Minimum fuss. Maximum flavours. Jamie Oliver’s latest cookbook will have you whipping up a Med feast, every night of the week. He shared three recipes with us … a (delish) taste of what’s in the book!
Jamie’s most popular cookbook goes Mediterranean in this mouth-watering follow-up. 5 Ingredients Mediterranean is everything people loved about the first book, but with the added va-va-voom of basing it on Jamie’s lifelong travels around the Med. It will, he hopes, give you a real sense of the countries, cities and islands that he’s been to throughout his travels over the past 25 years. With more than 125 utterly delicious, easy-to-follow recipes, this book is all about making everyday cooking super-exciting, with minimal fuss. A little more than half the recipes are meat free or meat-reduced, all are big and bold on flavour. Soups and salads and sarnies, pies and parcels, seafood and fish and chicken and meat, as well as lovely sweet things … they’re all achievable by even the most timid of cooks, and are, says Jamie, a celebration of hero Mediterranean ingredients, flavours and combinations. Penguin, R540
Easy fig tart
Fruit & nut base, vanilla yoghurt & honey … Take the fuss out of creating a show-stopping dessert with this super-quick no-cook fig tart – a delicate base of crushed fruit and nuts, topped with yoghurt, figs and a drizzle of honey.
Serves 8 • Total time 10 minutes, plus chilling
300g luxury fruit and nut mix, 500g Greek yoghurt, 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, 1 teaspoon runny honey, plus extra to serve, 4 perfectly ripe figs
Line a 20cm springform cake tin with grease-proof paper. Tip the fruit and nuts into a food processor and blitz until fine and tacky (it should be easy to mould with your hands), then push and press it into the base of the lined tin, and 2.5cm up the sides. Leave to firm up in the freezer for 1 hour.
When the time’s up, mix the yoghurt with the vanilla and 1 teaspoon of honey, then spoon into the chilled tart case. Freeze for 1 further hour, or until slightly set. Release the tart from the tin, halve or quarter the figs and arrange nicely on top, then drizzle generously with honey, to finish.
Creamy chickpeas, spinach & sumac … Inspired by some of the wonderful flavours of Lebanon, this quick dish is perfect for an easy meal. Hunting out nice fat jarred chickpeas is game-changing when it comes to both flavour and texture.
Serves 2 • Total time 18 minutes
4 cloves of garlic, 2 x 150g skinless chicken breasts, half a 700g jar of chickpeas, 250g baby spinach, 1 heaped teaspoon sumac
Peel the garlic cloves and slice lengthways, then place in a large non-stick frying pan on a high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, stirring regularly. Slice each chicken breast lengthways into 3 strips, then toss with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Once the garlic is nicely golden, quickly remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the flavoured oil behind. Go in with the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden and cooked through, turning regularly.
Remove the chicken from the pan and tip in the chickpeas (juices and all). Add the spinach, along with most of the garlic and 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, then toss over the heat until the spinach has wilted and the chickpeas are hot through. Season to perfection with salt and pepper, then return the chicken to the pan and finish with the reserved garlic and a generous dusting of sumac.
Feta filo turnovers
Fresh marjoram, runny honey & pistachio sprinkle … “When I was a teenager visiting Cyprus on holiday, I was wowed by the recipes that would cook feta rather than just serve it in salads raw. For me, this is so incredibly simple, satisfying and impressive.”
Serves 4 • Total time 20 minutes
4 sheets of filo pastry, 200g feta cheese, half a bunch of marjoram (10g), 25g shelled unsalted pistachios, runny honey, to serve
Lay a sheet of filo on a damp tea towel and brush lightly with olive oil. Crumble a quarter of the feta across one side of the pastry, leaving a 3cm gap around the edges, and pick over a quarter of the marjoram leaves. Carefully fold over the filo, press the edges to seal, then fold in half again, pressing down gently to secure. Brush lightly with olive oil.
Place a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with a splash of olive oil, add the filo parcel and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp, then transfer to a serving plate. Meanwhile, bash or roughly chop the pistachios. Drizzle the parcel with honey and scatter over a quarter of the pistachios.
Repeat with the rest of the ingredients, serving each parcel as soon as it’s ready.