The fig season seems so brief in Adelaide, but that might be because they are so hard to find in green groceries. It seems that as soon as they appear in the shops, the season is over.
This year I did manage to find some of the green variety of figs that ripen earlier, and then some outrageously expensive black figs. Really, I need to make friends with someone with a fig tree.
One of Ottolenghi’s dishes in Jerusalem takes advantage of the beautiful taste and texture of figs to pair them with sweet potatoes, chillies and spring onions. This is so good. I mean SO GOOD. You do need to have figs that are sweet, moist and very ripe. You can smell the sweetness.
By the way, if you have access to figs, don’t forget to dry a few dozen, for use over winter.
Are you looking for Fig recipes? Try Baked Figs with Thyme, Figs with Rosewater and Almonds, Fig Salad with Hazelnuts and Mesclun, and Fig and Pecorino Salad.
Or perhaps you are looking for Sweet Potato dishes. Read about Sweet Potatoes here. And then try Caramelised Sweet Potatoes, Potato and Sweet Potato Spicy Curry, Sweet Potato Wedges with Creme Fraiche Dressing.
Or take some time and browse all of the Fig dishes and the Sweet Potato dishes. We have a few Israeli dishes. Take a look at the Ottolenghi dishes we have tried. Or take some time and browse our Mid Autumn recipes.
Continue reading “Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Figs”
I love this recipe – it is so versatile, and the sort of recipe you can pre-prepare the ingredients, charring the okra and tossing it with the other ingredients at the last moment. The preserved lemon and fresh lemon juice contrast so wonderfully with the charred but still crunchy okra. This dish is GOOD.
The okra can also be charred on the BBQ (grill), tossing them on the hot plate as you sip wine and talk to friends. Then throw them into a pan and toss them with the other ingredients and place on the table for your guests to munch on (try with some flat bread) while you get on with BBQing the rest of the meal. I use a kadhai (Indian wok, flatter than a Chinese one) to make this dish, it is perfect for it.
It is an Ottolenghi recipe, of course, born of the Israeli and Palestinian roots of Sammy and Yotham. Okra features well in these cuisines, from the sun dried okra hanging from strings, to being served in dishes heavy with tamarind syrup. What a divine thought!
For this dish, use short, young, fresh, crisp okra only.
Are you looking for other Okra dishes? Read more about Okra here. And try Crispy Okra (Kurkuri Bhindi), Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed, Goan Fried Okra, and Lemak-Style Vegetables.
Perhaps you are looking for Salads? Try Tomato Salad with Green Olives, Chickpea and Carrot Salad with Curry Dressing, and Cucumber and Avocado Salad.
Perhaps try some other Middle Eastern dishes: Okra in Tamarind with Prunes and Apricots, Babaganoush, Falafel, Parsley and Barley Salad with Spiced Marinated Feta and Chickpea “Tabbouleh”.
We have a wealth of Ottolenghi recipes that we have tried. Or have a look at all of our Okra recipes and all of our Salad recipes. Our Middle Eastern Dishes are here. Or spend some time browsing our Mid Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “Warm Salad of Charred Okra with Tomato, Garlic and Preserved Lemon”
A versatile Yemini-Israeli paste made from green coriander (cilantro), green chillies and earthy spices
What to do with the left over coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems at the end of the week – a perpetual problem in a family that uses a lot of green coriander. One solution we have is to make Coriander Paste. Another is to make Zhoug, a Yemeni-Israeli sauce or dip full of spices. Traditionally a perfect accompaniment to pita with falafel, it also serves as a sauce, spread and dip. It can be stirred into soups and stews to spark them up. Zhoug can be fiery hot, depending on your chilli level, and Yemenites believe that eating zhoug daily strengthens the immune system, keeps away illness and strengthens the heart.
Once you have experienced the fragrant spiciness of Zhoug, you will be making this weekly with your left over coriander, or, indeed, buying extra coriander each week, just to make this pesto-like sauce. Actually, Zhoug is a green cousin to Shatta, which is a similar dish, except Shatta uses mild red chillies. Zhoug has also been called Israeli Chilli Paste, a green harissa, a Middle Eastern Gremolata and a hot chermoula.
Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Coriander Paste, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.
Or try these: Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Pudla with Green Coriander, or Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Green Coriander.
Read some more about Green Coriander, and also How to Use Leftover Green Coriander.
You might also like other Coriander dishes and other Coriander Pastes. Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or enjoy our easy Late Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “Zhug | Zhoug | Skhug | A Coriander-Chilli Paste, Dip and Sauce”
Are you wishing that you could have a nice spiced coffee, the way that Chai adds spices to the humble black tea to create a wonderful, headily aromatic drink that is both warming and nourishing? Well, you can. Apart from some small pockets of this planet, it has been a well kept secret. But let that be no longer.
The simplest way to spice up your coffee is to add some cardamom. This elixir is common in Israel and the Middle East as well as India. Make your coffee as usual, adding some cardamom seeds, or crushed cardamom pods to the coffee grounds. The bitterness of good strong coffee with the sweet, pungent flavour of cardamom is not to be underestimated. Not only does cardamom coffee taste delicious but in Ayurvedic medicine the cardamom is reputed to reduces the acid in coffee and neutralise the over-stimulating effects of caffeine.
But it doesn’t end there. Other spices can be added too. Cloves, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger can be added – singly or in a mix.
Why not also try Unusual Coffees, and Barley Coffee.
You might also like to browse all of our other Coffee recipes and our Chai suggestions.
Continue reading “Cardamom Spiced Coffee”
A deeply flavoured Israeli dish from Ottolenghi and Tamimi. A reasonable amount of effort but worth it.
Maqluba is an amazing dish, deep in flavours and textures. Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s book Jerusalem has a great recipe in it that is easily vegetarian-ised. It was a great success flavour-wise. It was less successful in presentation. The dish should turn out like an upside down cake but my aged super-long grained basmati is a rice that “lifts and separates” rather than clings together to build a superstructure to support an upside-down cake look. Next time I will find a rice with a little more glugginess to build the required infrastructure.
Most recipes for Muqluba do specify basmati rice, but I suspect that the aged basmati isn’t suitable. Perhaps for the vegetarian-ised version a shorter grained rice is more suitable.
Feel free to browse recipes from our Ottolenghi collection. You might also like our Eggplant recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse cauliflower recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here. Continue reading “Vegetarian Muqluba”