Tag: Onion Recipe

Legendary Dishes | Aubergines Farcies au Fromage et à L’oignon (stuffed aubergines)

  • 1.2 kg (4) aubergines
  • 300 g beef, minced
  • 300 g onions
  • 230 g Reblochon cheese
  • 100 g bacon, cubed
  • 60 ml white wine
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 30 g butter
  • 15 ml vegetable oil
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

Preheat oven to 210ºC.

Slice the top off each aubergine, place in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil.

Bake for 60 minutes.

Sauté shallots in butter and a tablespoon of vegetable oil for 15 minutes until they take on colour, add the minced beef, brown. Add the bacon, white wine and seasonings,.Turn heat to low, cook for 10 minutes.

Take the aubergine tray out of the oven and with a teaspoon scoop out the flesh onto a board, chop into mush, add the meat mixture and mix thoroughly.

Put the aubergine-meat mixture into the cavities of the baked aubergines.

Slice the Reblochon. Place the slices on top of each stuffed aubergine.

Put the aubergine tray back into the oven, bake for 8 minutes until the cheese melts.


Cheese with the rind left on will hold its shape.

With the rind removed the cheese will melt over the edges and take on a brown sheen. It will also produce a crisp crust.

Indigenous Ingredients


Legendary Dishes | Zapečeni Grah (baked beans)


There are countless versions of this iconic Balkan dish across the region. The beans are the common denominator, tomatoes are a constant and the red pepper sauce called ajvar is the secret ingredient.

  • 500 ml passata
  • 400 g onion, sliced
  • 250 g cannellini beans / white beans, soaked for 24 hours, cooked with a bay leaf, cooking liquid retained
  • 250 g pork sausage, chopped thick, cut into quarters (optional)
  • 150 g pancetta, chopped small
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ajvar
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g sweet paprika
  • 5 g peperoncino / red pepper flakes
  • 5 g vegeta / dried vegetables and seasonings
  • 5 sprigs parsley

Sauté onions, pancetta and garlic in the oil for 25 minutes.

Add beans, ajvar, passata, some of the cooking liquid, parsley and seasonings, and, if using, the sausage.

Transfer hot to an ovenproof dish, bake at 200°C for 30 minutes.

Serve with Balkan bagel burgers.

Indigenous Ingredients

Red Pepper Flakes
White Beans

Legendary Dishes | Wirsing Untereinander (Savoy cabbage with bacon and onion)

  • 1 kg Savoy cabbage, leaf ribs and stalk removed, cut into strips
  • 250 g onion, sliced thin
  • 150 g pancetta / speck, cubed small
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 ml wine
  • 5 salt
  • 5 g black pepper

Gently fry the fatty cubes of bacon until they begin to release their fat, add the butter and onions. Sauté for five minutes.

Add remaining bacon cubes, increase heat, fry until the onion starts to take on colour at the edges.

Add the cabbage, stir and cook for 5 minutes.

Deglaze with wine, cover and cook over a medium heat until the cabbage is al dente.

Season and serve with potatoes and sausages.

Indigenous Ingredients

Savoy Cabbage

Legendary Dishes | Home-Made Meat and Potato Pie

Meat and Potato Pie with Peppered Crust

Meat and potato pies are a traditional dish of northern England, especially the counties of Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire, where meat and potatoes have always formed the basis for a hearty meal. Packed in a pastry the meal becomes portable.

These pies have never been a home-baked product, largely because they have always been ubiquitous in the cafe and chip shop culture of north-west England, Holland’s version being the most popular of the mass-produced brands.

Made with beef, potato and yeast extract in a shortcrust pastry, Holland’s meat and potato pies are also synonymous with sporting events.

Meat and potato pies, as they are known today, began as a workhouse product, are probably related to Irish mutton pies, and were hardly known as a recipe in cookbooks.

Charles Elme Francatelli in his A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, published in 1852, described a meat pie and a potato pie.

Meat Pie

Of whatever kind, let the pieces of meat be first fried brown over a quick fire, in a little fat or butter, and seasoned with pepper and salt; put these into a pie-dish with chopped onions, a few slices of half-cooked potatoes, and enough water just to cover the meat. Cover the dish with a crust, made with two pounds of flour and six ounces of butter, or lard, or fat dripping, and just enough water to knead it into a stiff kind of dough or paste, and then bake it for about an hour and a-half.

Potato Pie

Slice up four onions and boil them in a saucepan with two ounces of butter, a quart of water, and pepper and salt, for five minutes; then add four pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut in slices; stew the whole until the potatoes are done, and pour them into a pie-dish; cover this with stiff mashed potatoes, and bake the pie of a light brown colour.

Our version has an Irish stew filling and a peppered crust.

Meat and Potato Pie with Peppered Hot Pastry Crust


  • 1 kg potatoes, peeled, quartered
  • 750 g lamb, cut into 2 cubes
  • 750 g onions, chopped
  • 30 g black pepper, freshly ground
  • 25 g salt
  • Water

This is essentially an Irish stew recipe. The quantity is much more than you will need for the filling. Arrange lamb in the bottom of a large pot, turn heat to medium and allow fat to run out of the bones. Stack potatoes on top of the lamb, then the onions and seasoning, more pepper than salt. Fill the pot with water, three-quarters up to the level of the onions, bring to the boil. Cover, turn heat to lowest setting and cook for three hours.

The result should be a thick meat and potato stew, with the onions completely melted.


  • 450 g strong white wheat flour
  • 150 ml water
  • 125 g lard
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 10 g salt
  • 5 g icing sugar

Bring the lard and water to the boil.

Sieve flour and salt into a large bowl, add pepper and sugar.

Pour the hot liquid into a well in the centre of the flour, and using a sturdy wooden spoon quickly form into a soft dough.

Divide dough into eight equal pieces (approximately 90 g each), cut again – two thirds for the base, one third for the lid.

Push the dough into the bottom and sides of small deep pie tins, diameter 8 cms.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Pack the tins with the filling, roll the remaining dough out, place over the top of the filling, crimping the edges. Pierce a hole in the centre of the lid.

Reduce oven temperature to 180°C, bake for 90 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Boerenkoolstamppot met Rookworst (kale and potato mash with smoked sausage)


Another traditional kale dish, this mashed kale and potato stew is a Dutch classic with numerous subtle variations – kale, potatoes, milk and butter the only constants.

Smoked sausages (generally Gelderse) complete the dish but it is also garnished with bacon.

Vinegar is a tangy ingredient in some of the classic preparations, a role also played by mustard while the modern versions call for dried vegetables, herbs and spices.

Leeks have also been known to find their way into the ingredients list because they add a gentle flavour to the kale.

The Dutch food web list 162 recipes.

The Gelderland smoked sausage story is told by traditional food specialists Vers-inspiratie (Fresh Inspiration).

  • 1.5 kg floury potatoes, peeled, cubed
  • 1 kg kale leaves, stalks removed
  • 550 g smoked sausages, sliced thickly
  • 500 g onions
  • 100 ml milk, hot
  • 100 g bacon, cubed or cut into strips, grilled (optional)
  • 60 g butter
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (optional)
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 30 g dried onions
  • 2 tsp dried vegetables
  • 5 sprigs marjoram
  • 3 sprig lovage, chopped
  • Nutmeg, 2-3 gratings for each portion
  • Salt, pinch
  • Mustard, for dressing

Boil onions and potatoes with salt in sufficient water to cover in a large pot, strain and retain cooking liquid.

Put kale in a large pot with the onion-potato liquid, cook until leaves wilt.

Drain the liquid into a new pot.

Squeeze liquid from the kale into the new pot, add the sausages, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

When the kale has cooled, cut into small pieces, put in a small pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

Mash onions and potatoes with butter and milk, fold in kale, add the herbs and seasonings, and, if using, the vinegar.

Serve garnished with the mustard, sausages, nutmeg and, if preferred, crispy bacon strips.

Indigenous Ingredients

Note from Fricot Editors:

Please bear with us while we continue to prepare the indigenous ingredients database.

Smoked Sausage

Legendary Dishes | Bobotie (baked spiced meatloaf with custard top)

A slice of bobotie with geelrys (yellow rice)


Some years ago a battle over the authenticity, fidelity and ownership of bobotie, a type of meatloaf with a custard crust, shone a bright light on Cape Malay traditional cuisine.

Salwaa Smith, author of Cape Malay Cooking and Other Delights, produced her version of the recipe. ‘I did lots of research into authentic Cape Malay recipes and all the articles I came across was of the notion that bobotie is a Cape Malay dish which came with slaves who arrived from Java and various Indonesian islands in 1658. Being slaves, the Malays often ended up in the Dutch kitchens and their influence remains apparent in dishes such as bobotie.’

The meat mixture for bobotie

Salwaa Smith featured the battle in her web magazine. It includes links to the ‘rainbow’ versions of bobotie and the use of particular ingredients, of which the spices are constant, if not the quanity. The amount is personal and curry powder can replace the individual spices, between 15 grams and 25 grams plus one teaspoon of turmeric per per 500 grams of meat. Garlic is generally a background flavour, between one and two cloves for the same amount of meat.

Our version is an adaptation of Salwaa Smith’s recipe.

This is a Cape Town version by Sonia Cabano.


  • 500 g beef / lamb (or 50:50 combination), minced
  • 300 g onions, chopped
  • 150 g stale bread soaked in 300 ml water + juice of 1 lemon (lemon is optional)
  • 125 g sultanas (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 10 g fresh galangal pounded into a paste with 30 ml water (optional)
  • 10 g tamarind concentrate loosened in 30 ml hot water
  • 30 ml oil
  • 3 tsp white peppercorns, ground
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed (optional)
  • 2 tsp cloves, ground
  • 2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 2 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 6 bay leaves / lemon leaves / lime leaves


  • 250 ml full-fat milk
  • 3 eggs

Sauté onions in oil in a frying pan until they soften and start to colour at the edges, about 15 minutes.

Reduce heat and stir garlic, galangal paste, ground spices, salt, turmeric, and 2 of the leaves into the onions, cook for a few minutes.

Deglaze pan with a tablespoon of water. This will form a paste.

Remove from heat and leave to cool.

Combine the meat with the onion mixture, lemon or tamarind juice, egg and sugar plus, if using, the sultanas.

Press the liquid from the bread, thoroughly blend into the meat mixture.

Chilli in a refrigerator for at least two hours, preferably four hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Grease an ovenproof dish about 6 centimetres deep.

Press the meat mixture into the dish, smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven, puncture the surface with a fork in several places and leave to cool a little.

Whisk the eggs into the milk, pour over the baked meat. Push 4 leaves into the egg-milk mixture.

Return dish to the oven, bake until the custard has cooked and formed a golden brown crust, about 20 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Touffâye (fricassee / fricot / stew)

Traditional Touffâye © Florenville.org


Fricot (pronounced free-ko) is the French word for a mediocre, crudely made dish. Polite definitions allow for it to mean popular colloquial cooking. It appeared in cookbooks in the mid-18th century to describe a modest meat ragoût (stew), emerging out of the fricassée method of cooking, to fry and break. By the end of the 19th century it referred to a simply made popular tasty dish.

In the 20th century fricot lost its place as a culinary term and fricassee made a comeback as the term for a meat and potato ragoût. Fricassee then came to denote a dish containing chicken, fish, meat or vegetable pieces cooked in a brown or white sauce seasoned with herbs and garnished with mushrooms or onions, and was associated with those of little means in Belgium, Luxembourg and northern France.

Fricassee and fricot have their origins in the old French, borrowed from the Normans, and are related to festin, earlier feste (feast). The old-style fricassee or fricot is the signature dish of the Fricot Project.

But in the Ardennes and Gaume regions this type of stew became known as a cacasse, a fricassée or a touffâye, history and tradition determining the definition and the ingredients, potatoes and onions becoming the most dominant. Each region has the stew made in a cast-iron pot, to allow for traditional slow-cooking.

This is a version of the touffâye based on Anne and Raymond Draize’s A Gaumaise Grandmother’s Table. It includes the local potatoes called plate de Florenville, still regarded as the essentual ingredient in this very old traditional dish. The smoked bacon is also essential, and the sausages!

Like the Gaumaise we have omitted the flour-based sauce.

  • 2 kg Plate de Florenville potatoes, quartered
  • 1 kg onions, coarsely chopped
  • 500 g fatty pork belly / smoked bacon, diced
  • 6 sausages
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch
  • 30 g lard (optional)
  • Water

In a heavy-based pot or cast iron pot, over a low heat, gently fry the bacon or pork until it releases its fat and becomes crispy.

Remove the meat, and begin cooking the onions in the fat (adding extra fat or lard if insufficient) until they brown, about 25 minutes.

Add the potatoes and sausages, pour water to not quite cover the potatoes.

Add the herbs and seasonings. Continue to cook over a low heat for two hours, stirring occasionally.

With 15 minutes until the end of cooking, put the bacon or pork back in the pot.

Serve with a dandelion salad in summer, with boiled eggs in winter.

THE GREAT EUROPEAN FOOD ADVENTURE | Üsküdar | İçli Köfte (bulgur meatballs)

Crust (dough)
  • 500 ml  water, boiled
  • 350 g bulgur, fine ground
  • 150 g semolina, fine ground
  • 30 g walnuts, fine ground
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Semolina, coarse, for coating

Soak bulgar and semolina in the hot water, leave to rest for 30 minutes, then add the walnuts and seasonings. Wet hands and knead into a soft dough.

Core (filling)
  • 250 g beef, double minced
  • 200 g onions, chopped
  • 100 g walnuts, coarse chopped / fine ground
  • 4 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped (optional)
  • 4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • 45 g red pepper paste / tomato paste (quantity optional)
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 30 ml pomegranate molasses
  • 15 g  red pepper (paprika) flakes
  • 1 tsp sumac, ground

Sauté onions in oil, about 15 minutes. Add the meat, break and fry for three minutes. Add paprika, sumac and walnuts. Increase heat, stir for three minutes until the walnuts release their oil. Stir in the molasses and paste, leave to cool.

If desired, work the herbs into the mixture. Divide dough into walnut-sized pieces, about 30 g each. Using thumb and forefinger make a cavity with thin sides in the bulgar dough. Place 10 g of filling inside the cavity, push down and fold dough over the filling, seal and shape into a ball.

Deep fry in sunflower oil at 190°C until golden or shallow fry in a large frying pan or bake in a 200°C oven or boil in salted water.

Note: The pastes can be bought in jars but they are easy to make if good fresh red peppers and tomatoes, preferably Turkish, are available.

Note: For a colourful description on how to make red pepper paste go here.

Note: The crust for icli köfte is not always made with bulgar. Semolina became a crust ingredient along with nuts aeons ago. Wheat grits have also played a part while in more recent centuries potatoes have been combined with eggs and flour. Some recipes call for double-ground meat to be added to the various flours that define the crust. The bulgar can be coarse ground and also fine ground, the latter producing a crispy crust. The cooking method is also variable. According to Sahrap Soysal, author of A Cookery Tale, fried icli köfte are called irok, while the boiled version is known as igdebet.

Legendary Dishes | Al Sayadiyah صيادية (fish with rice, onions, almonds, pine nuts and saffron)


This simple spiced fish and rice dish has no single method. From Lebanon to Yemen the story is different. Only the fish and rice are constant, all the supplementary ingredients including the spices are subject to regional and personal choices and changes. Almonds and pine nuts are optional and turmeric can replace saffron. Generally the rice should be coloured with carmelised onions. The fish can be baked, fried or grilled.

Typical sayadiyeh seasonings and spices include a combination from allspice, black pepper, chilli, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, onion, turmeric, saffron and salt.

The commercial packet spice mixture includes cornstarch and sugar.

Our sources are old cookbooks and here and here.

  • 1 fish head + 1.5 litres water for 800 ml fish stock
  • 1.2 kg onions, sliced thick and thin
  • 800 g fish fillets
  • 300 g basmati / long grain rice, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes before cooking, drained
  • 90 ml olive oil
  • 30 g almonds, dry roasted
  • 30 g pine nuts, dry roasted
  • 3 garlic cloves, mashed (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sayadiyeh ground spices
  • 1 tbsp saffron / turmeric, tip of knife
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger

Pour 5 tablespoons of oil into a large deep frying pan over a high heat. Before the oil begins to smoke add half of the onions. Fry and stir for a couple of minutes. Cover, turn heat to lowest setting and leave to cook for 5 minutes. Add remaining onions, increase heat to high, fry and stir. Cover, turn heat to a medium-low setting and cook for 15 minutes. Remove and lid and allow the moisture in the lid to drizzle back into the pan. Increase heat to high, fry and stir for 5 minutes. Turn heat down, cover the pan and allow to cook in the residual heat for 10 minutes until the onions begin to take on a golden-red colour. Remove lid, fry and stir over a medium-low heat until the onions carmelise, about 30 minutes.

During this final phase with the onions, place the fish head in a pot with about one and a half litres of water, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Stir the garlic (if using), ginger, saffron or turmeric and spices into the onions, fry gently for a few minutes. Add the rice, coat thoroughly in the mixture. Add the fish stock. Using a wooden spoon combine the rice and liquid. Cover, turn heat to lowest setting and leave to cook for 30 minutes.

Grill the fish fillets, flake.

When the rice is cooked, place the flaked fish on top, cover and leave to allow the flavours to mingle for 5 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with pine nuts and almonds.

Al Sayadiyah is among the recipes in the first volume of Around the World in 80 Legendary Dishes.

THE GREAT EUROPEAN FOOD ADVENTURE | Verona | Pastissada di Caval (horse meat stew)

Despite an appearance that suggests modesty, the horse meat stew of Verona is either a one-night stand or a complex entanglement, plain or spicy. Meat (usually from the shoulder, occasionally from the loin), onions (80% of the meat weight), red wine, water with a tomato concentrate or vegetable broth, and herbs and spices are the primary actors in this romantic culinary drama.

Some chefs sauté the onions in butter and olive oil, add the meat, wine and seasonings and cook for between three and eight hours. These are the quick versions!

Carrots, celery and tomatoes might feature and they might not. There is a debate about this!

Other chefs prefer an elaborate preparation, a 24-hour or 48-hour marinade followed by three days of cooking at three hours each. The latter method is the consequence from the origins of the dish.

In September 489 at San Martino Buon Albergo the armies of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, and Odoacre, king of the Heruli, faced each other. Theodoric emerged victorious from the bloody battle, which left thousands of men and horses dead on the battlefield. Seeing the rotting meat on the field the king declared that it could be used, contrary to a Papal ruling. To overcome the smell of the meat it was marinaded in red wine and then cooked.

Generally it is served with gnocci or polenta. This version of the stew is also used as a stuffing for pasta.

Pastissada de Caval — Fast Version

These quanities are for six people.

  • 1 kg horse shoulder meat, whole piece (see method)
  • 800 g onions, sliced
  • 500 ml red wine
  • 500 g passata / plum tomatoes, skinned and sieved
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 30 g butter
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch

Beat meat to relax the fibres, cut into 3 cm square pieces. Brown in the butter and oil. Remove meat from pot. Sauté the onion for 15 minutes, add passata or tomatoes and seasonings. Add the pieces of meat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the wine and cook over a low heat for three hours.

Pastissada de Caval — Medium Version

  • 1 kg horse shoulder meat, cut into small pieces
  • 1 litre Recioto / sweet red wine
  • 800 g onions, chopped small
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 80 g lard
  • 40 g butter
  • 30 g white wheat flour
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch

Marinate meat in wine for 12 hours. In an earthenware dish melt butter and lard, fry onions and carrots. Remove meat from wine, place in a large pan, sprinkle with flour, season and sauté. Add the marinade, simmer for five hours, until the sauce is quite thick.

Pastissada de Caval — Slow Version – 1

  • 1 kg horse shoulder meat, cut into large pieces
  • 1 kg white onions (or no less than 80% of the meat weight), thin sliced
  • 1 litre Valpolicella / red wine
  • 300 g carrots, cubed small
  • 125 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 g + 30 g butter
  • 30 g lard (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 g cinnamon
  • 12 juniper berries
  • Salt, pinch
  • Black pepper, pinch

Drown the meat in the wine with the herbs and spices and about a third of the onions. Marinate for 24 hours. Drain the liquid and set aside.

Brown the meat in batches in the oil with two tablespoons of butter, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add remaining butter and about two tablespoons of oil and brown the remaining onions over a high heat, adding the carrots after 10 minutes.

Put the meat and onion-carrot mixture in a large pot, add lard, olive oil and butter (to taste), add the drained meat and marinade.

Cook over a low heat covered for at least 12 hours.

Season with salt and pepper and other spices to taste.

Pastissada de Caval — Slow Version – 2

This a long and very slow version with intermissions, that should produce a thick sauce with melt-in-the-mouth pieces of meat. This stew is very suitable as a stuffing.


  • 1 kg horse shoulder meat, whole piece
  • 1 litre Valpolicella / red wine
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 sprigs sage

Marinate meat in wine and spices for 48 hours. Remove meat from liquid, cut into 3 cm square pieces. Filter the liquid.

First Cooking

  • 1 kg onion
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped small
  • 2 carrots, chopped small
  • 80 g lard / butter
  • 30 g butter
  • 15 ml olive oil

In a large heavy-bottomed pot melt the butter and oil, brown the meat, add the vegetables and sauté for five miniutes, then add the marinade. Cover and simmer for three hours. Leave to cool and refrigerate.

Second and Third Cooking

Slowly reheat the stew, simmer for three hours, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool and refrigerate. Repeat 24 hours later.

Pastissada de Caval – Large Quantity

  • 5 kg horse shoulder meat, cubed 2 cm x 2 cm
  • 5 kg onions, sliced
  • 3 lites Valpolicella Classico
  • 2 litres water
  • 400 g carrots, sliced
  • 50 g cinnamon
  • 50 g cloves
  • 50 juniper berries
  • 25 g black pepper
  • 25 g fresh rosemary springs10 g salt
  • 5 bay leavesOil

Make a stock with the carrots, onions and water, leave to cool.

Put the cubed meat in a large bowl, add the carrot-onion stock, two litres of Valpolicella, herbs and spices. Marinate for 24 hours, strain the liquid, retain, and remove the meat, leave to drain. In a large frying add some oil and fry a small batch of the meat, set aside, repeat until the meat is used up. Fry the carrots and onions from the marinade. Place the fried carrots, onions and meat in a large pot, add the remaining bottle of wine and a litre of the marinate liquid, season and simmer until the meat disintegrates, adding more marinate liquid as necessary.

Legendary Dishes | Linzensoep Traditioneel (traditional lentil soup)

Dutch lentil soup garnished with lovage leaves

Throughout the 1800s Dutch lentil soup was made with onions or leeks and cabbage or celery and various amounts of brown or red lentils, cooled, pushed through a sieve, re-heated and seasoned with herbs and spices which included celery seeds, cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds. The onions or leeks would have been fried in lard.

Gradually the recipe evolved to include cayenne, chilli or paprika and garlic for a piquant taste and, to the amazement of the purists, pieces of meat and sausages.

This is the traditional version, spiced with a strong onion flavour.

  • 1 litre water (more if necessary)
  • 1 kg onions, sliced thin
  • 500 g leeks, sliced thin
  • 250 g red lentils, washed, soaked overnight
  • 250 g white cabbage, blanched in 1 litre of hot water, shredded (retain water)
  • 45 ml rapeseed oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp cayenne / chilli powder
  • 1 tsp g cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig lovage

Cook the lentils in one litre of water until they are soft, add the cabbage.

Fry the leeks in 2 tablespoons of oil over a high heat for 5 minutes, cover, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. Add one tablespoon of oil to the leek mixture, increase heat, add onions and spices, fry for 5 minutes with constant stirring. Stir in the garlic, cover, reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes.

Pour the cabbage-lentil mixture into the onion-leek mixture. Stir in the cabbage water and the lovage. Ladle in batches into a blender, blend into a purée, adding more water for a thinner soup.


Legendary Dishes | Pierogi / Pīrāgi / Pirogi Пироги (bread-cake dough pies)


Pies filled closed or open with a combination from apple, cabbage, cheese, egg, mushroom, onion, potato, pumpkin and rice to accompany fish or meat with various aromatics and jams are an integral feature of the traditional food of northern Europe, from the Baltic states across to the Russian heartlands and down to the Ukrainian steppes.

What makes these particular pies unique in traditional cuisine are the various types of dough, which are a cross between a cake dough and a yeast dough with a liquid medium that could be kefir or milk, fat content that could be butter or margarine and sour cream and include potato among the various types of flour.

The sour-sweet combination that is apple, cabbage and onion is the traditional base and after that there are countless variations on numerous themes that include chicken, fish and various meats.

The pies come in all shapes and sizes.


  • 500 g white wheat flour, t550
  • 200 ml milk, warmed to 38ºC
  • 1 small egg
  • 60 g sugar
  • 50 g sour cream
  • 25 g butter / margarine, melted
  • 25 g yeast
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 egg, beaten, for glazing

Dissolve the yeast in 5 tablespoons of the warm milk and one teaspoon of sugar, leave to froth for 15 minutes.

In a bowl whisk the sour cream into the remaining milk and sugar. Add the yeast mixture followed by the melted butter or margarine, and finally the egg and salt with a few swift turns of the whisk each time. Sieve the flour into this mixture, fold out onto a clean work surface and begin to knead.

This is a sticky dough so after 5 minutes add a drop of oil, around a teaspoon, knead for a further 5 minutes, add more oil, knead again for 5 minutes, add oil and knead until the dough is elastic, adding more oil if necessary.

The desired dough temperature is 24ºC.

Leave to rise for two hours, degas, leave to rise again, for another two hours.


  • 1 green cabbage / kale, leaves separated, stems removed, blanched in hot water for 30 minutes, sliced into strips
  • 1 kg beef mince
  • 1 kg onions, sliced
  • 1 kg sour apples, peeled, cored, puréed with 30 g sugar
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp mixed dried herbs (from dill, lovage, marjoram, sage, tarragon)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Fry the onions in 2 tablespoons of oil over a high heat for 5 minutes, cover, reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes until the onions are soft and have taken on colour at the edges.

Divide the onion mixture into three portions.

Put the minced meat in the onion pan, add one third of the cooked onions and gently bring up the heat. When the meat begins to brown low the heat and reduce the liquid content.

Put the blanched cabbage strips in a small pot, add the second third of the cooked onions, cook over a medium heat until the cabbage is soft and the liquid is reduced, about 15 minutes.

Put the last third of the cooked onions in a pot, add 500 grams of apple purée, cook over a high heat until the liquid is reduced.

Grease 4 pie tins. Roll out the dough to a thickness of half a centimetre. Cut into two rounds with a sufficient amount of dough to come up the sides, press into the tins. Leave to rise for 30 minutes.

Roll out the remaining dough and cut into rounds slightly larger than the diametre of the pie tins.

Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Spoon the meat-onion mixture onto the bottom of each pie dough, cover with the cabbage-onion mixture followed by the apple-onion mixture. Top with remaining apple purée.

Place the dough rounds on top. Seal the edges of each dough, impress edges with a fork. Pierce the top of each pie with the fork. Glaze the tops with an egg wash.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Aş Çorbasi (einkorn soup)


For a taste of the neolithic this soup made with origin wheat is emblematic, just make sure your chicken stock has a high percentage of fat to bind the flour and produce a creamy texture. Seasonings 10,000 years ago would have been different and when we get an inkling of what they were we will tell you, but you can be sure they would have included indigenous herbs.

  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 150 g einkorn whole flour
  • 150 g onion, chopped small
  • 45 g red pepper flakes
  • 30 g butter
  • 1 tbsp dried mint / thyme
  • 5 g salt

Fry onions in the butter in a soup pot, add two tablespoons of red pepper flakes, then the stock, bring to the boil. Add the flour, stirring with a whisk. Cook over a gentle heat for an hour.

Serve sprinkled with the herbs and remaining red pepper flakes.

Legendary Dishes | Mani Plov مانی پلو (lentils, rice, fruit and meat with rice-yoghurt-saffron base)


A cornucopia of flavours, this plov is one of the traditional dishes of Damghan in the province of Semnan in the north-east of Iran. The ingredients vary. It can be made with an assortment of meats or without meat, and with various fruits and nuts. The constant is the marriage of long grain rice with yellow spilt peas, the fragrance of rosewood and saffron and the rice-yoghurt-saffron base. Serve with yoghurt or with a salad. We recommend in summer this orange and onion salad. Variations can be found on Iran Cook.


  • 600 g long grain rice
  • 500 ml water + water for boiling peas and rice
  • 400 g chicken / beef / lamb (optional)
  • 300 g onions, sliced
  • 250 g yellow split peas, soaked for two hours
  • 200 g raisins
  • 60 ml hot water with one teaspoon of rosewood and one teaspoon of saffron
  • 60 ml water
  • 50 g almonds, dry roasted, chopped
  • 15 g dried barberries / 75 g fresh barberries
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Oil for frying onions and meat + frying fruit


  • 250 g long grain rice, cooked or baked, left to cool
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp saffron
  • 15 g butter to grease the bottom of the pot
  • 15 ml oil to grease the bottom of the pot
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Cook the peas until al dente, keep warm in cooking water.

Fry the onions in oil in a large frying pan over a high heat for 5 minutes, cover, reduce heat to low, cook for 15 minutes. Add choice of meat, fry until browned, add turmeric, seasonings and water, cover and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes.

Fry the raisins in oil over a medium heat for 3 minutes, cover, reduce heat to low, cook for 20 minutes.

In a large pot boil 2 litres of water, pour the rice, bring back to the boil, remove from heat, leave for 5 minutes. Strain the rice.

Strain the peas.

Combine the peas and rice in a clean pot, add 400 millilitres of water, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cook for 15 minutes.

Prepare the base.

Combine cooked or baked rice with the egg, yoghurt, saffron and seasonings.

Melt the butter with the oil over a low heat in a large heavy-bottomed pot, diameter no less than 25 centimeters. Fold the rice-yoghurt-saffron mixture into the pot, gently smooth out to cover the base.

Arrange the meat mixture in an even layer over the rice-yoghurt-saffron base. Sprinkle the barberries on top of the meat mixture. Carefully fold the pea-rice mixture on top of the barberries. Pour the rosewood-saffron water into the pea-rice mixture, finish with a layer of the cooked raisins.

Increase the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Pisía Pontiaká Πισία Ποντιακά (potato pies)


Traditionally these delightful little potato pies are served with honey and dressed with cinnamon and sugar.


  • 500 g white wheat flour
  • 125 lemon juice
  • 1 duck egg / 2 hen eggs (110 g)
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 30 g vanilla sugar
  • 15 g yeast
  • 5 g salt

Warm lemon juice, add sugar, reduce heat and stir, leave until warm to the touch. Dissolve yeast in the juice. Stir salt into the flour. Break the egg into the flour, add the olive oil and yeast mixture. Knead into a smooth dough, leave to rise for an hour, degas.


  • 900 g potatoes, whole, boiled in their skins, mashed with a fork
  • 300 g onions, chopped small
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 10 g dried oregano
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley

Sweat onions in oil over a medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes, parsley, salt, pepper, oregano, stir, remove from the heat, and let the filling stand for about 30 minutes to cool.

Roll the dough thin, cut into 12 cm rounds. Place the filing on top, shape into an oblong, seal and roll, pinching any open gaps.

Fry in shallow oil until they are golden on all sides.

Legendary Dishes | Tiroler Speckknödel (Tyrol bacon dumplings)

  • 300 ml milk, lukewarm
  • 300 g white bread
  • 150 g speck (smoked ham), diced small
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g onions, chopped small
  • 3 tbsp white wheat flour (optional)
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • Nutmeg, large pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Whisk eggs into the milk, add bread, combine and leave to rest for 30 minutes until the bread has absorbed all the liquid.

Sweat the speck cubes with chopped onions in a little oil, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Allow to cool slightly and add to the dumpling bread. Fold in the parsley and if using the flour.

Using a tablespoon and with moist hands, shape into small dumplings.
Cook dumplings in salted water for about 15 minutes.

Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon, drain and serve the dumplings in hot meat soup sprinkled with chives or simply as a side dish.

Legendary Dishes | Tiroler Knödel (Tyrol dumplings)


There are several secrets for successful knödeln. Among these are the quality of a primary ingredient – breadcrumbs. Ideally, to follow tradition, you want to use crumbed bread from the small white rolls made in Austria and Germany known as brötchen and semmeln.

We use a combination of breadcrumbs from loaves made especially for their nutty crumbs and from the variety of plain white rolls made from either spelt or wheat.

  • 350 g breadcrumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 ml milk
  • 120 g onion, chopped small
  • 100 g smoked bacon (speck)
  • 100 g smoked sausage (landjager)
  • 75 g flour
  • 30 g butter / oil
  • 1 tsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 5 g salt
  • Nutmeg, 10 gratings
  • Chives, finely chopped, for garnish

Whisk eggs into the milk, add to the breadcruumbs, soak for 30 minutes.

Sauté onions in butter or oil for 10 minutes, add bacon and sausage, fry gently for 5 minutes, add parsley, season with salt and nutmeg.

Work the meat mixture into the breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle with flour, knead into a firm moist mixture. With moistened hands shape mixture into 8 dumplings.

Cook the dumplings in batches in salted water for 15 minutes.

Serve dumplings garnished with chives and warm apple sauce.

Close up of bacon and sausage dumpling

Legendary Dishes | Vinete Umplute cu Carne (meat-filled aubergines)


This enigmatic aubergine dish is characterised by a method for pre-cooking the aubergines that brings out the full flavour of the vegetable. Instead of removing the pulp from the centre of a divided aubergine, the pulp is cut into diamonds and the aubergine halves are gently softened in the oven, left to cool and then dressed with the appropriate mixture – usually a combination of mixed minced meats, onions, red peppers and tomatoes in various guises. We have cooked the tomatoes with the meat and added red pepper paste at the second stage.

  • 4 large aubergines
  • 120 ml olive oil


  • 500 g minced beef / 250 g minced beef + 250 g minced pork
  • 400 g onions, chopped
  • 400 g red pepper paste
  • 400 g tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g cinnamon
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 allspice berry (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)


  • 400 g semi-soft cheese, cut into 8 slices

Preheat oven to 210ºC. Cut each aubergine in half along the length. Using the tip of a sharp knife cut diamonds in the pulp of each half, dress with oil. Repeat with remaining pieces. Place the aubergines on trays, bake for 15 minutes until they have taken on a red-brown colour. Leave to cool completely.

Sauté the onions and, if using, the garlic for 15 minutes until the onions are browned at the edges. Add the meat, fry for a couple of minutes, add the tomatoes and cook until they have released all their juices. Season the mixture and leave to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 190ºC. Stir the red pepper paste and parsley into the meat mixture. Cover each aubergine half with the mixture, top each half with a slice of cheese, sprinkle with cinnamon, oregano and thyme. Bake for 20 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Barbajuan / Monegasque Barbagiuan (cheese and vegetable pastries)


The ravioli-like vegetable pastries called barbagiuan belong to Monaco but they are rooted in the culinary traditions of the French Riviera, each area with its own version.

Chard is the vegetable of choice in the principality, spinach in others. Italian cheeses – a blend of ricotta and parmigiano or pecorino – are constants. Leeks and onions complement the greens. Oregano is the obligatory herb. Eggs provide the binding.

Other fillings include cooked rice and squash.

Along the Côte d‘Azur their cheese and vegetable pastry tradition calls for a dough made with egg yolks and olive oil. In Monaco they add yeast and the whole egg. Flour of choice is generally wheat, though spelt, now that it is becoming popular again, is also used.


This is the Toulon version.


  • 200 g white wheat flour / white spelt flour
  • 50 ml spinach water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • Salt, pinch


  • 75 g spinach, blanched, drained weight, retain cooking liquid
  • 75 g onion, chopped
  • 2 egg whites
  • 50 g grano padano cheese / parmigiano cheese, grated
  • 50 g short grain rice, cooked in spinach water until soft
  • 15 ml olive oil, for shallow frying
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Salt, pinch
  • Pepper, pinch
  • Rapeseed oil, for deep frying

Sieve flour and salt into a large bowl, add egg yolks, oil and spinach water, form into a smooth dough. Leave to rest in fridge until the filling is ready.

Soak spinach in boiling water for two minutes, drain, chop.

Sauté onion in olive oil over a low heat for ten minutes until the edges turn brown-red, add spinach and heat through. Remove to a bowl.

When the mixture has cooled a little and is still warm, fold in the cheese. When the mixture is cold add egg whites, parsley and rice, season.

Roll dough thin, about 2 millimetres. Make rounds with 12 centimetre diameters. Put 35 grams of filling on each round, fold into semi-circles. Seal edges with prongs of a fork.

Deep fry barbajuans in hot oil for two minutes each side, until the crust turns brown.

Barbagiuan Monegasque


  • 200 g flour
  • 1 small egg (approximately 55 g)
  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 25 ml chard water, lukewarm
  • 10 g yeast
  • Salt, pinch


  • 75 g onions
  • 50 g chard, blanched, drained weight, retain cooking liquid
  • 50 g percorino cheese / ricotta cheese
  • 2 egg whites
  • 10 g oregano
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • Black pepper, pinch
  • Salt, pinch
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Dissolve yeast in water.

Sieve flour and salt into a large bowl, add oil, egg and yeast mixture, knead into a firm, smooth dough, adding more water if necessary. Leave to rise for an hour.

Sauté onions in oil for ten minutes. Allow them to brown. Add chard, wilt. Take off the heat, leave to cool, stir in the cheeses and egg yolks for a creamy mixture. Add pecorino to thicken, if necessary.

Roll dough thin, about 2 mm thick. Make 20 short rounds using a cutter or rim of a small cup or glass.

Put one heaped tablespoon of filling on each round, brush edge with egg white, fold into semi-circles.

Seal edges with prongs of a fork.

Heat vegetable oil in a saucpan, deep fry barbagiuans for five minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Zuppa di Lenticchie con castagne (lentil soup with chestnuts)


Lentil soup is a stable throughout Italy and among the most popular are the soups with beans, bread, chestnuts, lard, olive oil, pancetta, speck and tomatoes.

Sometimes the chestnuts are fried in lard or oil to give them a roasted flavour. We favour the vegan version.

The amount of water is determined by the type of lentil.

  • 2.5 litres water
  • 400 g brown / green / red lentils (if using brown lentils soak in water for an hour)
  • 250 g chestnuts, quartered, pre-boiled (optional)
  • 150 g onion, chopped small
  • 150 g tomato passata
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig marjoram, stripped

Cook the lentils with chestnuts, oil, onion, seasonings and sufficient water for around an hour. With 30 minutes to go add the passata.

Lentil Soup with Chestnuts