Kale and Cheese Pikelets

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 PakoraAsian Kale with Sesame and Shallots, and Garlic- Chilli Kale with Spring Onion Dip.

Or browse all of our Kale dishes and our Fritter recipes.

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100 Vegetables: #61. Kale

Kale has a mighty reputation and you either love or hate it. We tend to be rather ambivalent about it, neither loving nor hating it. When there so many greens available to us from all over the world in our local Italian, Middle Eastern, Indian, Asian and SE Asian shops, kale is not high on our weekly shipping list. But it is packed full of goodness so it does make the occasional appearance. We particularly love the Asian Kale recipe and the Chilli-Garlic Kale.

You can browse all of our Kale recipes. And check out our 100 Vegetable Series.

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Pasta e Fagioli

I love a good Italian Bean and Pasta dish – either soup or pasta with a beany “ragu”. This has to be my favourite so far. It is a dish that could pass for either a soup or pasta course. Rich and delicious, it is definitely a Winter dish.

The key to this dish is the soffritto—a mix of aromatic vegetables, finely chopped, and slowly cooked. It takes some time – about 20 mins – to sweat down the vegetables until they are completely softened before letting them take on any colour. You’ll be surprised by how much richness it adds to the dish.

Similar recipes include Tiny Pasta in Broth, White Beans and Pasta in a Beautiful Broth, Borlotti Bean and Garlic Soup, and Vermicelli with Charred Broccoli.

This recipe is adapted from Where Cooking Begins. Similar recipes include, Minestra di Pasta e Fagioli Borlotti, Zuppa de Fagioli, and Minestrone alla Genovese.

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Asian Kale with Sesame and Crispy Shallots

The curly kale in the shops right now is magnificent. Here it is cooked simply but with strong flavours – kecap manis, garlic and sesame oil – to counteract its intense greenness. For texture, sesame seeds are stirred through and crispy onions are layered on top.

It is an Ottolenghi recipe. He has several kale recipes in his books, promoting it a decade or so ago when it wasn’t as popular as it is today.

In fact 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 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 Curly Kale with Ginger and Garlic, Burnt Spring Onion Dip with Garlic Chilli Kale, and Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips.

Browse all of our Kale recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Burnt Spring Onion Dip with Garlic-Chilli Curly Kale

We are lovers of dips, as our recipe collection will attest and usually there is some dip, spread, sauce or puree in the fridge waiting to be spread, dipped, drizzled or smeared onto other food items – toast, bruschetta, soup, roasted sweetcorn, crudites, crackers, chips – whatever sits in the kitchen cupboards, fridge or on the stove.

This recipe makes its dip component from roasted garlic and charred spring onions mixed with cream cheese and sour cream (how 1970’s!!). Then the dip is served with some garlicky-chilly curly kale. But the dip can also be used for many other purposes – spread on bruschetta or corn, used with carrot sticks (Yum!), with juicy wedges of tomato – so many ways to use it.

The dip can also be made with salad onions or calcot onions. Remember when cooking the onions that they need to be really charred/burnt. The more burnt, the more flavoursome and smoky they will taste.

This recipe comes from Nopi, Ottolenghi’s restaurant in London. The book Nopi contains recipes from the restaurant, and many of them are adaptable to the home kitchen. Some are more complex, but all are inspirational. This particular recipe is very easy to make.

It is Ottolenghi Cook 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 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 Spring Onion Greens Salad, Asian Kale with Sesame and Crispy ShallotsCrispy Kale Chips, and White Bean, Sage and Garlic Spread.

Browse all of our Dips here, and all of our Kale recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Nopt are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

Are you in the same boat as me – have never before jumped on the Kale Chip bandwagon? Phew! Glad we are friends. But at some time we have to try them, and when we do, we wonder why we ever waited so long.

Fresh from making Garlic Chilli Curly Kale, there was half a bunch of Curly Kale sitting sadly in the fridge. So late one afternoon, they became our afternoon snack. There are as many recipes as there are people in the world, but this one has the wonderful salt-vinegar combo that is quite mouth watering.

Similar recipes include Curly Kale with Ginger and Garlic, Sizzling Rice Squares, Asian Kale with Sesame and Crispy Shallots, Burnt Spring Onion Dip with Chilli-Garlic Kale, Crispy Fried Okra, and Cauliflower Pakora.

Browse all of our Kale recipes and all of our Snacks. Or browse our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips”