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.

Continue reading “Kale and Cheese Pikelets”

Cauliflower and Parmesan Farinata | Egg-Free

I haven’t cooked Farinata for so long, years in fact – so long that I have forgotten how good it is. So it is back on the menu, with cauliflower, onions and parmesan. Farinata tastes a little like an omelette, and cooked right, it will slide right out of the pan. Served in wedges or squares with a salad (and some Celeriac Chips!), it makes a lovely lunch or light evening meal.

The idea for this farinata came from Ottolenghi’s recipe for Cauliflower Cake in Plenty More. That recipe uses eggs and I wanted to make something with similar flavours. So this recipe for farinata was created.

Ottolenghi says that cauliflower needs more attention. He says that it’s one of the most magnificent of all vegetables and is as versatile as potato. I reckon he is right.

Similar recipes include Farinata with Tomatoes and Cheese, Farinata with Onions and Tomatoes, and Making Socca, Pudla and Farinata.

Or browse our Farinata dishes, Cauliflower recipes and all our dishes from Plenty More.

Continue reading “Cauliflower and Parmesan Farinata | Egg-Free”

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.

Continue reading “Chinese Style Orange-Sesame Sauce”

Pear and Apple Salad with Cucumber Dressing

I have been in love with pears in more savoury applications since last century’s fascination with putting them in salads, soups and baked dishes.  Today we bring pears and apples together in a salad with a creamy yoghurt and cucumber dressing. A crunchy salad that will brighten anybody’s day.

Similar recipes include An Autumn Fruit Salad, Pear, Celery and Fennel Salad, and Roasted Rosemary Pears.

Or browse all of our Pear recipes and all of our Salads.

Continue reading “Pear and Apple Salad with Cucumber Dressing”

Charred Broccoli and Bean Salad with Chilli and Garlic

This recipe is a riff on one by Ottolenghi in his book Ottolenghi. He also riffs it, with numerous variations on the Guardian website and elsewhere. It just proves how addictive broccoli is when it is char-grilled and tossed with garlic and chilli. We have been making this salad periodically for years – my daughter was the first to put me on to how good it is.

This time, I add beans to the mix, as (ssshhh, this is a little known secret) are also addictive when char-grilled. I’ve used a delicious sweet-hot chilli paste, and the garlic is sliced and crisped. An optional extra is to add flaked almonds to the salad.

Sadly, there are no pics tonight, an increasing trend on this blog when we cook at night. You will have to trust sight-unseen on how good this dish is. Photo is from Unsplash.

Similar dishes include Black Pepper Garlic Broccoli, Steamed Broccoli with Pinenuts, Pan Roasted Broccoli, Smashed Chickpeas with Broccoli, and Broccoli with Orange Butter Sauce.

Or browse all of our Broccoli and Bean dishes.

Continue reading “Charred Broccoli and Bean Salad with Chilli and Garlic”

Chilli Beans

Years ago I used to make a chilli dish – the recipe comes from a dear friend who lives in the Grampians. It was a chilli that is often called “Mexican” although it is not, and includes coffee, chocolate and red wine. I gave up making it when I adopted a vegetarian diet. It was only recently that another friend reminded me that chilli without meat is possible – and also delicious.

Elwyn’s Chilli Beans was such a no-fuss recipe – a few essential ingredients cooked at the barely simmering heat level for hours until all was infused with chocolate, coffee, wine and chilli.

The success of a Bean Chilli, with our without meat, is the deep, dark richness of the sauce. I took Elwyn’s recipe and added favourite spices to deepen the flavours, a variety of vegetables to enrich the dish, and some walnuts – I made enough to feed our street! Luckily it freezes very well. It is quite a “meaty” dish with the walnuts adding a great texture.

Because this dish requires long and slow cooking, it can also be cooked at a low-moderate temperature in the oven.

Similar recipes include Borlotti Bean and Garlic Soup, Persian Stew with Winter Vegetables, Barley and Root Vegetable Stew, and Black Barley with Mushrooms.

Browse all of our Kidney Bean recipes, Borlotti Bean dishes, and all of our Stews. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Chilli Beans”

Lentils and Eggplant with Pomegranate and Crispy Onions | Rummaniyeh

Eggplant and dark lentils are such a paring! We loved them here – this is an extraordinary dish – and we love them in this recipe. When the eggplant is cooked with the lentils it becomes very silky and simply melts into them. This is the joy of Rummaniyeh.

Pomegranates also feature strongly in Rummaniyeh. In fact, Rumman means pomegranate, so this dish’s name, Rummaniyeh, means pomegranatey. Pomegranates are cherished in Palestine – they are an integral part of Palestinian eating, and are regarded as a symbol of abundance and prosperity.  The cheap and easy recipe uses rich, sweet-tart pomegranate molasses and pomegranate kernels (when in season), for a tangy stew in which the eggplants melt into the lentils as they gently simmer. Crispy onions, fried garlic, zingy lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, hot chilli and generous amounts of olive oil are added, to create layers of flavour and transform the primary ingredients.

Today’s recipe had its genesis in the one in Falastin by Tamini. I made some adjustments to make it simpler, with more lentils, and also to get that simmered silkiness of the eggplants.

Eat warm or at room temperature with pitta or tafoon (Middle Eastern flatbread) and a chopped salad. I like a bowl of spiced yoghurt with it. You can serve Rummaniyeh at any time, but it is especially good for breakfast!

Similar recipes include Lentil Stew with Eggplants, Lentil Salad with Pomegranate Molasses, and Walnut and Pomegranate Dip.

Browse all of our recipes from Falastin, and all Eggplant dishes.

Continue reading “Lentils and Eggplant with Pomegranate and Crispy Onions | Rummaniyeh”

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.

Continue reading “Toasted Barley, Pistachio and Barberry Pilaf with Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing”

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.

Continue reading “Baked Peppers Stuffed with Buttery, Cheesy Vegetables”

Narangi Pulao with Pistachios

It is orange season and so all of our orange recipes come out to add delight to our kitchen menus again. This beautiful pilaf is so good – full of orangey flavours and a visual delight.

We made this recently in one of our late night COVID-19 lockdown cooking sessions, around 10pm after endless zoom meetings. Luckily the rice had been soaked and dried, so the cooking was not a chore. There are no photos for this recipe yet – almost a travesty in this visual era. But we wanted to share it with you and keep it on our blog as a record of our best loved dishes.

Similar dishes include Matar Pulao, Orange and Date Salad, Orange and Green Chilli Relish, and Quinoa Salad with Orange.

You can also browse all of our Pilafs and our Orange Recipes.

Continue reading “Narangi Pulao with Pistachios”