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the olive oil banana cake loaf…

We all know that bananas and walnuts are two quite different ingredients that work  together beautifully. Now, imagine adding the magic of olive oil to them! It is when great food becomes divine.  A super easy recipe to a super yummy cake. Enjoy!

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muhammarah: bell pepper and walnut dip, a true levantine taste

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A pure Levantine treat, Muhammarah is yet another celebration of the magical world of walnuts. And besides being a perfect vegetarian choice, its rich flavours and texture make Muhammarah extremely hard to resist. So my guessing is, once you try it, you would always want to serve this delightful mezzé on top of your food menu next time, and every time, you have guests.

With the right ingredients, muhammarah is extremely easy to prepare yet so impressive serve. Make it in advance and keep it refrigerated till served sprinkled with good quality olive oil and pomegranate arils.

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parsnip soup: a flavour of simplicity

 

Autumn is quite an interesting season. Not only is it the season of beautiful colours, but is rich in many vegetables and fruits that are quite interesting. And while living in Dubai currently means approaching the beginning of a season that resembles a beautiful summer rather than autumn, we are lucky to still be able to enjoy the rich produce of the season that arrives in from different regions.

Parsnips which are best eaten cooked, enjoy an earthy flavour that is typical for most of its root vegetable family, such as carrots. Yet parsnips are special for their distinct spicy flavour reminiscent of nutmeg. So if you are not a big fan of earthy flavours, my guessing would be you won’t be appreciating this soup. However, if you are, I say give this soup a try and enjoy some unorthodox flavour that is both rich and healthy at the same time.

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For the Recipe

Ingrendients

2 tbsp olive oil
25 g butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
about 500 g parsnip, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup milk
2 – 3 cups water
Salt and pepper, according to taste

for garnish:
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 spring onions, chopped

  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan put over medium heat.
  • Once butter has melted, add the onion and sautée for a couple of minutes before adding the the garlic and spring onions. Sautée for a few minutes, stirring often, before adding in the chopped parsnip. Lower heat and continue to sautée for about 5 – 7 minutes.
  • Pour the milk and 2 cups of water into the pan. Increase heat to medium, once the soup starts to boil. Lower heat again, cover the pan with its lid, and cook for about 30 minutes later, or till the parsnips soften. Add some water if you feel the need to. Season with salt and pepper, according to taste.
  • Once the parsnips have cooked through. Remove pan away from heat, and purée the soup using a hand-held food blender.
  • Return to cooking the soup over medium to low heat, just for a few minutes further. According to the desired soup thickness, add water to make it thinner, or cook further to make it thicker.
  • Once done with cooking, pour the soup into the serving bowls and garnish with some walnuts and spring onions and serve immediately.
  • Enjoy!

Bon Appétit!

Blue Cheese & Caramelized Onion Walnut Tart

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Recipe

Tart Shell

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

100 g cold butter, cubed

1/3 cup walnut halves, soaked overnight

1 egg

pinch of salt

1 tsp olive oil (to enrich taste, optional)

Filling

2 tbsp olive oil

2 medium red onions, sliced 

1 tsp brown sugar

125 ml double cream

150 ml sour cream

3 egg yolks

200 g blue cheese, crumbled

salt & pepper to the taste

  • For the tart shell: in a food processor, pulse the flour and butter till they resemble bread crumbs. Then add the walnuts, egg, salt & olive oil and process, just enough to bring the mixture smoothly together. Turn the dough on a clean floured surface and roll it out till it is about 5 mm thick. Gently move it onto a 23-cm spring tart tin. Trim the tart shell by removing any dough excess. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes – 1 H. Preheat oven at 200°C. Cut a rounded piece of parchment paper just enough to cover the base of the tart shell then cover it with dried beans. Blind bake the tart shell in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the paper and beans. TIP: for a finer tart shell texture, you can opt to lightly process the walnut before adding them into the flour & butter mixture.
  • For the the filling: heat oil in a medium frying pan. Sautée the onions for a few minutes till soft, then add the sugar and stir continuously, for a few minutes, till onion slices have caramelized nicely. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, and using a hand-held electric mixer, mix the double cream, sour cream, egg yolks, and salt & pepper. Once well mixed, add in the crumbled cheese and sautéed onions and mix well using a spatula or a metal spoon. 
  • Pour the cheese filling onto the tart shell and bake for about 20- 25 minutes, turning the tart tin around while half way in the oven. Once set and lightly browned on surface, remove from oven. 
  • Allow to cool a bit and set before serving it best, warm.  

         

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Bon Appétit!