Char-Grilled Summer Stone Fruit with Scented Yoghurt

This is a recipe that epitomises the height of Summer in Australia. Beautiful sun ripened stone fruits, grilled on an Aussie BBQ, and drizzled with a sweet scented yoghurt. It really is the best of recipes for this time, perfect perhaps for an Australia Day BBQ.

It is an Ottolenghi recipe, from his beautiful Plenty More book. We’ve cooked most of the recipes from this book, and have loved them all. In this recipe, Ottolenghi uses Lemon Geranium Water – a Tunisian ingredient that is more difficult to find locally. Orange Blossom Water is a good substitute (as is any other floral water).

We feel free to make substitutes in Ottolenghi’s recipes. See notes below the recipe about the fruit combination that we used. We are lucky enough to have lavender growing in our garden, but if it is not available to you, please omit it. I’ve also used Tulsi and mint leaves today, as sweet basil was not available. Mint is a really nice substitute.

Similar dishes include Blueberries with Bay Custard and Gin. Strawberry and Peach Lassi, Peaches with Asian Flavours, and Watermelon and Peach Salad.

Browse all of our Peach recipes, Fig Recipes and our Desserts. Or browse our Mid Summer dishes.
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Elizabeth David’s Potato Salad

We can’t go past a great potato salad, right? Being a country girl, potato salads were at every community and family gathering – chunks of potato with creamy home-made mayonnaise (from home-produced ingredients) and garden-fresh herbs.

Our salad today is a French Potato Salad recorded by Elizabeth David in French Provincial Cooking. The potatoes are cooked then sliced and liberally dressed with oil and vinegar. It is absolutely divine. The salad can also be dressed with a thin mayo if you are definitely the mayo-only-dressing for potato salads.

For this salad, use waxy varieties or potatoes as they hold their shape when cooked, for example:

  • Dutch varieties
  • Nicolas
  • Bintjes
  • Kipflers
  • Desiree Potatoes

Similar recipes include Simple Beautiful Potato Salad, Adult Only Potato Salad, and Crushed New Potatoes with Horseradish.

Browse all of our Potato Salads and all of our Potato recipes. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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100 Vegetables (and Fruits): #77. Pawpaw

I adore pawpaw in the tropics – pawpaw for breakfast is divine. But here, we don’t indulge so much.

You can browse all of our Pawpaw recipes. And check out our 100 Vegetable Series.

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Cold Cucumber Soup

Gearing up for the heat wave that is Summer in South Australia, we are already thinking about the soups and drinks and other cooling things we will need over those 3 months. Even in Spring we can have had temperatures of 37C. An indication that it will be a long hot Summer.

This soup is cool and refreshing, and is adapted from one from Madhur Jaffrey. In truth it is a down-spiced version of a Cucumber Raita or Cucumber Pachadi, thinned for a soup. It has some delicious cream added as well. Enjoy with lunch, mid afternoon, or in the evening relaxing on the verandah. Serve in small portions in chilled bowls.

Similar recipes include Toppings for Soups, South Indian Cold Cucumber Soup, Quick Tomato and Cucumber Cold Soup, and Chilled Asparagus Soup.

Browse all of our Cold Soups, and our Cucumber recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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100 Vegetables (and Fruits): #78. Green Mango

Green Mangoes are a real gift, and available from Asian groceries almost year round. It is amazing to track the different varieties across the year, many of them unlabelled. In the market today, one variety was labelled Crunchy Green Mango. I loved the images that it conjured up.

Green mangoes are refreshing and tart. Some are sour-tart, and others are sweet-tart. They are particularly good in salads and surprisingly good in dals and with yoghurt sauces. I have included a particularly delicious drink in this collection – one where the green mango is roasted or boiled then mashed with spices to make a cooling and refreshing summer drink.

You can browse all of our Green Mango recipes. And check out our 100 Vegetable Series.

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Coconut Sticky Black Rice Pudding

I was fortunate to have holidays in Bali before it became a tourist nightmare. Back in the days when the culture was still strong and visible and the rowdy tourists were fewer and stuck to the beaches. Back in the days when it was possible to see forbidden villages, inner sanctums of temples, people making tofu and tempeh in their back yards and to come across beautiful cultural performances without tourists.

Also to come across a range of ingredients and cooking techniques that were at the time fairly unknown outside of Indonesia. Amongst those was the afternoon servings of locally made sweet items including a coconut black rice dish (Bubu Injin).

I tried to bring some local black rice back with me, but of course it was not permitted by customs. Luckily, glutinous rices are now available from Asian shops, as are pandan leaves and palm sugar.

Similar recipes include Char Grilled Stone Fruit with Scented Yoghurt, Balinese Sweet Red Rice, Black Rice with Chinese Flavours, Black Glutinous Rice Congee, Mushrooms with Black Glutinous Rice, and Pandan Rice Pudding.

Browse all of our Balinese recipes, our Glutinous Rice dishes and our Rice Puddings.

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Sweet Potato Mash with Herb and Lime Salsa

Sometimes in Summer when the days are long and frightfully hot we love to eat mezze style – a pile of pitta bread and little dishes of things. Some feta, for example, halved tiny tomatoes with a cream dressing, some hummus, a plate of exquisite chickpeas. And some dips and purees. Today it is a sweet potato mash – this beautiful dish is made from roasted sweet potatoes and is topped with a salsa of lime zest, herbs and garlic. Truly it is divine.

The recipe comes from Ottolenghi’s Simple, and simple it is. Actually tonight I had some left over roasted sweet potato so it came together in not much more than 5 minutes. Yet the flavours of the tart salsa with the sweetness of the vegetable make this a memorable dish. 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.

The mash or spread works as a snack, mezze dish, starter and as a side. It is hardly any effort at all. The result is rich and punchy. After scooping out the flesh for this dish, save the skins and lightly roast them in the oven for a crisp-like snack. Brush them lightly with olive oil, roast for about 8 mins in a 200 – 220C oven and sprinkle with salt.

Similar dishes include Moroccan Carrot Dip, Walnut and Pomegranate Dip, and Capsicum, Feta and Pistachio Dip.

Why not browse all of our Dips and our Sweet Potato recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Australian Toasties | Australian Toasted Sandwiches

Some countries (like India) do toasted sandwiches really really well. It is a serious business. And you’ve gotta love a country that spends as much time preparing a toasted sandwich filling as they do cooking any other dish.

In Australia, toasted sandwiches are those food items that need to be instant. They are instant snacks or a Winter’s night supper in front of the television. They are late night snacks or work place lunches. They pair well with a large bowl of Tomato Soup.

By the way, everyone I know has a different understanding about the difference between a toasted sandwich, jaffle, toastie and grilled sandwich. Some differentiate between a toastie and a toasted sandwich. A toastie they say, has sealed edges and is cut in half (with the cut edge also sealed) and a toasted sandwich is neither sealed nor cut. Toasties are called jaffles in a few areas of Australia (e.g. Sydney), but not many. I connect jaffles with the round toasting irons that went over a wood fire or a gas stove. You can still get them in camping stores. A grilled sandwich is a US term for toasted sandwiches.

But I want to be clear that I use the term toastie to mean a sandwich that has been toasted and may or may not have sealed edges and may or may not be cut in half. Either way.

In Australia, the most common filling for toasties is cheese – cheese and tomato, for example. There are examples of non-vegetarian items that are added (but we don’t cover them here).

Baked beans is another common filling (using tinned baked beans), perfect for a cold Winter’s day.  We present a few more options for you.

Similar recipes include Paneer Toast, and Potato and Peas Toastie.

Browse our Toasties and explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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100 Vegetables (and Fruits): #76. Passionfruit

Passionfruit. Sigh. My granddaughter takes after me and loves them. She will eat them straight from the shell.

You can browse all of our Passionfruit recipes. And check out our 100 Vegetable Series.

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Pickled Watermelon Rind

We don’t often think about the rind of watermelon – do you? This year I have decided to pickle it, to extend our focus on lowering food waste and, as much as possible, using every edible part of a plant.

Pickling watermelon rind is quite easy but does take a couple of non-effort days. I have followed the non-cook approach, although some recipes do simmer the rind before or during pickling.

First the rind, sans the green skin, is salted overnight (soaked in brine), then rinsed and placed in a pickling liquid of vinegar and spices. It is edible after 1 hour, but is better if left a few days. It will keep indefinitely if stored in sterilised jars in the fridge.

In Nopi, Ottolenghi has an approach to pickling the rind which is pretty much the same as most other recipes. He uses the rind in a Watermelon Soup and also in a Watermelon Salad. They both sound delicious.

Similar recipes include Mango and Ginger Pickle, Green Mango Pickle, and Chinese Pickled Cucumber.

Browse all of our Watermelon recipes and all of our Pickles. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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