Kale and Cheese Pikelets

You won’t know that you are eating kale with this dish. The delicious cheesy pikelets successfully hide the vegetable and it is only if you focus can you detect the crunch and taste of the thinly sliced greens.

It is quite an oily dish with heaps of butter and melted cheese. You might like to place on a kitchen paper towel after cooking. They are best slightly warm rather than hot. Cheesy and buttery – what can’t be good? But not something for every day, despite the kale.

The recipe is from Plenty More, one of Ottolenghi’s books. I have made it egg-free in my version as we don’t use eggs in our kitchen. You can see the original recipe here, or check his book.

Similar recipes include Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters, Aloo Tikki, Zucchini and Sweetcorn Fritters, Crispy Couscous and Saffron Cakes, Eggplant and Kale PakoraAsian Kale with Sesame and Shallots, and Garlic- Chilli Kale with Spring Onion Dip.

Or browse all of our Kale dishes and our Fritter recipes.

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Cheesy Butternut Bake in Creamy Sauce with Quince Paste

This is an unusual dish of butternut pumpkin, roasted, then cooked in a creamy cheese sauce with quince paste (membrillo) for a great festive dish.

It is a twist on a quiche in Ottolenghi‘s Plenty More. As we do not cook with eggs, I made this into a dish that is simply the roasted pumpkin baked with cheese and quince paste in a rich creamy sauce. It has been cooked until the top is bubbling and golden. The original recipe is here if you want to make the original.

Similar dishes include: Congee with Butternut, Butternut Tataki with Udon Noodles, and Pumpkin Soup with Lentils.

Or browse all of our Butternut dishes.

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Chinese Style Orange-Sesame Sauce

I have been playing around with this sauce recently. It is quite rich and dark in flavour – a current obsession of mine in the kitchen. Wintery flavours. This sauce is orangey with the depth of soy and a hint of sesame. It has sweet overtones. It goes well with anything deep fried – tofu, cauliflower, pakoda – or grilled items – eggplant slices for example – or roasted or stirfried veg – broccoli, cauliflower etc.

Use it as a coating sauce, dipping sauce (although it is quite thick) or spread the sauce on a plate and place ingredients on top of the sauce. I love roasted slices of eggplant and deep fried tofu on the sauce, scattered with tons of spring onions (scallions).

Today I made some deep fried cauliflower and coated them in the sauce for a delicious snack.

Similar recipes include Miso and Ginger Dressing, Orange Star Anise Sauce, and Chilli Soy Sauce.

Browse all of our Sauces and all of our Chinese recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Toasted Barley, Pistachio and Barberry Pilaf with Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing

Who does not love a grain pilaf? – and we have a number of recipes. Each one is a variation on a theme. I love this recipe because it has a smoky flavour from the toasting of the barley and the spices. It is nutty and very delicious. Yoghurt is a common accompaniment, and today we combine tahini with it for a perfect dressing.

Similar recipes include Narangi Pulao, Matar Pulao, Barley and Lentils with Mushrooms, Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs and Yoghurt Dressing, Cypriot Grain Salad, and Mograbieh Pilaf.

Or browse all of our Pilafs and all of our Barley recipes.

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Soupa de Legumes | Simple Goan Vegetable Soup

I have posted a few Goan dishes including soups that originate from the Portuguese/Catholic cuisine in  Goa, India. These are simple, home-fare dishes but do not lack flavour. In fact you can say that the flavour goes beyond what you expect from the ingredients. These are cheap and every-day dishes, quickly and easily made, yet comforting and filling.

This soup is a vegetable soup that is pureed and then greens and dried legumes added – chickpeas or white beans or any dried pea or bean that you have on hand.

Today I used a stock that included mushrooms, so the dish is a little darker than normal. Usually it takes the colour from the vegetables you use – varying from white if only potatoes are used, to yellow-orange from carrots and pumpkin.

Similar recipes include Narangi Shorba, Caldo, Goan Vegetable Pulao, and Feijoada.

Browse all of our Vegetable Soups and all of our Goan dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Baked Peppers Stuffed with Buttery, Cheesy Vegetables

Fondant is a word that is associated with icing these days. But it comes originally from the French, a cooking term meaning to melt. Fondant Potatoes is the most well known dish where the method of cooking is applied, but it can be used for other vegetables. They are cooked in butter, or in butter and stock, until achingly tender. Sometimes, as is the case with the Fondant Potatoes, an external crispy layer is achieved.

Ottolenghi has a great recipe in Plenty More for capsicums stuffed with fondant swedes.  I was caught short, wanting to make this dish but forgetting to order swedes in the last COVID19 vegetable delivery. So I have twisted and turned his recipe to make it work with what I did have on hand – Kent Pumpkin, Parsnips and Cabbage. Absolutely delicious.

Ottolenghi himself has two versions of this dish. The one in the Guardian column uses gruyere cheese and does not par-cook the capsicums before stuffing. The one in Plenty More uses parmesan and goat’s cheese, and bakes the empty capsicum halves before stuffing and returning to the oven.

Similar recipes include Tomatoes Stuffed with Feta and Basil, Stuffed Okra, and Stuffed Mushrooms.

Or browse all of our Stuffed recipes and Capsicum dishes.

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Turnips and Onions in Olive Oil

Turnips, the forgotten vegetable of Winter. Yet they are divine either raw or cooked. We have quite a few recipes for you to experiment with. And to add to that list is a simple Turkish dish of turnips and onions simmered using an a la grecque style, and finished with herbs. It is a simple and easy recipe.

The dish is very gentle, some might think it is bland. But it marries beautifully with a host of other, more strongly flavoured dishes. Just don’t overcook the turnips or they will go watery. Remove from the heat when juuuuust tender enough.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes and our Turkish dishes.

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3-Cheese Eggplant Bake

This is a gorgeous baked dish with eggplants, cream and 3 soft cheeses. It is made without eggs and the result is an addictive dish with a thick set custard-like consistency.

The recipe is an adapted version of Ottolenghi’s Eggplant Cheesecake from Plenty More. I have made it egg-free. If you want to check the original recipe have a look here.

Like all good cheesecakes, tucking into this is so effortless and soothing that it’s easy to forget yourself and just gobble up more and more. And, like a sweet cheesecake, it’s also a bit of a no-brainer that yields very impressive results.

This is a soft dish, so is best spooned from the baking dish onto serving plates. A rustic alternative would be to bake it in a casserole and spoon out portions at the table.

Serve as a starter or for lunch with a lemony salad of bitter leaves and fresh herbs.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree, Eggplant, Beetroot and Potato Bake, Noodles with Fried Eggplant and Walnuts, and Roasted Eggplant with Garlic Yoghurt Sauce.

Or browse our Eggplant recipes and our Ottolenghi dishes.

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Kasa Kasa Payasam

Poppy Seed Payasam is a nutty and creamy sweet dish made with white poppy seeds, coconut and saffron simmered in milk and topped with toasted cashews. Payasam is a typical Indian traditional sweet usually made for festivals and as a sweet treat in homes.

Poppy seeds are tiny seeds known as kasa kasa in Tamil. Indian recipes usually use white poppy seeds rather than the black ones, so look for them in your Indian supermarket. They are used for their flavour, texture and thickening qualities.

Did you know that poppy seeds calm the mind and stimulate the digestion? In Ayurveda the taste is pungent, astringent and sweet. Its heating action acts as a vata calmer. Used with nutmeg or valerian they can induce relaxing sleep.

Similar recipes include Char Grilled Stone Fruit with Scented Yoghurt, Sago Payasam, Vermicelli Payasam, and Besan Payasam.

Browse all of our Payasam recipes, and all of our Desserts. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Easy Pumpkin and Coconut Curry

This Curry can be made with either Butternut Pumpkin or Kent Pumpkin (previously called Jap pumpkin). It is delicious, so flavoursome, and incredibly easy to make. I have paired it with coriander rice and scattered toasted peanuts and crispy onions over the top.

Similar dishes include Sri Lankan Pumpkin and Roasted Coconut Curry, Sri Lankan Coconut Curry, and Pumpkin Milk Kootu.

Browse all of our Pumpkin dishes and all of our  S. E. Asian recipes.

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