dry, pick off the leaves and chop finely to yield about 2 tablespoons worth. Wash the lemon, dry it and zest the yellow part of the skin only. Pit the olives (use the pitter or you can squash them on a chopping board) and cut in half.
- Once zucchini have cooled, place in a food processor. Add the mint and lemon zest (reserving a bit of both for garnish), a pinch of salt, pepper and yogurt. Pulse until pureed.
- Spread dip onto a serving plate, dot on the olive halves, drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with reserved mint and lemon zest.
- Serve with flat breads or sliced carrot, cucumber or radish.
Notes: What is labneh? How does an olive pitter work? What other Middle Eastern dishes do you know?
For this alternative pesto, we add rocket leaves to the basil and pound them together but you could also try a parsley or even coriander combination… We love them all! It also seems like a lot of olive oil so tone it back if you like, but I think it’s warranted, especially over freshly cooked pasta & muddled with a ladleful of pasta-water!
Handmade pasta, rocket & basil pesto
Fresh from the garden: rocket, basil, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa
Makes: 3 cups
- Mortar & pestle
- Cheese grater
- Medium frying pan
- Tea towel
- Measuring jug
- Medium bowl
- Serving bowls if needed
- 1 bunch basil
- 1 bunch rocket
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 80g pine nuts
- 50g parmesan cheese
- 200ml extra virgin olive oil
What to do:
- Before you wash the basil or rocket, pick the stalks from the basil and discard. Weigh the leaves with the rocket – you’ll need about 100g all up.
- Wash and then spin-dry the basil and rocket, you might need to do this in several stages to make sure the leaves are as dry as can be!
- Grate the parmesan cheese.
- Heat the frying pan on a medium heat and lightly dry-toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly so that they don’t stick.
- Peel the garlic cloves and place in the mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt. Pound these to a paste.
- Add the pine nuts to the mortar & pestle and continue to pound. Once smooth-ish, transfer to the bowl and stir in the parmesan.
- Tear the basil leaves and put them into the mortar. Pound the leaves to a paste. Return the pine nut mixture to the mortar and, pounding it all together, gradually pour in all the olive oil.
- Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
- Mix into steaming hot pasta, spread on bruschetta, drizzle over tomato slices, serve as part of an antipasto plate with goats’ cheese and roasted capsicum or spoon into serving bowls to serve as a dip with flatbreads.
Notes: With what else can you use pesto? What also goes with well with basil? Why do we toast the pine nuts? What does several mean? Why do we weigh the leaves before we wash them?
Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe
Tags: Basil, children, cooking, dips, garlic, Herbs, kids, Pine nut, rocket, sauces, vegetarian