‘Mediterranean’ cookbook recipes: From buratta to barbecued beans

The benefits of a Mediterranean diet are known the world over, and enjoying them has never been easier than with Susie Theodorou’s new book, which promotes a simpler, healthier and happier way of life

Susie Theodorou
Thursday 21 June 2018 18:25 BST
Escarole or dandelion leaves and chilli flakes beautifully cut through creamy burrata
Escarole or dandelion leaves and chilli flakes beautifully cut through creamy burrata (Photography by John Kernick)

Escarole and chilli flakes

Serves 4

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g escarole or dandelion leaves, washed and dried
½ tsp Calabrian chilli flakes
Juice of ½ lemon
1 x 150g burrata
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the escarole or dandelion leaves and chilli flakes. As soon as the leaves wilt, drain and place on a serving plate. Add the lemon juice to the pan juices and season with salt and pepper.

Partially split open the burrata into four pieces on the escarole or dandelion leaves, spoon over the oil juices and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

(John Kernick)

Barbecued tuna, cucumber and radish salad

As an alternative to the charcoal grill, you can sear the fish on a preheated grill pan or a cast-iron pan for 3 minutes on each side. This method will blacken the fish on the outside, which surprisingly the charcoal barbecue does not!

Serves 4

2 x 200g tuna steaks
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8-12 radishes, depending on size, scrubbed clean
2 small Persian cucumbers, trimmed
25g small flat-leaf parsley sprigs
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Caper and olive salsa (optional)

Prepare the charcoal barbecue and brush the grill rack with oil. Rub the tuna steaks (ensuring they are at room temperature) with about 1 tablespoon of the oil and season all over. Place on the grill rack and listen to it sizzle. Chargrill for only 3 minutes on each side (it is best served medium). Take off the heat and set aside to stand for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, using a mandolin, thinly slice the radishes and cucumbers and place in a large bowl. Add the parsley sprigs, season with salt and pepper and toss together with the remaining extra virgin olive oil.

Divide the salad between four serving plates. Slice the tuna, against the grain, and arrange over the top. Spoon over the salsa and serve.

(John Kernick)

Barbecued flat beans

These flat beans can be young, tender runner beans or Romano beans (a tender flat bean in a pod) – excellent served with grilled or roasted meats, poultry and fish.

Serves 4

750g flat beans, topped and tailed
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
50g parmesan, grated on a microplane 
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat a charcoal grill and place a cooling rack over the top. Brush with oil.

If the beans are really long, cut them down to about 7cm. Place the beans in a bowl and drizzle with half the oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat thoroughly. Line the beans on top of the grill rack and cook the beans for 3 minutes until they are just charring in places.

Turn the beans over and cook again until they are just charring; they should still be green in places. About 8 minutes cooking time in total is all that is needed.

Transfer to a serving plate and scatter with the parmesan. Mix together the vinegar with the remaining oil and drizzle over the beans. Serve.

Mediterranean by Susie Theodorou is published by Kyle Books (£16.99). Photography by John Kernick

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