Food

Recreating Holiday Meals

As lockdown measures have caused lots of us to cancel holiday plans, we thought we’d bring some of the best dishes we’ve eaten abroad back home and recreate them! Check out some of our favourites below…

Gyros from Corfu, Greece

By Hannah Penwright

There’s not much I’d rather be doing than being back in Corfu.

Eating gyros after a gorgeously sunny day relaxing at the beach and exploring local markets was the perfect way to spend a day in Corfu- so much so we came back soon after to do it all again. Traditional Gyros is made up of marinated pork or chicken, tzatziki (a creamy yoghurt and cucumber sauce), chips and salad all encased in a flatbread. I opted for the vegetarian option which replaced the meat with halloumi, and I was not disappointed.

I made my own flatbread using this recipe because I wanted them to taste as authentic as possible, but if you’re looking for a quick shortcut then shop-bought flatbreads will still give you a very tasty result.

Ingredients (serves 4):

Tzatziki (for best results, make the day before)-

  • 250 grams Greek yoghurt
  • ¼ of a cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Chips-

  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 plain flatbreads
  • 225g halloumi, sliced
  • 8 large slices of tomato
  • ½ a small onion, sliced
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Method:

  1. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Grate the two halves and squeeze out any excess water in a tea towel.
  2. Add all the other tzatziki ingredients into a bowl along with the cucumber and stir until combined. Leave in the fridge overnight for the flavours to develop.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/ 200ºC (fan). Peel and chop the potato into chips, and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle over some paprika, salt and pepper. Mix together so the chips are evenly coated.
  4. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, turning them halfway through.
  5. When the chips are almost done, fry the halloumi until golden brown.
  6. Spread some tzatziki all over a flatbread. Add some halloumi slices, 2 tomato slices, onion and chips, and garnish with the parsley.
  7. Fold the flatbread over so everything’s enclosed and enjoy!

Du Jardinier Pizza from Montreux, Switzerland

By Dana Armstrong

Though not exactly known for its Italian fare, one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten came from Montreux, Switzerland. After a day of exploring the Châteaux de Chillon and Montreux’s quay (complete with a commemorative Freddie Mercury statue), I fondly remember staring out over the brilliantly blue waters of Lake Geneva from my window seat at the Au Parc pizzeria. There, I managed to recount enough French from my pre-university days to place my order: the Du Jardinier Pizza.

Now, whenever I need a taste for travel, I know to top my pizza with aubergine, courgette, and pesto. It may take a little effort to recreate completely from scratch, but it’s a small sacrifice to make to be able to experience a bit of Montreux from home.

Ingredients (makes 1 pizza):

  • Pizza dough (I like to use this recipe when making pizza dough from scratch, but you can easily use a pre-made pizza dough instead.)
  • 120ml tomato sauce
  • 100g shredded mozzarella
  • ½ small courgette
  • ½ small aubergine
  • Oregano (fresh or dried) to taste

For the pesto-

  • 35g walnuts
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic
  • 60g fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 35 g Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Make pizza dough from scratch (using this recipe) or simply roll out pre-made dough into a 30cm circle. Then, transfer the dough onto a parchment lined pizza pan.
  2. Preheat your oven to 215ºC.
  3. To make the pesto, chop the walnuts and garlic for a few seconds in a food processor. Add the basil, and blend for a minute or until it forms a paste. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and gradually stream in the olive oil while blending. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spread an even layer of tomato sauce onto the pizza dough, and top with the mozzarella and thinly sliced courgette and aubergine. Sprinkle on oregano to taste and drizzle with pesto.
  5. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
  6. Slice and serve!

Bruschetta from Mijas, Spain

By Maddie Balcombe

Picture this: it’s a hot summers afternoon and you’re just about to board your flight to the stunning town of Mijas, Spain. Perched upon some breathtaking mountains and filled with cobbled streets, Mijas oozes charm. Travelling there is like stepping foot into a perfect postcard scene, and it’s undoubtedly one of my favourite holiday destinations. Although, this year I have no choice but to bring the beauty of Mijas to my home in not-so-sunny England.

Whenever I think of the glorious days that I’ve spent in Mijas, I always find myself fantasising over the food. Spain is, of course, famous for its tapas – and there’s no better feeling than waking up to a fresh plate after a siesta. However, it was in Mijas that I first tried a classic Bruschetta. It’s an Italian dish but, whenever I have Bruschetta, I can’t help but picture Spain. When I tried this dish, I was sat outside, against a white wall, watching the world go by. The explosion of colour and flavour that soon appeared on my plate was a stark contrast to this idyllic scene. Bruschetta has come to symbolise the spirit of Mijas for me; on the surface it’s quiet and still, yet there’s so much hidden life to be explored within the town.

Making Bruschetta during lockdown has definitely helped me bring the holiday vibes into my home, and it’s super simple! Just follow these steps:

Ingredients (serves 1 as a main, or 2 as a starter):

  • 1 small loaf of ciabatta
  • ½ a red onion
  • A handful of basil
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Dried mixed herbs
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Finely chop some cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and red onion.
  2. In a bowl, mix these ingredients with dried mixed herbs and olive oil.
  3. In the meantime, lightly toast your ciabatta.
  4. Rub your toasted bread with a garlic clove, then spoon the mixed veg and herbs on top.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and top with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
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