Plantains are delicious, a variety of banana that is eaten while green. India uses them a lot, far more than Western cuisines which tend to ignore them completely. Enjoy these spicy dishes and snacks.
From the moment that pineapple hits the shops in late Spring or Summer, it is a regular feature in our kitchen. Salads of course, or just wedges to suck at. But then there are curries, grilled when BBQing, and endless cooling juices.
Persimmons are so divine, and a beautiful, Autumnal colour. We don’t use them much, preferring to eat them just as they are. But I have one recipe for you – look at that colour!
Peas have been part our diet for hundreds of years and are used all over the world. Strictly speaking, green peas are not vegetables. They are part of the legume family, which consists of plants that produce pods with seeds inside. Lentils, chickpeas, beans and peanuts are also legumes. There are many varieties of peas, but here we are focusing on the humble, oft overlooked Green Pea.
Pears are as ubiquitous in Autumn and Winter as stone fruits are in Summer. They are my afternoon snack in these months, and my preference is the brown beurre bosc. The yellow pears of my childhood are no longer the same – mushy when ripe instead of gorgeously juicy with a touch of crispness. I do miss them. But there is now a wide variety of pears from which to choose – red, green, yellow, and brown. Nachi, William Bartlett, Packam, Corella, Anjou, Asian and more.
Summer means Peaches, the loved stone fruit above all others. The gentleness of the white peach and the juiciness of the yellow peach. The joy of eating them as they are! They are suitable not only for sweet temptations but also for salads, salsas, chutneys and drinks.
You won’t know that you are eating kale with this dish. The delicious cheesy pikelets successfully hide the vegetable and it is only if you focus can you detect the crunch and taste of the thinly sliced greens.
It is quite an oily dish with heaps of butter and melted cheese. You might like to place on a kitchen paper towel after cooking. They are best slightly warm rather than hot. Cheesy and buttery – what can’t be good? But not something for every day, despite the kale.
The recipe is from Plenty More, one of Ottolenghi’s books. I have made it egg-free in my version as we don’t use eggs in our kitchen. You can see the original recipe here, or check his book.
Similar recipes include Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters, Aloo Tikki, Zucchini and Sweetcorn Fritters, Crispy Couscous and Saffron Cakes, Eggplant and Kale Pakora, Asian Kale with Sesame and Shallots, and Garlic- Chilli Kale with Spring Onion Dip.
This is an unusual dish of butternut pumpkin, roasted, then cooked in a creamy cheese sauce with quince paste (membrillo) for a great festive dish.
It is a twist on a quiche in Ottolenghi‘s Plenty More. As we do not cook with eggs, I made this into a dish that is simply the roasted pumpkin baked with cheese and quince paste in a rich creamy sauce. It has been cooked until the top is bubbling and golden. The original recipe is here if you want to make the original.
Or browse all of our Butternut dishes.
I haven’t cooked Farinata for so long, years in fact – so long that I have forgotten how good it is. So it is back on the menu, with cauliflower, onions and parmesan. Farinata tastes a little like an omelette, and cooked right, it will slide right out of the pan. Served in wedges or squares with a salad (and some Celeriac Chips!), it makes a lovely lunch or light evening meal.
The idea for this farinata came from Ottolenghi’s recipe for Cauliflower Cake in Plenty More. That recipe uses eggs and I wanted to make something with similar flavours. So this recipe for farinata was created.
Ottolenghi says that cauliflower needs more attention. He says that it’s one of the most magnificent of all vegetables and is as versatile as potato. I reckon he is right.
One of the dishes that I grew up with is tomatoes, halved, and seared in a frying pan, cut side down, until soft and caramelised. Is it an Australian thing? or maybe a rural Australian thing? These were served as a side dish or with a breakfast spread. They are really great with baked beans, for example.
Today I love them just as they are. Great tomatoes, good olive oil, some crunchy bread and a little salt. Perfection. They are also great on flatbread type bases – use wraps, tortillas, socca or pudla. Squish them, or not, and use on toast, in salads, on nachos type dishes and pizzas, or spread a puree and top with these yummy tomatoes. They can also be squished into a pasta sauce, or normal sauce, or Indian style chutney. Which ever way, scatter with lots of chopped herbs and spring onions (scalliions).
The flavour of this dish belies its simplicity.
This dish is also an excellent one for the BBQ.