Avocado and Black Bean Salad with Green Tomatoes

Black Beans are so good and great in Summer as they add a little more substance for cooler days without feeling heavy and too wintery. If you haven’t used them before, they are a good stock item in your pantry. We are not keen on too many cans in our pantry, but black beans have joined the tomatoes, coconut milk and chickpeas (for emergencies).

Here we pair black beans with avocado and feta for a creamy salad that zings with lime juice.

We also add green tomatoes. What??, I hear you ask. Green tomatoes are a magnificent slightly sour and very crunchy ingredient ideal for salads, especially those with Mexican or South East Asian overtones. They are used extensively in parts of the world but not much in the English-speaking world. You may have seen the film Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (or not), but the use of green tomatoes extends far beyond being crumbed and fried (as delicious as they are). Try them in Indian dishes too, as a replacement for, or along side, the usual souring agent in the dish (tamarind, lime or lemon juice, dried pomegranate seeds, kokum, golpar, sour grapes, verjuice, etc). There are parts of the world that use sour to great effect in their cuisines – Persia and India come to mind.

I hope you enjoy this salad, it is very very good.

You might enjoy some other Black Bean recipes. Have a look at Turtle Bean Soup, and Black Bean and Cabbage Salad with Orange Dressing.

Try some Bittman SaladsCucumber and Avocado Salad with Asian Dressing, Wombok and Radish Salad with Peanut Dressing and Artichoke Hearts with Feta Salad.

All of our Black Bean recipes are here, and our Avocado Recipes here. Salads are all here (there are a LOT), and Bittman Salads here. Or take some time to explore our easy Late Summer Recipes.

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Radicchio Risotto | Risotto al Radicchio

Oh goodness! The vibrant colour of the bitter leaves of radicchio! I love them in my kitchen, but they are not the cheapest of vegetables to buy so they are not a weekly visitor. However, radicchio is so versatile, and incredibly good.

Today we make a risotto with this glorious vegetable. It is added at the beginning of the cooking process, and thus becomes very tender during the 20 mins of stirring that makes a risotto.

Do be careful about the rice that you use for risotto. You will get the best results using a risotto rice. You can read more about that here. My favourite at the moment, and the one that I used for this dish, is Carnaroli.

Are you looking for Radicchio recipes? Read more about this incredible vegetable here. Try Grilled Radicchio with Shallots and Dill, and Red Rice Congee topped with Radicchio.

Try other risottos too – Beetroot Risotto, Caramelised Pumpkin Risotto, Mushroom Risotto, and Asparagus Risotto are some of our favourites. You can see how to make a basic risotto here.

Check out all of our Risotto recipes, and all of our Italian recipes. We have some other Radicchio recipes too – check them out here. You might like to browse our easy Late Summer recipes here.

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LATE SPRING Salads, Dips and Spreads for Healthy and Delicious Eating | Seasonal Cooking

We rejoice in the warmer weather – it is almost Summer – and our thoughts turn increasingly to Salads and fresh, light dishes.

Enjoy some Salads, Dips and exciting Dressings just perfect for Late spring weather.

Celebrating Spring

You can also browse other Late Spring recipes:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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Celery Salad with Sour Grapes and Burrata

They say that Burrata is the best thing since sliced bread. And certainly it is very very good. A delicious mozzarella shell filled with thick cream. Has your mind gone to heaven? Indeed. It is simply the dreamiest. Creamy, luscious – burrata is Italian for butter, if that gives you any clues on how beautiful it can be.

Burrata is quite difficult to find here, in our little outback town of Adelaide. Not so in other cities, where it perches on the shelves of every supermarket. I had to search hard to find it within reasonable driving distance of my home. It took some time – distributors and cheese makers were not willing to help – I contacted several – but persistence paid and I found a reliable source not far from my work. That is Adelaide for you.

One of the great things about Burrata is that it is perfect for replacing coddled or poached eggs in salads. Thus for those who, like me, avoid cooking with eggs, the creaminess of the interior with the soft mozzarella coating brings that something that soft cooked eggs give to salads and baked dishes.

Celery salads are so rare, but I love one particular recipe, it is my favourite use of celery. I have modified it here to include the burrata. I hope you enjoy it. The origin is an Ottolenghi salad but the recipe keeps morphing into a dish that is appearing more and more often on our table.

Oh, and the other ingredient that is introduced in this salad, is Sour Grapes. Yes, I know, you all know those who are always full of sour grapes. But, it is also an exciting ingredient. Preserved sour grapes can be found in jars in Middle Eastern and Afghani groceries. They taste sour and briney, and a little like capers and caper berries. They are great in salads and in dishes where a sour taste is called for to balance other flavours. Pick some up today (or use capers in place of the grapes).

Similar recipes include Purslane Salad with Herbs and Burrata, Celery Yoghurt Salad, Nashi Pear and Celery Salad, and some Simple Celery Salads.

Browse our Celery Salads and all of our Celery dishes. Our Burrata dishes are here.  Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Green Chilli and Coriander Paste | Chilli, Garlic and Coriander Chutney

This recipe is for a chilli, garlic and coriander paste that can be used as an accompaniment to dishes and full meals (like an Indian style chutney), and as a flavouring for food. Stir it into steamed rice, for example, or into any curry. It works particularly well with coconut milk based spicy dishes. Have it on the side of rice or curries, drizzle it into soups, spread a tiny amount on a sandwich, smear a little onto a snack.

Keep it handy too for spreading on your sandwiches and toast (try it with cheese!), and as a dip for snacks and finger food. It also goes well with idli, vada and other Indian snacks. We are claiming this as an Indian style chutney, although it does vary a little. Nevertheless, it is every bit as delicious as any Indian green chutney.

The paste keeps well in the fridge if tightly covered and avoid using a wet spoon when using the paste.

Similar recipes include Coriander Paste, Zhug, Chilli Jam, and Chilli Paste.

Browse all Chilli recipes, and all Pastes and Purees. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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LATE AUTUMN Vegetable Dishes for Healthy and Tasty Eating | Seasonal Cooking

As we pull our winter coats out of the wardrobe, ready for the cold, our vegetables in the kitchen shift to roots, pumpkins and the last of the tomatoes. We are not yet ready for the cold to come, yet we check our winter coats, rake the last of the leaves, and fill our freezers with whatever Summer produce that we can to see us through the winter. Strangely, days can still be beautiful, but they are obviously shorter.

Celebrating Autumn

You can also browse other Late Autumn recipes:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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Simple Beetroot Soup | Hot or Cold

Beetroot soup is great all year round, and can be served hot in Winter and cold in Summer. Beetroot is a cook’s best friend, growing easily in the garden and being versatile in the kitchen.

This is a simple soup, full of the unadulterated flavour of the beets. The cooked beetroot is pureed and then simmered briefly with stock before adding sour cream. There is nothing simpler.

If you would like to make a really light stock for a Summery soup, we recommend this one.

If you are looking for other Beetroot Soups, these are similar: Chilled Beetroot Soup, and an amazing Indian Beetroot Soup.

You can explore all of our Beetroot Recipes here, and all of our Soup Recipes here. Or enjoy browsing all of our Late Summer recipes.

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LATE WINTER – Don’t Miss these Recipes for Warming Winter Living | Seasonal Cooking

Late winter brings thoughts of Spring, although the weather is still freezing and we still look for nourishing and warming dishes. The oven is used a lot as it warms the kitchen and the heart.

Celebrating Beautiful Winter

You can also browse other Late Winter recipes:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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LATE SUMMER – Don’t Miss these Recipes for Cool Summer Living | Seasonal Cooking

As we enjoy the final month of Summer, often the hottest month, foods are still light and cooling. Gradually over the month, as signs of Autumn appear, the foods gain a little depth. We don’t want to think yet about the end of Summer, and that it means the approaching Winter.

Enjoy some snippets from our  Late Summer collection. For our whole collection of recipes for Late Summer recipes, explore:

If you find any broken or incorrect links, please let us know. We’d love to fix them for you.

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Mango and Pineapple Salad

In India, on one trip, a travelling companion remarked that India did not have dishes of fresh vegetables and greens, like salads and simply cooked vegetables. It was a surprising statement from a person who was not unused to India, but it does show that the most commonly publicised dishes are not the fresh, uncooked or quickly cooked dishes. I may have been more fortunate that that person, eating in the homes of friends in India and spending time in their kitchens. Salads are eaten all over India – they are different to Western tossed or composed salads, but they are fresh and beautiful.

An Indian salad will contain raw or briefly cooked vegetables, fruits, sprouted lentils, and spices. They can also contain grains such as puffed rice or poha (flattened rice). Cooked lentils and beans can be briefly stir fried with spices, coconut and herbs. Vegetables and fruits can be stirred into yoghurt and dressed with sautéed spices.

Salad dressings are not used per se, but flavours are balanced with spices and coconut.  When fruits are used, or vegetables like cucumber and jicama, it can be simply spiced by mixing with chaat masala, black pepper and some lime juice.

So today, a salad of fruits with spices and peanuts. It is gorgeous, spicy and with a tang of mustard. I came across the recipe somewhere some time ago, and make it when pineapples are sweet and mangoes are available. There are many different types of mangoes in India, pineapples too. Today, I have used a sweet, green mango, but others with firmer flesh and tarter flavour can also be used. It is a great salad to serve with fiery food, or as part of a Summer lunch outside under the gum trees.

Similar dishes include Black Gram Sprouts Sundal, Cucumber Pachadi, and Kachumber.

Browse all of our Indian Salads, and all of our Salads. Our Mango dishes are here, and our Pineapple dishes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Crispy Cauliflower with Capers

This dish of deep fried cauliflower is from Spain. The cauliflower is dusted in chickpea flour (gram flour) and deep fried  until crisp. Then, like the old fashioned beach-made fish and chips, sprinkled with plenty of salt and vinegar. In a modern day twist, capers are added. It makes a great snack, mezze dish, entree (starter) or side dish.

There are a range of traditional dishes that deep fry cauliflower. Think of Cauliflower Pakora, for example. Even Ottolenghi makes a salad or side dish of deep fried cauli with a tahini sauce. There’s Southern Fried Cauliflower, Fried Cauliflower Steaks, Moroccan Fried Cauliflower, Cauliflower Tempura, and many more such recipes. There is a simple reason for so many dishes. It tastes very very good. This recipe will knock your socks off.

Similar dishes include Cauliflower and Okra Pakora, Roasted Cauliflower Soup, and Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree.

Browse all of our Cauliflower dishes. All of our Snacks are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Sri Lankan Chai

Tea is a big thing in Sri Lanka and is one of its main export crops. Drinking tea is a national pastime and it is served at any time of the day. Unlike South India, where tea is always milky, tea in Sri Lanka is either black or white, and sweetened with sugar or jaggery, and spices such as cinnamon or ginger can be added

Visitors are always served tea – perhaps this chai with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Rather than make it with milk in the South Indian way, this tea is made black and then evaporated milk is added to both sweeten and add a milky flavour. Who can resist?

We love chai here, and have quite a number of different recipes. Try our Yogi Chai, Heavenly Gentle Chai, and Ashram Chai. Or browse all of our Chai recipes here.

We also love herbal teas, and you can explore our Tea recipes here.

Browse all of our Sri Lankan recipes, or our Indian dishes. Or simply take some time to browse our Mid Summer recipes.

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Hot Sweet Chilli Jam | A Chilli Paste to Die For

Some years ago my friend Franz shared the recipe for a chilli jam he was making, and as I had chillies everywhere (in the freezer, on the bush, dried, drying), I made a couple of jars too. One I gave to my Thai friends, and they ate the whole (large) jar within a week. Oh my goodness! They loved the heat and the sweetness.

The other jar has been in the fridge all of those years. The reason is, we are always making chilli jams, pastes, purees…. There are always multiple jars open in the fridge and more containers in the freezer. This particular one came to the fore the other day when a sambal was needed for some okra with coconut rice. After the intervening time, the jam was still absolutely excellent (perhaps better for the maturing), and tasted incredible. I mixed it with some Chinese Chilli-Blackbean paste for an instant sambal.

Chatting with Franz, I told him the story and asked him to send me the recipe again. Catastrophe! Neither of us could find a copy! That made me search deeper and longer until I found it. Not wanting to lose the recipe again, we are posting it here so we know where it is! Please make and enjoy, it is amazing. I have tweaked the recipe a little to suit my preference and available ingredients.

Similar recipes include Preserved Sweet Chillies, Green Chilli and Coriander Paste, Chilli Jam with Deep and Complex Flavours, Red and Green Chilli Pastes, and Tomato and Chilli Jam.

Browse all of our Chilli recipes and all of our Pastes, Purees and Jams. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Mungarai Keerai Sambar | Drumstick Leaves Sambar

Occasionally the local Asian shop has Drumstick Leaves (also known as Moringa, Mungarai Keerai and Murungai Keerai) and we are always excited to bring a bunch home. One of our favourite ways to use them is to make a Drumstick Leaf Sambar. It is a standard sambar with an onion tadka, into which the cooked leaves are stirred. The flavours are allowed to develop and the sambar is served with rice.

The leaves, unless very tender, are quite tough to digest, so make sure you cook them well.

This recipe can also be made with the various types of Amaranth leaves.

Similar recipes include Sundakkai Sambar, and Classic Sambar.

Browse our Sambar recipes, and Drumstick Leaves dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.
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Rose Strawberries with Sweet Yoghurt Cream

Strawberries are very very cheap at the moment, and it is the perfect time to make a few strawberry dishes. Here we are marinating them in Kewra Water and Rosewater, and they will be served with a thick, drained and sweetened yoghurt. It is a delicious Summer dessert. Pop the colours further with a few blueberries and a couple of basil leaves or shreds of kaffir lime leaf.

The drained yoghurt is delicious and can be used in so many ways. Leftovers will keep a few days in the fridge. Read more about making it here. There are ideas on how to use them here.

Similar recipes include Baked Plums with Marsala or Port, Green Tea, Mint and Strawberry Cooler, Strawberries with Lemon,  and Strawberries with Mint Raspberry Sauce.

Browse all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Desserts. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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