Broad Beans Mezze | Salad of Broad Beans with Sea Salt and Black Pepper AND Broad Beans with Feta and Dill

Sometimes we forget that Simple is Better. I do say that a lot, because sometimes we forget. As I write Nigella Lawson is being savaged for her “too simple” new cookbook. It is difficult to understand – Jamie Oliver didn’t face the same criticism with his 30 Minute Meals, 15 Minute Meals, or meals with just 5 ingredients. But we really have become used to complicated food – Ottolenghi, for example. His beautiful food cannot be called simple. Master Chef dishes are mind bogglingly complex. We all want to be Iron Chefs.

I *love* to get back to basics. Simple food, simply cooked, banging with uncomplicated flavours where the ingredient shines. Grilled Peppers with Olive Oil. A plate of Olives. Crumbled Feta. Cucumbers with Rice Vinegar. Green Beans with Garlic. A plate of Spinach. Yoghurt with Cumin. Crusty Bread. Grilled Eggplants. Steamed Potatoes. The list goes on and on. So today, this is a reminder that salt and pepper is often all that is needed.

The recipe today is a Broad Bean Salad, simple style. We add a second salad that takes the minimalistic version and adds olive oil, lemon juice and feta. It too is delicious without being overly complicated.

Both are great additions to a tapas spread or a mezze plate. They even make a great afternoon snack.

Similar recipes include Simple Chickpea Salad, Simple Celery Salads, and Simple Cucumber Salad.

Other Broad Bean dishes to try are Broad Beans with Crispy Garlic, Broad Bean Salad with Tomato and Thyme, and Glorious Five Bean Salad.

Browse all of our Broad Bean dishes. Or check our our collection of Early Spring recipes.

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Poha Chaat

Poha Chat is an Indian spicy snack and street food loved by many. Poha is rice that has been steamed and flattened, and it comes in various sizes. For this recipe, thick poha will be needed. If using thinner poha, don’t soak for long in water – thin poha particularly will need a sprinkle of water only.

Similar recipes include Borlotti Bean Chaat, and Channa Chaat.

Other Poha dishes include Kanda Poha, Kolacha Poha, and Sweet and Crunchy Poha.

Browse all of our Poha recipes and our Chat dishes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi | Crisipy Okra in Yoghurt

Okra in Yoghurt is popular across South India, and it is surprisingly good – more than might be expected if you are used to okra cooked with tomatoes as is common in the Mediterranean, Middle East and the US. This recipe is a Tamil version – the Kerala version is similar but also contains coconut.

This is usually made for festival days or other special occasions, although it is wonderful to eat on any day. It is easy to make, taking no more than 20 mins. You will love it.

Are you after more Okra dishes? Try Okra in Mustard Oil, Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed, and Fried Okra.

Browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or find some wonderful recipes to make in our Mid Winter collection.

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Glass Noodles with Spinach

Glass Noodles are wonderful – silky, soft and translucent, they are great in salads, soups and stir fries. Other names for these noodles include Cellophane Noodles, Chinese Rice Vermicelli and Chinese Vermicelli. They don’t take much to prepare – stiff like wire when you buy them, they soften with a short soak in hot water, and within about 5 minutes they are ready to toss with other ingredients. But don’t mix them up with Indian rice Vermicelli, that is vermicelli of a different type.

This salad takes some fresh, younger spinach and wilts it with sesame oil before tossing with the glass noodles. You can sprinkle with some sesame seeds to complete the dish.

Similar dishes include Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad, Indian Vermicelli Payasam, and Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji.

Browse all of our Spinach dishes, and all of our Vermicelli dishes. Our Asian dishes are here. Or browse our Early Spring recipe collection.

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Broad Bean and Mint Mash | Broad Bean and Mint Dip

Difficult to stop eating this delightful dip

Our love affair with Broad Beans continues with some mashes. Broad beans mash very well – especially later in the season when the beans are not as young and tender as they were earlier in the season.

This is easy to make, but it is necessary to double peel the beans – first remove them from the pod and then peel each bean. For this recipe it is Ok to cook the beans for a few minutes before peeling – they are also easier to peel once cooked.

Similar recipes include Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint, Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread, and Avocado Smash.

You might like to browse our other Broad Bean recipes. Or explore our other snacks. Our Late Spring recipes are here.

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Gajar ka Achaar | Mustardy Carrot Pickle

A beautiful Punjabi pickle

Pickles are ubiquitous in India. Spicy green chilli pickles, Mango Pickles with Cardamom and Fenugreek, yellow Cauliflower pickle, even Quince Pickle and Cumquat Pickles. You name it, every Indian household will have big jars filled with freshly made pickles sitting in the sunshine. This is a method commonly used to develop the flavours of the pickle and let them mature.

Making Indian pickles is so simple. Some are pickled in oil, some in an acid, like vinegar, or lemon or lime juice. They may take some time to allow the flavours to develop, but all good things take time.

Oil style pickles are common in North India, and salt and oil play important parts in the pickling process. Salt adds to the flavour, draws moisture out of the vegetable and inhibits bacterial growth. Oil acts as a barrier and keeps the vegetables moist. Different oils produce different tasting pickles.

Today’s pickle is a beautiful crunchy carrot pickle, made mustardy with the use of mustard oil and mustard seeds.

Are you after other Carrot Recipes? Try Carrot Rice, Cumin and Ginger Glazed Carrots, Carrot Thoran and an interesting Carrot Curry with Crumble.

Are you looking for Pickles? Try Pickled Okra, Pickled Jicama, and Pickled Cumquats.

Have a look at other Carrot Pickles, and all of our other Picklesour Chutneys too. All of our Carrot dishes are here. Or browse our Indian recipes, and explore our Mid Spring recipes too.

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Pasta alla Crudaiola | Pasta with a Raw Tomato Sauce

Yay for simple pasta dishes. We have a few recipes for such dishes, and most of them feature tomatoes in some form. Tomatoes are so easy to chop and add to pasta with some olive oil, garlic and basil. A bit of parmesan. And a tasty dish is born.

While the base ingredients are almost the same in the simple dishes, the way they are treated will vary, and that changes the dish. This recipe uses those base ingredients but they are chopped finely to make a sort of uncooked sauce. It is mixed with ricotta and left for an hour for the flavours to develop. Easy. Good.

This dish goes well with any pasta, really. Use short ones, curly ones or long strands. Spaghetti and bucatini are particularly good, and I love it with Penne. It is best made in Summer, or early Autumn, when our Australian tomatoes are at their best.

Are you looking for other Pasta dishes? Try Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, and Pasta with Chilli and Olive Oil.

And why not make your own Pasta? How to Make Eggless Pasta.

You can browse all of our Pasta dishes, our many Tomato dishes, and all of our Italian recipes. Or simply browse our Early Autumn dishes.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad with Pomegranate

In this memorable salad from Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s Jerusalem, roasted Cauliflower, Celery and Hazelnuts are combined with Pomegranate, fresh Parsley, and warming spices. A sweet-tart vinaigrette finishes it off.

When we roast cauliflower, we make a whole lot, often 2 – 3 trays, and it is used for Cauliflower Soup, Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini Yoghurt Dressing, and this salad. Roasted cauliflower is one of the best ways to use this gorgeous winter vegetable.

Similar recipes include Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Cheddar Salad, and Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Spices and Lime.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, all of our Ottolenghi dishes and all of our Salads. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Ensalada

A salad for every day.

Ensalada is a Spanish salad of perfect tomatoes and mild, sweet onion slices. It is found around the world in countries or regions that have had a Spanish influence in their history. Ensalada is centre on the table at meal times. They can be simple with just the 2 perfect ingredients dressed with olive oil and white wine vinegar, or they can have addition ingredients added to the simple base. In this way, the salad can vary from day to day, yet still feature the 2 main ingredients. A few olives, some cucumber slices, a little cos lettuce, a tiny amount of soft herb. A salad that is sweet, cool and fresh.

Made this way, the salad is perfect. Over stuffed with numerous additions, it is no longer ensalada, but a mish mash of complex flavours that negate the beautiful simplicity of the traditional way of serving this salad.

Similar recipes include this terrific Tomato Salad, Broad Bean and Tomato Salad, and Tomato Salad with Green Olives.

You can find other  Tomato Salads here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Spring Chai

Chai! The very word evokes a feeling of warmth and comfort, and brings back memories of chai’s past. What an important part of life chai is.

This is a Spring time Chai, with saffron and jasmine flowers. I hope you enjoy it.

Similar recipes include Indian Chai Variations, Chai Masala, and Seva Devi’s Ashram Chai.

You can browse all of our Chai recipes, all of our Indian dishes, and our Indian Essentials series. Or settle back and enjoy our Early Spring collection of recipes.

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Chinese Style Greens with Garlic and Sesame

If you are like me, you love a plate of greens now and again. And if they are straight from the vegetable garden, there is nothing better. This is an easy dish to whip up and is fragrant with the garlic and spring onions.

The recipe can be made with just the leaves, or, if you have an abundance of stems, it is also good made with just the chopped stems. But mostly, I mix the two.

Similar dishes include Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji, Spinach Stem Salad with Sweet Raisins, and Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach.

Browse our Chinese dishes and our Asian recipes. Our Spinach dishes are here. Or browse our Early Spring recipes.

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Very Quick Radish Pickles | Japanese Radish Pickles

Simple Pickled Radishes

Lucy Nourish Me is in love with the flavours of the orient – shoyu, tamari, mirin, rice wine vinegar, rice vinegar, kombu and much more more. She uses them with aplomb. Right now I am exploring radish recipes, and Lucy has a couple that remove the tangy peppery flavour and make the radishes a great vehicle for the flavours of Japan.

Lucy adapted this recipe from Jamie Oliver, and of course (can’t help myself) I have adapted it again. What a nice chain we make, linking recipe to person to recipe to person over time and space.

This is the quickest and simplest of radish recipes, honestly. I love the peppery tang of radishes, but these recipes from the East are a nice change.

Similar recipes include Quick Pickled Radishes with Asian Flavours, and Slightly Pickled Cucumber and Red Radish Salad.

Explore our other Radish Recipes and our other Quick Pickles. Try our Japanese dishes. Our Late Spring recipes are all here.

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Seasonal Cooking | MID WINTER Salads, Dips and Preserves

We move into the cold months where nothing much stirs in the garden. Oranges and other citrus are plentiful, pears too. Mid Winter vegetables arrive. Vegetables are more limited in range but beautiful in flavours.

Here are some suggestions for Salads and Preserves in season or available in Mid Winter – Carrots, Potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, Beetroot — and much more. Dips too, and Winter Preserves.

Enjoy some Healthy Salad Inspiration for Mid Winter. You can also browse:

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Dr. Kilkani’s Ayurvedic Chai

Another wonderful Chai recipe

This is the chai recipe given to me by an Ayurvedic doctor from Pune, India. He would visit Sydney regularly to give courses and I was lucky enough to attend several of them.

His chai recipe is not dependent on ratios, just the ingredients. Mix them to your own taste preferences. The best way is to make a small jar of chai blend, and then use the mix to make your morning cuppa.

Similar recipes include Tim’s Chai, Chai for Colds, Spring Chai, and Illaichi Chai.

You might like to also browse all of our Chai recipes. all of our Drinks, and our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or browse our collection of Mid Spring dishes.

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Ma Karal | Sri Lankan Snake Bean Curry

At last we have a snake bean dish for you. Snake beans are generally available at Asian and Indian groceries. They are long beans, with a tougher outer layer than, say, our green beans. They are terrific in Asian and Indian dishes. Today we make a Sri Lankan curry, using Coconut Milk, Pandan and the Sri Lankan Curry Powder, Badapu Thuna Paha. If you can’t find this spice mix in your Indian and Sri Lankan groceries, and don’t want to make it, use any warming roasted curry powder (as spicy as you like – or not). At a pinch you could use Malay Curry Powder, Sambar Masala or Garam Masala.

Green Beans are a good substitute for Snake Beans if you can’t locate the longer ones.

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Mung Dal with Coconut Milk, and Sri Lankan Fenugreek Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our Sri Lankan dishes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. All of our Bean dishes are here. Or explore our Early Spring collection of recipes.

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