Review of Pelagonia Products and Killing Two Blogging Birds with One Stone:
I was lucky to be sent a couple of jars of Pelagonia products a few weeks ago. I’m in holiday panic mode right now and I’ve only just got round to trying them – I’m also trying to kill two blogging birds with one stone by entering these for the ‘No Croutons Required’ Challenge, hosted this month by Tinned Tomatoes – I’m hoping that these little jars will qualify as antipasti, although one is labelled jam and the other meze, they come from Macedonia, not Italy. But, there’s an Italian version of the pumpkin jam, by the name of marmeletta di zucca, and various iterations of the aubergine meze with peppers which is used as a pasta sauce as well as an antipasti component.
The first, a lovely pumpkin jam is the most amazing coloured food I’ve seen for a long time. It tastes fabulous by the teaspoonful and I can quite see why a fellow blogger put some on her porridge. It’s sweet without being sickly and thick without that cloying furry texture you sometimes get with pumpkin and squash.
The second is a rich, smokey aubergine meze. It’s something that works very nicely as a dip with just some flatbreads. But I wanted to try cooking something!
So, having been shown how to make filo parcels at the Weber Barbecue Academy last week, I decided to make my own version. And, I think they are a worthy entrant into the ‘No Croutons Required’ challenge to use some kind of Antipasti in a soup or salad. The fillings that I made involved feta, so if you were making this for a strict vegetarian you’d need to be careful to buy the non-animal-rennet kind – or even try using some crumbled tofu for a vegan version.
Both fillings can be used as part of a salad in their own right. Once you’ve added a bit of feta and some pine nuts you have something quite filling. I used up all the aubergine one but had some pumpkin jam filling left, which you can see lurking on the right hand side of my plate. Making them into moneybags (my name for these creations, because they look like little moneybags to me) provides a little more of a substantial dish and as you can see from my photo, I really didn’t have much in the way of salad ingredients. I made a cous-cous salad with peas, chives and sultanas and a cherry tomato salad with basil. The scattering of leaves are baby lettuce leaves that SHOULD be ready for eating but which are still very tiny!
I fully intend doing some more cookery with my Pelagonia products – any ideas gratefully received. That is of course, if I don’t keep eating them ‘au natural’