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.

Continue reading “Throw a Tray of Veggies in the Oven”

Chana Madra | Chickpeas in a Spicy Yoghurt Sauce

Himachal Pradesh, a state in the North of India have some delicious vegetarian dishes despite being non-vegetarian over all. This is a dish that is very common, especially at festival time. Chickpeas are simmered in a beautiful sauce of yoghurt and warming spices.

Similar recipes include Roast Eggplant with Crushed Chickpeas and Herbed Yoghurt, Vadai with Yoghurt, and Kadhi.

Browse all of our Chickpea dishes and all of our Yoghurt recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Chana Madra | Chickpeas in a Spicy Yoghurt Sauce”

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.

Continue reading “Easy Pumpkin and Coconut Curry”

Roasted Cauliflower Tahini Puree

Another vegetable that can be blended into a puree to make a delightful dip, spread, or base for a vegetable dish, is cauliflower. Here I have made a puree from spiced, roasted cauliflower, but it can just as easily be made from steamed cauliflower (pop into the oven for 15 or 20 mins afterwards to remove excess moisture).

Here I have topped it with an Eggplant, Onion and Saffron dish (delicious), but it can be used with any vegetable dish, or simply layered with radishes, feta, grated carrot, pomegranate kernels, etc, and eaten with flatbread.

Similar dishes include Red Capsicum and Feta Dip, Roasted Cauliflower, Garlic and White Bean Puree, Cannellini Bean Puree with Pickled Mushrooms and Pitta Croutons, and Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin.

Browse all of our Cauliflower dishes and all of our Dips, Spreads, and Purees.

Continue reading “Roasted Cauliflower Tahini Puree”

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.

Continue reading “Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree | Egg-free Eggplant Kuku”

Garden Salad with Peaches and Orange Blossom Dressing

Ottolenghi recently wrote an article for the New Yorker called Ottolenghi’s Simplest Recipes. It’s a funny, tongue in cheek article about his recipes and the way that people complain about the complexity and number of ingredients. And about the way that they change all the ingredients and then make commentary on them.

I am certainly guilty of the first, and have gotten over the second – mostly. I still sigh if I have to go shopping for a dish when I want to make it right now and there is some ingredient my pantry is not stocking atm. Having cooked a significant number of Ottolenghi’s dishes, I have moved on from strict adherence to his dishes to shaking them up to suit what is cheaper in our part of the world, what is in the pantry or fridge or on the kitchen bench, and what I can pick from the garden.

This recipe had its genesis in Ottolenghi’s first book Ottolenghi. But it is not recognisable as his any more. I’ve removed the non-vegetarian item, and used greens from our garden rather than the expensive (in my area) greens that he uses. I am ticking the recipe off in the book, but really only the dressing (fabulous) and the peaches are recognisable in the original. If you are looking for the original, check his books or his Guardian column.

The key here is to use sweet peaches (yellow-fleshed or a mix of yellow and white) that are at their peak, with none of that floury texture that they can have when unripe. It’s a dish that’s dazzling in its blend of colours and textures, and works well as a starter.

Similar recipes include Watermelon and Peach Salad with Basil, Tomato and Peach Salad, and Peach Salsa with Tofu.

Browse all of our Peach Salads and all of our Salads (there are hundreds!). Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Garden Salad with Peaches and Orange Blossom Dressing”

Parmigiana di Melanzane con Ricotta | Eggplant Parmigiana with Ricotta

Oh the rich traditional Calabrian Eggplant Parmigiana! So very rich with fried eggplant and a mountain of cheese. But lighter and vegetarian versions exist, using ricotta for some of the cheese and instead of fried eggplant, using grilled or baked. That is what we have today.

Eggplant Parmigiana is actually a Southern Italian version of the original Northern Italian classic. Serve as a side dish or the centre piece of a meal. Crusty bread and a green salad is all that is needed.

Similar dishes include Three Cheese Eggplant Bake, Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree, Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce, Cheesy Baked Eggplants, and Caponata Siciliana.

Browse all of our Eggplant dishes and all of our Italian recipes. Or explore our Mid Spring collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Parmigiana di Melanzane con Ricotta | Eggplant Parmigiana with Ricotta”

Spring Risotto | Pea, Edamame and Baby Broad Bean Risotto

Nothing says Spring like green vegetables – such as asparagus, peas, broad beans, fresh herbs. Ottolenghi makes salads from only green items, and they are divine. They truly belong to Spring – green is Spring’s colour.

Despite the heat this Spring I was craving risotto, so  it had to be one to celebrate the season. As luck would have it, I had some home grown broad beans and some peas in the freezer. The risotto is made in the usual way – no variations or neat tricks here. Just stirring for 18 mins for a perfect dish.

Similar recipes include Broccolini Risotto, Sea Spaghetti, Cucumber and Edamame Salad, Brussels Sprouts Risotto, Beetroot Risotto, and Tomato Risotto.

Browse all of our Risotto recipes and all Italian dishes. Or explore our Late Spring collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Spring Risotto | Pea, Edamame and Baby Broad Bean Risotto”

Zucchini and Halloumi Fritters

I have a thing for fritters. It developed in 2019. My love of them came as a surprise, and arose because:

  1. Ottolenghi has numerous recipes for fritters, and I love Ottolenghi.
  2. I evaluated Hello Fresh for 2 months or so, and they include lots of delicious fritters. (You might have caught my evaluation of Hello Fresh on Twitter.)
  3. I have perfected my egg-replacement for fritters. Use 1 Tblspn chickpea flour, 1 Tblspn cream and 0.25 tspn or less of eno per egg. Add extra chickpea flour if the mixture is too wet. The flour is for binding, the cream for texture and the eno for lightness.

My Sister in Law made these halloumi fritters for a family meal and we made them again for part of the vegetarian component of our Xmas dinner in 2019. Both times they were an absolute hit with vegetarians and non-vegetarians. You will love them and they are so easy to make yet packed with texture and flavour.

The recipe is in Nopi, the cookbook from one of Ottolenghi’s restaurants – the one he had with Scully who has moved on to open his own restaurant. Note that I often massage Ottolenghi’s recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

These are often on Nopi’s breakfast menu, but were also served later in the day as a snack. As popularity grew they made it to the lunch and supper menus as well. You can make smaller ones as a nibble or canapé. I have had them wrapped in Chinese Moo Shu Pancakes with cucumber and spring onion, topped with a hoisin based sauce. DIVINE.

Similar recipes include Sweetcorn, Spring Onion and Chilli Pancakes, Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters, Aloo Tikki, Sweetcorn and Butternut Fritters, Herb and Walnut Fritters, Spinach Fritters and Pudla.

Browse our growing collection of Fritter recipes and our Halloumi dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Nopi are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Zucchini and Halloumi Fritters”

Celeriac Soup with Mustard

Celeriac Soup is quite easy to make and it is naturally creamy. Most people know of the classic Celeraic Remoulade, that fabulous dish of grated celeriac with a mustardy mayo-based dressing. Fewer realise that it makes such a great soup, especially with mustard echoing the flavours of the remoulade. Nigel Slater has a recipe in Tender, which gave me the inspiration to use mustard.

Similar recipes include Toppings for Soups, Root Mash with Wine Braised Shallots, Soupe au Celeri-Rave, Celeriac Hummus, and Winter Roasted Veg.

Browse all of our Celeriac recipes and all of our Soups.

Continue reading “Celeriac Soup with Mustard”