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Squashy, Minty, Cyprioty Nommnoms

26 April 2011

I had a wine and cheese a while back, and looked for recipes that are

  • appropriate for my veg friends;
  • adventurous;
  • cheesey;
  • and, tea-inspired!

Pretty Platter

Fruit Salad in a Jasmine Chili Lime Syrup

Pears Poached in Cabernet Sauvignon with Cinnamon, Cloves, and Ginger

There were the classics, like bocconcini, brie, and herbed goat’s, and the more adventurous..
Like Halloumi. When you come across a cheese that the ladies at Spinelli’s (Italian Centre Shop) deli don’t know of, you’ve found a unique variety!!
The creation:
Mint Tea Couscous with roast squash, halloumi, dates, and pistachios.

The dish.

The recipe:
  • 1 lb butternut squash, wedged
  • 3 T EVOO
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 2 large dried chiles
  • 8 oz halloumi cheese
  • 3 T pistachios, shelled and chopped
  • 2 peppermint tea bags
  • 1 1/4 C just-boiled water
  • 1 1/4 C couscous
  • 4 oz fresh Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 2 T EVOO (or argan oil)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400*F.
Place squash in roasting pan, drizzle with 2 T olive oil, tuck in bay leaves, thyme, garlic cloves, and chiles. Roast for 25 min, or until squash is almost tender. Raise temp to 475*F. Add halloumi and pistachios, drizzle with remaining olive oil, and roast for a further 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, put peppermint tea in a heatproof pitcher or teapot and pour over the hot water. Allow to steep for 1 minute, then discard the tea bags. Put couscous and dates in a large bowl, season to taste, and pour over the hot tea. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 5 minutes, or until grains have swollen and absorbed the tea.
Fluff up couscous with a fork, stirring in about half the ingredients from the roasting pan at the same time. Spoon into bowls and top with remaining ingredients. Drizzle with oil and serve.
^ this was one of the hits of the party! I didn’t serve over mint couscous as we had many other carbs going on (Black Russian, anyone?), but I can’t wait to make it again and try out the flavoured grain!

Matcha Cake with Green Tea Lime Buttercream

Any recommendations for other exotic cheeses? Tea recipes?! Please share :D

Cutting the Cake with Lulu

Food & Friends <3

Stella came for a visit, too :)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Astrid permalink
    26 April 2011 16:31

    OH MY GOODNESS!! It all looks delicious!!

    I’m definitely not going to let anything stop me next time you do a tweet-invite. :)


  2. Kate Y. permalink
    26 April 2011 16:51

    Once again you are my foodie hero.

  3. 29 July 2011 06:26

    Your mint tea couscous sounds delicious. I’m quite sure it’s not a coincidence that you chose mint tea, halloumi cheese, couscous, nuts and dried fruits …. they’re all very Moroccan in nature (not sure about butternut squash, but it sounds all so very delicious!). True foodie alert.

    As for tea-based recipes, I’m reminded of Aarti Paarti’s blog in which she makes earl grey flavored ice cream. I guess if Earl Grey’s not your poison and Rutherford’s Rose is …. go with that :)

    A great cheese for cheese and wine events that I always take with me is chèvre … it’s an aged goat cheese…. so delicious and rich in flavor (a tad expensive though). If u haven’t tried it (which I highly doubt), you must!

    • 7 August 2011 16:38

      Thanks Addie! That ice cream sounds DYNAMITE – are you going to make me some or do I need to plan another party?! LOVE chevre. mm.

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