Jutka Harstein cooks tasty tabbouleh, a lovely Middle-Eastern salad that combines hearty grain with fresh, zesty flavours.
- 1 kg fresh tomatoes
- 1 litre (4 cups) water
- 2 large sticks celery (with the leaves)
- 1 large onion, cut into quarters
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 4 tbs brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut the tomatoes in two. Cut out the white bottom part. Boil the water and throw in the tomatoes until their peel can easily be removed (about 8–10 minutes). Remove the peel and put the tomatoes back into the water.
2. Add the chunky celery, onion and garlic to the tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Then take out the celery stalks, the onion chunks and the garlic cloves. Blend the tomatoes and the liquid with a hand blender.
3. Add the sugar, salt and pepper to the soup and boil for 2–3 minutes. Serve with chopped fresh parsley or basil.
Jutka says: My grandmother often cooked this light soup in summertime, because tomatoes grew in abundance in our garden and we needed to use them. The soup is suitable for summer tomatoes, because they are the ripest and sweetest. You can also add dumplings to this soup.
You will need a 28 cm (11 in) diameter pie dish.
Preheat oven to 150° C (300° F).
- 5 large courgettes (zucchinis) (1.3 kg or 3 lb), coarsely grated
- olive oil for frying
- 1 large leek (700 g), sliced, or 3 large onions, chopped
- 1 bunch of dill or parsley, finely chopped
- 150 g (1 cup) wholewheat flour
- 4 eggs, beaten
- pinch of black pepper
- a handful of sesame and sunflower seeds
1. Mix the courgette (zucchini) with salt. Let it stand for 5 minutes then squeeze out the liquid.
2. Fry the leek or onion in plenty of olive oil until golden.
3. Add the fried leek or onion, dill or parsley, another tsp salt (or to taste), flour, eggs and black pepper to the courgette (zucchini) and mix.
4. Grease the pie dish and pour the mixture into it. Sprinkle the seeds on top.
5. Bake for 40 minutes.
Jutka says: For a colourful quiche, place round tomato slices on the top before baking.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
- 2 medium carrots, cubed
- 700 g (1 and 1/2 lb) pumpkin, peeled and cubed
- 3 medium onions, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, whole
- 1 and 1/2 litres (3 U.S. pints) vegetable stock or water
- 2–3 tbs brown sugar
- salt and black pepper to taste
- little red chilli, ground (optional)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg, grated
- zest of half an orange
- zest of half a lemon
- half a bunch dill or marjoram, chopped
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) single or light cream, or coconut milk (optional)
- dill, finely chopped, to decorate
- saffron to decorate
1. Put the sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, onions, garlic and stock into a pot, bring to the boil, lower the heat and cook until the carrots are soft. Blend with a hand blender, then bring to the boil once more.
2. Add the remaining ingredients.
3. To enrich the soup’s taste, if you wish, add the cream (or coconut milk) just before the end of the cooking time, then lower the heat so it doesn’t boil.
4. When serving, sprinkle dill and saffron on top. The deep red colour of the saffron merges well with the light orange colour of the soup, and the green dill balances it all.
Jutka says: This ‘orange’ soup’s flavour is perfect. The mixture of the saltiness and the sweetness of the vegetables has to reach such a level of harmony that when you eat this soup you feel like melting.
You will need a round, 28 cm (11 in) diameter cake tin.
Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F).
- 2 medium oranges with thin peel
- 6 eggs
- 250 g (3 cups) ground almonds (if the almonds are bleached, the cake comes out melting in your mouth; if unbleached, it is still delicious but with more of a “body”)
- 250 g (1 and 1/4) cups brown sugar
1. Cook the oranges (with their peel on) for 20 minutes in water that covers them. Cool, cut into four, take out the pips and blend very well, either in a food processor or in a blender.
2. Separate the eggs. Beat the whites with 50 g (1/4 cup) of the sugar, until very stiff.
3. Beat (with the same beaters) the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar (200 g/1 cup), until they become light. Add the blended oranges and the almonds. Mix well.
4. Fold in the egg whites and mix gently until you get an even texture.
5. Grease and line the cake tin. Pour the cake into it and bake at 180° C (350° F), for approximately 1 hour. If you see that the top is becoming brown but the body is still really wobbly, cover the top with baking paper and reduce the heat to 160° C (320° F). Bake until the cake is firm. Note that this is a very soft and light cake, so it isn’t possible to put a thin knife into it to check whether it’s ready – the knife will never come out clean. Even when ready, the cake will be moist! I am warning you that determining the baking time requires attention and actual touching!
Jutka says: The cake tastes heavenly served warm or cooled.