Turnips with Quince Molasses

Our focus this Winter is to cook more Winter vegetables. We love them, but our Winters are usually filled with the same old culprits – carrots, potatoes, greens, eggplants, and so forth. The great produce of Winter – swedes, turnips, parsnips, the huge variety of greens, daikon – appears less often on the kitchen bench. So our focus this year is to include them more often.

In the Middle East it is common to cook turnips with Date Molasses, and it is the time of the year (Ramadam) as I write, where date-anything is available in the local Middle Eastern shops. But having just made our Winter batch of Quince Molasses, we used this instead, and the result is truly delicious. I have heard that this dish is common in Iraq and that Iraqi Jews can serve it as a dessert. It is not surprising -it is that sort of dish that can be served either as a savoury one or sweet one.

It is an easy dish to make, and the resulting sauce – turnipy and quincy – is perfect. I can also imagine that a dish of turnips slow cooked with fresh quince fruits would be spectacular too!

Similar recipes include Quince Molasses, Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce, and Turnip Soup.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes and all of our Quince dishes. Or browse all of our Late Autumn Dishes.

Continue reading “Turnips with Quince Molasses”

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Mustard Greens with Mooli | Daikon Radish with Mustard Greens

Our local green groceries, run by a cohort of Vietnamese and Middle Eastern families, has recently begun stocking Mustard Greens. So we are making the most of them. Today’s recipe pairs them with daikon, the Japanese white radish that is also used extensively in India. When it is cooked, it loses the intensity of its bite and becomes soft and textural with a slight bitterness that is delightful. Matched with some chilli and the mustardy overtones of these greens, the result is a very morish side dish from India.

Similar recipes include South Indian Daikon DalMooli and Pumkin Curry, and Daikon Salad.

Browse our Mustard Greens recipes and our Radish dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Mustard Greens with Mooli | Daikon Radish with Mustard Greens”

Cauliflower with Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies | Sukhi Gobi | Cauliflower Fry

This cauliflower dish is a simple, every day but glorious dish. Allowing the cauliflower florets to brown slightly brings that beautiful depth of flavour to the dish.

Cauliflower is such an under-rated vegetable. Cooked well, it really is a vegetable to yearn for. Recipes from the sub continent and the Middle East are especially respectful of cauliflower, bringing out its flavours and adding interest with spices and herbs.

This dish is simple, yes, but it lets the cauliflower shine. Serve with Lemon Rice.

Are you looking for more Cauliflower recipes? Try Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, and Cauliflower Walnut Cream Soup.

For Indian Cauliflower Dishes, try Cauliflower Pilaf, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, and Aloo Gobi.

Would you like other Indian Vegetable dishes? Try Eggplants in a Creamy Peanut Sauce, Crispy Okra, and Spinach Thoran.

Browse all Cauliflower recipes and all Indian dishes. Or take some time to browse all of our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Cauliflower with Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies | Sukhi Gobi | Cauliflower Fry”

Aloo Bhindi | Aloo Bhindi Subzi | Okra and Potatoes

Okra and Potatoes go well together – what doesn’t go well with potatoes? Today’s recipe is a vegetable fry style dish, or dry Subzi, where potatoes and okra are sautéed together with a range of spices until tender.

Dhana jiru is a spice mix used in this dish. Coriander and cumin seeds for the basis of this masala, and other spices can be added. Recipes for dhana jiru vary considerably – the ratios of coriander seed to cumin seed varies, some recipes add cinnamon, or pepper, for example, and others add up to 5 more spices for a complex spice mix. If you don’t have dhana jiru in your spice collection, simply dry roast 2 tspns coriander seed with 1 tspn cumin seed until a nice aroma arises, and then grind to a fine powder. Otherwise, use the mix that you have at hand.

Are you looking for more Okra dishes? Read more about Okra here. And try Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed, Warm Salad of Charred Okra, Tomato and Preserved Lemon, and Pickled Okra.

Would you like more Potato dishes? Try Indian Toasties with Potatoes and Peas, Sago with Potato and Peanuts, and Aloo Palak Subzi.

Or perhaps you are looking for Vegetable Fry dishes? Try Cauliflower Fry with Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies, Potato Sabzi, Beetroot Fry and Brinjal (Eggplant) Fry.

Browse all of our Okra recipes, all Potato recipes, and all of our Vegetable Fry dishes. Our Indian Recipes are here. Or explore our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Aloo Bhindi | Aloo Bhindi Subzi | Okra and Potatoes”

Slow Cooked Stuffed Zucchini

Old fashioned as they might be, there is a joy in stuffed vegetables, oozing with tomatoey rice or chickpea fillings, perhaps covered with cheese, melted and dripping down the sides. Nothing quite says cold weather more than stuffed vegetables. We love them. But then we were never one for fashion, especially in food.

This recipe is Turkish in origin, although many versions appear around the Middle East and gulf regions, from Israel to Afghanistan. We are stuffing our zucchini from the garden, the late ones that have grown slightly larger. We stuff them flat, that is, laying on their length, slit in half, and cooked with the stuffing in hollows left by the removal of their seeds and soft core. You can, of course, stuff them vertical – cutting into lengths without splitting down the middle, and using a manakra from your Middle Eastern store, to hollow out the middles – sort of like coring an apple.

We are using Ottolenghi’s recipe in Plenty More, but many similar recipes abound, using a range of grains to give substance to the filling. We are using Ottolenghi’s recipe because we have a little project at the moment, to cook through Plenty More, so it is a convenient way to add another dish to our project’s Cooked list.

The thing about many Zucchini dishes is that they are just as delightful served at room temperature as well as warm – this dish, for example, is divine. Today’s recipe is in the same class – serve it warmish, or at room temperature, with goat’s feta (Middle Eastern feta, beautifully creamy) and a salad of sliced onion, radish and tomato. Excellent. Make it a first course or a main dish.

Ottolenghi has changed the recipe for this dish over time, reducing the time taken to cook the stuffed zucchini from 2 hours to 40 mins. That raised a warning signal for us. We find that it all depends on your heat levels. I cooked mine with a heat diffuser to keep the heat low and it takes all of 2 hours to ensure the rice is cooked well. Higher heat levels will mean that cooking time is shorter.

Our suspicion is that the longer time might be more traditional, but less photogenic or visually pleasing. It is often the case with dishes from countries like Greece and Turkey, and neighbouring countries, that dishes are cooked longer than might be fashionable these days. Flavour goes through the roof but the visual appeal is lost. It’s a pity that we put so much store on visual presentation.

HOWEVER, we found that using Ottolenghi’s recipe, the zucchini was overcooked and the rice just a tad undercooked, even after 2 hours. After all, it is being steamed rather than boiled as is usual. Our recommendation is that the rice should be par-cooked before using in the stuffing, and that the cooking time is then reduced to 40 – 60 mins so that the rice is really soft. As it is, the recipe does not work. (See this Guardian article which also recommends precooking rice for stuffed courgettes in general.)

I am leaving the recipe as it appears in the book, in case I missed something or you have other insights and views. If so, let me know. It is unusual to have an Ottolenghi recipe that does not work.

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of 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 dishes include Stuffed Tomatoes with Cheese, Peppers Stuffed with Cherry Tomatoes, and Okra Stuffed with Chilli Paste.

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

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Spicy Slow Cooked Tomato Chickpeas with Burrata, Perfect for Breakfast or Supper

Sunday afternoons in Winter are the perfect time for slowing down, and what better way to do that than to slow cook a great dish for a Sunday night supper. Today, we have a 5-hour dish for you – chickpeas simmered ever so slowly in a thick spicy tomato stock. The chickpeas are excellent served on toast or in toasted sandwiches, but today we add some burrata and leek strings. We love slow cooking.

This recipe is excellent for a Sunday supper, but also very good, cooked beforehand, for a slow Sunday breakfast or brunch. Beans on Toast, what could be better!

The dish can be cooked in a slow cooker. (Perhaps it is one for your instapot? I don’t have one, so cannot advise you one way or another, but perhaps? Let me know.) It would also go well at a low heat in the oven. Or, cook it as I have, using a heat diffuser on my lowest gas flame, so that the tomato sauce is barely bubbling.

The recipe is an adaptation of one in Ottolenghi’s 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.

In fact, it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of 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 (this recipe is on the same theme but slightly different, and quicker, than the one in his book).

Similar recipes include Baked Lima Beans with Celery, Tuscan Baked Beans with Sage and Lemon, and Rustic Spicy Butter Beans.

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

Continue reading “Spicy Slow Cooked Tomato Chickpeas with Burrata, Perfect for Breakfast or Supper”

Vegetables with Indian Flavours

How quirky the British can be at times, especially when it comes to all things Indian. British Indian cuisine is a food genre all to itself, with little relationship to the food of India. The famous Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, is British, not Indian. Vindaloo is a term used for any hot curry in England, not the specific and terrifyingly hot pork curry of Goa on the coast of West India, with its roots in the Portuguese occupation.

And there is another dish – Indian Ratatouille. Yes, my friends, it is a thing. Throw a few spices at a ratatouille and you have Indian Ratatouille. The French food masters must be turning in their graves.

And then Ottolenghi takes this (perhaps somewhat arrogant) British invention and makes it even more Indian – throwing out some of the the traditional vegetables, adding potatoes and okra, beans and tomatoes, and incorporating Bengali spices, tamarind and curry leaves. Has he insulted the French, the Indians and the British? Probably not, because the result is divine – let the food speak for itself, despite its name.

“A great ratatouille is one in which the vegetables interact with each other, but are still discernible from each other. The trick is to cook them just right: not over, not under.”

I cannot bring myself to call this dish Indian Ratatouille, so for me it is Vegetables with Indian Flavours. Panch Phoran is an Indian whole seed mix – it is available at Indian groceries, or you can make it yourself by mixing equal amounts of fenugreek, fennel, black mustard, nigella and cumin.

This Ottolenghi dish is 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.

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 Caponata and Chargrilled Pumpkin Salad with Labneh and Walnut Salsa.

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

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Vegetables with Indian Flavours”

Mushrooms in Terracotta

Mushrooms! They are at their best baked in the oven, especially when the weather is still cold in the evenings – there is something about their earthiness that is filling, warming and comforting. Our most favourite baked mushrooms are with vine leaves, but this recipe comes a close second, and is perfect for Autumn and early Winter, when fresh vine leaves are no longer available.

Use a mix of mushrooms, or field mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms or Swiss brown mushrooms. They are tossed with rosemary, garlic, butter and oil, and baked in a terracotta dish which is the most perfect way to cook mushrooms.

Similar recipes include Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves, Caramelised King Oyster Mushrooms, Pearl Mushrooms with Thyme, and the perfect Shiitake Mushroom Sauce.

Browse all of our Mushroom recipes and all of our Baked dishes. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce

I need to share a secret. In this household, our focus on Winter veggies has been low. Turnips and Swedes (Rutabaga) have been relegated to vegetable soups, Parsnips have been a little more loved, beautiful winter greens are pretty much only simply quickly steamed or sauteed.

But our Winter Kitchen is changing. Horseradish returns. We found some Mustard greens. Beets, home grown, are prized for their earthy flavours. Celeriac is never left, ignored, in the bottom of the fridge. Jerusalem Artichokes are loved. Lotus root tentatively played with. Jicama (Yam Bean) has always been loved. Potatoes and Daikon make more regular appearance. Swede and Turnips are loved for their own flavours. Sweet Potato and Yam – beautiful textures and flavours.

Today we cook some wonderful baby turnips with spices, mustard greens and a little creamy yoghurt sauce. Such an extraordinary dish. But use any other green if you can’t source Mustard Greens.

Similar dishes include Turnips with Quince Molasses, Mustard Greens with Mooli, and Turnip Soup with Yoghurt and Coriander-Walnut Paste.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes and all of our Mustard Greens dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce”

Beautiful, Simple Potato Salad

We have a Simple Salad theme going at the moment – one or two ingredients, served simply, but still flavour packed in a way that does not hide the taste of the main ingredients.

Today, it is a potato salad, paired with extra virgin olive oil. The success of this salad lies in great potatoes and a good quality, tasty olive oil.

I make this salad when I see the best quality potatoes in the green grocer or supermarket. Today it was Kestrel Potatoes, and they are perfect.

Are you after other Potato recipes? Try Crushed New Potatoes with Horseradish and Yoghurt, Fennel, Potato and Tomato Salad with Garlicky Mayonnaise, Grown Up Potato Salad, and Pepper and Cumin Potato Wedges.

Or are you looking for other Salads? Try Roasted Beetroot and Roasted Garlic Salad with Walnuts, Fennel and Apple Salad, and Honey Roasted Carrot Salad.

All of our Potato dishes are here, or browse all of our many many Salads. Or simply browse all of our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Smoky Aubergine with Tahini and Pomegranate

There is a marriage made in heaven, and that is eggplant and tahini. Oh, goodness, how magic happens with that combination. There are a quadzillion recipes that feature that specific combination, and it is no wonder. We have quite a few on this site too. They tend to be Middle Eastern in origin, or in style.

This recipe is no exception – it is Middle Eastern, it is magic, and it is delicious. The combination features pomegranate molasses, and the usual garlic and lemon juice. You will adore it.

It is an Ottolenghi treasure, from his book Plenty. We have a small project at the moment, to cook from his books, and currently we are cooking from Plenty More but not ignoring his other books altogether. I have to say, this is one of his simpler recipes, easy to make without too many processes. It can be made in just a few minutes after the eggplant is charred. This contrasts with the Persian Noodle dish we made yesterday, which contains 7 different processes and 5 different elements. Its a pleasure to cook such a simple dish after that one!

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of 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 Burnt Spring Onion Dip with Chilli-Garlic Kale, Babaganoush, Persian Style Eggplant, and Begun Pora.

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

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Smoky Aubergine with Tahini and Pomegranate”

Curry Roasted Carrots (and Other Root Vegetables) with Curry Leaves, Lime Leaves and Tart Citrus Juice

Recently I popped into the Adelaide Central Market and came home with bags full of goodies, including some colourful heirloom carrots. Half of them went into a Honey Roasted Carrot dish, and the rest were thrown into the oven with curry leaves and shredded lime leaves with Cumquat Juice (or lime juice can be used), and some curry powder as well. Its a lovely dish, perfect for this Autumn weather. It is still warm so we are still eating outside when we can. This dish looks perfect on our outside table.

It is another Ottolenghi dish – we have a focus on his dishes this year, so we turn to his books whenever we can. But we mix his recipes up whenever we can to make use of what we have in the kitchen. In his book, Plenty More, Ottolenghi uses swedes, parsnips and carrots in this dish, but I have used only carrots – lovely young heirloom carrots. Spring onions are added later in the cooking, and their fresh greenness adds a beautiful element to the dish.

So, it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of 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 primarily from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. As I said, 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 Honey Roasted Carrots with Citrus Juice and Yoghurt, South Indian Carrot Soup, and Hot Roasted Carrot Salad.

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

Continue reading “Curry Roasted Carrots (and Other Root Vegetables) with Curry Leaves, Lime Leaves and Tart Citrus Juice”

Broad Beans with Lemon and Coriander | A Mezze Dish

Broad beans are so good it is not worth going without them even when their short Spring season is over. Frozen broad beans are great substitutes for fresh – search for them in Middle Eastern and Afghan shops as they sell beans that are already peeled. Phew! It saves quite a lot of work.

This dish is a great mezza plate. The combination of coriander and the beans is divine, and imagine this dish with some falafel and hummus. Glorious!

It’s an Ottolenghi recipe, from his book 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 or in our kitchen. For this dish we stuck pretty close to the recipe.

In fact, Ottolenghi’s recipe is a take on an original old Jewish recipe from Aleppo, Syria, which is strongly flavoured with coriander powder. Ottolenghi swaps this out for paprika and allspice. I will post the original recipes soon, and update with a link here.

In fact it is Ottolenghi Cook the Booksday 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 again 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 Broad Bean and Dill Rice, Broad Bean Puree with Chilli Oil, and Broad Bean Mezze.

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

Continue reading “Broad Beans with Lemon and Coriander | A Mezze Dish”

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 Crispy 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.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Burnt Spring Onion Dip with Garlic-Chilli Curly Kale”

Cauliflower “Shawarma” with Pomegranate and Tahini

Cauliflower has been used for ages as a vegetarian answer to the classic Middle Eastern Shawarma recipe. The cauliflower is roasted with a range of spices including toasted cumin and coriander, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and sumac. In this recipe, the cauliflower is then dressed with tahini, pomegranates, pine nuts and rose petals. Beautiful Middle Eastern flavours.

This particular recipe, they say, originally came from Josh Katz of Berber and Q, and it is such a beautiful dish. It has sweetness, tartness, creaminess, ‘burntness’ (umami), warmness from the spices and a fragrance that brings the bazaars of the Middle East to your table. Its such a great dish.

Are you looking for Cauliflower recipes? Try South Indian Cauliflower Soup, Cauliflower Kitchari and Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Lime and Spices.

Or some Middle Eastern recipes? Try Rice and Orzo, Saffron and Rose Scented Aubergines, and Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate Molasses.

You can also browse all of our Cauliflower Recipes, all of our Middle Eastern Recipes and all of our Pomegranate dishes. Or take some time to check out our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Cauliflower “Shawarma” with Pomegranate and Tahini”