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Carved dainty baskets

BIPIN MISTRY

IT is easy to carve and scoop baskets from vegetables and fruits and fill them with tasty salads, dips or sauces. Then, arrange them with salads, or with special dishes or serve them as a starter.

Cucumber flower with bread sauce

Carved cucumber flower hollow is filled with a unique bread sauce.

  • Ingredients

    Carved cucumber flowers with a
    hollow in the centre 12 pieces
    For the bread sauce:
    Stale bread 2 slices
    Olive oil 2 tsps
    Coarse powder of almonds and walnuts 2 tbsps
    Vinegar 2 tbsps, or to taste
    A pinch of red chilli powder to sprinkle on top

  • Method

    Soak the bread slices in water for a minute. Add in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. A quick blending ensures a rough textured sauce. Use a little water if needed. Fill this sauce in the cucumber flowers. Sprinkle a little chilli and serve as a starter. Arrange with salad.

    * * *

    Tomato baskets with green peas

  • Ingredients

    Medium sized tomatoes 12
    For green peas filling:
    Boiled and crushed green peas ¾ cup
    Chopped coriander leaves ¼ cup
    Salt, sugar and pepper to taste
    Minced green chillies ¼ tsp
    Lemon juice 1 tsp

  • Method

    Carve the tomatoes in the middle to open into two baskets. Scoop out the pulp and seeds. Keep upside down for 15 minutes. Mix all the ingredients of the green peas filling. Fill carefully in the tomato baskets. Serve as it is with salad or grill for seven minutes and serve as a dish.

    * * *

    Orange basket with beansprout salad

  • Ingredients

    Oranges with firm skin Six
    Beansprouts 1 cup
    Chopped cucumber ¼ cup
    Segments of oranges ½ cup
    Chopped tomatoes ¼ cup
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Chopped coriander leaves 1 tbsp
    Grated coconut 1 tbsp

  • Method

    Carve the orange baskets with handle and remove all segments from inside to make into hollow peel segments to use in the salad filling. Cook the beansprouts and carrots in boiling water for a minute. Drain and cool. Mix with the rest of the ingredients except the coriander leaves. Fill salad in the orange baskets and garnish with coriander leaves.

    * * *

    Zucchini boats with cheese

    A cucumber like western vegetable (now available) which can be used to make boats.

  • Ingredients

    Zucchini (about eight inches
    long) 1 piece
    Butter 1 tbsp
    Finely chopped onion ½ cup
    Green chilli, finely chopped 1
    Cream style corn from tin ½ cup
    Grated cheese ¼ cup
    Salt to taste:
    Tomato ketchup to garnish

  • Method

    Cut the zucchini vertical into two-inch long pieces. Arrange on a greased baking dish. Bake at 200{+o}C or grill for 10 minutes to soften. Take out and press centre to get the depression.

    Melt the butter, sauté the onion and chilli to soften. Add creamstyle corn, salt and half the cheese. Mix and cook till thick. Place a spoonful on each piece of zucchini. Top with remaining cheese and a dot of tomato ketchup.

    Just before serving time, grill to bake until cheese melts. Serve as a starter.

    * * *

    Potato boats with baked beans

  • Ingredients

    Medium sized potatoes Six
    Baked beans in tomato sauce (from tin) 1 cup
    Butter 1 tbsp
    Chopped onion ¼ cup
    Green chilli chopped 1
    Grated cheese ¼ cup
    Chilli sauce 1 tsp
    Few pieces of capsicum
    A little salad oil

  • Method:

    Boil the potatoes and peel. Cut into two lengths and make them stand. Scoop from the middle to make hollow.

    Melt the butter and sauté the onion and chilli to soften. Add the baked beans, sauce and half the cheese. Mix well and remove from heat. Put a spoonful in the hollow of each potato boat. Arrange on a greased baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese. Put a piece of capsicum on top and also put a dot of salad oil. Bake potatoes for 25 minutes at 200{+o}C. Serve as a dish at dinner.

    JYOTI NIKUNJ PAREKH

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