Couscous salad

This couscous salad is quick and easy to prepare even beforehand if need be. This is just one variation, you can add different ingredients every time.

prep time 15 min
  • 150g precooked couscous
  • 1 big cucumber or 2 small
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • can of corn
  • 100g artichoke hearts in oil
  • capers
  • 80g olives
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from half a lemon
  • parsley
  • 2 cans of tuna (optional)
  • 12-14 sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 80g mushrooms in oil (optional)
  • 100g feta (optional)
  • salt and pepper

1. Tip couscous into a large salad bowl, pour boiling water over, cover and let absorb for 5-8 minutes until fluffy. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice.

2. Dice the cucumber, halve the tomatoes and cut the artichokes and dried tomatoes (if using). Add these and all the other ingredients to the salad and mix gently. Add parsley on top.


Fried zucchini flowers Roman style

I love fried zucchini flowers. There are many ways to prepare zucchini flowers depending on the cook and the region. My favourites are Roman style deep fried flowers. There are also different ways to prepare the batter. Mine is prepared with flour and cold sparkling water to obtain a very light and crispy coating.

Fry up a batch, enjoy them fresh, then do more. That way they stay crisp and light. You want male flowers which have stems. Females are attached to the squash. Ask for flowers at farmers’ markets and in specialty food shops. Be sure the blossoms are from zucchini as other squash flowers often have strong, unpleasant flavors.

If you need to wash the flowers, do it very gently and dry them suspended upside down. I never wash them, gasp! Use a cold-pressed vegetable oil (peanut or grape seed oil are best), if possible.

prep time 10 min     cook time 15 min
ingredients for 12 flowers
  • 12 male zucchini flowers
  • 3-5dl peanut oil
  • 1dl flour
  • 2 dl COLD sparkling water/mineral water
  • 12 pieces, about 1 cm, of anchovy
  • 12 pieces, about 1 cm, of mozzarella
  • salt

It is very hard to give exact quantities because I make the batter without measurements so bear with me. I’ll illustrate with photos.

Take the water out of the fridge just before using it. Blend the batter to the consistency of a heavy cream.  Add a pinch of salt.

Gently remove the pistil from each flower. Here it is removed.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot or pan over medium high until the oil is hot but not smoking.

Place one piece of anchovy and mozzarella in each blossom.

Dip the blossoms in the batter

Fry two to three blossoms at a time on both sides for a few minutes until crispy and golden brown.

Drain on paper towels or better yet on brown paper sheets for fried food, season with salt and serve hot.


Sheet pan chicken, broccoli and carrots

The secret of this one sheet pan chicken and broccoli recipe is the balsamic vinegar seasoning.

prep time 15 min     cook time 25-30 min
ingredients for 4
  • 1,2kg chicken breast and/or drumsticks
  • 400 g broccoli florets
  • 3 carrots in sticks
  • 1-2 red onions, quartered
  • 250g baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • thyme and origano

1.Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

2. Prep all of your chicken and veggies and dump them on a sheet pan or an oven proof glass dish.

3. In a small bowl add 2/3 of oil, 1/3 of balsamic vinegar, spices, salt and pepper.  Whisk together.

4. Pour the oil mixture over the chicken and veggies and mix well.  Lay out in a single layer.

5. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.