Tag Archives: Med

Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Bread

Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Bread
Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Bread
image: A Little Thought for Food

This is a variant of the Roast Fennel and Olive bread, I wanted to try and get some more Mediterranean flavours in, the recipe was a trial run and didn’t come out too badly. I’m going to try adding some sundried tomato puree to the water next time and maybe some roasted garlic. The basic recipe is listed

Makes 1 large loaf or 2 smaller ones


  • 700 g strong white bread flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 7 g sachet dried active yeast
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 2 tsp olive oil from the sun dried tomatoes
  • 75 g Sun Dried tomatoes (in oil), drained,  roughly chopped and dried in kitchen towel,  dusting them in a little flour will also help them to be mixed into the dough
  • 150g quartered Kalamata Olives, drained and dried in kitchen towel, as with the tomatoes, dusting them in a little flour will also help them to be mixed into the dough
  • 1 tsp Zatar (optional)


  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the sugar and yeast with the herbs and 1 tbsp of the oil and 425ml of lukewarm water.
  2. Mix to a soft dough, then transfer to a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  3. Knead in the olives and tomatoes until evenly distributed.
  4. Place in a clean, oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
  5. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead again briefly.
  6. Shape into a sausage shape about 32cm long, slash the top a few times with a sharp knife and transfer to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  7. Drizzle over the rest of the oil. Cover with a tea towel again and leave to rise for 20 minutes.
  8. Scatter the Zatar and a little flaked sea salt over the top.
  9. Preheat the oven to 230°C, gas mark 8. Bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes or a bit longer if your mixture is a tad dense It should have risen and be golden and also sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

Cool on a wire rack before slicing, serve with a bowl of hearty and warming soup like  my Bacon and Lentil or North African Chickpea

Jewelled Pumpkin Rice

Jewelled Pumpkin Rice
Jewelled Pumpkin Rice

We were sorting through the freezer this weekend working out what was stored in there and doing a bit of a rationalisation. I saw a bag of raw Pumpkin that had been saved this years Halloween ‘Jack O Lantern’. and wondered what I could do with it, maybe a Spiced Pumpkin soup or something more exotic. Sam and Sam Clarke at Moro, a Southern Mediterranean restaurant in London’s East End had a recipe for Jewelled Pumpkin Rice in their Moro East Cookbook, which looked stunning and defiantly one to try. The muted golds and yellow with the warming middle eastern spices are evocative of holidays in the North African side of the Med.

Serves 4 – 6 Gluten Free*


  • 500g peeled and seeded Pumpkin, butternut, or other winter squash, cut into dice
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • big pinch of saffron (about 50 strands)
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • cinnamon stick about 5 cms long
  • 4 allspice berries, crushed
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced across the grain
  • 15g dried barberrys (or currants)
  • 50g shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (freshly podded and ground if possible)
  • 300g basmati rice, soaked in tepid, salted water for 1 hour
  • 450ml vegetable/bouillon stock (use a Gluten Free stock for a Gluten Free recipe)


Preheat the oven to 230 degrees centigrade/Gas 8. Toss the squash with half of the salt and the olive oil. Spread in a baking tray, and roast for 30 minutes. Mix the saffron with 3 tbsp boiling water, and add 25g of the butter. Set aside.

Heat the remaining butter in a medium pan with the cinnamon and allspice until it foams, then add the onion and remaining 1/2 tsp of salt. Fry over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to colour. Add the barberries (or currants), pistachios, and cardamom, and cook for 10 minutes more, until the onion is golden and sweet.

Drain the rice and add it to the pan, stirring for a minute or two before pouring in the stock. Taste for seasoning, scatter with the roasted squash, cover with greaseproof paper and a tight-fitting lid, and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a final 5 minutes. Remove the lid and greaseproof paper, and drizzle with the buttery saffron water. Replace the lid and leave to rest, off the heat, for 5-10 minutes.


It can be served as a vegetarian main or as a spiced side dish to a Tagine.

*Gluten Free - Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list 
are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change 
their base ingredients frequently.