Juicy Prune Compote with Spices

This year we had been blessed with a lot fruits from the garden and now the plums (European plums or prunes) are just ripe enough.

I decided to create a side dish, which goes with meat (for example roasted pork, chicken or game), but now I think that this (perhaps with less salt, and adapting the spices to your taste) would be lovely as a dessert with vanilla ice cream, Greek plain yogurt or over your morning muesli (or cereals) . Next time…

For the preparation, I used allspice, finely crushed coriander and pepper, but other combinations would work as well. Alternatives could be cinnamon, cardamom, ground ginger, cloves, grated orange zest, garam masala and so on.

Juicy Prune Compote with Spices

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

You need

  • 12 prunes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • ½ teaspoon finely crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoon brandy (or grappa, whisky, …)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine


  1. Wash the prunes, cut into halves and remove the pits.
  2. In a small bowl combine sugar spices, salt, water and brandy
  3. In a non-sticky frying pan, heat the butter at medium heat and fry the prunes on the skin side for a few minutes until you see that the skin begins to brown.
  4. Pour the mixture over the prunes and turn the prunes cut side down.
  5. Cook until the juice reduces to a thick medium thick sauce and the cut side of the prunes begins to turn brown. Don’t let burn the sugar!
  6. Immediately remove from the skillet and place in a serving plate.


Lotus Onions

Cooking is fun form e and trying to get special results and good looking, makes me feel happy and finding the way to serve stunning food let me feel enthusiastic.

WOW! Such cute flowers, so good and so easy to prepare! This is one great technique which I was looking for!

We enjoyed these impressive onions as side dish to grilled meat, but as an addition to a salad, they would be perfect as well.

Note: baking time may be different according to size of the onions. For big onions you should increase the baking time  or the temperature of the step “6”. Mine were medium sized (about 7 cm wide).

These “Lotus Onions” may be served hot or cold, I think they would be great also to cheese-raclette!

Lotus Onions

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need:

  • 2- 4 onions, red, yellow or white, if possible a sweet kind
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Fine salt
  • 2-4 teaspoons Sesame seeds


  1. Cut the bottom root off the onion off but just enough to keep it from rolling around and peel the onion.
  2. Carefully make four vertical cuts making 8 wedges but keep the bottom intact. Be very careful not to cut through.
  3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Place the onion in the bowl and turn from time to time letting the liquid get into the core of the onion.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F (this would work to 180°C/350°F in a fan forced oven as well) .
  5. Arrange onions root end down in to you baking dish and spoon remaining marinade into the onions.
  6. Bake covered for 20 minutes, remove the cover reduce heat to 180°C/350°C and bake for other 20 minutes or done.
  7. In the meantime, roast dry (without oil) the sesame seeds in a non-stick skillet.
  8. Rearrange onions on a serving dish so that their petals open, and drizzle with the juices from the pan.
  9. Sprinkle the centre of the onion with the roasted sesame seed.

Author: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com


Balsamic Onions

Balsamic Onions

Have you ever tried to prepare balsamic onions at home? It’s really easy and your will get a very versatile side dish to come your meal and get some very tasty dishes.

I used this as onion salad for our first raclette this year but here some more suggestions:

  • a spoonful for your burgers and sandwiches
  • complete your cold meat or salad appetizers
  • while cooking you can add it to soups, casseroles, pasta sauces or braised dishes
  • serve it to boiling meat or other meat dishes

Prepare this in a big skillet to medium heat, and let the onions cook slowly avoiding burning. In this way the wine and sugars have time to get inside the onion layers and caramelize steadily. Don’t stir while cooking as you want them look attractive!

The quantity of sugar you will add is up to you, it depends on your taste and the way you will use it.

Caramelized onions will keep just fine in the fridge for around a week, but you can also freeze them or place them in jar and make pretty presents. For canning remember to place the bay leaf and the herbs of the side of the jar to make it look more beautiful and sterilize them.

I found that a mixture of yellow and red onions is delicious and looks really beautiful!

Balsamic onions

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

You Need

  • 8-12 small onions (if possible a mixture of yellow and red onions)
  • 1 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1-3 tablespoons brown sugar (for the raclette side dish I used only one)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-8 savory or thyme springs (I used the winter savory, Satureja montana)
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Trim the tip and as less as possible of the root from the onions, cut them in half and remove the skins. Slice the onion vertically in wedges
  2. Add all the onions to the skillet add 1 cup of wine, sugar herbs, peppercorns and salt and cook slowly covered for about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove lid and cook until wine liquid is almost evaporated and onions begins to caramelize.
  4. When your onions have finished cooking, pour 1/4 cup wine. As the liquid bubbles, scrape up the fond and stir it into the onions. Use additional liquid as necessary to scrape up gently all the fond. Salt the onions to taste and add the balsamic vinegar.
  5. Let them cool in the skillet and transfer to a serving dish or storage container.

Zucchini Baba Ganoush

Zucchini Baba Ganoush

This is my third dish of my set from the past weekend. The Zucchini baba ganoush prepared with zucchini instead of eggplants arrange on a plate with the roasted zucchini made a great effects. For decoration I used chili flakes instead of roosted sesame seed for a different and more spiced taste.

We were lucky with the weather, we enjoyed all dishes on the balcony. Almost summer yet!

You need

o    3 large zucchini, sliced in lengthwise

o    5 tablespoons olive oil

o    1 tablespoon salt

o    2 garlic cloves

o    2 tablespoons lemon juice

o    2 tablespoon tahini

o    2 tablespoon Greek yogurt

o    1 tablespoon breadcrumbs

o    Olive oil, for garnish

o    ½ tablespoon roasted sesame seed or dried chili strips for topping


  1. Toss zucchini with 2 tablespoons olive oil and broil cut-side up in the oven until golden brown and tender.
  2. Cut zucchini in pieces. Add half of zucchini and remaining ingredients except those for the topping to a blender and process until smooth.
  3. Arrange zucchini pieces with baba ganoush on a plate.

Top with little olive oil and garnish with sesame seed or chili strips.

Orange Carrot Salad

Orange and Carrot Salad


Tone in tone colors for this refreshing sweet and sour salad.

Add more sugar if your orange are too tangy.

Don’t add more salt, as this would soak too much juice from the carrots.

Serve as side dish to grilled meat or simply with a combination of different salads and fresh bread.

You need

o    3 cups shredded carrots

o    2 medium sweet oranges, peeled and diced

o    2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

o    1 teaspoon sugar

o    2 tablespoons olive oil

o    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

o    1 dash salt

o    1/4 cup roasted pine nuts


  1. Combine all ingredients except salt and pine nuts in a big bowl.
  2. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  3. Fold under salt and pine nuts. Serve chilled.

Red Couscous Salad with Beets and Walnuts

Red Couscous Salad with Beets and Walnuts

Playing with colors we had this impressive red velvet couscous with some contrasting fresh green herbs and walnuts.

Lemon, parsley and mint are the traditional condiments for couscous salads; in this recipe you will find the addition of za’atar. If you cannot find it you can mix the ingredients suggested below. In Middle Eastern shops you can find these ingredients, if not, it works without sumac too.

This gives a big bowls and serves 4-6 persons!

You need

o    1 cup uncooked couscous (fast cooking)

o    2 medium beets

o    1 tablespoon za’atar spice mix (you can also mix 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon sumac)

o    1/4 cup olive oil

o    1 lemon, juice of

o    salt and pepper to taste

o    1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped

o    2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves chopped

o    2 tablespoons mint leaves chopped


Peel and cook the beet roots in little water until tender but not mush. Don’t discard cooking water

Chop the beets into a small dice while they are still warm.

Measure 1 ½ cups cooking water (or add some water to this volume), boil it and pour over couscous, combine with diced roots. Cover and let soak. After 30 minutes it should be ready.

Toss couscous with za’atar, olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Let cool down to room temperature.

Spread on a tray and let cool down completely

Fold under herbs and walnuts.  Toss well.  Refrigerate for at least an hour until completely chilled.

Check the seasonings and serve garnished with a few more nuts and herbs and sprinkle with extra za’atar.

Artichokes with Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs

Artichokes with Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs

Fresh artichokes would be the best choice for this dish, but with canned artichokes it works as well and it is really very fast to prepare.

Serve this as tapas, over pasta or as side dish, but don’t forget to use a lot of fresh herbs like thyme, marjoram, savory or oregano.

If have fresh artichokes, you should trim and clean before and place them in a bowl with water and little lemon juice.

Arrange and serve still warm or at room temperature on a plate for serving.

You need

o    2 tablespoon olive oil

o    5 garlic cloves, minced

o    300 g fresh baby artichokes or 300 g canned artichoke hearts

o    300 g fresh tomatoes, seeds removed, diced

o    Chili flakes, to taste

o    1/2 cup white wine

o    salt and pepper to taste

o    3 tablespoon fresh herbs, as thyme, marjoram, savory or oregano.


  1. First of all prepare all your ingredients including the artichokes.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil and fry garlic until fragrant.
  3. If using fresh artichokes add them to the skilled with the water, cover and simmer until tender. If using canned fry them 2 minutes with the garlic.
  4. Add tomatoes, chili flakes and wine.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add herbs, stir ones and simmer for 2 minutes.
  7. Arrange on a plate or simply serve them on pasta

Carrots with Coriander and Yogurt Sauce

Mom, could you prepare again some carrots with coriander and yogurt sauce, please!

I love to try out recipes and to change my dishes but this is definitely a keeper in our family and I’m sure I will prepare this again and again.

It’s really simple and a great side dish to many meat dishes.

You can serve this warm or cold!

You need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped

For the sauce

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed


  1. Heat olive oil in a wide frying pan provided of a cover.
  2. Add carrot and fry at medium temperature for five minutes stirring from time to time.
  3. Add salt and coriander, cover and cook at minimum temperature until softened.
  4. In the meanwhile combine in a medium bowl all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce.
  5. Just before serving add fresh coriander to the carrots.
  6. Serve carrots topped with yogurt sauce and enjoy with fresh bread.

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