Sometimes it’s the most simple recipe that really shines. The sweetness of grilled figs stuffed with creamy goat cheese. A match made in heaven!
Serve while the figs are still warm, as an impressive first course. Add some watercress or arugula to make a lovely salad. Or replace the goat cheese with ricotta or yogurt for a luscious dessert. If you like a twist, you can also replace the honey with balsamic glaze (In a small saucepan simmer one cup balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp honey over medium heat, 10 to 15 minutes, until reduced by half and balsamic is thick and syrupy).
All there is to them is cutting a pocket in some figs, stuffing them with goat cheese, add a crunchy walnut, grilling until softened and then finish with a drizzle of honey. Absolutely delectable!
Grilled figs with goat cheese and honey
- 4 Fresh Figs
- 4 tablespoons crumbled Goat Cheese
- 4 Walnuts
- Preheat your grill to medium-low heat, about 300 degrees.
- Cut two slits into the top of each fig, about two-thirds of the way down to the base (x-pattern / deep cross), and then give them a gentle squeeze to open them up slightly like a flower.
- Stuff each fig with about 1 teaspoon of goat cheese. Top with a walnut.
- Grill the figs for 6-8 minutes, until they are softened and brown slightly.
- Arrange the figs on a serving plate. Drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.
- Add some watercress or arugula to make a lovely salad. Or replace the goat cheese with ricotta or yogurt for a luscious dessert. If you like a twist, you can also replace the honey with balsamic glaze.
Secret mission unraveled: I’ve been on a quest to discover the perfect veggie lasagna.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a pasta lover. But let’s be honest: pasta isn’t the most nutritious stuff around. So I’ve tried to find a way to capture the essence of lasagna, well… without actually using pasta. Does that make sense?
On the hunt for perfection, it took me some time to come up with this recipe. But I’m really happy with how it turned out. So, I’m very excited to present to you: The Ultimate Vegetable Lasagna! No pasta, no meat, low-carb and gluten-free!
Instead of being just grains, meat and dairy – this recipe is almost entirely made from vegetables. Layers of eggplant and zucchini, with a rich sauce of tomato, onion, garlic and oregano, and a creamy soft ricotta layer in between. It might fool you in thinking you’re actually eating pasta!
As a final test I’ve even served it to my number one critic: my hubby. His first response: “Wow, this tastes really good. It’s like a lasagna, but then with vegetables!’ Check, mission succeeded!
Veggie Lasagna (no pasta/meat, low carb & gluten free)
- 2 Eggplant/Aubergine (preferable 1regular & 1Sicilian)
- 1 Zucchini
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- Tomato Sauce (2 2/3 cup / 21.2oz / 600g)
- Olive Oil
- Ricotta (1 cup / 8.8oz / 250g)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
- Cut of the stems and wash the eggplants and zucchini. Cut them into thin slices.
- Prepare the sauce: finely chop the garlic cloves and onion. Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, some salt, pepper and oregano. Cook 3-5min. Add the tomato sauce. Stir until all the flavors are absorbed into the tomato sauce. Remove the sauce from the heat.
- Construct your lasagna in a large oven tray. Aim to make 5 layers; 3 vegetable layers and 2 sauce layers. (Layer 1:) Start with a layer made with 1/3 of the eggplant/zucchini. (Layer 2:) Add a layer with halve of the tomato sauce. (Layer 3:) Follow with a layer of vegetables, again 1/3. (Layer 4:) Pour in the remaining halve of the tomato sauce and sprinkle over all the ricotta. (Layer 5:) End with a final layer of vegetables.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the veggies are tender and the ricotta cheese has melted.
Are these veggies feisty or what?!
Ok, I’ve got a confession to make: normally I don’t like stuffed peppers so much. I’m always disappointed when I order a vegetarian dish in a restaurant and once again end up with a stuffed bell pepper on my plate (often stuffed with… yes, more bell pepper). So here I am, feeling kind of embarrassed, sharing a stuffed pepper recipe myself! But please don’t rule out this dish. I promise, this one is great!
I love the popping colors of the red peppers, yellow lemon zest and green basil leaves. But most of all, I love the yummy rich flavors. Wonderful to serve as an entree or side-dish. Besides serving it at dinner, it can also be a great lunch alternative or snack! Just toast some slices of bread and spread them with the cheese mixture and sprinkle over some chopped roasted pepper. Enjoy!
Stuffed Sweet Peppers
- 4 (Italian) Sweet Peppers
- Ricotta (250g/9oz/1cup)
- Soft Goat Cheese (125g/4oz)
- 2 Shallots
- 1 Clove Garlic
- A handful fresh basil leaves (15g)
- 1 Lemon (zest and 1 tablespoon juice)
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
- Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, take out the seeds and arrange the peppers on an oven tray.
- Finely chop the shallots, galic clove and most of the basil leaves (save some for garnish). To make the filling, put the ricotta, goat cheese, shallots, garlic and basil in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste, and whisk thoroughly.
- Spoon about two tablespoons of the cheese mixture into each pepper and press in so it fills them evenly. Place them in the oven and roast until tender, for about 20 minutes.
- Garnish with some basil leaves and lemon zest.