Braised food

Eastern Easter: Georgina Hayden’s Kibbeh and Braised Vegetable Recipes | Food

Kebbet laktine

Preparation 20 mins
Rest 30 minutes
To cook 1h10
Serves 6–8

1 kg pumpkin or butternut squashpeeled, seeded and cut into 3cm pieces, or 400g pumpkin purée
1 onion
250g fine bulgur
½ cup
sp ground cinnamon
¼ cup
ground allspice
sea ​​salt and
black pepper
3 t
plain flour
100ml olive oil
5 red onions
peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
peeled and thinly sliced
200 g leaf spinach
1 t
cumin seeds
½ cup
sp pul biber or dried chili flakes
3 t
bsp pomegranate molasses
2 tons
tablespoon toasted pine nuts

If using fresh pumpkin, put the pieces in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until tender, then drain in a colander and steam for 30 minutes to evaporate any excess liquid. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the onion and set aside.

Once the pumpkin has cooled and dried, you should have about 400g. Transfer to a large bowl and purée with a hand blender. Stir in the chopped onion, bulgur, cinnamon and allspice and season, then set aside for 30 minutes, so the bulgur can absorb the moisture from the pumpkin. Stir in the flour until combined, then use your hands to knead the mixture into a smooth dough. If it looks a little dry and crumbly, very gradually add enough water to bring it together – depending on the pumpkin, you might need up to six tablespoons.

Heat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan)/425°F/Gas 7. Brush a deep 24cm fluted tart pan with a little oil (I find larger flutes work better with this recipe ). Press the pumpkin and bulgur dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan, then drizzle generously with olive oil, brushing it gently so that it coats the entire surface of the dough. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown all over and the tops of the sides are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, prepare the garnish. Rinse the spinach well, then set aside. Put a large saucepan over medium-low heat, add three tablespoons of oil, then stir in the onions and garlic, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, until beginning to soften. Stir in the cumin seeds, pul biber and a teaspoon of salt and black pepper, then fry, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes, until sticky and sweet.

Stir in the pomegranate molasses and cook for another five minutes – the onions should now be beautifully pink. Add the spinach, increase the heat slightly and cook for 8-10 minutes, until all the leaves are wilted and there is almost no moisture left in the pan.

Pour the filling into the pie shell, then remove it from the pan and slide it onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with pine nuts and let stand for five minutes before serving.

Braised fennel with saffron

Preparation 5 minutes
To cook 45 minutes
Serves 4

1 pinch of saffron threads
2 fennel bulbs
Olive oil
and black pepper
1 t
bsp agave or maple syrup (or sugar)
½ bunch of flat-leaf parsley
picked and roughly chopped
2 tons
bsp of harissa paste

Put the saffron in a medium bowl filled with 350ml of just boiled water and let steep. Pluck the fronds from the fennel bulbs and set aside, then cut off the tops of the stems and the base of the bulbs and cut the fennel into wedges.

Arrange the fennel wedges in a single layer in a large skillet, drizzle with a little olive oil, season generously and turn to coat. Put the skillet over medium heat and sauté the fennel for about 10-12 minutes, turning the wedges once halfway through, until lightly browned.

Drizzle with syrup, cook for another three or four minutes, until the quarters are slightly caramelized, then pour the saffron and its soaking water into the pan. Increase the heat, bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until the fennel is tender.

When the fennel is cooked through, remove the lid and increase the heat to cook most of the liquid in the pan, until only about 5mm remains at the bottom. Turn off the heat and let the fennel cool slightly.

Spread the harissa on a serving plate, place the fennel quarters on top and coat with a little cooking juice. Sprinkle with parsley and reserved fennel tops and serve.

Sweet and sour leeks

Preparation 5 minutes
To cook 40 minutes
Serves 4, as an accompaniment

3 leeks
4 tons
tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
peeled and thinly sliced
1 t
tbsp caster sugar
2 sprigs of thyme or oregano
picked leaves
and black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon

Peel the leeks, finely chop the green parts and cut the whites into slices 2 cm wide, then put everything in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water.

Put a large saucepan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and minced garlic, and sauté for a minute. Add the sugar and fry for a minute or two more, until the garlic is lightly browned. Stir in the washed leeks and herbs, season with a good pinch of salt and pepper and fry, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Add 75ml of water, cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until softened and sticky. Remove the lid, increase the heat slightly and cook for another five minutes, to remove any excess liquid.

Stir in the lemon juice, season to taste and serve.

  • Recipes taken from Nistisima: The Secret to Delicious Vegan Cooking from the Mediterranean and Beyond, by Georgina Hayden, published by Bloomsbury at £26. To order a copy for £22.62, go to