From Mezze to Milk Tart, Cecile Yazbek, Wakefield Press, 2011.
There is a great number of flashy cookbooks in the bookshops. They are glossy, full coloured, almost coffee table books. And hidden among these large showy books there are some small soft-covered books with no illustrations that could easily tend to be overlooked.
This one caught my eye because I stopped to work out what the title was: Mezze to Milk Tart. I guessed it meant from appetiser to dessert. But the subtitle made me look further: From the Middle East to Africa in my vegetarian kitchen. I thought this needed investigating a little further so I picked it up and flipped through the pages. There was a wide selection of recipes worth checking out. Not being one of the large colourful books it was not over expensive to buy.
The author has an interesting background. She grew up in South Africa, the daughter of Lebanese parents. She eventually migrated to Sydney and there ran Cecile’s Vegetarian Kitchen, a cooking school. She has now retired.
The corn and bean loaf began with an interesting sweated vegetable base, which the author uses for many of her recipes. Carrots, onion and celery are grated and placed in a saucepan with a little oil, some salt and a bay leaf. The saucepan is covered and the vegetables are sweated over a very low heat for about 20 minutes.
A measure of this sweated vegetables was placed on the bottom of a casserole dish. An egg was beaten with about a cup of stock, a cup of cornflour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder. This was seasoned and a can of beans was added. This lot was poured over the vegetable mix.
Over the top of all of this went a chopped tomato, a sprinkling of paprika and some grated Parmesan cheese. Some chopped thyme was sprinkled over the top and the casserole was placed in the oven to cook.
This was a very simple loaf to make and it turned out a reasonable one. It’s not one I would make again but with some sweet chilli sauce and a few other vegetables it made a comfortable meal.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔