The weather is warming up in Jerusalem which means that if my favourite fruits and vegetables aren’t yet in the shuk, they will be pretty soon!
When shopping for produce, my mantra is pretty straightforward – shop according to what’s in season – if it’s in season then it will taste fantastic and be plentiful which according to my vaguely remembered high school economics means cheap! In general therefore, I go to the shuk with no specific menu in mind and build one as I shop.
Tuesday was the first time since prior to Pesach that I’d set foot in the centre of town and the shuk was bustling. All I needed was a few vegetable options to keep us going until the weekend shop – which quite honestly is likely to be more of the same. I picked up carrots, a large head of broccoli, cucmbers, a couple of artichokes for my wife, beautiful green beans and the cutest, sweetest red peppers – which I’ve been eating like apples. Only the green beans were priced much above 5 – 6 shekels per kilo – in total I spent 20 shekels.
This evening, I decided to prepare a medley of my bounty in as simple a manner as possible. I blanched some broccoli, green beans and carrots to just likely cook them whilst preserving flavour and texture. I then put a few drops of oil into a hot pan, sauteed the peppers for a minute and added the rest of the vegetables just to add some colour and to get the benefits of their sugars caramelising some.
I dressed the whole lot with a few dots of lemony, herby techina – raw techina with a few additional ingredients to pep it up some and get it to the right texture – use shop bought if you like but the extra effort is minimal and to my mind, worth it!
Incredibly healthy and tasty, inexpensive and demanding very little in the way of preparation, this can be the subject of endless combinations.
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
a few broccoli florets, stems sliced
3 baby red peppers or one regular one, in thick strips
3 baby yellow peppers or one regular one, in thick strips
handful of green beans
2 tbsp raw techina
juice of half a lemon
pinch of cumin
pinch of garlic powder
handful of mixed chopped herbs – I used coriander and mint as they were to hand but pretty much anything green will be fine
Bring a large pan of water to boil
Add your broccoli, beans and carrots to the pan, bring back to the boil and leave to cook for no more than 3 minutes
Drain your blanched vegetables
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan (I used canola but go with whatever you usually use or Olive oil if you want to be fancy)
add peppers and toss for one minute
add remaining vegetables, toss for 2 more minutes
Remove to a plate
Mix techina, lemon juice, spices and herds in a bowl. Add water slowly, stirring until you reach the consistency of thick cream