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July 15, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Nigella Lawstudent – A Very Good Place to Start

After my last exam and before I flew home for the holidays, I threw a dinner party. Sure, there were only six of us and the main reason for said dinner party was to watch Gilmore Girls and drink ginger wine (try it, it’s delicious), but I still wanted nice food, and I wanted lots of it. We had a cheesy pasta bake with mozzarella, brie, roasted tomatoes and spinach puree for our main, but in my eyes it was our entrees that stole the show…

 

Dukkah

Dukkah is a delicious Egyptian dip that is normally served with bread and olive oil: dip the bread into the olive oil and then into the dukkah. It is normally made with hazelnuts, but I prefer mine with a mix of almonds and cashews.

70 g almonds
70 g cashews
70 g sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon thyme
rock salt and pepper

In a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan, slowly cook the nuts and seasonings on a medium heat until the nuts start to brown. Make sure to move the nuts around in the pan frequently, as once burnt they are unsalvageable. This should take about 6-8 minutes. Once browned, tip the contents of the pan into a food processor and process until finely chopped – not completely powdered but not too chunky. Pour into a bowl and serve with olive oil and your favourite bread – I recommend something white so as to not detract from the flavour of the dukkah. My favourite is ciabatta.

 

Carrot and parsnip strips with halloumi

3 carrots
2 parsnips
1 onion
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon oregano5 tablespoons honey
1 (200g) packet of halloumi
vegetable oil
salt and pepper
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots and parsnips into thin strips. Place these in a large frying pan. Don’t worry if there are a lot; they’ll cook down. Slice the onion into long but thin strips and add them too. Add about 3 tablespoons of oil, and the cumin seeds, and start frying the vegetables on a medium-high heat. Add the honey and continue cooking until the strips are soft when eaten and starting to caramelise: between 7 and 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the halloumi into 1-cm-thick pieces and fry at a medium-high heat in a couple of tablespoons of oil until it browns. Once the strips are cooked, arrange them on a serving plate. Put the fried halloumi on top, and then some small sliced strips of sun-dried tomato. Season well, with plenty of salt to cut through the sweetness of the honey.

Enjoy hot or the halloumi will have cooled and be too rubbery.

Serves 4 as a starter.

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