I have been in love with pears in more savoury applications since last century’s fascination with putting them in salads, soups and baked dishes. Today we bring pears and apples together in a salad with a creamy yoghurt and cucumber dressing. A crunchy salad that will brighten anybody’s day.
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.
Glazed apples are delicious and endlessly versatile. We have made them before, and used them to top porridge. They can also be used to top any pudding, syrupy cakes or endless desserts. Sit atop some junket, for example. Or over icecream, with grilled banana, on top of a fruit salad, topping a bowl of yoghurt. Any way you like.
Bill Grainger in his book Sydney Food has glazed apples with Banana Porridge. We hinted at it in our last recipe. Today we get more specific about how to make that porridge, with our own twist, of course. It really is delicious, and so Australian!
One of the major changes is that we have added passionfruit. It is a very Australian thing, but also the sour notes of the passionfruit cut through the sweetness of the apples and porridge.
Apples, the fruit of Winter. While we think of them as dessert fruit, they also make amazing salads and savoury baked dishes.
Today we have brought together our 2 dozen or so favourite apple recipes. Salads, Pickles, Chutneys, Jams, Breakfasts, Juices and Desserts. We love them, and you will find something here that is just for you.
Yoghurt is used in salads all over the world, except, it seems, in cuisines such as English based countries. Let’s remedy that by mixing yoghurt and cream (yum!) and using it to dress apples and celery. It is delicious.
Add some fresh walnuts if you wish. They go really well with celery and apples.
Swede – the unloved vegetable on the green grocer’s shelves. We are on a mission to show that this vegetable deserves as much love as other Winter vegetables. Known also as rutabega, a fancy name for sure, it is often mistaken for turnip, but turnip is a completely different beast.
The turnip is sophisticated, while the swede is common and a bit bogan. Turnips are white with purple tops, crisp and slightly bitter. They are perfect eaten raw in salads or as snacks, and are delightful if cooked but still retain some crunch. The swede is pretty unusual in that it’s yellow, less bitter than its sister vegetable, turnip, and some will say that they are sweeter. They have been described as strongly flavoured but today’s swede tastes a little of turnip and a little of apple. They can also be eaten raw in salads, or, more commonly, are cooked.
This is a salad where Swede is used raw and mixed with Fennel and tart Apple. It is a salad that really celebrates winter vegetables. You will love it. I have given you two forms – the first is a crunchy salad, and the second option is to add some yoghurt and pine nuts. Both are great.
Sometimes when you are making Ottolenghi dishes, when you are rubbing that vinegar and sugar mixture into the onions or the chilli concoction into the cucumbers, massaging gently, when you are cooking the fourth or fifth element for the recipe, you think this is never going to work, why am I bothering? But then you taste the final dish, and you melt, and the flavours are incredible, and it is totally worth the messy kitchen and the washing up.
This is another Ottolenghi salad that brightens up the day. The king of flavours, Ottolenghi’s taste combinations really are quite extraordinary.
This crispy salad hits you full on with its sharp sweetness and oniony heat, and it’s just what is required to shake up tired tastebuds on a drowsy wintry or early spring night. You will love this one.
You might like to browse other Ottolenghi recipes, or explore other Salads here. We have Apple Salads and Celeriac Salads. Check for all other Celeriac recipes, and take some time to explore all of our Early Spring recipes.
If you are a reader of our Winter posts you know that we love to use the oven at any time of the day. It warms the kitchen, living areas and us. Plus it fills the space with the most delicious of aromas.
This is a great dish to throw into the oven on those cold days to warm the space and provide great food. Use the roasted vegetables as a side dish, or as a hot or room temperature Winter salad with a yoghurt and cumin seed dressing.
The recipe needs enough small-diced vegetables to pile into your baking dish to a depth of 5 cm, so I use a small baking dish for this one. And we are going to slow bake them for a couple of hours, so leave yourself enough time. We often make it first thing in the morning for lunch time salads.
Similar recipes include Sautéed Butternut and Spinach with Roasted Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic, Turnip and Swede Gratin, Butter Braised Turnips, Vegetables with Indian Flavours, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs, Baked Parsnips with Parmesan.
It is nearly Spring time, the garden is blooming (my first ever daffodils are flowering), and we have started juicing our own drinks again. We love to have home-made juices through Spring to Autumn.
While the apples are at their best, they are especially suited to late Winter and early Spring juices, providing a sweet base for many different combinations.
In the suggestions below, we don’t include quantities. My rule of thumb is – 2 large apples plus your combination fruit and vegetables will a little water to dilute the intensity of the flavours, will make 3 – 4 glasses. Enough for breakfast for a small – medium family.
In case you are wondering, I use Harom, a cold press juicer, but any juicer will make great drinks. I love cold press juicers because of the way that they extract the juice and the drinks are not as frothy as when you use a centrifugal juicer. It is also said that cold pressed juices are more nutrient dense than those produced with a centrifugal juicer. However the cold press ones do not handle greens or stringy vegetables such as celery as well as the centrifugal ones.
You can also make fruit juices in your High Speed Blender. I use a Vitamix. Simply blend the fruit for 2 or so minutes with a little water, then strain the juice as your pour it into a jug or into glasses. (I am not sponsored in any way by Vitamix or Harom.)
Enjoy the juice combinations below. Similar recipes include Strawberry and Blueberry Juices, Beetroot Based Juices, Zucchini Juice, Green Tea, Apple and Strawberry Juice, and Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger.
Red cabbage is so rare in our kitchen, but this is one of our favourite dishes when we are lucky enough to have it. The recipe is a Spanish one, from Catalonia, which is known for its love of combining sweet and savoury flavours.
We use red cabbage for this, but truly, any green leafed vegetable can be used – green cabbage, spinach, chard, kale, pak choy, for example. Cooking times may vary depending on the variety used.