Moroccan Salad with Radishes

Salads are one of two types. First we have the very simple salad, simple flavours and few ingredients. Fresh and vibrant, they are made to accompany dishes that are complex in composition and flavours. The second sort, the more complex Ottolenghi-style salads, contain a whole range of ingredients and layer upon layer of flavours. They are made to be a meal in themselves or to go with some very simple or plain dishes – a few slices of grilled halloumi, for example.

This is the first type – simple, with just two main ingredients and a simple dressing. It is so fresh and wonderful, a little tart from the lemon juice, and made to get the appetite really humming. It is Moroccan, and contains cinnamon in the dressing. So unusual.

Similar salads include Orange and Walnut Salad, Orange and Olive Salad with Mint and Basil, and Halloumi and Orange Salad.

Browse all of our Orange Salads, and all of our many Salads. Our Moroccan dishes are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Sweet Rhubarb with Cloves and Black Pepper, Poppy Seeds and Gin Soaked Cumquats

I have had a life long aversion to rhubarb, ever since childhood. We grew a lot of rhubarb and it was served, stringy and under-sweetened at almost every meal while in season. It has taken until this year, decades later, for me to try it again. And only because I was given some rhubarb from a friend’s garden.

You will love this recipe. It is an alternative to your rhubarb with apples, or rhubarb pie. The jaggery adds that sweet earthiness, cloves add their magic, black pepper brings a bite without tasting peppery, and the poppy seeds add much needed texture.

I have used some of my Gin Soaked Cumquats to enliven the dish – it does need a little acid and these bring a sweet acidity to the dish. You can alternatively add some charred, sugar dipped lemon slices, candied orange or lemon peel, a little (just a little) pomegranate molasses or quince molasses, or even, if desperate, a squeeze of lemon.

Similar recipes include Beetroot and Rhubarb Salad, Apples with Lemon and Cinnamon, and Pears with Marsala. Also try our Sweet Orange Star Anise Sauce.

Browse our Rhubarb recipes, and all of our Desserts. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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31 Dishes to Make with Broad Beans (Fava Beans)

Broad Beans, a little out of fashion except in Italian, Greek, Chinese, South American and Middle Eastern communities, are a speciality of Spring time. Once upon a time, before the green bean varieties came to Europe, Broad Beans were the beans. They are ancient and no one knows exactly where they came from. They are also often called Fava Beans.

Broad beans are synonymous with Spring, with their presence so fleeting. Here in Australia, that is from September through mid November. It is a great example of true seasonal vegetables. Catch them when harvested young and sweet, as towards the end of their season they can become very mealy. They have a flat, fur-lined pod enclosing seeds that are used in soups, purees, stews, salads, stir-fries and combined with rice and pasta.

Look for them in green grocers who cater for the Italian, Greek or Middle Eastern food requirements, as soon as Spring arrives. An acceptable alternative is frozen Broad Beans, and they can be found in the Supermarket, or in the freezer sections of Middle Eastern groceries. The benefit of the Middle Eastern ones over the supermarket ones is that the ones stocked by Middle Eastern stores have been double peeled. We will explain that later.

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Conchiglie or Orecchiette with Yoghurt, Peas and Chilli

A spicy pasta dish hit the table this week, one that certainly packs a chilli hit, but one that also includes yoghurt and feta, and the cooling peas to temper that punch. It is quite a glorious dish, silky and creamy with the texture of toasted pine nuts. I am making it in Winter, but I highly recommend it for Spring. It can be made any time of year, of course, but peas fresh from the vine lift the dish to a different level. Bookmark it now for your spring time.

The recipe is one of Ottolenghi’s from his Guardian column and from his book, Jerusalem. We are cooking our way through Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by.

Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here, and from Jerusalem here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Juice It! | Home Made Apple-Based Juices

It is nearly Spring time, the garden is blooming (my first ever daffodils are flowering), and we have started juicing our own drinks again. We love to have home-made juices through Spring to Autumn.

While the apples are at their best, they are especially suited to late Winter and early Spring juices, providing a sweet base for many different combinations.

In the suggestions below, we don’t include quantities. My rule of thumb is – 2 large apples plus your combination fruit and vegetables will a little water to dilute the intensity of the flavours, will make 3 – 4 glasses. Enough for breakfast for a small – medium family.

In case you are wondering, I use Harom, a cold press juicer, but any juicer will make great drinks. I love cold press juicers because of the way that they extract the juice and the drinks are not as frothy as when you use a centrifugal juicer. It is also said that cold pressed juices are more nutrient dense than those produced with a centrifugal juicer. However the cold press ones do not handle greens or stringy vegetables such as celery as well as the centrifugal ones.

You can also make fruit juices in your High Speed Blender. I use a Vitamix. Simply blend the fruit for 2 or so minutes with a little water, then strain the juice as your pour it into a jug or into glasses. (I am not sponsored in any way by Vitamix or Harom.)

Enjoy the juice combinations below. Similar recipes include Zucchini Juice, Green Tea, Apple and Strawberry Juice, and Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger.

Browse all of our Juices and our Cooling Summer Drinks. Or browse all of our our Early Spring recipes.

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Four Asparagus Soups for Spring

It is almost Spring, and Spring brings with it the delights of young peas, beautiful broad beans and new asparagus. To celebrate the upcoming bounties of the garden, here are four soups featuring asparagus that we want to share with you. Asparagus makes the most delightful soups – gentle yet flavoursome and very, very healthy. They can be made hot or cold to suit the weather, and thus are not restricted to Springtime but can feature in your kitchen all year.

Oh the joy of the first asparagus of the season!

You might like to browse our other Asparagus Recipes and our Cold Soups. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Green or Broad Bean Salad with Asparagus, Olives and Black Garlic

It is nearly Spring, and salads are all the go for our daily menu. If you have been following our salads, you will know we are mainly doing very simple salads at the moment, as life is busy and wearying. Thank goodness for that mesclun that green grocers sell – by-the-kilo varietal mixes of green salad leaves. The base of any salad is so easy! They are available year round, and you can make this salad in a nest of salad greens in the centre of a big plate. We haven’t done that today, but often serve it that way.

The salad takes beans – green or broad beans, either one, or mix them – and tosses them with asparagus and olives. A little black garlic is broken into small pieces and added.

Are you after other Bean Salads? Try Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Green Beans with Lentil Crumble.

You can browse all of our Bean Salads, and indeed, all of our many many Salad recipes. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Broad Bean, Bulgur and Red Cabbage Kofta

Red cabbage rarely features in our kitchen, but today it is very present on the kitchen bench. We have been trialling a dish of broad bean mash with bulgur which coats red cabbage cooked with sultanas. They are not perfect yet, but we share with you the process because, boy, they are delicious.

Red cabbage with apple, sultanas and pine nuts is a standard European dish, delicious in its own right. And we often incorporate broad beans into kofta/vada/kibbeh type dishes. Today they come together into these lovely mid morning snacks. The recipe is very loose – my apologies – we are still playing with quantities. If you make them, let us know how they turn out.

Similar recipes include Red Cabbage with Apple, Pinenuts and Sultanas, Maddur Vadai, Fava Bean Falafel, and Chickpea Falafel.

Browse all of our Broad Bean dishes and all of our Vada. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Velouté d’asperges | Cream of Asparagus Soup

This soup, so they say, is reminiscent of the creations of the 18th century French grande cuisine. Asparagus was introduced by the Italians during the Renaissance, and was part of a change in eating habits that saw vegetables introduced into grande cuisine. Previously they had been considered the food of peasants.

This soup is thick, smooth and delicate as well as utterly delicious. It is simple to make with easily accessible ingredients. It is the perfect soup for year-round enjoyment, as it can be served cold in Summer and hot in Winter.  We’ve been making this soup since the early 2000’s.

The soup can also be made quickly and easily in any high speed blender that also heats foods as it blends. I have given the instructions for making it this way as well as the usual, stove-top method. In the blender it takes around 15 mins, including cooking the asparagus. When you are using the high speed blender (mine is a Vitamix), then there are no worries about stringy stalks on the asparagus – all is blended into a smooth, perfect soup.

Similar recipes include Chilled Asparagus Soup, Gentle Asparagus Soup, and Asparagus Raita.

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Browse all of our other Asparagus Soup recipes, our Asparagus recipes, and our French dishes. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Yummy Zucchini Dip with Yoghurt Sauce and Buttery Chilli Pinenuts

Just when you had thought you had seen everything, charred/burnt zucchini crosses your path. In the same way that you would char eggplants for dishes like Babaganoush, zucchinis can be roasted and turned into delicious dips and spreads. After charring, the flesh is slippery, silky, smoky and delicious.

Then, in Middle Eastern Style, the mashed zucchini flesh is topped with a sauce made with yoghurt and Roquefort cheese. In the original of this Ottolenghi recipe, the sauce uses an egg to thicken it. As we do not cook with eggs, we use the age old trick of adding besan (chickpea flour) to the cheese-yoghurt mix, and let it cook out to produce the most beautiful sauce. It is tangy and intriguing, this sauce.

THEN, over the top of what already feels like a whole dish, chilli buttery pinenuts are drizzled, and that is scattered with za’atar. Divine. Inspired. Gorgeous. It challenges Baba Ganoush for deliciousness.

As mentioned (you could guess anyway, right?) this is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese, Babaganoush, Baingan Pora, and Smoky Aubergine with Tahini and Pomegranate.

Browse our Dips and our Spreads, and our Zucchini recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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