Tabbouleh: there’s never too much mint. Or olive oil.


I was sitting on my balcony, chilling, looking at my vegetables and thinking what to prepare for lunch. That gorgeous green mint caught my eye and made me think of something… It’s been almost 10 years now, since I visited France for the first time. It must have been then that I’ve fallen in love with it… Anyway, I was staying with a family in Antibes, in the south. Tabbouleh was le plat de resistance. Every day. Every lunch. It was more or less a cous-cous salad with some tomatoes, raisins and mint. To be honest, I was not a big fan. It was something I’ve never had in my life before. But, years pass by and you get wiser… and you travel (now a visit to a local Lebanese is practically a must on all my trips), returning at home, hoping that one day you’ll be able to sit down in an restaurant ordering some hummus, falafels and tabouleh in your home town. And one day when you return, your wish comes true. Mezze.

Tabbouleh comes from Middle Eastern cuisine and is usually served as mezze. It’s fresh, healthy and really easy to make in the summer. The real thing is actually lots of mint and parsley, tomatoes, some onions, sprinkeled with lemon and some bulgur. Yes, sprinkeled with bulgur.

My recipe is a mix of everything. Cranberries and pistachios came across when I was staying in Canada. And bulgur is so much healthier than cous-cous. It’s not that common to use it at our place, but you should definitely be using it more. Bulgur is cracked durum wheat and is considered wholegrain, so rich in fibre and has approx. 10% of protein. It is made by cooking the wheat, drying it, partially removing bran and craking it. This actually means that there is no need to cook it. You can just soak it and drain when soften.

So, serve it with one of these beauties  plus some grilled vegetables. And you’ve got yourself a real feast!



  • 250 g bulgur
  • 350 g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 big handfuls cranberries (or raisins)
  • 150 g salted pistachios in shell
  • 20 g mint leaves or more
  • 15 g parsley
  • 1 small spring onion
  • juice of 1,5 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar.
  • salt
  • olive oil. lots of it.


  1. Cook bulgur according to instructions. Do not overcook. Let cool completely.
  2. Chop mint leaves, parsley and spring onions. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Remove pistachios from the shelves and chop roughly.
  3. Add lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and lots of olive oil to cooled bulgur. Mix in pistachios, cranberries, chopped herbs and spring onions. Salt according to taste and mix. At the end mix in cherry tomatoes and serve.

Grilled eggplant with sundried tomatoes and pecan goat cheese


This is actually so easy to make that I shouldn’t even be posting it. But I can’t help myself. It looks nice and tastes soo good. Besides, with the abundance of homegrown goods and the lack of time to cook lately, this is a perfect fast food without renouncing great taste.

Whether using nuts, walnuts or pecans, it’s really important to oven roast the nuts for couple of minutes. This will give them an amazing crunchy texture and will enhance the nutty flavor which works really nice with goat cheese.




  • 1 eggplant
  • 150 g of soft fresh goat cheese
  • 1 Tbsp of spreadable goat cheese or mascarpone
  • handful of pecans
  • sundried tomatoes
  • fresh thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Get the cheese out of the fridge at least 30 mins prior to mixing. Oven roast pecan nuts for couple of minutes. Let cool, roughly chop and mix with both cheeses.
  2. Cut eggplant in 1 cm slices and grill in a pan. Use little oil and cook covered on both sides. There’s no need to fry them in oil.
  3. Assemble eggplant slices and goat cheese, top with sun dried tomatoes, thyme and good amount of high quality olive oil.

Peach and tomato salad with basil vinaigrette


When I stepped out on my balcony, I saw this little tomato hearts and I said to myself: Caprese! An italian classic, combining all the essential colors and flavors: red, green, white. Tomatoes, basil, mozzarella.


But since I went completely crazy this week by buying something like 10 kilos of homegrown peaches that I’m putting everywhere now, I thought why not combining them with sweet tomatoes. This is how I came up with this Caprese upgrade.


And instead of putting basil leaves only on top, I made a faux vinaigrette: basil leaves, good extra virgin olive oil, some garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. This is also a good way to use basil in case you don’t know what to do with it. Olive oil acts as a natural preservative, so this can be make ahead and stored in a fridge for couple of days. Just don’t forget to take it out on time since a high quality virgin olive oil will harden in fridge.


  • tomatoes
  • peaches
  • mozzarella
  • basil leaves

For basil vinaigrette:

  • bunch of basil leaves
  • juice of half lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • garlic clove
  • good amount of virgin olive oil (sth. like 1 dl)


  1. Mix basil, salt and garlic in a mortar. While mixing add first lemon juice, and than gradually olive oil.
  2. Cut peaches and tomatoes. Tear mozzarella in big chunks. Assemble.
  3. Sprinkle with vinaigrette and garnish with some basil leaves.


Grilled aubergine spinach salad


There’s nothing better than picking up fresh veggies that have grown in your own garden. My mum’s garden is just marvelous. And guess what, this is the first year we’ve succeeded in growing aubergines. And spinach too, comes from the garden.

With products like this you should keep it simple. Toss some olive oil over aubergines and grill. If you’re using a pan, there’s a trick. Aubergines are actually like a sponge and require quite a lot of oil. So, instead of soaking them in fat, frying and loosing all the flavors, you can use just about a tablespoon of olive oil and cover the pan while cooking on medium heat. This will allow to cook on the inside. Also very important, seasoning with some salt while cooking will allow to release excess water. After a couple of minutes remove the cover and give them the finishing grill. Set aside, cover and let cool. This will give the aubergines a silky texture without loosing the flavors.



  • baby spinach leaves
  • aubergine
  • goat cheese
  • roasted nuts
  • thyme
  • olive oil for cooking
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • pita bread (optional)


  1. Preheat oven at 200ºc. Roast nuts until they get lightly brown. When cooled crush in a mortar or roughly chop.
  2. Toss some olive oil over aubergines and grill. If using a pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil and follow instructions above.
  3. When aubergines chilled, assemble salad: fresh spinach leaves and grilled aubergines, topped with goat cheese, sprinkled with roasted nuts and fresh thyme and a good amount of high quality olive oil.
  4. Serve with grilled pita bread.

Easy green

I would say that Slovenians, we’re a salad nation. It sounds funny, but if there’s no salad in your meal, your meal just doesn’t feel complete. And for me a good salad is often enough to make a perfect meal.

When making salads, I follow couple of simple rules: it has to be colorful, needs to have different textures and flavors and has to be a play between sweet and sour.

The main rule for composing big salads is: crunchy base vegetable + one or two colorful accessories + some crunchy details or/and cheese.

As far as dressing is concerned, it should always taste more slaty and sour. That’s how it will be perfect on your salad. And my basic rule is: never put white dressing on cheese.



Colorful accessories.

I love putting fruits in salads. They add wonderful color and flavor. Oranges are superb in green salads. Just don’t forget to take off all that white skin.

Avocado is actually a fruit, not a vegetable. It is a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin K and vitamins B. It has high level of fat, but it’s good vegetable unsaturated fat. There’s about 15 g of fat in 100 g of avocado. You can easily use it as butter replacement in your other recipes.

Avocados are picked hard and green and will ripen properly at room temperature in one to two weeks. If you buy them hard and don’t want to eat them straightaway, keep them in fridge. If you want them to get ripe more quickly, put them next to bananas. And yes, you should always have them on stock!


Crunchy stuff: nuts and seeds

Black cumin seeds always remind me of my trip to Egypt where we had wonderful bread with black cumin seeds in the morning. It was years ago and at that time I had no idea what it was. I’ve just remembered the taste. Since I’ve rediscovered it, it’s my favorite thing on oranges and goat cheese.

Couple of crushed nuts like pistachios, almonds, walnuts, roasted or not, will give your salad a full rounded body. Salted roasted whole almonds add crunchy and a bit rustic flavor.


Soft goat cheese





  • salad greens
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 orange
  • handful roasted almonds (in shells)
  • goat cheese
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • lemon thyme (optional)
  • black cumin seed to sprinkle
  • salt, pepper


  1. Cut avocado chunks. Peel and cut oranges. Remove white skins.
  2. Roughly crush almonds.
  3. Make dressing. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. Assemble green salad, avocado chunks and oranges, rough pieces of cheese. Sprinkle with almonds, cumin seeds. Top with  dressing.

zucchini fennel salad


Physalis berries (Physalis Peruviana) can be found under many different names as cape gooseberry, inca berry, aztec berry, golden berry, giant ground cherry, peruvian cherry. They are rich in vitamin C, essential amino acids, beta-carotene. They are packed with antioxidants and soluble fibre. They have a sweet taste with a sour finish.


And thyme… it needs no words. It’s an amazing herb that goes well with sweet and sour, salty and spicy. I especially like using lemon thyme that adds a hint of freshness to your dish.



Zucchini fennel salad with macadamia nut and physalis berries:

serves 1

  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1/3 fennel
  • physalis berries
  • parmesan/feta/mozzarella (optional)
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • fleur de sel
  • 5 macadamia nuts
  • mountain and lime thyme


  1. Make thin slices of zucchini using a peeler. Cut fennel as thin as possible.
  2. Roast whole macadamias in an oven at 200*c for couple of minutes, just till they get light brown. Let aside to cool. Roughly chop or using a mortar and pestle crush in big pieces.
  3. Rinse well physalis berries, you can also cut them in halfs.
  4. Compose salad by adding all listed ingredients, sprinkle with flour de del, thyme, olive oil and lemon juice.

salmon greens with soy orange dressing

It’s pretty colorless during winter here. That’s why I love spring in Ljubljana. I feel it coming. Sun, birds, flowers, riding my bike, people smiling everywhere… I love it! And what’s more, everything gets so colorful!

That reminded me of Tri express in Montreal, where I’ve eaten one of the best sushi ever. Full of colors, surprising combinations and tastes that pop up in your mouth. Pure magic!

So that’s how I came up with salmon salad with soy orange dressing…



Smoked salmon salad with orange soy dressing:

serves 1

  • 2 slices of smoked salmon
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/3 apple
  • 2 Tsp soy sauce
  • chives


  1. Slice very thin stripes of apple and zucchini; slice avocado as thin as possible.
  2. Squeeze half orange, add soy sauce.
  3. Combine all ingredients on a plate, add dressing and sprinkle with chives.