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Launch of Sabrina's one-to-one private cookery tuition Guest critic on Gordon Ramsay's 'F-Word' series finale Organised Top Chef Charity Banquet for Haiti raising £70,000 for 'Action Against Hunger' Seasonal Food & Recipe Writer for 'Blue Tomato'

Winner of Channel 4's 'Come Dine With Me' (West London) 'Bronze' winner in professionally judged 'AA Home Cooking Competition 2009' Appointed resident cookery columnist for Foodepedia

Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Japanese Rice Risotto with Miso, Lemongrass and Scallops

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Seasonal Penne Mediterraneo

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Persian Split Pea, Dried Lime and Lamb Stew

Saturday, 25 September 2010

RECIPE: Parsley and Feta Salad with Pickled Chillies and Homemade Houmous

My latest ingredients of choice are pickled piri-piri chillies, available at Tesco for just 99p a jar. The pickling process takes a lot of the fiery heat out of the chillies which makes them a great addition to sandwiches, salads, omelettes and pretty much anything else you could think of. Heck, you can even add them to a nice Antipasto platter of cured meats and cheeses or eat them on their own. I'm addicted to them and just a little reminder that chillies help speed up your metabolism and aid digestion, so they are incredibly good for you. Some say that they are a fantastic aid to weight loss... But I say "Weight loss, Schmeight loss!" I just like eating them.

The salad is an accompaniment I made to a Morroccan-spiced rack of lamb (same one I cooked for Come Dine With Me) as well as the roasted sweet potatoes with a yoghurt and herb dressing, for which you can find the recipe here and the lovely homemade Houmous was also a dish that helped me win the show. So here are the recipes;

Parsley and Feta Salad with Pickled Chillies

1 large bunch (or 3 small packets) of flat leaf parsley
8-10 pickled chillies
1 red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
200g of feta cheese
Juice of half a fat lemon
Olive oil to drizzle

Remove all the thicker stalks of the parsley and discard (save them by freezing them as they are fabulous for adding real flavour to any stew, soup or stock) and plate into a nice flat serving dish. Then roughly chop your pickled chillies and sprinkle them onto the parsley followed by the onion clices. Crumble your feta cheese all over the leaves and finalli finish by dressing the salad with a good drizzle of best quality olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Give the salad a final toss and serve.

Homemade Houmous

1 x 400g tin of chick peas (retain the brine also)
1 fat garlic clove crushed into a paste using a little salt
Juice of a whole lemon
1 tablespoon garlic oil
4 tablespoons of light Tahini
Olive oil
Maldon sea salt and pepper to taste

I prefer to mash the chick peas by hand to give a nice rough texture but admittedly it is a labour of love and whizzing them in a processor gives them the smooth texture that we are used to. Use some of the brine and some olive oil to help the process and get an even texture. Then add the crushed garlic, lemon juice (hold some back, you can always add, but can never take away!) and then add your Tahini followed by another good slug of olive oil and mix (or blitz) thoroughly. Add another thin drizzle of olive oil until you reach your desired consistency of hummus and season well with salt and pepper. Taste the mixture to check its flavour and add more lemon juice if desired. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top and a sprinkling of paprika for colour. You can infuse the houmous with chopped herbs, mashed aubgergine pulp or pretty much anything you like and you don't have to stick to using chick peas, I use butterbeans or white beans also and they work just as well. Just make sure you taste the Houmous as you go and add more oil and lemon juice if needed as different beans contain different levels of starch and sugar affecting the textures and flavours.


  1. With the inclusion of the pickled chillies I can even entice my carnivore husband to eat this - lovely!

  2. that looks soo delicious! Now i have to decide between this and an egg tahini salad recipe that i found for my lunch today...so hard to chooose!!!


  3. Dear Sabrina,
    I hope this letter finds you well and happy. I am writing to you with intrest in your dinner menu. I am new to the show "Come dine with me" as it has just started to air in Canada. I saw your epsiode and instantly fell in love with your menu! I went to the CDWM website and was surprised to find that not all of your recipes are there. I have always liked Persian food and have not a clue how to cook it. I have always had it cooked for me, well years ago to be honest. I dated a fella who was Persian and a delightful cook. Since then I have been craving Persian food and have never found anything close to what he cooked!! That was until I came across your blog and recipe ideas. I just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful read and very heart felt recipes.


  4. Hi Kelly, that is so sweet of you! I have received a lot of lovely mails from people from Canada lately! If you read this, do drop me a line with your email and I will add you to my weekly mailer! Thank you for watching and I am so glad you enjoy Persian food! It is delicious! x

  5. Hi Sabrina,
    I would love to be on your weekly mailer. My email is GAMBINO90@HOTMAIL.COM
    Thank you so much Sabrina!!! I look forward to my first mail :)


  6. Oooh.. Sabrina... I had never tried the pickled chillies but you have inspired me. That salad looks lovely!