Cape Mediterranean, Ilse van der Merwe

I first met Ilse when she started blogging in 2011. I was very excited to get her first recipe book Cape Mediterranean to review. Tasha Seccombe is responsible for the photographs in the book which is subtitled the way we love to eat.

Cape Mediterranean

Chapters are divided into:
  • loaves, flatbreads & pizza
  • dips, spreads & pâtés
  • tapas, terrines & tasters
  • soups, chowders & stews
  • salads, vegetables & legumes
  • pastas, potatoes & rice
  • grills, roasts & braises
  • desserts
  • preserves
Recipes that caught my eye:
  • brioche mini-rolls (p29)
  • smoked trout pâté with dill & sour cream (p40)
  • bo-kaap harissa paste (p43)
  • pan-fried calamari tentacles with chorizo, olive oil, lemon & herbs
  • smoked paprika & rosemary roasted nuts (p68)
  • country-style pork & port terrine with pistachios (p71)
  • mussel & tomato stew (p86)
  • italian-style white bean soup with karoo lamb & white wine (p96)
  • creamed cauliflower with brown butter & gruyère cheese (p100)
  • grilled aubergine & courgette salad with salad with bocconcini & mint (p120)
  • warm chickpea salad with cumin, olives, mint & feta (p128)
  • greek-style youvetsi with karoo lamb, lemon & origanum (p138)
  • butternut gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce (p142)
  • semolina gnocchi with wild winelands mushrooms, thyme, mature cheese & cream (p145)
  • cape stone fruit galette (p169)
  • honey, rose-water & cinnamon panna cotta (p178)
  • baklava cigars with citrus & spices (p181)
What I thought:

Overall, I liked the look and feel of the recipe book as well as the stories to go with the recipes. The photographs are great, with a lot of them showing Ilse’s hands.

What I made from Cape Mediterranean:

As I was having a Greek dinner party, I made the baklava cigars. In the list of ingredients there is almond essence which does not feature in the method! The recipe called for a syrup to be made using 400g of sugar and 500mls of water, which ended up drowning the pastry. I am sure this was not the intended result and I baked them a second time to get the texture I wanted.

Publishing information:
ISBN 9781432310226
Format Hardback
Published June 2019

Penguin Random House South Africa sent me this recipe book to review.

Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime August 21:


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8 thoughts on “Cape Mediterranean, Ilse van der Merwe

  1. Looks like an intriguing book Tandy! I confess, I only do recipes if I can see a picture of the finished product or I won’t bother. I need to know the goal! I think the cap stone fruit galette sounds wonderful =)

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