We continue a full national operation to get food to vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis.

Cooking with Surplus…Sammy’s Feta Saganaki with Neon Veg and Tahini Sauce

20 January 2020

A flavoursome fried feta recipe filled with fresh veg and spices that is sure to impress.

“Food is an integral part of our day, encouraging and supporting survivors of brain injury to learn or re-learn life skills and work together. Members help run a lunch club Monday to Friday, feeding everyone at our centre. We also run baking groups and support members to bring in and develop their own recipes to share.”

Sammy, Our Day Service, Headway House in Hackney

Our surplus chef this week is Sammy from Our Day Service, a community charity helping brain injury survivors make the most of their skills, abilities and interests.

The centre, based at Headway House in Hackney, is open Monday to Friday, 10am-3pm for 48 weeks of the year, offering activities, outings and therapies, as well as professional and peer support.

“Food is an integral part of our day, encouraging and supporting survivors of brain injury to learn or re-learn life skills and work together. Members help run a lunch club Monday to Friday, feeding everyone at our centre. We also run baking groups and support members to bring in and develop their own recipes to share.”

FareShare provide food to charities all across the UK and Sammy is just one of many talented and innovative community chefs making use of the exciting mix of surplus produce supplied. FareShare and Honest Crust have teamed over the last few months to uncover the best surplus recipes from FareShare community chefs. Learn more about this collaboration by visiting Honest Crust’s website.

Ingredients

Saganaki:
1 Greek feta cheese DOP
Flour
1 or 2 Eggs
Panko bread crumbs
Lemon zest

Spiced honey:
Honey
Lemon juice
Black pepper

Neon roasted vegetables:
1 Broccoli
1 Courgettes
2/3 Potatoes
2 Beetroot
2 Carrots
Caraway
Cumin
Smoked paprika
Salt
(Don’t worry if you don’t have all the veg, just use up what you’ve got in your fridge and cupboards!)

Turmeric tahini sauce:
2 heads of garlic
Turmeric powder
Smoked paprika
Tahini
Lukewarm water
Sunflower oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. Wash, trim and chop all vegetables except carrots leaving the skin on. Peel, trim and chop carrots, cutting on the diagonal.
  2. Make a mixture of the turmeric caraway seeds, cumin seeds, thyme, smoked paprika, vegetable oil, salt and pepper and dip each vegetable in it, then roast at 170 degrees until caramelised but not burned.
  3. Cut and roast the garlic. Cut the garlic into two and add the whole heads in a roasting tray, coat in the oil and spice mix, and roast for 20 mins, before removing and leaving aside to cool.
  4. For the saganaki, slice each feta slab along the horizontal and then again across the length, giving four pieces per slab.
  5. Whisk egg and set up a surface or three dishes so that each piece of feta can be dipped in flour, followed by egg and then panko. Dip and then set feta pieces aside and refrigerate.
  6. Next make the tahini sauce. Squeeze each roasted garlic clove out of it's skin into a blender, adding turmeric, paprika, tahini, sunflower oil and a little of the water. Blend on a medium setting for 1 minute and check the consistency. You are aiming for the thickness of a creamy salad dressing. Add more water as necessary and season to taste. Transfer to a squeezy bottle (if available).
  7. To cook the saganaki, heat a pan with a little olive oil and grate lemon zest into the oil once up to temperature. Allow a minute or so for the oil to infuse with the lemon and then remove the cheese from the fridge and fry in batches until golden, flipping over half way through.
  8. Meanwhile make the spiced honey by whisking honey, lemon juice and course ground black pepper, thinning a little with a touch of hot water.
  9. When each piece of cheese is fully cooked, put aside and keep warm.
  10. To plate up, pile roast vegetables up on the plate and squeeze over a few criss-cross lines of the sauce, then add the saganaki to the plate and drizzle over the honey.

Sammy’s top tip: Don’t worry about leaving the skin on carrots – saves the food waste!