Two Bean and Two Lime Salad

We have a strange green bean growing – its pod is green with flecks of red. It is delicious, as all green beans are, and perfect for this salad from Ottolenghi. You can of course use any green bean – the beans are paired with either edamame, younger broad beans or even peas. The key to the salad is a beautiful dressing made with lime zest, lime juice, coriander, mint, garlic and chillies! Oh, yes, you just might get excited.

Once the beans are trimmed, it is quite simple to make. Of course it is, it is from Ottolenghi’s book Simple. 10 ingredients, quick and it can be made ahead (see the notes below the salad). Note that I often massage Ottolenghi’s 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 Summery Grain or Lentil Salad, Sea Spaghetti, Cucumber and Edamame Salad, Italian Green Bean Salad, Green Bean Salad with Asparagus, Spring Salad, and Glorious Green Bean Salad.

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Chana Madra | Chickpeas in a Spicy Yoghurt Sauce

Himachal Pradesh, a state in the North of India have some delicious vegetarian dishes despite being non-vegetarian over all. This is a dish that is very common, especially at festival time. Chickpeas are simmered in a beautiful sauce of yoghurt and warming spices.

Similar recipes include Roast Eggplant with Crushed Chickpeas and Herbed Yoghurt, Vadai with Yoghurt, and Kadhi.

Browse all of our Chickpea dishes and all of our Yoghurt recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Garden Salad with Peaches and Orange Blossom Dressing

Ottolenghi recently wrote an article for the New Yorker called Ottolenghi’s Simplest Recipes. It’s a funny, tongue in cheek article about his recipes and the way that people complain about the complexity and number of ingredients. And about the way that they change all the ingredients and then make commentary on them.

I am certainly guilty of the first, and have gotten over the second – mostly. I still sigh if I have to go shopping for a dish when I want to make it right now and there is some ingredient my pantry is not stocking atm. Having cooked a significant number of Ottolenghi’s dishes, I have moved on from strict adherence to his dishes to shaking them up to suit what is cheaper in our part of the world, what is in the pantry or fridge or on the kitchen bench, and what I can pick from the garden.

This recipe had its genesis in Ottolenghi’s first book Ottolenghi. But it is not recognisable as his any more. I’ve removed the non-vegetarian item, and used greens from our garden rather than the expensive (in my area) greens that he uses. I am ticking the recipe off in the book, but really only the dressing (fabulous) and the peaches are recognisable in the original. If you are looking for the original, check his books or his Guardian column.

The key here is to use sweet peaches (yellow-fleshed or a mix of yellow and white) that are at their peak, with none of that floury texture that they can have when unripe. It’s a dish that’s dazzling in its blend of colours and textures, and works well as a starter.

Similar recipes include Watermelon and Peach Salad with Basil, Tomato and Peach Salad, and Peach Salsa with Tofu.

Browse all of our Peach Salads and all of our Salads (there are hundreds!). Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Spring Risotto | Pea, Edamame and Baby Broad Bean Risotto

Nothing says Spring like green vegetables – such as asparagus, peas, broad beans, fresh herbs. Ottolenghi makes salads from only green items, and they are divine. They truly belong to Spring – green is Spring’s colour.

Despite the heat this Spring I was craving risotto, so  it had to be one to celebrate the season. As luck would have it, I had some home grown broad beans and some peas in the freezer. The risotto is made in the usual way – no variations or neat tricks here. Just stirring for 18 mins for a perfect dish.

Similar recipes include Broccolini Risotto, Sea Spaghetti, Cucumber and Edamame Salad, Brussels Sprouts Risotto, Beetroot Risotto, and Tomato Risotto.

Browse all of our Risotto recipes and all Italian dishes. Or explore our Late Spring collection of recipes.

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Zucchini and Halloumi Fritters

I have a thing for fritters. It developed in 2019. My love of them came as a surprise, and arose because:

  1. Ottolenghi has numerous recipes for fritters, and I love Ottolenghi.
  2. I evaluated Hello Fresh for 2 months or so, and they include lots of delicious fritters. (You might have caught my evaluation of Hello Fresh on Twitter.)
  3. I have perfected my egg-replacement for fritters. Use 1 Tblspn chickpea flour, 1 Tblspn cream and 0.25 tspn or less of eno per egg. Add extra chickpea flour if the mixture is too wet. The flour is for binding, the cream for texture and the eno for lightness.

My Sister in Law made these halloumi fritters for a family meal and we made them again for part of the vegetarian component of our Xmas dinner in 2019. Both times they were an absolute hit with vegetarians and non-vegetarians. You will love them and they are so easy to make yet packed with texture and flavour.

The recipe is in Nopi, the cookbook from one of Ottolenghi’s restaurants – the one he had with Scully who has moved on to open his own restaurant. Note that I often massage Ottolenghi’s recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

These are often on Nopi’s breakfast menu, but were also served later in the day as a snack. As popularity grew they made it to the lunch and supper menus as well. You can make smaller ones as a nibble or canapé. I have had them wrapped in Chinese Moo Shu Pancakes with cucumber and spring onion, topped with a hoisin based sauce. DIVINE.

Similar recipes include Sweetcorn, Spring Onion and Chilli Pancakes, Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters, Aloo Tikki, Sweetcorn and Butternut Fritters, Herb and Walnut Fritters, Spinach Fritters and Pudla.

Browse our growing collection of Fritter recipes and our Halloumi dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Nopi are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Ghol Takatli Bhaji | Maharashtrian Purslane in Yoghurt

Purslane (Ghol in Marathi, Kulfa in Hindi) grows prolifically in my garden and is a powerhouse of goodness. It grows around the world, used mainly by Persians, in India cuisines, and by the Australian indigenous people. It is perfect in salads or cooked in stir-fries and bhajis.  It is a seasonal plant which has a unique tangy taste.

This dish is a Maharastrian style curry usually eaten with steamed rice or rotis. It can be made with Purslane, green Colocasia, sorrel leaves, red amaranth, spinach leaves and other greens. It has a lovely texture with peanuts and channa daal. The dish is typically made with a medium thin yoghurt base.

Similar dishes include Kadhi (Yoghurt Curry), Kadhi with Okra, and Pulissery.

Also browse How to Use Purslane in Salads.

Browse all of our Purslane dishes and all of our Indian Yoghurt recipes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Garlic, Rosemary and Parmesan Biscuits | Egg Free

These are great, quick biscuits when you need something in a rush. Visitors? A hoard of teenagers landing on you? Or on your own and needing something to spark up your day? These are the biscuits for you. They are a little salty, a lot parmesan-y, and incredibly morish.

Similar recipes include Bran Butter Biscuits, Tahini Biscuits, Aussie Scones, and Griddle Scones.

Browse all of our Biscuits, and take to time to explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Tiny Pasta and Peas

Pasta is not just a main dish – it makes beautiful salads, and also great side dishes. This one uses tiny pasta – use any of the tiny pastas, the sort that are commonly used in minestrone. The pasta is cooked then mixed with peas that have been cooked with parsley, garlic and onion. This is a fairly simple dish – there are much more fancy ways of making this, but we love this very simple version.

You can make this dish with other veggies too – tiny cubes of carrot barely cooked, sweetcorn, the youngest tiny broad beans etc.

Similar dishes include Pasta with Avocado, Rocket Salad with Penne Pasta, Capunti Pasta with Tomatoes, and Buttered Orzo Pasta.

Browse all of our Pasta dishes and our Pea recipes. Or explore all of our Mid Spring dishes.

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Greek Village Salad

Greek salads are fabulous, are they not? Of course, even though there is a lot of controversy about whether tomatoes are included or whether cucumbers should be peeled. Should lettuce be included? The jury is out.

Like any country, the exact methods of salad making vary across the country, so it is good to relax and go with the flow. It is Summer after all, and there is nothing like a great Greek Salad (whatever version) to nibble on or to accompany a meal. I do include lettuce sometimes – it makes a nice bed for the salad.

Similar recipes include Tomato Carpaccio, Capsicum, Feta and Pistachio Spread, Baked Feta with Tomatoes, and Fava.

Browse all of our Greek dishes or all of our Salads. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Date Tahini Biscuits | Egg Free, Sugar Free

The Summer of 2019/2020 was a terrible hot Summer with temperatures up to 47C. The whole country was alight with bushfires. It was terrifying as loved ones were caught in the fires and some lost everything. The trauma of those fires lingers. It will take years to recover. As a country we don’t learn to manage our beautiful bush well, and our government will not act.

Later came COVID-19 and the trauma of those days. But before we had even though of that, on the cooler days, I wanted to bake. Anything to take my mind off the horror of the lives lost and the ongoing loss of property and animals in the fires. A need to feed people, to keep them safe and close to home. I am not a baker, but these became usual fare at our place for a while, along with scones, tahini biscuits, date loaf, ANZAC biscuits, and many other old fashioned but comforting foods.

Similar recipes include Semolina Butter Biscuits, Date Loaf, Tahini Biscuits, Scones, and ANZAC Biscuits.

Browse all of our Biscuits or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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