Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad with Pomegranate

In this memorable salad from Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s Jerusalem, roasted Cauliflower, Celery and Hazelnuts are combined with Pomegranate, fresh Parsley, and warming spices. A sweet-tart vinaigrette finishes it off.

When we roast cauliflower, we make a whole lot, often 2 – 3 trays, and it is used for Cauliflower Soup, Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini Yoghurt Dressing, and this salad. Roasted cauliflower is one of the best ways to use this gorgeous winter vegetable.

Similar recipes include Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Cheddar Salad, and Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Spices and Lime.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, all of our Ottolenghi dishes and all of our Salads. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Seasonal Cooking | MID WINTER Salads, Dips and Preserves

We move into the cold months where nothing much stirs in the garden. Oranges and other citrus are plentiful, pears too. Mid Winter vegetables arrive. Vegetables are more limited in range but beautiful in flavours.

Here are some suggestions for Salads and Preserves in season or available in Mid Winter – Carrots, Potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, Beetroot — and much more. Dips too, and Winter Preserves.

Enjoy some Healthy Salad Inspiration for Mid Winter. You can also browse:

Please let us know if you find links that are not working. We would love to fix them for you.

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Kosheri | Lentils, Rice and Vermicelli with Onions and Spices

Kosheri (also spelled Koshari) is a dish with its genesis in Egypt, although it now traverses many time zones. We have some similar recipes, but this one from Ottolenghi (in his book Ottolenghi) is another of his dishes that perfectly layers spices with other ingredients. It is a bit intense, this dish, with several cooking processes on the go at one time, but the effort is worth it. Cook the sauce, cook the lentils, cook the rice and vermicelli, cook the onions – then bring them all together.

Frankly, I love how North Africa, the Middle East and India are much more adventurous with their rice dishes than our English-based cultures. Who would have thought of cooking lentils, various pasta, burghul and/or vermicelli with rice? It seems to break all of our Western rules of food composition. Yet here they are, these mixed rice dishes, such a delicious alternative to plain white rice.

Cheap, easy and filling, kosheri is ubiquitous on Egypt’s streets and thought to be an adaptation of Indian kitchari, brought to Egypt in the late 19th century during the British occupation of both countries. Egypt’s Italian community is held responsible for kosheri’s pasta factor. Lebanon and Palestine have a simple version, a rice with pasta dish that works on the principle that less is more.

The dish can be made with or without the tomato sauce. Although it is a good accompaniment, the kosheri is also good with a Cucumber Raita, or any other Raita, Pachadi, or Yoghurt based salad, for that matter. Or just plain yoghurt.

In Egypt, this dish is sold by street vendors, but it is also very welcome at the dinner table. It can be a side dish, but I prefer it as a main, with the accompaniments tailored to eat on and with the rice. I particularly love it with the tomato sauce, some roasted cauliflower and toasted hazelnuts.

Similar recipes include Orzo and Rice, Cauliflower, Mung and Cracked Wheat Kitchari, and Cracked Wheat and Mung Kitchari.

Browse all of our Egyptian recipes and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. Our Rice recipes are here. Or explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Charred Okra with Spiced Tomato Barley

This is an African influenced dish of barley and okra. We have made it with pearl barley, which is cooked with tomatoes, and then charred okra is added. A warming, Wintery dish.

This is often made with black barley, and there are a number of recipes available for it. As black barley is not yet available here, normal barley is a good substitute. Note that the barely is so very good, it can be cooked on its own, or topped with other vegetables, for example, charred or roasted cauliflower.

Are you looking for other Barley dishes? Try Parsley and Barley Salad with Feta, Barley with Red Kidney Beans, and Adzuki, Barley and Pumpkin Soup.

Or other Okra recipes? Try Slightly Charred Okra with Chilli, Garlic and ThymeWarm Salad of Charred Okra, Whole Okra Stuffed with Onions, and Sri Lankan Okra Curry.

Browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Barley dishes. Our African dishes are here. Or simply explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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Simple Cauliflower Curry | Phool Gobi Curry

Sometimes we want a quick dinner without too much fuss. Here it is. Put the rice cooker on, cut up the cauliflower, and dinner is ready in a trice.

The cauliflower is sautéed with seasoning until tender, and then spiced just with garam masala and chilli. You don’t need to grind spices or make spice pastes. This is a simple curry. My friend Priti shared her recipe with me after preparing it for lunch one day.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Aloo Gobi, Cauliflower Pilaf and Cauliflower and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Jaffna Style

Sri Lanka has a wonderful cuisine, layered of course by the cultural backgrounds of the inhabitants. The South Indian influence is strong, and many dishes are similar to the cuisines of Tamil Nadu, but with a twist bought about by local ingredients. This is an Okra Curry, a simple one with only green chillies to spice it, and the okra are simmered in coconut milk. Easy to make and beautiful to eat.

Are you after similar recipes? Try this Sri Lankan Okra Curry, and also Lemak Style Vegetables in a Curry-Coconut Broth.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Sri Lankan recipes. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time and explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini

Feekeh! No longer an ingredient that we need to travel across town to buy.  With several Afghan shops closeby in my new neighbourhood, those sorts of ingredients now go on the weekly shopping list. Oh, the joy!

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More, one of my fav of his books. Beans are cooked and mixed with walnuts, then drizzled with a minty-tahini dressing. The dressing is what ranch dressing would taste like if it spent a few months traipsing through the Middle East, so they say.

Yotham advises beans of the best quality for this dish. He also says that the walnuts can be omitted, but we are loving them so much this season, so they are definitely in. They provide a texture in this salad that is otherwise missing.

Similar recipes include Cyprian Grain Salad with Freekeh.

For Green Beans, try Five Bean Glorious Salad, and Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal.

Browse all of our Green Bean recipes and all of our Freekeh dishes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Winter collection of recipes.

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South Indian Carrot Soup

Here is another of the quick soups from Vol 4 of Cook and See – this volume of Meenakshi Ammal’s cookbooks is by Priya Ramkumar. It is a 1970’s style soup, quick and easy, simple and fresh, and surprisingly packed full of flavour. They make great luncheon soups with a salad and some fresh crunchy bread, or a perfect beginning to a heavier meal.

I have written elsewhere about the role of these South Indian soups, so check out the others in this series for comments and my experiences in India.

Similar recipes include South Indian Green Peas Soup, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, and South Indian Spring Onion Soup.

Browse all of our South Indian Soups, and indeed, all of our Soups. Our Indian recipes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or enjoy our collection of Mid Winter dishes.

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A Special Pumpkin Soup

A soup for when winter goes on and on and on ….

You can never have too many pumpkin soup recipes. They abound, to be sure. But, comforting and nourishing, they are frequently on the menu at our place. Also, they are perfect dinner items from Autumn through Winter and into Spring, which means they are very versatile. We always make a large pot, and then vary the soup each meal by adding chilli or pesto, tomato paste or milk/cream and adding different herbs – basil, parsley, coriander (cilantro).

This pumpkin soup has a tang to it with the addition of sweet sherry! An old ingredient indeed, but that does not mean that it doesn’t have the occasional place in the modern kitchen.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

Similar recipes include French Cream of Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers, and Pumpkin Cooked with Lashings of Butter.

You might like to browse other Pumpkin Soup recipes, and all of our Pumpkin recipes. Try other Soup recipes too. Or simply explore our easy Mid Winter recipes.

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Dried Fava Bean Soup | Dried Broad Bean Soup with Potatoes

Late Winter comes and we begin to look forward to Spring. However the weather gods have other ideas, plunging us into the coldest weather of the winter, stormy and wet, and very very cold.

We really did fall in love with dried broad beans this year. After a hiccup at the beginning – we really didn’t know a lot about how to handle these large beauties – we have settled into a routine of using them every couple of weeks. Totally delicious.

The smaller, peeled dried fava beans are easier to use, but if you can’t find them, use the larger (gigantic) unpeeled ones. The peeled dried broad beans are quite small, whereas the unpeeled ones are large beans. Soak the large ones overnight, then pop them out of their peels before cooking. If they don’t come out of the skins easily, try soaking them in boiling water for 20 – 30 mins. They should come off easily then. I like to peel them in front of the TV the night before I am using them. It makes this meditative task very easy.

This recipe doesn’t saute the onions and celery, but rather pops them into the pot with the beans and the stock. In Greece it is believed that sauteing them before hand makes the dish heavier, and if you think about it, it is an excellent observation. I like to keep this soup lighter, but by all means saute off the aromatics beforehand if you wish.

Similar recipes include Fava Bean Soup with Turmeric and Herbs, and Fava Bean Soup with Fresh Herbs.

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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White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread

Snacks in this house often include a spread or dip that can be lathered onto crusty bread with some salad greens and tomato slices, or just on its own. Most spreads can be thinned a little and used as a dip with crackers or vegetable sticks. They can even be served as a sauce to accompany falafel, lentil balls or other vegetarian fritters or patties. Try adding them to salad dressing too, for creaminess and flavour. They can even be thinned out to form a great basis for soup!

This recipe is a classic White Bean puree with sage and garlic – some garlic is roasted, and some cooked with the beans for layered garlic flavours. Deborah Madison includes a recipe in her book, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Similar recipes include Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, Broad Bean and Mint Puree, Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread, and Fava Bean Puree with Fresh Herbs.

Try other White Bean recipes: White Beans with Tahini, White Bean Soup, and Tuscan Beans with Sage and Lemon.

Or browse all of our Spreads, our Dips, and all of our White Bean recipes. And explore our Late Winter dishes. Continue reading “White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread”

Cumquat Tea | Kumquat Tea

The season of cumquats are upon us, and not only are we able to get gorgeous ones from our local Asian Grocery, but friends who are not so kitchen-friendly as me, arrive with baskets of them.

For many years we have made our beautiful go-to cumquat recipes. Marmalade, Chutney, Pickles, Oils, and Soaked in Gin.

But a conversation with a Fijian friend changed, or rather, expanded, the way we think about this tiny, semi-sour globular fruits. He related how they use cumquats like lemons, squeezing the juice into dishes that need that bit of tang. Now not only are they squeezed, we cut them in halves and nestle them into oven baked dishes, they are floated in stocks, soups and stews to infuse, we char grill them for salads, and they find their way, chopped into 2 or 4 or 6, into warm vegetable mixes.

And they are made into tea.

What a delicious infusion this is. Just cumquats, or with mint and/or other herbs added, it is a perfect mid morning or mid afternoon pick-me-up. Surprising. Wonderful.

In terms of herbs, use your favourites, and don’t be afraid to experiment with a leaf here and there. Tulsi, basil, mint, thyme, parsley. Add honey if you need a sweetener. I don’t. But some Cumquat varieties are more sour than others.

We have some similar teas for you to try – Longan and Young Ginger Tea, Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, and Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea.

Are you looking for other Cumquat recipes? Try Cumquat Rice, Steamed Thai Eggplant with Cumquat, and Cumquat and Pea Shoot Salad.

Browse all of our Cumquat recipes, and all of our Teas. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Indian Chai Variations

Chai – a sweet, milky black tea with spices – begins the day for many Indian households. The spices and herbs added to the tea adds flavour but an oft-ignored benefit is that it also increases medicinal benefits. The daily supplement – better than popping a pill.

From Chai Masala, to a simple Chai with Ginger, the variations are endless. Here are some common ones to experiment with.

Because of the health giving properties of turmeric, we recommend adding a little turmeric to each cuppa chai that you make – about a pinch per cup.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Spring Chai, Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Heavenly Gentle Chai, and Ashram Chai.

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

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Jerusalem Artichokes with Halloumi and Basil Oil

A beautiful dish from Ottolenghi – one that takes time to produce a marvellous dish

Pottering in the kitchen today, I had a little more time so brought together Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem Artichoke recipe from his book Plenty. Simple to make, it takes just a little time as you need to roast the artichokes, make the charred tomatoes, blend up the basil oil and grill the halloumi. It appears a random combination of ingredients, but it is not so. A perfect combo of bitter, sour, sweet, crispy, crunchy, soft and creamy.

Sometimes bitter greens are not available, so I substitute nasturtium leaves which are always plentiful here. And some rocket leaves.

Are you after other Jerusalem Artichoke recipes? Try Jerusalem Artichoke and Cumin Salad. We have some others  planned, so check back here later for updates.

Or some Halloumi dishes? Try Halloumi and Orange Salad, Halloumi Pizza and Halloumi and Watermelon Salad.

Browse all of our Halloumi recipes, our Tomato recipes, and our Jerusalem Artichoke dishes. Explore all of 0ur Ottolenghi recipes. Or browse our Late Autumn dishes.

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Quince with Split Peas | Afghani Channa Dal with Quinces

This dish is a vegetarian version of a stew from Afghanistan, Quince Stew or Qorma-e-Behi. It uses lentils in place of the non-vegetarian items. It is a perfect Winter dish, fragrant from the quinces, and comforting and warming. Deeply, deeply warming.

I often use soft chard or other greens in this dish in place of the spinach, it works just as well.

Are you looking for more Quince recipes? Try Quince Pickle and Spiced Quinces. Check out some ways to use Quince in sweet recipes as well.

Or browse all of our Quince recipes, and our Afghani dishes, or explore our delicious Mid Winter dishes.

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