My Favourite Grilled Asparagus | Simple Food is BACK!

Simple recipes are now the fashion, thank goodness. I grabbed Nigel Slater’s Greenfeast from the library just after it was released – I never buy a book these days without a good look at it first. I was surprised by the book, perhaps initially a little disappointed.

First of all, its dimensions are small for a cookbook, especially one that is to be used regularly in the kitchen. But it is also quite thick and bound in such a way that the book will not open flat. To cook from it I would need to put my heavy mortar on the edge of one page and the pestle on the edge of the other.

And then to the content – I was surprised at how everyday and simple the recipes are. My initial comment on social media was that it is a book to give Simple, by Ottolenghi, a run for its money. Few exotic ingredients, recipes that suit time-hungry but foodie professionals. Recipes without 6 or 7 or 8 different processes. But, well, also without excitement.

24 hours later I realised that the lack of excitement, the everydayness of the recipes is the genius of this book. It is a cookbook that thumbs its nose at all of the chefy cookbooks we have been drooling over for the past decade. It thumbs its nose at the hours we spent searching down new ingredients that in cities like Adelaide have not and never will make it into the mainstream. It thumbs its nose to those of us who like to think we know 1 or 2 things about food – but have forgotten how to cook simply.

Nigel’s recipes are always unapologetically British, but the first of the Greenfeast 2-Volume set focuses on stunning fresh-from-the-garden ingredients arranged with love on a plate to produce Summery yet nourishing dishes. It is a book that you want to cook through from start to finish for easy, satisfying, home cooked meals. Thanks Nigel.

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Dried Fava Beans with Garlic | Ful Bit-Tewm

This is a dish that is made in Spring in Malta and the Middle East with fresh broad beans. For  the rest of the year it is made with dried broad beans. There are two types of dried broad beans (generally called dried Fava beans). The first, commonly available here, are large, darker coloured beans. Huge, really. They are not peeled, so require soaking and peeling before cooking. Despite the work, I do love the intense earthy flavour of these large beans.

The second type is a more delicate dried fava bean, small in size and golden in colour. These are generally already peeled, and so less work in the kitchen before cooking. They are more difficult to find, and I had to search them out in a large Greek grocery.

Today, I am using the smaller variety, as I think that they are better suited to this dish, but note that the larger beans or fresh broad beans can also be used. It is just the cooking time that will vary.

Similar dishes include Dried Fava Bean Soup, Fava Bean Puree with Herbs, and Fava Bean Puree with Dill and Olive Oil.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes, and our Middle Eastern recipes. Or explore all of our Mid Spring dishes.

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Herby Freekeh Salad with Peas

Freekeh is a wonderful vehicle for herbs and tart dressings, and I have to say that I love herby salads. This one brings it all together for a wonderful Spring dish. With herbs and spring onions abundant in the garden, all that was needed was to cook the freekeh and defrost the peas.

Similar recipes include: Quinoa Salad with Orange and Pistachios, Cypriot Grain Salad, Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini, and Delicious Chickpea Salad.

Browse all of our Freekeh recipes and our Pea dishes. All of our many Salads are here. Or take some time to browse our our Mid Spring dishes.

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A Huge Collection of the Best Ever Chickpea Recipes

Chickpeas, and the flour made from ground chickpeas feature strongly in our kitchen.  Today we want to share with you our most favourite chickpea and chickpea flour recipes. Many of these recipes have been on our kitchen’s menu for over 20 years! They have been shared via our previous blog Food Matters from 1995 – 2006, in person with friends, and through this blog that has been running from 2006.  The older recipes of course don’t show the fashionable food styling that is current today, but here we believe in food for sustenance, food for flavour, and healthy food to keep the body healthy. We are not so much about food for entertainment. I do hope you enjoy.

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A Few Soups for MID SPRING

Oh the joy at the arrival of Spring. Daylight saving kicks in and so the days are longer, brighter and warmer. Still in transition, though, the season can have its colder days and Spring rains. We need to accommodate the weather in our food.

To help you on your way with stocks for your soups, here are the ones that we use the most

Now that you have your Spring menu organised, let’s get cooking! Many of these soups will freeze well.

Here are our best Soups for Mid Spring.

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A Collection of 30 Salads for MID SPRING

Mid Spring is still capricious – as I sit here writing a thunderstorm passes, leaving us as quickly and as unexpectedly as it came. At last we don’t need the heating on at all, and doors and windows can be opened during the warmer parts of the day. The bird life is wonderful, and the garden looks a treat.

Salads still have some substance for the cooler days of this season, but they are definitely getting lighter. Grains are there but fresh Spring produce creeps in – Asparagus, Broad Beans, Pomelo, for example. Light salads appear on the table.

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MID SPRING – Don’t Miss these Recipes for Relaxed Spring Living | Seasonal Cooking

Celebrating Spring

Mid Spring can still be capricious in its mid point between Winter and Summer. No matter where you are, it is a month of change. Gorgeous and sunny, wild and windy, or drenching spring rains – all weather reigns in this season. We look forward longingly to Summer, and are pleased to leave the chills of Winter behind.

Enjoy these highlights from our Mid Spring recipe collection.

You can also browse other Mid Spring recipes:
Other gorgeous Springtime posts include:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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Collection: A Huge Collection of Recipes for Dips and Spreads

Who said dips are dead? Certainly not in our house. They are generally easy to make, are great snacks, and fill hunger gaps. They are gorgeous for guests. We layer them with other ingredients in main meals. Or simply eat them out of the bowl while standing at the fridge. Sssshhhhh!

Browse all of our Dips and Spreads, and all of our Collections. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Puree di Fava | Tuscan Broad Bean Puree

We have just a few broad beans left from our pick this week, and to shake things up a bit, I make a Tuscan Broad Bean Puree, full of butter and cream or milk. Quite decadent, but then there was only enough for both of us to snack on at afternoon tea time. Delicious! And quite different to the other purees of Broad Beans that we have made.

This is an excellent way of serving broad beans when the beans are no longer young and tender. The beans are double peeled and simmered till tender, then pureed with butter and milk or cream.

Similar recipes include Walnut and Pomegranate Dip, Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens, 31 Dishes to Make with Broad Beans, and Broad Bean Puree with Chilli Oil.

Browse all of our Broad Bean dishes and all of our Purees. Our Tuscan dishes are here. Or browse our Late Spring recipes.

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Dried Mango Pachadi and Mango Pickles Pachadi

Yoghurt is an essential part of meals in Tamil Nadu, and Pachadi recipes are a way to deliver the health benefits of yoghurt while adding another vegetable (or fruit) to the meal. Win-win! This pachadi uses dried mango; it’s common in households as Summer is spent sun-drying vegetables, mixed vegetable purees and lentil pastes.

Meenakshi Ammal has this recipe in her Cook and See volumes (Volume 1). Perhaps using dried mango for pachadi is not as common as it was, but it is a delicious addition to the table, and easily made from readily available ingredients.

You might expect it to be sweet, but the sourness of the yoghurt and the heat of the chillies counterbalances any sweetness that the mangoes retain. I used mangoes that I dehydrated last year in the midst of mango season.

One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through Meenakshi Ammal’s books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar recipes include Dried Apricot Pachadi, Bitter Melon Pachadi, Pomelo Raita, and Cucumber Pachadi.

Browse all of our Pachadi recipes and all of our Mango dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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