Brussels Sprouts with Caramelised Garlic and Lemon Peel

My theme for Winter last year was Brussels Sprouts – I have written before about how I avoided them for most of the decades of my life, but I have found a new appreciation. This is because – roasted sprouts. And pan fried sprouts.

There is a thing about roasted brussels sprouts. I love how you can get flavours deep into the heart of sprouts that have been halved lengthwise. Lemon juice, orange vinegar, pomegranate molasses or various spices.

This recipe, which is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More, uses pan fried sprouts, but there is nothing to stop you roasting them instead. In fact it saves some work if you decide to roast them (but they won’t be as crunchy). This recipe is classic Ottolenghi – 4 or 5 different processes, depending how you count them, and about an hour to make. But I have learnt to hold back my complaints about that (a little), as the flavours are always banging. It took the release of his book Simple to make me realise how complex and layered the flavours are in his other books, and especially how much that adds to the dish. Simple strips it away – the dishes are still good but somehow now quite like the Ottolenghi I know, love and complain about.

I have been working my way through Plenty More. Never one to keep up with fashion I haven’t joined the people feverishly cooking through Simple. I had intended to finish Plenty More within 12 months but found I had to take a break of some months within sight of the end. Now I have resumed, but taking it at a slower pace.

Caramelised garlic makes a lovely condiment to lentils or roast veg, while candied lemon makes a great garnish for creamy desserts or leafy salads. I always pan-fry sprouts – it retains texture and enhances flavour. — Ottolenghi

The recipe takes the Brussels Sprouts and mixes them with a caramelised garlic syrup, candied lemon peel, chilli and basil. It sounds too amazing to be believed. And indeed it is – the interplay of sweet, spicy and tart flavours is nothing short of spectacular. Imagine this as your stand-out dish on the Xmas table, or, in Australia, make it for Sunday Lunch on the Queen’s Birthday weekend, or for Xmas in July. It will knock the socks off of your guests.

Similar recipes include Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo and Star Anise, Brussels Sprouts Salad, and Brussels Sprouts Risotto.

Browse all of our Brussels Sprouts recipes and all of our Garlic dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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100 Vegetables (and fruits): #2 Apples

Apples, the fruit of Winter. While we think of them as dessert fruit, they also make amazing salads and savoury baked dishes.

Today we have brought together our 2 dozen or so favourite apple recipes.  Salads, Pickles, Chutneys, Jams, Breakfasts, Juices and Desserts. We love them, and you will find something here that is just for you.

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

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Pumpkin Soup with Lentils

I have numerous Pumpkin Soups that I love, including this definite favourite. But today, as I am on a Clean-out-the-pantry drive, and because I am restricting shopping trips because of COVID-19 (as I write this), and because there are lentils wanting to be used up – it is a day for a soup with pumpkin and lentils.

Use any lentils in this soup. Toor dal, channa dal, chickpeas and split peas are all good candidates. You could use the small split fava beans too. Brown lentils, puy lentils, beluga lentils, whole red lentils (masoor dal), horsegram, matki beans – all are good. I am using some end-of-the-packet beluga today. They make for a dark soup – if this is difficult for you, just add plenty of chopped herbs as a garnish.

Some lentil types will break down and make a thick broth for the soup, others are more likely to hold their shape. Either will work well with this soup.

In the recipe I specify chopped tomatoes – but more often than not I use a tomato puree from the freezer. In Autumn I usually stock up with a variety of cooked and raw tomato purees, pastes etc, for use over Winter when tomatoes are at their least flavoursome. Feel free to use good quality tinned, chopped tomatoes too.

Similar recipes include a French Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers, and a Special Pumpkin Soup.

Browse all of our Soups, Pumpkin Soups, and Tomato recipes.

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Cumquat Mango Chutney with Kalonji

I make a cumquat chutney which is quite divine and these Pickled Cumquats, but this year I wanted to make something a little different. So I took the ideas from the pickle to make this chutney that is sweetened with mango puree. Not only is it mango puree, it is alphonso mango puree, the king of mangoes. You can use any mango puree of course, but I saw some alphonso at my local Asian shop for the first time the other day, so I had to grab some.

If you want to make your own mango puree, please go ahead. There are still plenty of ripe mangoes in the shops if you know where to look (try good Asian groceries). The delight of using mango puree is that it adds a sweet element against the tartness of the cumquats. Add chilli, and you have a hot-sweet-sour chutney which is incredibly additive.

It takes about 45 cumquats to make this chutney, and can be made in 30 mins once you have sliced and seeded the cumquats. We really adore it.

Similar recipes include Cumquat Chutney, Easy Pickled Cumquats, and Cumquats in Gin.

Browse all of our Cumquat recipes and all of our Chutneys. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Chilli Salt Tofu with Salad of Greens

Do you need a chilli hit? This is the dish for you then. The recipe is from my old flatmate, Chris Manfield, in her book Stir but over the years it has had a little altering in our kitchen. It is a dish that will wake you up. Mind you, it is a bit Ottolenghi-esque, with four or five different processes in the recipe. It will take you about 30 mins to make.

The dish sounds like a firey chilli heaven or hell, depending on your viewpoint. However it is not as hot as it seems. The chilli salt is moderated with the rice flour. You can add as much chilli as you prefer to the dressing, but I like it spicy. Use your loved chilli sauce or jam to garnish the salad. Don’t skimp on the sugar or vinegar/lemon juice elements as both of these help to moderate the impact of the chilli heat.

I adore deep frying tofu – it is so much better than the deep fried tofu squares you will find in Asian shops. Crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy in the middle. You might like to read How to Use Deep Fried Tofu. In this dish, the tofu is coated in a chilli-pepper crust before frying. You will think of a thousand ways to use this even without the salad.

Similar dishes include Deep Fried Tofu in Coconut Broth, Sticky Makrut and Tamarind Tofu, and Black Pepper Tofu.

Browse all of our Tofu dishes. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Herbed Red Rice and Radish Salad with Ricotta Salata

Ricotta Salata is a ricotta that has been salted and dried. It is not a cheese that stands alone – it is rather dry – but acts so well as a cheesy seasoning. It goes particularly well in salads and pasta dishes. It is VERY hard to find here in Adelaide, surprisingly, but is readily available in Sydney.

Today we make a salad with red or black rice – the thin rice often called Forbidden Rice – with radishes, herbs and ricotta salata. You can make this salad with other rices too, but the red and black rice give a lovely nutty flavour and a little bit of texture.

Similar recipes include Red Rice and Quinoa with Orange and Pistachios, and Cypriot Grain Salad.

Brose all of our Red Rice dishes, and all of our Rice Salads. Or browse our Early Winter dishes.

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Curry Leaf Kuzhambu | Karuveppilai Kuzhambu

Kuzhambu is made daily in Tamil households, and has hundreds of varieties. It is basically a spicy broth that can but might not include vegetables and it is spooned or poured over rice as it is eaten.

This Kuzhambu is one that is tamarind based and is strongly flavoured with curry leaves.  There are many different recipes for this dish – I hope you enjoy this one.

Similar recipes include Rasam with Curry Leaves, Green Tomato Sambar with Crushed Curry Leaves, and Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice.

Browse all of our Curry Leaf dishes and all of our Kuzhambu recipes.  All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Matki and Golu Kola Salad with Coconut | Moth Bean and Pennywort Salad

Golu Kola aka Pennywort is a bit of a super food with amazing properties. Occasionally I can find it at the local Asia grocery – a joy because it is used across Sri Lanka and India. In Sri Lanka a sambal is made, but today I took that a step further and made a salad with a base of Moth Beans (Matki, also called Vallarai).

It is very easy to make and matki takes under 30 mins to cook, so you can make it in the morning while you are pottering around getting ready for work, and then it is ready to have with dinner when you get home.

Other common recipes using gotu kola include a healthy infusion of the leaves, Gotukola Kenda – a soupy rice dish, a pachadi, poriyal, and Vallarai Keerai Kootu.

Similar recipes include Dal with Moth Beans, and Sprouts Usal.

Browse all of our Matki recipes and all of our Indian Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Upma and Fried Upma with Ricotta

Upma is a delicious breakfast dish and snack from South India. Rava (also called Rawa, Sooji, Suji or Upma grain) is a semolina product that is cooked with spices and sometimes finely chopped vegetables for a stunningly delicious dish.

Ottolenghi, in his book Plenty More takes his version of Upma and allows it to set before pan frying wedges. It is a delicious way to use Upma and a great use of left-overs. Rather than use his recipe, I cook Upma in a more traditional South Indian way, using his method to pan fry it, then serve it with either seasoned yoghurt or ricotta.

Rava, like semolina, is a granulated wheat flour that have a grainy and coarse texture to it. There are two types available, a fine-grained version and a coarser-grained one that is better for making Upma. In general, sooji will have a finer grain than rava. If you use the fine grained one for Upma, you might have to reduce the water so that you don’t get a pasty texture.

I cook Upma until it is thick and holds shape.  One variation is to add more water to get a looser consistency. If making the fried upma, cook until it is quite thick.

As an aside and just for your information if you are interested: There are many different types of rava, perhaps thousands of regional variations. Some of the variations are because different wheats are used. One of them called Bansi Rava and also known as samba wheat in many parts of India, is a very fine powdered flour unlike the more coarsely granulated Rava. It is made from a variety of wheat called samba godumai that has a long body and slightly sharp edges on both sides.

Another famous Rava is the Bombay Rava which has a very coarse texture that is a little bigger than regular Rava. It is made from whole wheat grains of a wheat called mottai godumai. There is another type, chamba rava, which is a by-product of wheat flour. Semolina, on the other hand, is always made from Duram wheat.

Similar recipes include Polenta Crisps and Lemony Poha.

Browse all of our Semolina recipes and all of our Breakfast dishes. Indian Snacks are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Mushrooms and Peas | Khumbe Matar

A classic Indian dish – mushrooms and peas in a tomato gravy. This recipe is a classic one but I often make it with a range of mushrooms – brown mushrooms, baby mushrooms, sliced king oyster mushrooms and even shimeji mushrooms. It gives a mix of textures and flavours.

Today I have also topped the dish with finely sliced snow peas. It adds crunch and freshness to the dish without confusing the  “pea” taste.

Similar dishes include Mushrooms in Terracotta, Marinated Roasted Mushrooms, and Mushroom Curry With Yoghurt Tomato Sauce.

Browse all of our Mushroom dishes and all of our Pea dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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