Tapas, sort of. A new post, sort of.

On Sunday I wrote a post on a different blog. I figure I may as well get some extra mileage out of it, so here it is. First posted on Little Red Owl’s Blog.


Poor Little Red Owl is sick with a head cold. Awww! So I offered to write a post about the meal we made together on Wednesday night.

This meal began with me noticing that the Lamb and Leek sausages in our fridge needed to be used that night.

But wait! In fact, the story of this meal goes much further back than that! Let me take you back a few weekends before. We were at the Camberwell market, and Little Red Owl spotted a Tapas recipe book for $2. Now, usually, my response is that we already have more than enough recipe books! As well as enough recipes ripped out of magazines and newspapers, floating all around the house.

Great Tapas Recipes

But, admittedly, tapas is Little Red Owl’s style of cooking. I think this is because she likes to test how far she can push my buttons by suggesting that she makes a banquet that comprises of about 8 separately prepared and cooked dishes. Usually my blood pressure begins to rise as soon as she begins to list them. (I’m picturing the supervising and the cleaning up that will be required, you follow?) Then follows a period of negotiation, and in the end it usually gets whittled back to about 5 dishes, with my stress levels dropped to mild.

So, I could see that the Tapas recipe book for $2 was just her thing. Being kind hearted as I am, (as well as a sucker for a bargain at a trash and treasure market), we got it.

Jump forward to Wednesday morning. While eating toast for breakfast I find myself reading a recipe for aubergine puree. Why? Because Little Red Owl reads recipes while eating breakfast and then leaves the recipe book lying around open on the bench. So I ate my toast, read a recipe for aubergine puree, and thought – that actually sounds quite easy!

That night, already at the supermarket without having planned what to make, wondering what could go with the Lamb sausages, the aubergine puree came to mind. I happened to have an eggplant (that’s what we call them over here in Oz-traylia) in the fridge at home already. It seemed like fate! The only question was, what else could I get to add to this meal? I thought of the Lebanese Salad that The Corner Shop in Yarraville serves. It is delicious. I am not sure of the ingredients but there is definitely cucumber and some kind of cheese and maybe natural yoghurt. I also thought of the Fattoush recipe that in Nigella Lawson’s recipe in Forever Summer.  Fattoush is a Lebanese style bread salad, also very yummy. So with some kind of loose plan based on those two ideas, I grabbed some cucumbers, natural yoghurt, crumbled feta, and flat bread and headed home.

Once told of the plan, Little Red Owl not only approved, she wanted to make another dish –  Tahini sauce. Since all the other dishes were under control and pretty simple (particularly the sausages!) this was fine by me.

So began the cook up. Using Nigella’s Fatoush recipe as a loose guide, but then veering off in my own direction, I made a really yummy salad that went something like this:

2 Lebanese cucumbers, diced

2 vine ripened tomatoes

100 g crumbled Feta cheese

about 2 tblspns natural yoghurt

Garlic to taste

1 bunch parsley (from our garden)

1 bunch fresh mint (we had to make do with what the snails hadn’t eaten, which was about a handful of mint)

Half a lemon

(Spring onion is included in Nigella’s recipe – I didn’t have any so I didn’t use it.)

Dice cucumbers (in hindsight I think The Corner Shop grate theirs so I might try this next time) – with these kind of salads I think the smaller the better.

Dice tomatoes – with the same philosophy in mind.

Mince the garlic, or in my case, just cheat and use garlic paste.

If you had spring onions, dice them too.

Chop parsley and mint finely.

Chuck them all into a salad bowl, add the crumbled feta cheese, and yoghurt and stir through. Just before serving, squeeze the lemon over the salad.

That was all I did, and it was a really yummy salad.

Since I’ve managed to ramble as much as Nigella Lawson does, I will leave the aubergine puree for Little Red Owl to cover. When she is recovered, she might feel like telling you what NOT to do when you bake an eggplant.Let’s just say, have you ever heard an explosion in your oven and wondered what the hell happened……?

BUT…explosions or not, it all worked well. We ended up congratulating ourselves on a scrumptious meal!

Nigella Lawson

Nigella rambles as much as I do, but her recipes are better than mine!

Leave a comment


  1. Dori

     /  June 2, 2011

    Well this just sounds like a standard meal at our place. Little red owl prevents us from just cooking a tuna bake! But I have to say, real garlic not garlic paste! It all sounds yummy!


    • So you’ve got a little red owl forcing you to make gourmet meals, too? Yes I know – garlic paste is being lazy. I use real garlic often, but…..sometimes I’m just lazy!



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