Tapenade Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Today’s salad takes some olive tapenade and olive oil and smothers bread in it. As it soaks in, cubes of the bread are mixed with tomatoes to make a gorgeous salad. A fun alternative to including olives, and adds a bit of bulk to the dish.

This is also a great way to use up left over bread that might be only good for toast. The firmer texture of this bread is perfect for salads as it soaks up the juices of tomatoes and dressings.

Are you looking for similar Tomato Salads? Try this one which combines crispy flatbread, tomatoes and red peppers. Also try a Warm Tomato Salad, and Artichoke Hearts with Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Tomato Salads. Our Bittman Salads are here. Or take some time to explore all of our many many Salads. Alternatively, check out our easy Late Summer recipes.

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Kancha Mung Dal | Bengali Mung Dal

I find Dal the most comforting of dishes, and it is no wonder that it is eaten on most days throughout India. Spices are used to vary the flavours, – some for the heat of pre-Monsoon Summer, others for the cool of the Monsoon rains.

Dals always begin the same – boiling one or more lentils until soft, with the thickness of the dal being a personal preference. Some areas of India make them thick, others prefer them thin and soupy. In this household, we have the choice, so it depends on the cook, and the day, and the weather.

Inclusions also vary. Some dals contain onions – in some parts of India, the onions are cut long and thin – the chillies too. In other parts, the onions and chillies are cut minutely, almost a paste – garlic too – and this is all fried in ghee or oil.

Mung dal (split, hulled Mung Beans) is good for any time of year – and particularly good in summer. So is Toor dal. In Winter it is good to roast the mung dal before cooking as it helps to heat the bodily system. Toss it in a frying pan until a gorgeous aroma arises, then add to water to cook. In Summer, it is preferred kancha or unroasted, as it is lighter and easer to digest. Thanks to the excellent book Bengali Cooking for the lovely chapter and information on Dals.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Dal Tadka, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, and Gentle Golden Dal.

Or browse all of our Mung Dal recipes, and all of our Bengali dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Okra with Mustard Oil | Okra Fry

Some time ago, one of my social media connections, dee, suggested that I cook okra with mustard oil. This is her recipe. We were discussing mustard oil and okra – there is such a natural affinity. When we are drying okra, for example, we mix the okra halves with mustard oil and spices before drying.

You’ll love this recipe – simple, quick, easy and deliciously flavoured.

Are you looking for other Okra recipes? Try Pickled OkraSri Lankan Okra Curry, and Spicy Stuffed Fried Okra.

Or browse all of our Okra recipes. All of our Indian dishes are here. If you are looking for snacks, they are all here. Or simply explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad with Rocket

We are back to beetroot again – and home grown beetroot is simply the best. As soon as you begin to work with it, that earthy beetroot scent invades the kitchen. Raw beetroot, not often used, is not only good for us (lots of roughage), its texture and taste is perfect for salads. Crunchy! Plus beetroot salads add such a colourful element to the dinner table.

What other beetroot dishes would you like? Similar dishes include Beetroot, Orange and Olive SaladBeetroot and Carrot Salad, Roasted Beetroot Salad with Sweetcorn, and Beets in a Herb Dressing.

This is another Bittman Salad, adapted from his 101 Salads. We have a project to make them all, at least the vegetarian ones, as they are all very healthy and amazing salads. You can browse other ones we’ve made here.

Or explore all of our Salads and all of our Beetroot recipes. Or simply browse our easy Late Summer recipes.

This salad I have adapted quite a bit, adding ingredients from my garden.

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Braised Glazed Radishes

We don’t often cook radishes, but they can be sautéed or braised easily. Most people prefer them raw, but for a change, braising them can be an exciting alternative.

This recipe braises them with raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar, with sugar added to make a sticky glaze. It is rather interesting.

My radishes are home grown and quite small this year, so I reduced the cooking times. They are topsy turvy and not uniform in size, and I quite like the variation. We have round ones and long ones.

Are you looking for other Radish recipes? Try these: Jicama, Radish and Green Mango Salad, Slightly Pickled Cucumber and Red Radish Salad, and Spicy Radish with Coconut Milk.

Browse all of our Radish Recipes, and all of our many Salads. You might also like to browse our easy Late Summer Recipes.

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Avocado and Strawberry Salad

An unusual salad indeed! The sweet and tart strawberries with the creamy avocados and the fresh herbs, together with the onion-walnut oil dressing, it is simply delicious!

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Tomato and Strawberry Salad, Cucumber and Avocado Salad, and Baked Strawberries.

You might like to browse our Strawberry recipes and our Avocado dishes. And check out our many exciting Salads. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes for even more inspiration.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005. Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series.

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Seasonal Cooking | LATE SUMMER – Don’t Miss these Recipes for Cool Summer Living

As we enjoy the final month of Summer, often the hottest month, foods are still light and cooling. Gradually over the month, as signs of Autumn appear, the foods gain a little depth. We don’t want to think yet about the end of Summer, and that it means the approaching Winter. Spicy Indian food is great in Late Summer – the heat of the dishes is cooling to the system, and there are many cooling drinks, raitas and simply prepared foods. Rasams and Sambars abound.

Enjoy some snippets from our  Late Summer collection. For our whole collection of recipes for Late Summer recipes, explore:

If you find any broken or incorrect links, please let us know. We’d love to fix them for you.

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Masoor Dal with Green Chillies

The thing about Vegetarian food is there is not much that is fast food, unless you look in the processed aisle of the supermarket. But if you are cooking from scratch, there is generally a reasonable amount of time needed to soak, bake, cook, spice, grind, roast, toast and so forth. Pasta is one laudable exception, and masoor dal (split red lentils as they are called here) another. They are fast in as much as 20 – 30 mins can be called fast. Longer than it might take for some non-veg meals, but quick in the terms of veg feasts.

This dal, made from masoor dal, is as quick as it gets. I hope you enjoy it.

Similar recipes include Dal Tadka, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spices, and Amritsari Dal.

Browse all of our Dal recipes and all of our Masoor Dal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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South Indian Boondi Yoghurt | Crispy Fried Balls in Yoghurt | Boondhi Thayir Pachadi

A delightful pachadi with texture. From Tamil Nadu.

There are North Indian and South Indian versions of Boondhi Yoghurt – those little crispy balls made from chickpea flour. The North Indian version is chock full of spices, but the South Indian version, as with so much of their food, has pared it back to essential flavours and textures to let the ingredients shine in the undercurrent of spice. Boondhi Yoghurt is very cooling – a great summer dish.

Boondhi is chickpea flour crispies deep fried with spices. You can buy Boondhi in Indian grocers, or you can make your own on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

We have other Boondi recipes scheduled, so check back here later.

Try other Pachadi dishes with yoghurt – Ginger Coconut Yoghurt Pachadi, Cucumber Yoghurt Pachadi, and Carrot Sambol.

Are you looking for Tamil Pachadi recipes? You will enjoy them. Or perhaps Andhra style Pachadis? They are here. All of our Yoghurt dishes are here, and our Indian recipes are indexed here. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer recipes.

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Quick Carrot Pickle

A gorgeous carrot pickle that will last in the fridge for a week.

Here is another quick Carrot Pickle, quite different to the last Quick Carrot Pickle which had dark Asian flavours. This one is bright and fresh with a touch of sweetness, and the tartness that only cider vinegar can provide. I hope that you enjoy it.

This pickle is lovely with a bowl of steamed rice drizzled with the marinade juices.

Are you after other Carrot Recipes? Try a Sri Lankan Carrot Salad, and Carrot and Blueberry Salad.

Are you looking for other Quick Pickles? Try Onion Strings Salad and Cucumber and Red Radish Quick Pickles.

Have a look at our other Quick Pickles, all of our Pickles, and our Chutneys too. You might like to browse all of our Carrot recipes, or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Tulsi and Mint Chai with Cinnamon | Tea with Herbs and Spices

Relax with a beautiful, health giving, herbal Chai

In many parts of India, tea is a daily preoccupation. But whereas in the West, tea is consumed as-is, with only perhaps some milk and sugar, it is common in India to brew it strongly with a range of spices and herbs. It is always served sweet and very milky.

Masala Chai and Cutting Chai are well known tea drinks, but every Indian family will have their own range of herbs and spices that they include. It is very common to use ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, perhaps mint and Tulsi (Indian Holy Basil). I have heard of curry leaves being added. Lemongrass, vanilla, black pepper, fennel, nutmeg, tej pata (Indian Bay Leaves), ashwagandha leaf, pepper, galangal are other possible additions.

Today’s Chai is Tulsi and Mint with Cinnamon Chai. It was such beautiful winter weather this morning, I drank chai in the garden.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Chai for the Relief of Colds, Cardamom Chai, Peppery Chai and Chai Variations.

You might like other Tulsi recipes – Tulsi Chai, and Tulsi Rasam. Or read more about the Tulsi Herb here.

You might like to browse all of our Chai recipes here, and our general Tea recipes here. All of our drinks can be found here. You might also enjoy our Late Summer recipes.

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Georgian Coriander and Walnut Sauce or Dip

Coriander and walnuts – who would have thought the zingy freshness of coriander would pair well with the earthy brown flavours of walnuts? It seems they do, with a plethora of recipes around for pastes and sauces containing the two ingredients.

This recipe is a little different than most. I first saw in The Guardian newspaper. It includes dried apricots. The sauce is both slightly sweet from the apricots, a little peppery and fragrant from the herbs with a pinch of heat from the chilli and, well, garlicky. This sweet, pungent sauce is a mainstay of Georgian national cuisine. It works beautifully as a marinade – try rubbing it on vegetables before baking or BBQing. Stir into cooked red beans. Marinate some tofu in it. Glaze cooked carrots with it. Put it in your soup. And it is rather good with roasted summer vegetables too. It is great included in your salad dressing. Spread it on your salad sandwiches. You will constantly find more and more ways to use this glorious paste.

My most favourite way to eat it is as a dip. It is non-traditional, but I have to let you into a secret. This is very good with some Middle Eastern flatbread. Put it on your next mezze or tapas plate.

According to Georgian legend, God took a supper break while creating the world. He became so involved with his meal that he inadvertently tripped over the high peaks of the Caucasus, spilling his food onto the land below. The land blessed by Heaven’s table scraps was Georgia.

Georgian of course refers to the country in the Caucasus rather than the southern U.S. state or the period of time when knights roamed England.

Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Coriander PasteZhoug, the Middle Eastern Coriander Paste and Dip, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney. Also similar is an Apricot Chutney that can be made with dried apricots.

Or try these: Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Pudla with Green Coriander, or Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Green Coriander. Coriander Fritters are pretty good too.

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Sweet Onion Salad with Roasted Red Peppers

I am on a mission – each day in the warmer months, I make a salad which we take to have with our lunches, or eat at home if we are home, and leftovers are used for snacks or with the evening meal.

The salads vary from day to day, and I get inspiration from all sorts of places. As I have mentioned before, I do love Bittman’s 101 salads, and am gradually working my way through the vegetarian ones. Others can often be adapted, leaving out or substituting the non-vegetarian ingredients. This is my second Summer using his beauties, and I am probably about half way through.

Today’s salad is an onion salad, with some roasted peppers. It is simple, but glorious on this 36C day (as I am writing this), and at those sorts of temperatures, all you want is simple. To make the salad, sometimes I have charred, roasted eggplant and capsicums that were cooked on the BBQ, and other times I slice the capsicums lengthwise into straight pieces which I grill on a grill pan on the stove. That is what I have done today, as I used the fully roasted ones to make Harissa.

Try some other Bittman Salads. There is a Glorious Five Bean Salad, Wombok and Radish Salad with Peanut Dressing, and Tomato and Strawberry Salad with Basil and Balsamic.

Or explore other Onion Salads. Try Sweet Onion Salad with Coriander Spice, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard, Caramelised Onions and Greens Salad, and Kachumber.

You can browse all of our Salad recipes here, all of our Bittman Salads, and our Onion dishes. Or simply take the time to explore our easy Mid Summer dishes.

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Sweet Pepper and Rice Salad

I have had 2 revelations this week – firstly, how good rice salad is. It is a salad that my Mother made a lot in Summer but some how it has never ever made it onto my radar. Perhaps we ate too much of it as we grew up, perhaps hers never inspired me to make them myself (sorry Mum).

In this 42C (107F) heat, I made a rice salad on a whim, because all I had to do was turn on the rice cooker – no other hot steamy cooking steps required. And the salad was so good, we are now converted.

The other revelation is, how good idli rice is for both stir-fried rice, and for rice salads. Idli rice is the type of rice used in India for making idli, dosa and the like. It is rice with attitude – separate, independent grains, that retain some bite even after cooking (think al dente rice), and that have a bit of swag. Yeah. It is perfect for rice salad.

But any other medium to long grain rice will do – don’t use rice that is sticky when cooked. You are looking for separate grains.

Are you looking for more rice recipes? Try Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, Eggplant Pilaf, and Mung Sprouts Rice.

Or are you after some Capsicum recipes? Try How to Dry Capsicums, Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato, and Roasted Red Pepper Salad. Elizabeth David has a couple of Red Pepper Salads.

Perhaps you are looking for other Salad Recipes. Try Pasta or Couscous Salads, A Quick Burghul Salad with Olives, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts, and Thai Lettuce Wraps. Our Mid-Summer Salads are here.

Or browse all of our Capsicum Recipes, all of our Rice Recipes, and all of our many stunning Salad recipes. Or take a while to explore our easy Mid Summer recipes.

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Ladyfinger Masala | Kerala Okra Curry

Once upon a time  when I was spending a few weeks in Kerala, I had some cooking classes with a chef from the Leela. What a joy these classes were, with me madly taking notes and taking photos while my beautiful chef cooked and explained, cooked and explained. One of the dishes we cooked was this Okra Masala.

Every now and again I come across some of the notes from those recipes, and, just as I needed it, the scribbled notes on this ladyfinger (okra) curry came to my attention once again. It brought back memories of that beautiful time in Kerala and the amazing food to be found in the Leela, the vegetarian restaurant just up the road, all through Trivanderam and in the other homes and cafes where I ate. Each trip to India has been memorable and this one no less so than any other.

Are you looking for more Okra recipes? Try Okra in Tamarind with Prunes and Apricots, Pickled Okra, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Cooking Okra for Sambar, and Spicy Stuffed Fried Okra.

What about some Kerala recipes? Try Spinach ThoranAubergines in Coconut Milk, and Pomegranate and Banana Salad.

Or browse all of our Okra recipes. All of our Indian dishes are here. If you are looking for all of our recipes from Kerala, they are all here. Or simply explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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