I tried to put this recipe up for Meat Free Monday last week but I was on the farm with Carol and life just wouldn’t stand aside for an hour or two to allow me the time to do this. The beautiful Underberg landscape is dotted with so many little jewels. This slice of African countryside is brimming with opportunity and surprise. Carol and I, on the advice of a local girlfriend Dane, spent a lazy Sunday afternoon with Brent & Trudie Snyman at their Wine Gallery of Africa in Underberg wine tasting, eating and talking about food and wine. Truly, my perfect Sunday afternoon!!
What a special couple! Brent introduced me to some outstanding wines from estates that I had never tasted from before. We tasted hints of guava in the Du Preez, Rockfield Sauvignon Blanc, Black pepper in the Deetlefs Pinotage (yummmm) and I am now a solid fan of Boplaas’ Cape Tawny but the crowning glory of the day for me was the Boplaas Chocolate Cape Vintage Port (2008) and for all of you foodies who like to make elegant desserts with White Chocolate – you MUST serve it with the Boplaas Pink dessert wine! Haibo! – toe curling stuff I tell you.
Trudie and Brent were restaurant owners in Montecasino in Johannesburg. Trudie was the chef extraordinaire with Brent orchestrating front of house. This duo has so much personality, experience and knowledge that between the two of them – Carol and I spent the entire afternoon laughing, chatting, eating and drinking wonderful wines. We walked away with a box of wonderful wines, cheeses, olives and cold meats! Trudie is a real foodie – and Brent taught me a thing or ten about Estate wines.
The Wine Gallery of Africa is their retail outlet on the grounds of their superior luxury Amazian Mountain River Lodge . A weekend in their company would surely be a wonderful experience. Their website offers a whole host of great experiences including an as yet un-nourished interest of mine – astronomy! Learning more about our stars and planets around the fire topped with a glass of port or gluhwein would just tick ALL of my boxes; the legendary Alan Paton’s Express (“Cry The Beloved Country”) offers scheduled train trips re-living the past and is an experience of traveling back in time in one of the only trains of its kind that is still operational; a walk to their labyrinth caught my eye too – very Tolkienian! There is a load more to do – so for a special getaway with your loved one/s, in the Drakensberg Mountains head for Brent & Trudie’s spot! Snow is in the air these days too!
Thank You for your wonderful hospitatlity Brent & Trudie!
Even if you are just in the area and would like to do some wine tasting and have a great lunch, phone ahead and see what’s on offer. I am planning a Gluten Free White Chocolate, Calvados and Pear dessert to serve with that Boplaas Rose Dessert Vino – can you just imagine it!!!
Their contact numbers are 082 4444 235 or 082 562 5051.
Meat Free Monday
So here’s my recipe for Meat free Monday today.
This dish is mysterious and spicy and filled with the joyful colours and aromas of a Marrakesh Souk.
Take your tongue on a Moroccan Magical Carpet Ride…
Honestly – when the dish is assembled it resembles a stack of carpets in a Moorish Market!
I replaced the full cream yoghurt with fat-free yoghurt which meant that I could fit it into my diet as well.
The Moroccan Magical Carpet Ride
2 large peppers – one red and one yellow
3 medium brinjals
1/2cup of toasted pistachios – chopped
For the dressing
1 cup of plain yoghurt (use fat free if you are watching your hips)
1 clove of garlic – crushed
1/4cup of chopped fresh coriander leaves (use mint if your family don’t like coriander)
2 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of honey
A good grinding, about 1/2tsp or so, of black pepper
Heat your oven to 220degrees and pop the red and yellow peppers in for about 20 – 25 minutes
– until the skins are starting to blister. It’s best to use nice big peppers with lots of flesh on to make this.
Remove them from the oven and put them into a plastic bag, squeeze out all of the air and tie a tight knot. Leave them to completely cool – once cool open and with your hands remove the skin, stem and pips. Cut or tear them into about 1 inch wide strips.
Cut your brinjals into 6mm slices. Brush a griddle pan or frying pan with olive oil (or spray and cook) and on a medium heat grill your slices until cooked.
Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together –
Now to assemble your Moroccan plate
On a serving platter spread a little of the dressing on the plate and
Alternate layers of brinjals with layers of peppers on your plate –
seasoning each layer with a little salt and pepper.
This is why I like to use red & yellow peppers – to get loads of warm colours into the dish.
Pour the dressing over the top and garnish with the chopped pistachios.
I served this dish as part of a Moroccan meal which included Lamb Kofta and Chick Peas cooked with Spinach and Moroccan spices ….. and lotsa love!
Next Monday I will post the Chickpea & Spinach recipe, it Moorish!
Food is love.
Ps: Keep an eye open for my upcoming review of a little Italian Gem in the midlands ….
La Lampara …. un ristorante supremo!!