Mediterranean Beach Picnic

July 23, 2017

It is no secret that I am a big fan of a good picnic. I spent the last weeks on a greek isle together with family and friends, so of course I couldn’t let the chance for a delicious picnic just pass by. I made some amazing mediterranean inspired dishes, that are all perfect to bring along to a picnic or any other summery occasion.

I created a series of recipes that will make up the very first “ABOUT THAT FOOD STORY”, a new format which will be shaping this blog in the future. From now on I will be sharing one “ABOUT THAT FOOD STORY” each week. Every story will be featuring at least 3 different recipes that will follow the same theme. That means loads more recipes and photos for you guys!

This first one is very special to me, like some of you might already know I’m half greek so I spent countless summers and other holidays in Greece, which has taken a big influence on my cooking. Most of my favorite recipes come from the greek cuisine or from some of the other mediterranean countries.

This post features some great recipes to bring along on a picnic or any other summery occasion. None of these recipes are supposed to imitate any kind of traditional dish. They are all the outcome of what I felt like making that day and what kind of fresh and local ingredients I had available to me.

If you want to view each of the recipes on the single page just click on the following links:

Watermelon & Almond Feta Salad

Ingredients for 4 People:

  • about a quarter of a medium sized watermelon
  • 1/2 cup of Kalamata Olives
  • 4 handfuls of arugula

For the Almond Feta:

  • 150g (1 cup) of blanched almonds (don’t use the one with the brown shell on), soaked
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt to taste
  • 1 clove of garlic

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of agave sirup
  • 2 tsp of mustard
  • 2 tbsp of chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp of water

Method:

  1. Place the soaked almonds with the remaining ingredients for the Feta into a food processor, pulse until it forms a crumbly consistency and you can shape little balls with your hands.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Shape the batter into little balls, about 2 tbsp worth of batter each. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for about 20 mins.
  3. For the vinaigrette simply dice the onion very finely and place them together with the other ingredient for the vinaigrette into a sealable jar. Shake well then set aside for a moment.
  4. Wash the arugula and place into a large bowl. Then chop the watermelons into bite sized cubes and add to the arugula. Next slice the Olives and add into the bowl as well.
  5. Drizzle everything with the vinaigrette and then crumble the Almond Feta on top.

Rosemary and Pomegranate Focaccia

To make 4 Focaccias:

  • 500g (3 cups) of bread flour + some more for kneading
  • about 350-400ml (1 1/2 cups) of warm water
  • 1 package of dry active yeast
  • about 1 tsp of salt
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
  • 4 tbsp of fresh rosemary, chopped.

Method:

  • Take about a 4th of the warm water and stir in the yeast until it has dissolved, set aside
  • In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt and about 3 tbsp of the chopped rosemary.
  • Now add the olive oil and the water. Add 350ml of the water at first and start kneading with one hand then add more if you feel the dough is to tough.
  • Knead the dough in the bowl until it sort of starts to stick together, then tip the bowl over on a floured surface and knead with both hands for about 10 mins.
  • Brush a large bowl with olive oil, place the dough inside, cover with a wet kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
  • Once the dough has risen, punch it down and dived it into 4 pieces. Shape each of the pieces into a focaccia.
  • Now add the pomegranate seeds and the remaining rosemary on top, slightly pressing the seeds in so they don’t come off as easily.
  • Let the focaccias rise again for another 30 mins.
  • Then drizzle with some olive oil and bake at a minimum of 220C for about 15-20 mins.

Melitzanosalata

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 4 large eggplants
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • a handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 red pepper, cooked
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven the 180C. Place the aubergines and the red pepper inside.
  2. Bake the aubergines for about 1 hour and remove the red pepper from the oven after about 20 mins, or when you feel it is done.
  3. Once you remove the red pepper from the oven place inside a small pot and cover. Leave it there to cool for a while.
  4. Once it has cooled down a little peel of the skin, remove the seeds and cut into small cubes.
  5. Next chop the onion and the parsley and place into a bowl together with the pepper.
  6. Once the aubergines are cooked and completely soft, remove the skin and cut into small pieces and place into the bowl with the other ingredients.
  7. Now add the oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt & pepper.
  8. Stir well, taste test and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

Peach and Pomegranate Ice Tea

To make 1l of ice tea:

  • 1 l of chilled white tea
  • 2 fresh peaches
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • 3 stalks of fresh mint

Method:

  1. Cut the peaches into little cubes and place into a sauce pan with the sugar. Simmer on medium heat while occasionally stirring until the peaches have almost dissolved.
  2. Then run the peaches through a sieve leaving behind a thick sirup. Stir the sirup into the white tea.
  3. Add the pomegranate seeds and the mint to the teat as well and let everything soak for about 1 hour.
  4. Serve on ice.

Peach & Almond Galette

For 1 Galette:

For the crust:

  • 500g (2 cups) of flour
  • 4 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 10 tbsp of vegan butter, ice cold am firm
  • 8 tbsp of ice cold water

for the filling:

  • 2-3 firm peaches
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of tapioca starch
  • a dash of vanilla powder
  • 3 tbsp of almond butter
  • 4 tbsp of sugar
  • a little soy milk to brush
  • 3 tbsp of almond chips to sprinkle

Method:

  1. Place the flour, the sugar and the salt into your food processor and pulse two times.
  2. Then add the butter in small pieces and pulse until the little clumps of butter are about pea sized.
  3. Then add the water and pulse a few more times. Add the crumbly dough onto a clean surface, press it together an form a disk, cover with cling foil and place into the fridge to rest for 1 hour.
  4. Once the dough is resting, cut the peaches into quite thick slices. Place the slices into a bowl and toss with lemon juice and tapioca starch.
  5. Once the dough has rested, roll it out into a floured surfaced. Brush with almond butter from the center leaving out about 3-4 cm from the edge.
  6. Now place the peach slices on top of the almond butter and sprinkle with the sugar.
  7. Fold over the clean edges and brush the outsides with soy milk.
  8. Sprinkle with the almond slices and then bake at 220C for about 15-20 mins.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Anonymous July 24, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Looks awesome !

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