Cheesy Butternut Bake in Creamy Sauce with Quince Paste

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.

Similar dishes include: Congee with Butternut, Butternut Tataki with Udon Noodles, and Pumpkin Soup with Lentils.

Or browse all of our Butternut dishes.

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Fried Tomatoes in Garlic Infused Oil

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.

Similar dishes include Peppers Stuffed with Tomatoes, Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice, and Red Rice cooked in Tomato Juice.

Browse all of our Tomato dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Rustic White Beans in Tomato and Onions

This dish has a vague Turkish origin. White beans – haricot or cannellini beans – are cooked and mixed with a delicious tomato-based mixture. You could make the same dish with chickpeas or lima beans.

I often make it with passata for a real saucy base, but other times will use chopped tomatoes for quite a different style. Your choice.

Similar dishes include Broccoli and White Bean Soup, Fennel and Potato with White Beans and Garlic, and Rustic, Spicy Butter Beans.

Browse all of our White Bean recipes and Turkish dishes.

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Baked Peppers Stuffed with Buttery, Cheesy Vegetables

Fondant is a word that is associated with icing these days. But it comes originally from the French, a cooking term meaning to melt. Fondant Potatoes is the most well known dish where the method of cooking is applied, but it can be used for other vegetables. They are cooked in butter, or in butter and stock, until achingly tender. Sometimes, as is the case with the Fondant Potatoes, an external crispy layer is achieved.

Ottolenghi has a great recipe in Plenty More for capsicums stuffed with fondant swedes.  I was caught short, wanting to make this dish but forgetting to order swedes in the last COVID19 vegetable delivery. So I have twisted and turned his recipe to make it work with what I did have on hand – Kent Pumpkin, Parsnips and Cabbage. Absolutely delicious.

Ottolenghi himself has two versions of this dish. The one in the Guardian column uses gruyere cheese and does not par-cook the capsicums before stuffing. The one in Plenty More uses parmesan and goat’s cheese, and bakes the empty capsicum halves before stuffing and returning to the oven.

Similar recipes include Tomatoes Stuffed with Feta and Basil, Stuffed Okra, and Stuffed Mushrooms.

Or browse all of our Stuffed recipes and Capsicum dishes.

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Turnips and Onions in Olive Oil

Turnips, the forgotten vegetable of Winter. Yet they are divine either raw or cooked. We have quite a few recipes for you to experiment with. And to add to that list is a simple Turkish dish of turnips and onions simmered using an a la grecque style, and finished with herbs. It is a simple and easy recipe.

The dish is very gentle, some might think it is bland. But it marries beautifully with a host of other, more strongly flavoured dishes. Just don’t overcook the turnips or they will go watery. Remove from the heat when juuuuust tender enough.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes and our Turkish dishes.

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Black Pepper Garlic Broccoli with Mustard Seeds and Curry Leaves

If you follow our blog (hello to all of our lovely followers!) you will know how much we love broccoli. Particularly pan-roasted broccoli. This time we have turned it into an Indian style dish, with black pepper as its major flavouring.  It is delicious!

Similar recipes include Steamed Broccoli with Pinenuts, Broccoli with Orange Sauce, Bean Curd with Broccoli, and Sri Lankan Broccoli Curry.

Browse all of our Broccoli recipes. Or explore our Indian recipes and our Indian Essentials here. Alternatively, explore our Mid Spring collection of dishes.

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3-Cheese Eggplant Bake

This is a gorgeous baked dish with eggplants, cream and 3 soft cheeses. It is made without eggs and the result is an addictive dish with a thick set custard-like consistency.

The recipe is an adapted version of Ottolenghi’s Eggplant Cheesecake from Plenty More. I have made it egg-free. If you want to check the original recipe have a look here.

Like all good cheesecakes, tucking into this is so effortless and soothing that it’s easy to forget yourself and just gobble up more and more. And, like a sweet cheesecake, it’s also a bit of a no-brainer that yields very impressive results.

This is a soft dish, so is best spooned from the baking dish onto serving plates. A rustic alternative would be to bake it in a casserole and spoon out portions at the table.

Serve as a starter or for lunch with a lemony salad of bitter leaves and fresh herbs.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree, Eggplant, Beetroot and Potato Bake, Noodles with Fried Eggplant and Walnuts, and Roasted Eggplant with Garlic Yoghurt Sauce.

Or browse our Eggplant recipes and our Ottolenghi dishes.

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Throw a Tray of Veggies in the Oven

One of the great things of life is that you can throw a tray of veggies into the oven and have a spectacular meal result.

Toss a collection of vegetables, cut to size to cook for similar times, with some olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and perhaps a spice or herb or two, spread on a tray and bake in a moderate oven.

Eat them hot – a bowl full of hot veggies on the table. Leftovers can be turned into:

  • a salad – chop and mix with fresh greens, or with a lentil or grain (my favourite is freekeh)
  • soups – blitz the veggies, adding your favourites such as herbs, spices, a touch of tahini, cream, yoghurt etc. Or chop and add to a tomato based stock. Lentils and or grains can be added – barley is especially good in Winter. Season well, heat and serve with yummy toppings like crispy garlic, crispy onions, chilli paste, pesto, chilli oil, finely chopped tomato, fennel, and/or onion – whatever you have right now in the kitchen.
  • pastes and spreads – puree with tahini, cream or yoghurt for spreads for sandwiches, toasted sandwiches, crumpets, wraps. Delicious with cheese.
  • dips – make a little thinner than the spreads, and snack with beautiful seeded crackers.

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Easy Pumpkin and Coconut Curry

This Curry can be made with either Butternut Pumpkin or Kent Pumpkin (previously called Jap pumpkin). It is delicious, so flavoursome, and incredibly easy to make. I have paired it with coriander rice and scattered toasted peanuts and crispy onions over the top.

Similar dishes include Sri Lankan Pumpkin and Roasted Coconut Curry, Sri Lankan Coconut Curry, and Pumpkin Milk Kootu.

Browse all of our Pumpkin dishes and all of our  S. E. Asian recipes.

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Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree | Egg-free Eggplant Kuku

Kuku , sort of like a Persian omelette or frittata, comes in many forms. I love this one that I make at home without eggs. Because it doesn’t have eggs I tend to make it looser than a frittata but it can be cooked more omelette-like and I include instructions below.  It is packed with herbs, and I love the tart barberries with the crunch of the walnuts.

Kuku is traditionally served with flatbread, crunchy items like radishes, acidic pickles and feta. Today I have served it on a Cauliflower Puree as well. It is a great mezze dish.

The inspiration for this dish originally came from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. But as his is an egg-based dish, we have made significant alterations. It is delicious, though, retaining the original flavours of barberries and herbs. I like that Ottolenghi’s version is a “wet version” – it sort of justifies my take on this dish. His recipe is here.

Similar recipes include Three Cheese Eggplant Bake, Eggplant Pahi, Smoky Eggplant with Coriander, and Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce.

Browse all our Eggplant dishes, Iranian recipes and Ottolenghi dishes.

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