In the midst of Autumn or Winter, on a foggy, drizzling day, there is nothing more perfect that a large bowl of Vegetable Soup. And if it has barley in it – even better.
Sometimes in Summer when the days are long and frightfully hot we love to eat mezze style – a pile of pitta bread and little dishes of things. Some feta, for example, halved tiny tomatoes with a cream dressing, some hummus, a plate of exquisite chickpeas. And some dips and purees. Today it is a sweet potato mash – this beautiful dish is made from roasted sweet potatoes and is topped with a salsa of lime zest, herbs and garlic. Truly it is divine.
The recipe comes from Ottolenghi’s Simple, and simple it is. Actually tonight I had some left over roasted sweet potato so it came together in not much more than 5 minutes. Yet the flavours of the tart salsa with the sweetness of the vegetable make this a memorable dish. 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.
The mash or spread works as a snack, mezze dish, starter and as a side. It is hardly any effort at all. The result is rich and punchy. After scooping out the flesh for this dish, save the skins and lightly roast them in the oven for a crisp-like snack. Brush them lightly with olive oil, roast for about 8 mins in a 200 – 220C oven and sprinkle with salt.
Why not browse all of our Dips and our Sweet Potato recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.
Through Spring, Summer and Autumn we regularly make juices as part of our morning routine. These are some of our carrot juices. Carrots pair well with other fruit and vegetables like apples and beetroot. Try our delicious combos listed below.
One of the things you have to love about Keralite food is their liberal use of ghee. Enriching and energy giving, ghee is ladled into special dishes with abandon. This is a cross between Kerala Ghee Rice, Coconut Rice and Carrot Rice – a mixed rice dish of vegetables, warming spices and coconut milk.
There’s nothing more marvellously Wintery than orange root vegetable mash; butter is all it needs.It has been icy here in the mornings – the type of morning you wish you had a wood fire to light, one you could put your old coffee pot on top of and have it bubbling away in no time. One you could heat the soup on and dry the clothes in front of.
But the Wintery mash is all I have. Why not jazz it up with lentils and top with a warming shallot stew!
This recipe is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. Although we’ve cooked enough Ottolenghi to feel free to channel him when we adjust ingredients to suit our tastes, style and pantry, this recipe is pretty much the same as the one that appears in the Guardian.
We have about 100 carrot recipes! It shows how common they are and how versatile – pickles, salads, soups, main and sides. Even dips. We have gathered together almost 30 of the recipes for you here, but don’t forget to browse the others too.
When you have the Winter blues, when the Winter Lurgy has you in it’s grips, when you dream of sunshine because it has been absent for so long, it is time for soup! Soup restores sanity, spirits, optimism and health.
This soup takes a tray full of roasted vegetables and whizzes them into a soup. I’ve layered flavours with roasted onions as well as butter-sweated leeks, white pepper and black pepper, and the tiered flavours of Garam Masala. Underpinning it all is a healthy dose of turmeric and garlic, ingredients that will keep you healthy, or make you better when you are not at the top of your game. Into it all goes the sweet-tart caramelised flavours of roasted lemon for that needed hit of “sour” that enlivens any dish. It also balances out the sweetness of Winter carrots.
Carrots are best in winter. There is something about the coldness of Winter that intensifies the flavour of carrots. How precious they are in their sweetness and affinity for a range of vegetable combinations.
You might like to read more about the Spice mix, Garam Masala. As mentioned, it is used in this recipe to add layers of spice flavours which are warming without necessarily being hot in the chilli-hot sense. The spice mix for garam masala varies from region to region, so if you have not used it before, add a little at first, taste, and add more until it suits your spice comfort levels.
We had a focus on Indian Salads last Summer, mainly varieties of Kachumber and Kosumalli/Koshambari. As the weather slipped into cooler parts of Autumn, I found myself wondering if thes were the last ones we would make until the warm weather arrives once more. Perhaps not, I thought, as I do love salads in Winter too, but they become a little heavier than the Summer versions. More lentils, grains and Winter vegetables.
It is Summer again, so time to bring you this particular salad. It is such a delightful salad, healthy and quick to make if you use a food processor. The dressing is the usual Kachumber dressing of lime juice and black pepper.
Although I use raw vegetables, but many in India like them cooked in some way. You can either saute them lightly in ghee or Indian sesame oil, or steam them just a little if that is your preference.
This salad sounds quite virtuous, but in reality it is very delicious. Made with a range of sprouts that are supported by herbs, spinach, radish, tiny tomatoes, and carrots. It IS healthy, but tastes like it could be really addictive.
In this Salad of Sprouts, an Ottolenghi recipe from his book Plenty More, various oils and vinegars are used to add a richness. However, you can use just one of each if you like.
We make raita and yoghurt pachadi often at home – they are easy, no fuss dishes that can be served with an Indian meal or used as sauces and dressings for baked and steamed veggies, in wraps, over simple salads etc.
This raita uses carrots, cucumbers or zucchini, and tomatoes for a colourful raita that brings a happy note to the table. The vegetables are just grated or chopped and incorporated into the yoghurt with some chillies, ginger and a tadka. Enjoy! You could sub other vegetables – finely grated cabbage (red or green), or red or green peppers, for example.