Dolma and Plakya: recipe for vegetable summer snacks by Alexander Tarareshkov |

M.When I was a child in Bulgaria, I was always “helping out” in the kitchen, so my late grandmother instilled in me a love of food. was dolma for my obligatory afternoon snack (skip it if you dare, your development as a healthy human being was in jeopardy). When I get home, my mom greets me with a green bean stew that sits proudly among the pantheon of culinary gods: meatballs in tomato sauce, moussaka and, of course, dolma and salma.

Green Bean Prakya with Roasted Garlic (above)

My mom swears this super easy and delicious dish retains all the flavors of each vegetable. Plaqueya A cooking method in which vegetables are sliced, layered and roasted and served at room temperature. It also contains plenty of garlic. Pick cloves as you go, or squeeze them all over the finished dish.

Preparation 15 minutes
cooking 45 minutes
serve Four

Kidney beans 500g
1½ heads of garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4-5 medium tomatoes
1 handful of parsley

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/475F/gas. Cut the tomatoes along the equator into 1 cm thick rounds.

Arrange the tomatoes on a 22 cm heat-resistant plate, sprinkle a little salt, layer the bean mix, and layer the tomatoes on top.

Cut the entire garlic bulb to expose the cloves, then tuck this into the middle of the stack of tomatoes and beans so that it is flush with the top, then drizzle it over the remaining oil. Cover the dish with and roast for 20 minutes, then remove the cover and roast for an additional 25 minutes.

fresh pepper dolma

Fresh pepper dolma from Aleksandar Taralezhkov.
Fresh pepper dolma from Aleksandar Taralezhkov.

This salad-like dolma is a refined version of Grandma’s cooking that combines seasonal herbs with whatever is on hand (nuts, pickles, jam). As a rule, use a mixture of herbs – dill, parsley, oregano, thyme. Nuts or seeds to chew (work well with pumpkin seeds, for example). Pickles such as preserved lemons and capers for sharp cut-throughs. Also use up the pickle seasoning at the bottom of the jar. A selection of colorful peppers here makes for a criminally appealing dish. Also, try a variety of cured white cheeses, including buffalo, sheep, and goat cheeses.

Preparation 10 minutes
serve Four

2-3 medium bell peppers (Bell peppers are not very suitable due to their large diameter)
25g walnutschopped
a handful each of parsley
and dill leaveschopped
1/2 lemon zest
100g feta cheese
50g butter
at room temperature
pickled red onion,serve
fennel leaves,serve
Olive oil,serve

Cut off the tops of the peppers, scoop out the insides and seeds and discard. Tap the stubborn. Combine walnuts, herbs, preserved lemon zest, feta cheese and butter in a small bowl and use a small spoon to mix into each pepper.

Cut the pepper filling into 1/2 cm thick circles (if it’s a warm day, put them in the fridge for a few minutes to cool first; this helps a lot with slicing). Top with pickled onions, fennel and pickle jar grits. If desired, serve with a generous drizzle of olive oil to finish.

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