These tantalising treats from the sun-soaked Croatian island of Korčula will take your tastebuds on a trip to the Adriatic Sea. Recipes extracted with permission from The Adriatic Kitchen published by Exisle Publishing.
Roast chicken with pomegranate and spinach
There are two varieties of pomegranate in Račišće — one is sweeter than the other. To me they look the same, but the locals seem to be able to tell them apart easily. Beyond the path behind our house, on an unused piece of land in a small wilderness, we are lucky to have a tree of each variety.
This unusual combination provides a surprising burst of flavour.
6 skinless chicken thighs
30 grams (about 2 tablespoons) plain flour seasoned with sea salt and black pepper
small handful of fresh thyme, finely chopped
sea salt and black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
125 millilitres (½ cup) white wine
seeds from 1 pomegranate
2 handfuls of spinach, washed
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F). Place the chicken and seasoned flour in a large brown paper bag. Shake the bag to coat the chicken pieces thoroughly.
- Place a large frying pan over medium heat and pan-fry the chicken in a small amount of olive oil until lightly browned, turning once.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and place in an ovenproof casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with thyme, salt, pepper and garlic. Pour the wine over the chicken and drizzle with olive oil.
- Roast, covered, for 25 minutes before adding the pomegranate seeds and cooking for 5 more minutes.
- When the chicken is cooked all the way through (the juices should run clear when the chicken is pierced with a skewer), remove from the oven.
- Add the spinach and replace the lid for a few minutes until the spinach wilts. There should be a sauce at the bottom of the pan to pour over the chicken.
- Serve with brown or black rice.
Spiced Lentils with Roast Cherry Tomatoes and Shallots
I was inspired to make this recipe with an Italian influence when we came upon lentils growing wild in our olive grove at Glava.
12 cherry or cocktail tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and green pepper
1 cup uncooked lentils, any variety
750 millilitres (3 cups) water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
250 millilitres (1 cup) coconut milk
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
- Peel the shallots and place with the tomatoes into a baking dish lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground green pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes until shallots begin to turn brown and the tomatoes are splitting. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Place the lentils in a saucepan with 3 cups of cold water bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until lentils are soft. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin, turmeric and mustard seeds and cook covered until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
- Stir occasionally. Add the ginger and continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Add the lentils, coconut milk, tomatoes and shallots. Stir gently and simmer for 5 minutes until combined.
- Serve hot.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Every summer our tomato crop is prolific. Each and every variety thrives here and the flavour is intense.
With his habit of picking tomatoes early in the morning before the onslaught of the summer heat, my husband has become a source of amusement to the locals. They wander along Flower Street and call out to him, “Why you do that? Picking tomatoes and working in the garden is women’s work.”
tomatoes (Romas are best for this recipe, but cocktail or cherry tomatoes can also be used)
salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F).
- Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and place on a large baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Drizzle with a small quantity of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until tomatoes are partially dehydrated and lightly caramelized around the edges.
Purchase from http://www.exislepublishing.com.au/The-Adriatic-Kitchen.html and wherever good books are sold.
Barbara Unković is of Croatian and English descent and is a cousin to D.H. Lawrence. She is author of The Adriatic Kitchen published by Exisle Publishing.
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