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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Rice, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad With Nuts and Barberries

This is one of those recipes that gives Ottolenghi’s recipes a bad wrap – lots of ingredients, but even worse, SIX different cooking processes each with its own pots and pans and utensils to be washed, bench to be cleaned. It better be worth it, I thought. It is not a dish for weeknights. And I recommend washing up the pans as you go, even if you have a dishwasher.

First you cook the wild rice, then the basmati, then the quinoa. While they have to be cooked separately, it can be done simultaneously. Then the nuts are toasted and next the onions are sauteed. Finally, all ingredients come together and are dressed. Tarragon is far too expensive here to buy for one salad, so that is omitted.

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. I made a couple of changes to the recipe. Ottolenghi uses Sour Cherries, but they are difficult to find locally. I use Barberries, which are easily found in Middle Eastern and Afghani groceries. I also use lime or lemon, whichever is on the kitchen bench. Also, I will swap the herbs out for what is available at the time. I like to keep parsley, but sometimes the heat of Summer gets to the basil, so I might use Thai Basil or lemon balm, or other soft, leafy herb. And rocket will get subbed for baby spinach if that is what I have  – I may add a tart element to replace the bite of rocket (e.g. a little raw onion, spring onion, capers, or sour grapes).

Ottolenghi salad recipes are always huge, enough to serve an army. Making a third or half of the recipe is usually enough for four of us. Scale for your own numbers, size of serve, and appetite.  This salad is particularly large, even a half recipe will be great for a BBQ lunch for half an army.

So is this salad worth the work? I rarely say this about Ottolenghi’s dishes, but, no. It’s a good salad, even a great salad. But I prefer to make it when I want to use up left over rice, onions and/or quinoa. I sub the wild rice for chickpeas, as wild rice is a reasonably expensive ingredient. Having said that, it does work as is as a dish for a friend’s lunch or BBQ when you only want 1 large, visually pleasing  salad to accompany the main course.

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 recipes include Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Parsley and Pinenuts, Not Quite Fried Rice Salad, Sweet Pepper and Rice Salad, and Green Mango and Coconut Rice.

Browse all of our Rice Salads, and all of our Quinoa dishes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Tulsi ka Sherbet | Iced Tulsi Tea

What a powerhouse herb Tulsi is, everyone should have a plant or at least dried leaves in their pantry. We have a few recipes featuring it, and today, another one. An iced tea for the hottest of weathers. We have 40C days in Summer, sometimes hotter, so our minds will be on cooling drinks for afternoons under the grapevines.

Similar recipes include Tulsi, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea, Tulsi and Mint Chai with Cinnamon, and Ginger and Tulsi Tea.

Browse all of our Tulsi recipes, and all of our Indian Coolers. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Green Tomato Sambar with Crushed Curry Leaves

It has been a great year for green tomatoes – both our Asian grocery and our local Middle Eastern green grocer have stocked them at various times. So we have indulged our love of them with a range of recipes.

Some of our most loved green tomato recipes are from India, and today’s dish is a gorgeous sambar from Tamil Nadu. As green tomatoes have a sourness to them, the amount of tamarind is reduced for this sambar.

Similar dishes include Green Tomato and Onion Subzi, Green Tomato Pachadi, and Green Tomato Bhaji.

Browse all of our Green Tomato dishes and all of our Sambar recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Kottu Rasam | Plain Simple Rasam | Third Method

This recipe is another from Meenakshi Ammal’s books Cook and See. It is a plain rasam, very simple and quick to make as it does not contain any significant amount of toor dal. She has three methods for making this rasam, each one treats the 1 teaspoon of toor dal that it does contain, in a different way. This is Method 3. Method 1 is here, and Method 2 is here. They are all very similar, but the taste and texture difference is subtle but noticeable.

This rasam may be simple and quick but it does not lose anything in flavour. It is amazing – tangy, spicy, and the taste of coriander complimenting the rasam. Make double the recipe, you might need seconds.

Just a note on Rasam powder – if you are going to make your rasam powder fresh for this recipe, make one without much toor dal. But, really, if you have some already made or purchased, it will still work well, so use whichever type you have. Even Sambar Powder will be Ok.

Are you interested in other Rasams? Try Mysore Rasam, Tomato Lentil Rasam, Tulsi Rasam, Cumquat Rasam, and Pepper Rasam.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Our simply explore all of our Rasam recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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EARLY SUMMER – Don’t Miss these Summery dishes | Seasonal Cooking

Coats and jackets are put away and anticipation is high for the warming weather. The capriciousness of Spring is steadying. The weather is beautiful, and food becomes lighter, as though our body is shedding its layers too. Thoughts turn to the bountiful Summer harvest.  Enjoy these highlights from our Early Summer classic recipes.

Want more than highlights? You can also browse:

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Green Tomato and Onion Subzi | Green Tomato Fry

Today’s recipe is another Green Tomato dish to add to our collection. Green tomatoes are generally available from Late Spring or Early Summer into Autumn, if you can find a green grocer who stocks them. This dish is a quick, spicy stir fry using just the tomatoes with onions and spices.

Similar dishes include Green Tomato Sambar, Aloo Bhindi Subzi, Cauliflower Fry, Green Bean and Carrot Fry, and Cabbage Fry.

Green Tomato dishes include Green Tomato and Mozzarella Salad, and Green Tomato Salsa.

Browse all of our Green Tomato dishes, our Subzi recipes and our Vegetable Fry recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Persian Barberry Saffron Rice with Almonds and Pistachios

We are so in love with our long stranded saffron from Saffron Only. With our delivery we also received several recipe cards including the recipe for this rice dish which has also been mentioned by an Irani work colleague. As beautiful soft barberries are available at the local Afghan shop, the recipe was added to our must-cook list.

The recipe simmers long grained rice until al dente, then steams it on a bed of potatoes or pita bread (optional) until the bottom is crispy and the rice is perfectly cooked. It is then served with saffron water, the toasted barberries, almonds and pistachios.

Berberis, commonly known as barberry, is a large shrub that has yellow flowers and red or blue-black berries. The berries, rich in vitamin C, have a distinct sharp acid flavour. The country in which they are used the most is Iran where they are used in rice pilafs.. Due to their inherent sour flavor, they are often cooked with sugar before being added to rice. Iranian markets sell barberry dried. In Russia they are sometimes used in jams and extract from them is a common flavouring for soft drinks and candies/sweets. They are rarely used in Europe in modern times. (Thanks wikipedia.)

I notice that Ottolenghi has a similar recipe on his website. I mention it only as we have an Ottolenghi Project happening, cooking from his book Plenty More. You can check his recipe out, but I like this one better. 🙂

Barberries are also such a beautiful colour that they make a great garnish to any rice dish or salad.

Similar recipes include Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, and Golden Saffron Tea.

Browse all of our Saffron dishes and all of our Persian recipes. Our Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.
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Green Tomato Bhaji

Green tomatoes have a sturdiness that red tomatoes don’t have. This means that they will not collapse in dishes the way a red tomato will do, and so they can be used in Indian dishes as a vegetable rather than a sauce. We are so lucky that our Green Grocer stocks them, and they are plentiful in Summer and into Autumn.

In this dish, the tartness of the green tomatoes pairs well with the sweetness of the jaggery, and dal is added to the tadka for a crunchy textural element. The spices are freshly roasted to bring out their flavour. Pair the dish with rice or roti, or serve as an accompaniment to your dal-rice.

Similar dishes include Green Tomato Sambar, Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhaji, Spinach Thoran, and Sweet Potato Subzi.

Also try Green Tomato Salsa with Coriander and Chilli.

Browse all of our Bhaji recipes, and all of our Green Tomato dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Broad Bean and Dill Rice

Sometimes we just need to throw something together quickly. This is your recipe for a rice side dish, or a snack if you will – ideal for Spring time when young broad beans are around, or at other times using frozen, peeled broad beans from your Middle Eastern of Afghani Grocer. Grab your dill from there too – they have simply the best, largest, freshest bunches of dill, far better than the limp branch or two we get from Supermarkets. (If you buy your frozen broad beans from the supermarket, it is likely that you will have to peel the individual beans once they are blanched. The ones from a Middle Eastern shop will save you quite a bit of time.)

Similar dishes include Black Pepper and Cumin Rice, Persian Barberry Saffron Rice, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, Kosheri, and Zucchini Rice.

Browse all of our Rice dishes and all of our Middle Eastern recipes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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