Sweet Quince Mustard | Mostarda Dolce | Quince Relish

Oh the Greeks! How wonderful is their food. This recipe is a mustardy Quince relish where the Quinces are cooked in port or Marsala. It is divine, and we use it when we are making large plates of mezze style food – spreads and dips, pickles, olives, crusty bread, fruits, dried fruits, nuts, charred vegetables, and so forth. Recently we have been using our wonderful Cumquat chutney as part of this plate – a new batch was made late one night after a gift of these small tart globular citrus.

For this year, we had half a quince left after braising some Quince and Leeks yesterday (also very delicious served with our Cumquat Chutney). This is the very last of this year’s buckets of quinces from our good friend. Sadly, the house no longer is permeated with the glorious scent of quince, but our cupboards are full of pickles, chutneys, quince paste, quince leather, quince jam, quince vinegar and quince molasses. Glorious.

So, back to this half quince. It was cooked in Marsala, but sweet port can be used, or a sweet wine like Madrodaphne if you have access to Greek wines. The roots of this type of dish is probably English, but it is now common in parts of Greece. Dried fruits can be used in stead of Quince,or added with the quince.

It is glorious with cheese. Try some of this relish and some Quince Paste, with your favourite cheeses.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Leeks with Quinces, Onion Jam, Caponata, and Red Pepper and Apple Relish.

Browse all of our Relishes, all of our Quince dishes, and all of our Greek recipes. Or enjoy our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens and Roasted Onions

Spring and Broad Beans go together like birds of a feather. But when the fresh green pods of these green-flavoured beans are no longer available, we are fortunate to have dried broad beans. These come in several sizes and colours – the main ones are large, unpeeled beans, and smaller, yellow, peeled beans. Both are great, slightly differently flavoured, and the yellow ones come with the advantage of not having to peel them before cooking.

This is another great puree made from the dried broad beansΒ  (fava beans) – use either type. Today, the puree is used as a dip and spread alongside roasted onions, wilted greens, roasted capsicums, and olives, with toasted ciabatta for spreading and piling on the accompaniments.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Dried Fava Bean Puree with Fresh Herbs, Fava Bean Puree with Dill and Olive Oil, and Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread.

Or browse all of our Broad Bean recipes and all of our Italian dishes. Alternatively, take some time to explore our Mid Winter collection of dishes.

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Spinach Bhaji | Spinach Stir Fried with Ginger and Spices

Greens are another vegetable that are cooked so wonderfully in India. With many varieties grown locally in all regions, often the Indian cook has a choice of a couple of dozen different greens to cook. Pity us, with our small choice in our green grocers. Half a dozen varieties if we are very lucky, and only 3 or 4 varieties used commonly.

Use spinach for this recipe. It is a dry dish flavoured with mustard seeds, chilli and a grating of nutmeg. Nice! You can also make this dish with just the stems of spinach if you have them left over and are looking for something to do with them. I am all for no-waste.

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Spinach Thoran and Spinach Poriyal.

Browse all of our Bhaji dishes, and all of our Spinach dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or explore our Early Winter dishes.

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Bhindi Bhaji | Stir Fried Okra

This recipe for Okra is another simple, stir fried one that combines the okra with cumin and green chillies for a great afternoon snack, or as a side dish for a larger meal.

It is an easy recipe, one that you can cook in under 30 mins, perhaps under 20 if you are organised. These are the best recipe, don’t you agree? I know you will enjoy this one. Wonderful flavours.

Are you after other Okra dishes? Try Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seeds, and Spicy Dried Okra.

Browse all of our other Okra recipes, and explore our Indian dishes. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Kohlrabi, Cucumber and Mint Salad

Winter this year had cold cold nights, but there were many days that were warmish (by Winter standards), without much rain. I have a grape tomato bush that bore a few fruit till mid Winter, chillies produced fruit and eggplants still flowered. The cold nights turned the amaranth and the lemongrass the most gorgeous of colours, the grapevines too. There is always much joy in a garden.

Salads at the table go on and on, almost year round. Usually by Mid Winter we give up on salads until Spring, preferring hot dishes over room-temperature ones. But this past winter, the weather was such that we maintained our salad regime for longer than usual.

Today’s salad is one we made through the Winter – a salad using Kohlrabi, which can be thought of as a Wintery vegetable, and which is cooked for this dish. It is paired it with mint and cucumber.

Kohlrabi is protected by a thick skin, which is either purple or pale green. The outside layer is rather fibrous and unpleasant. It won’t break down after being cooked. If peeling before cooking, use a sharp knife to remove the skin, as it’s too thick for a traditional vegetable peeler. In this recipe, we cook the kohlrabi then peel it. It takes a long time to cook, so be patient.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Kohlrabi Subzi, or replace Jicama with Kohlrabi to make Kohlrabi and Green Mango Salad.

All of our Kohlrabi dishes are here, and all of our Salads here. Browse our Cucumber recipes as well. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter dishes.

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Yoghurt and Barley Soup

In India, yoghurt curries are very common – yoghurt heated gently and flavoured with spices. In the Middle East, yoghurt is used for soups, and they are also incredibly delicious.

This soup has bite and substance thanks to the handful of pearl barley. The creamy yoghurt and a wealth of spices makes this is a such a nourishing bowl.

Try similar recipes – Turkish Cacik, Pineapple Curry with Yoghurt Sauce, and Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings.

Barley Soups include Farmhouse Barley Soup and Parsnip and Barley Soup with Garlic and Sage.

Browse all of our Yoghurt recipes and all of our Barley dishes. All of our Soups are here. Middle Eastern delicious recipes can be found here. Or browse all of our Mid Winter dishes.

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Beautiful Fennel Puree

In this recipe, fennel bulbs are cooked a la Grecque in olive oil and lemon juice until very tender and falling apart. They are then whizzed into the most beautiful puree, perfect for spreading, eating as it is, using as a dressing on salads or hot vegetables, or serving as part of a larger meal.

The puree has a wonderful mayonnaise type texture so it acts amazingly well as a dressing over salads, or over baked or steamed vegetables.

This dish comes from Italy, and it is the Italians who seem to use fennel the most. At one time, it was popular at the end of a meal, a delicious way to cleanse the palate. Parts of Tuscany still do this, I hear. The best salad is still fennel, sliced thinly and dressed with olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Just perfect. This dish retains those flavours but cooks the fennel to a soft and gentle puree.

Are you after similar dishes? Try Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Orange and Garlic, and Fennel a la Grecque.

Try some other purees too – Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean, Broad Bean and Butter Bean, and Spiced Tomato.

You can also browse all of our Fennel dishes, and all of our Puree recipes. You might like to check out our Dressings, Spreads and Dips too, and all of our Italian dishes. Or take some time and explore our Mid Winter menus.

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Burghul, Walnut, and Tomato Salad with Pomegranate

This is a salad with flavours of the Middle East, taking burghul and tomatoes and mixing them with spices, walnuts and pomegranate molasses.

It is a lovely salad, so well suited to Autumn and early Winter (if you can still get good tomatoes). Burghul is available from Middle Eastern groceries – our local shop has about 5 different varieties. This salad uses fine burghul.

Are you after other Burghul dishes? Try Tomato and Walnut Salad with Pomegranate Dressing, A Quick Burghul Salad with Olives, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts, and Cauliflower, Mung Bean and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Burghul dishes, and all of our many many Salads. Or take some time to browse our Early Winter dishes.

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Channa Dal with Brinjal | Eggplant Channa Dal

Today our dal is made with split Channa, small chickpeas that have been hulled and split into two. Usually we make dal from mung dal, mung beans, urad dal or toor dal, so it is unusual for us to make it with channa.

In this dal, we have used eggplants. Cut into wedges, they float beautifully in the spicy channa gravy.

Similar recipes are Dal Makhani, and Tomato and Channa Dal Rasam. And try Eggplant dishes such as Poritha Kuzhambu,Β  Brinjal Tamarind Kothsu, and Sampangi Pitlai.

Browse all of our Dal recipes and all of our Eggplant dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to enjoy our Mid Winter posts.

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Toasted Pearl Barley with Pistachios and Raisins

Such a wintery dish – beautiful Barley mixed with dried fruit and nuts, with a yoghurt-tahini and mint dressing, making a perfect salad, or an accompaniment for roasted winter vegetables. My house is a cold old house in the depths of winter, and there is nothing better than having vegetables roasting and barley bubbling on a cold evening. It fogs the windows and makes us and the kitchen toasty warm.

This Barley almost-pilaf-style dish is wonderful served with all sorts of roasted winter vegetables – Pumpkin, Jerusalem Artichokes, Fennel, Parsnips, Carrots etc. But don’t let that limit you. The Barley makes an excellent salad or side dish with the dressing just drizzled over the top.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Barley and Red Kidney Beans, Parsley and Barley Salad, and Mediterranean Barley with Crispy Tofu.

Or browse all of our Barley dishes, and all of our Middle Eastern recipes. And explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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