BBQ’d Spiced Asparagus

This recipe comes from the Asparagus Growers in Victoria, and it is quite a Summer hit. It is the recipe attached to the bunches of Asparagus we buy in the shop. With the BBQ (Grill) heated to roast some eggplant, it seemed perfect to throw the Asparagus on too. The asparagus spears are coated in a yummy dressing with cumin and coriander powder before being quickly grilled on the BBQ hotplate. Straight to the table from there, it is a quick and easy recipe.

AND we put the leftover oil-lemon juice-spice mixture to good use  in the Grilled Eggplant with Tahina (the reason the eggplants were being roasted). A perfectly timed coincidence.

Are you after other Asparagus Recipes? Try Asparagus Risotto, Asparagus Pesto, and Asparagus Soup.

Are you looking for BBQ’d Recipes? Try Stuffed Mushrooms, Spicy Potatoes, and Marinated Eggplant.

Feel free to browse all of our Asparagus recipes and all of our BBQ recipes. Or take some time to explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Malaysian Lemak-Style Vegetables | Vegetables in a Coconut-Curry Broth

Enjoy the flavours of Malaysia with this easy vegetable dish.

Fresh, crunchy and health-giving, a bowl of stir-fried vegetables enriched with a deeply flavoured Coconut Curry broth is a wonderful lunch or light dinner – even an evening snack. A Food Bowl, straight from the source, without following any current food fashion.

You might like to also try : How to Make a Bowl Salad, or some tofu recipes – How to Use Deep Fried Tofu, Tofu Stacks with Spinach, or Marinated Tofu.

How about some other Vegetable Curries? Avial is stunning, or try a Mushroom Curry, or Olan (yum!).

Or explore some spicy soups – Tomato Rasam, Pepper Rasam or Indian Dal Soup.

Please browse other Malaysian recipes here and here, and S. E. Asian recipes here and here. All Tofu recipes are here. You might like to explore our easy Early Spring recipes.

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Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Infusion (Tea)

Aahh, relax!

You find the most magical spice infusions in India. Although I still call them “teas”, technically, they are infusions or tisanes. In India, tea (chai) is only made from the leaves of the tea plant, often supplemented with spices.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series of recipes from our first blog which ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Tea recipes here and here. Our Chai recipes are here. Or browse our Indian recipes here.

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Artichoke Hearts and Feta Salad with Tomatoes

Artichokes are not something that appear in this house very often, except perhaps as decorations – they look so good, right? Truth be told, I am a bit too lazy to do the work to prepare and cook them. While the taste of fresh ones must be superior, I have turned to grilled hearts from the deli section of the supermarket for this salad. You can also use canned. Hearts are available in jars and cans in supermarkets. After all, we all turn to canned beans and lentils very occasionally, even though freshly soaked and cooked tastes infinitely better. So, today, against my preference for limiting processed foods, I am rebelliously Ok’ing that can or jar of artichoke hearts for this recipe if you can’t get the grilled ones from the deli section. Sometimes you can also find frozen ones, and you could grill them yourself.

Are you looking for other salads?  Can we suggest Easy White Bean Salad, Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomato, and Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes?

You can browse all of our Salads here. Or just check the Bittman Salads. We have some Feta recipes. Or simply browse our easy Mid Summer recipes.

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Mushrooms a la Grecque | Mushrooms Cooked with Herbs

Versatile Greek style mushrooms

A quick lunch that does not miss out on flavour. A gorgeous brunch for a Spring day. Or part of a tapas style meal. Or a snack under the grape vines. This recipe even works well with mushrooms that are, well, a little tired and still sitting in the bottom fridge drawer.

Read more about a la Grecque cooking. Feel free to browse our “a la Greque” recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Mushroom recipes here and here. Check out our easy Spring recipes here and here.

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Light Pasta or Couscous Lunches | Pasta or Couscous Salads

Do you still make as many pasta dishes as you used to? Somehow it has fallen out of fashion somewhat. Rather than the regular pasta night each week, it seems that pasta is more a once-a-month dish. And the fall-back pasta types are spaghetti – thick or thin – or fettuccine. Recently, at an Italian restaurant, I had an amazing macaroni dish and yet I can’t recall the last time I had macaroni. Not even a mac and cheese!

Coincidentally I now have an amazing Italian providore close by, one that holds an amazing array of different pastas, which I vow to explore one by one.

Rather than a hearty evening pasta supper, we have been eating pasta salads – they are so fresh and light, so very appealing, so perfect for Spring and Summer weather. Herbs are growing in the garden after the winter cold – chives, basil, parsley, spring onions (scallions). There are chillies too and Thai basil. Lots of salad type greens that can stand up to a little pasta – baby spinach, rocket, lettuce varieties.

Enjoy our other pasta recipes here and here. Take some time to browse our Salads here and here. Our Italian recipes are also here and here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Tao Hou Tod | Thai Deep Fried Fresh Beancurd with Sweet Nut Sauce

This is incredibly delicious. Even if you are not a tofu eater, this dish will convert you. Who could not love deep fried tofu with peanuts? The sauce is divine.

We have been making this since around 2002, so quite a while. It is a Thai style dish, simple in its construction and flavours, but that very simplicity gives it a punchy flavour. It is a perfect light lunch with a salad, or a mid afternoon snack when dinner is still a long way off.

The act of deep frying the tofu changes the nature of it, from something bland and lacking much texture, to a beautiful textural addition to other dishes or on it own.

You might also like our Tofu recipes here and here. Our Deep Fried Tofu recipes are here. Or you might like to browse SE Asian recipes here and here. Check out our easy Spring recipes here and here. Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – beautiful vegetarian recipes  from our first blog 1995 – 2005.

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Beetroot and Pinot Risotto

Like rubies, real rubies, the Prince of Vegetables – such is the humble beetroot. This is another beetroot risotto, a perfect combination of the earthy taste of beetroot with the creaminess of risotto. Such an unusual colour! It is beautiful served on white or green plates. A splendour of colour! Stand back and wait for the spontaneous applause which is sure to come.

You might like to explore other Risotto recipes here and here. Our Beetroot recipes are here and here. Or browse our Italian dishes here and here. If you are after Spring recipes, our Mid Spring dishes are here.

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Orange and Olive Salad with Mint and Basil

Bounce into (almost) summer with a sweet citrus salad with Italian flavours. Simply mix herbs with orange, onion and olives – what a wonderful homage to this stunning weather. May there be much more of it. This is the time to enjoy eating outside under the shade of a tree with a carafe of white wine, salads and fresh flatbread, and lots of fruits with creme fraiche. For this salad, use navel oranges if they are of good quality (easy to peel), but grab some more seasonal ones if they look better and juicier.

You might like to browse our other Orange Salads here, our Citrus Salads, or our other Salad Recipes here and here (we have a lot!) Our Italian dishes are here and here. Or simply explore our recipes for Early Summer.

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Masoor Sprouts Rice | Maharashtrian Kitchari | Khichuri

Today’s recipe is a kitchari from Maharashtra that incorporates sprouts made from masoor lentils, and which uses Goda Masala. Goda Masala is a spice mix unique to Maharashtra. I should say, one of the several spice mixes unique to that state of India. It is a spice mix that is complex and layered in flavours. There are a whole range of dishes that use it (e.g. Masoor Sprouts Usal), and we intend to make a few over the next weeks.

Goda Masala can be difficult to get outside of Maharashtra – try in North Indian groceries, because those specialising in South Indian ingredients won’t have heard of it. You can try to make your own masala – I generally prefer to do this, but several of the spices used in Goda Masala are hard to find outside of Maharashtra, even in India.

This kitchari is pilaf style rather than the South Indian style which is more porridge-like. It uses the long grained basmati rice rather than the shorter grained rice of South India.

Check out other Goda Masala recipes here. There are many other Kitchari recipes here. You will find more sprouts recipes here. Or explore all of our Maharashtrian recipes and our Indian recipes. Feel free to browse our Late Spring recipes here.

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Asparagus Risotto with Basil

Perfectly Spring.

Here is a beautiful spring risotto, made with asparagus. This gorgeous, simple and delicious green risotto really shows off the flavours of the asparagus.

What is it about this risotto? It is the first of the season’s asparagus that is looked forward to by Italians with a lot of joy. Asparagus risotto, with its melting creaminess offset against the chew of the rice and the delicacy of young asparagus, enriched with butter and  parmesan which is whipped into the rice at the end, is a joy to create and a pleasure to eat.

The secret to the dish is softened asparagus, properly cooked rice and using good risotto rice. Strictly an entree dish in Northern Italy, in Australia we have turned this into a one-course meal. It pairs well with a fresh green garden salad.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Risotto recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Asparagus recipes here and here. Check out our easy Spring recipes here and here.

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Strawberries with a Mint Raspberry Sauce

Nigel Slater with a dessert of strawberries and raspberries.

I love Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries II and perhaps it is even better than the first volume. While browsing through the June recipes (ie those suitable for December in Australia), it was his pairing of strawberries and raspberries that grabbed my attention. The festive season is notoriously hot in many parts and it is beach and BBQ weather every day. Berries are prolifically available in Australia at this time, and their gorgeous colours and flavours suit the season well.

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Dates Milk to Fight Fatigue | Kharjoor Ksheera

Dates, quite a wonderful food item. Lately I have been buying them from a local Afghan grocery. Their dates are fat and juicy and are perfect for snacking.

Dates are used in several cultures as strong healing ingredients, and fighters of energy lapses. Enjoy this drink morning or night to overcome energy sapping tiredness. Dates are soaked in milk for some hours to make the tonic. It is surprisingly sweet and delicious, not at all a medicinal taste.

Enjoy our other Date recipes. Or explore our Ayurveda recipes. Perhaps you would like to browse our Indian recipes here. You might like to check our Late Spring recipes here.

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Oven Baked Tomatoes

A simple dish with a lot of punch.

Tomatoes are very special fruits, very versatile ingredients that match well both with so many cooking methods and with a variety of other ingredients. Can you imagine a world without the humble tomato?

This recipe is very simple, paring it back to the basics. Yet the result, as so often is the case, is outstanding. Bake a double batch and use the left over tomatoes in salads, sauces and soups, using them whole, chopped or pureeing them for their intended use.

The tomatoes can be cooked in the oven or in or on a BBQ. It is a perfect vehicle for home grown organic tomatoes. In autumn, serve with grilled polenta and a salad.

Feel free to browse our Tomato recipes here and here. Our favourite is Tomato Kurma. Or you might like to browse BBQ recipes here and here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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Cumquats Rice

A delicious variation on Indian style flavoured rice.

To everyone alone today, I say hello! Enjoy your time of luxury, either at the beach if you are in this part of the world or snuggled up with books and movies if you are not.

Needing a quick bite yesterday, I turned to my fav style of one pot rice. One Pot dishes are wonderful for suppers, a quick meal, or those evenings alone with a good book, some good music and maybe a movie on TV. Not a lot of preparation and best of all, not a lot of washing up.

Feel free to browse our rice recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Indian recipes here and here. Check out our easy Spring recipes here and here. And our Cumquat Recipes are here and here.

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