Turkish Spinach Soup with Chickpeas and Barley

The earthy flavours of spinach, chickpeas and barley come together in this Winter dish which is Turkish in style. A soup, it is full of comfort, nourishment and hope for the future. Are you with me in your love for Winter soups? And with everything that is going on in the world at the moment, we need a little hope for the future. The inspiration for this came from Turquoise, a special book about Turkish cuisine.

Similar dishes include Mung Dal with Spinach and Cumin, Chickpeas and Beetroot Greens with Chilli, and Vegetable and Barley Soup.

Browse all of our Spinach dishes, all of our Chickpea dishes, and all of our Soups. Our Turkish recipes are here. Or explore our Late Winter set of recipes.

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Tomato and Roasted Lemon Salad

Lemons, the ubiquitous and essential ingredient in kitchens the world over. We squeeze the juice into this and that, preserve them, grate their rind, and candy them. I have dehydrated lemon slices – not pretty but oh goodness, the flavour they added to dishes! Rarely do we think of roasting them.

But that must change. Something magical happens to citrus when it hangs out in a hot oven. It takes on a sweeter, slightly-burnt complexity. They add flavour to any dish, but are also good on their own!

This recipe is from Plenty More from Ottolenghi, and is part of our project to cook through this book. You might like to see our thoughts on the different chapters of this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

Seek out the sweetest tomatoes you can get for this dish, to balance the tartness of the lemon: baby or cherry yellow and red tomatoes are your best bet.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one day per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

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

Browse all of our Tomato Salads. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Broad Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Ricotta

On the day that I picked 3 kg of broad beans, I knew I had to find some additional recipes. We have some wonderful broad bean dishes, but I was looking for something new and different. We had recently made Avocado and Broad Bean Mash (delicious), and this time it was a rift on that recipe, combining a herby and lemony broad bean mix with ricotta flavoured with roasted garlic. What could be better? Slather it on sourdough toast. (You can make it with frozen broad beans too.)

We have made this successfully with cream cheese instead of the ricotta. We’ve been keeping cream cheese handy lately, it is so versatile. We love to pile it onto fresh bread or toast and then top it with pistachio butter. I can’t tell you how good this is.

The recipe for this broad bean and ricotta spread comes from Ottolenghi- we are currently cooking our way through his book Plenty More. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one day per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens, 31 Dishes to Make with Broad Beans, and Broad Bean Salad with Garlic and Dill.

Browse all of our Broad Bean dishes and our Spreads. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Broad Bean Burgers/Patties

Chickpea flour is really easy to make at home, especially if you have a high speed blender. We toast the chickpeas until they are aromatic – either the small Indian chickpeas or the regular, larger ones – and allow them to cool. Then grind them to a fine powder in a high speed blender. We are fortunate enough to have a “dry” blender jug, designed for powdering dry ingredients, but I hear you can do this just as easily using the normal blender jugs.

We toasted our chickpeas early this morning, pre dawn, and the house smelled toasty and chickpea-y. They cooled while we had breakfast, and then made our flour – a couple of cups worth. The reason we are doing this today is that we were out of the flour and needed a little for today’s recipe. I love to make my own besan – you know what is in it when you grind it yourself.

The fritters come from an Ottolenghi recipe and I have made some adjustments to it. Firstly the egg is replaced with the chickpea flour as we do not cook with eggs. Secondly – we wondered why Ottolenghi was toasting spices and then adding black pepper separately. So we have used our South Indian tricks to toast and grind black peppercorns along with the other spices. We replaced fennel seeds with ajwain as we love ajwain and were out of fennel seeds.

We have also been used to making this recipe with a fabulous Indian tomato chutney to accompany it. Today we made it with a sour cream sauce but I do recommend it with the tomato chutney – I’ve included the recipe below.

And by the way – a little Indian sour and salty mango pickle sets these burgers off beautifully (we prefer to call them patties).

The broad beans were from our stash in the freezer.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – a day per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely (this recipe is from Plenty). Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens, Broad Beans with Lemon and Coriander, Broad Bean and Cabbage Kofta, and Falafel.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Palak Bhajiya | Spinach Fritters

Spinach and other greens are some of the easiest things to grow in the garden, so we always have them in abundance. One easy way (and delicious way) to use them is to make this great Indian snack, generally eaten during the Monsoon season. Spinach leaves are coated in a chickpea flour batter and deep fried. So put on your rainy weather gear, pick the palak, and make this bhajiya with lots of friends and lots of laughter. In the UK Bhajiya is called Bhajji (confusingly), and this practice is spreading. We could just call them Pakoda and be done with it.

Similar recipes include Pakora – Vegetable Fritters, and Onion Rings.

Please, browse all of our Pakora/ Bhajji, and all of our Snacks. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Miso and Ginger Dressing

In our series of miso recipes and especially miso dressings, we have a creamy, salty, tangy dressing today. It is wonderful spooned over any tofu, salad, grated raw vegetables, steamed or grilled vegetables, and in wraps and sandwiches. It livens up dull soups as well. The recipe is a version of one in The Book of Miso.

Similar recipes include Miso and Tahini Dressing, and Miso and Sesame Dressing.

Browse all of our Dressings and all of our Miso recipes. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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Chilli Leaves with Peas

It was news to me that chilli leaves could be eaten, and now I rue all of those chilli plants over the decades that could have also provided the occasional green dish as well. Chilli leaves are a little earthy, a little bitter, and not at all hot. They are vibrant green when they are cooked – hence they are often included in Thai Green Curry Paste to enhance the colour without adding more green chillies.

My Asian green grocer had these in stock today, so a luscious bunch of large leaves that could not be avoided. She recommended soup, but in fact different countries use them in very different ways – from salads with soy sauce and sesame seeds (blanch the leaves first), to stir fried with garlic, to steamed with tofu. They also go well with noodles, topped with some crispy fried garlic and onion.

I have to thank my Asian green grocer – since I moved into this area we have a number of greens now available to us that were difficult to source or unknown to us previously – tamarind leaves, betel leaves, mustard leaves, amaranth leaves and chilli leaves are the ones that are now part of our kitchen.

Chilli leaves are used from Korea down through Asia and India to Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and other parts of SE Asia. They are not an everyday green, but common enough. Here we cook them in a very simple Indian dish with peas and spices. You can make it in under 10 mins.

Similar dishes include Steamed Mustard Greens with Sambal, Simple Greens for Every Meal, and Chinese Greens with Garlic and Sesame.

Browse all of our Chilli Leaf recipes and all of our stir fries. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Baked Fennel with Mint and Parsley, with a Creamy Sauce

It is late winter and the fennel in my green grocer is still both superb and cheap. Today we bake it with lemon and herbs. It is served with a lovely creamy sauce, almost like aoli, but made with cream. As we are vegetarians, we don’t cook with eggs, so this dressing of pouring cream, seasoning and lemon juice, beaten till it thickens, is a perfect substitute. You should try it! Different flavourings can be added as needed.

Today, we caramelised some cumquats to serve with the fennel. The caramelisation deepens the cumquat flavours and as they are abundantly in season we are using them in place of lemons in many dishes.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Orange and Garlic, Grilled Fennel with Fresh Mozzarella, and Fennel a la Grecque.

Browse all of our Fennel recipes and all of our Dressings. Our Baked dishes are good in Winter to warm the kitchen. Or take some time to explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Lime Rasam – easy with Rasam Powder

Today there is another Rasam to add to our series exploring the different types of Rasam. This one has a slight toor dal base, uses sambar powder, and uses lime juice for a tangy, digestion promoting, delicious dish. There are four different ways of making Lime Rasam, according to the Queen of Tamil Food, Meenakshi Ammal. This is the second of her methods.

We are pursuing the Rasams Chapter in Meenakshi Ammal’s books Cook and See as they are traditional Tamil recipes. Although we are not afraid to step away from the tree, going back to very traditional recipes (that can still be made in the modern kitchen) is an important way to get the hang of traditional as well as modern methods and flavour combinations. I hope you feel the same.

Similar recipes include Mysore Rasam, Tulsi Rasam, and Pepper Rasam.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Our simply explore all of our Rasam recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Early Summer recipes.

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Cheesy Baked Aubergines with Saucy Tomatoes

Winter brings that longing for hot, oven baked dishes that are filling and so comforting on a chilly night as the wind whistles around the house. The oven warms the kitchen and living room, and the aromas make everyone hungry (even the neighbours). How I love baked dishes in the cold cold days. I am warm and so is the kitchen, and I potter around doing this and that in my favourite room. The results are always delicious.

This is another baked eggplant dish, and it is layered with cheese and a tomato sauce. It’s great! Wintery and lovely – another quick and simple cold weather dish.

This recipe first makes a tomato sauce, and then layers golden eggplant slices with the sauce and cheese, before baking it until bubbling and browned. What more do you need in cold Winter weather? Serve with a salad for lunch, or as part of a larger meal for dinner.

Because it is Winter, tinned tomatoes might be your best option for making the sauce, but this year we’ve had really good quality tomatoes available all through Winter. Another option is to use those tomatoes that you threw into the freezer last Autumn. Also, if you made your own Tomato Pastes or Purees to keep in the freezer for Winter, now is the time to use them in place of the Tomato Puree. You can even make it with one that includes a little chilli! As little as 0.25 cup and up to 1 cup of puree is needed.

Similar dishes include Potatoes and Cheddar Gratin, Baked Eggplant Steaks, Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese, and Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini.

Are you looking for Eggplant recipes? Try Eggplant and Zucchini Baked with Chickpeas and Harissa Sauce, Baked Eggplant Stuffed with Cheese and Tomatoes, and Cheesey Eggplant Torte.

You might also like to browse all of our Eggplant recipes. And browse Baked recipes. Or take some time to check out our easy Mid-Winter recipes.

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