Char-Grilled Summer Stone Fruit with Scented Yoghurt

This is a recipe that epitomises the height of Summer in Australia. Beautiful sun ripened stone fruits, grilled on an Aussie BBQ, and drizzled with a sweet scented yoghurt. It really is the best of recipes for this time, perfect perhaps for an Australia Day BBQ.

It is an Ottolenghi recipe, from his beautiful Plenty More book. We’ve cooked most of the recipes from this book, and have loved them all. In this recipe, Ottolenghi uses Lemon Geranium Water – a Tunisian ingredient that is more difficult to find locally. Orange Blossom Water is a good substitute (as is any other floral water).

We feel free to make substitutes in Ottolenghi’s recipes. See notes below the recipe about the fruit combination that we used. We are lucky enough to have lavender growing in our garden, but if it is not available to you, please omit it. I’ve also used Tulsi and mint leaves today, as sweet basil was not available. Mint is a really nice substitute.

Similar dishes include Blueberries with Bay Custard and Gin. Strawberry and Peach Lassi, Peaches with Asian Flavours, and Watermelon and Peach Salad.

Browse all of our Peach recipes, Fig Recipes and our Desserts. Or browse our Mid Summer dishes.
CONTINUE FOR THE RECIPE

Saffron Couscous with Dried Apricots and Butternut Pumpkin

Lately dishes have been coming together nicely – like this one. I had half a butternut left over from making Sweetcorn and Butternut Fritters, and some beautiful but very hard dried apricots from the Afghan shop that needed to be used up. What better way to do that but with couscous. Those dried apricots, by the way, are such a surprise. They look like nothing when dried, so hard and dark in colour, yet they plump up to flavoursome soft apricots when soaked. I love them.

Roast the pumpkin the evening before if you are looking to save time. This is a very easy dish, and it makes a great salad or side dish. It is from Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi, the first of his books. It is interesting to go back and browse through Ottolenghi – you can see the journey that Yotham has been on, and the journey that we have been on along with him.

Similar recipes include Couscous Salad with Orange, Couscous with Pinenuts and Sultanas, and Couscous Lunches.

Browse all of our Couscous recipes and all of our Butternut dishes. Or explore our Early Autumn feasts.

Continue reading “Saffron Couscous with Dried Apricots and Butternut Pumpkin”

100 Vegetables (and fruits): #3 Apricots

Apricots are another fruit with both sweet and savoury uses. With their fresh fruity flavour they add a lightness and great colour contrast to salads and fruit salads. They bake and poach well and pair surprisingly well with vegetables like okra.

Dried apricots also have numerous applications in the kitchen, either pureed or soaked and cooked.

We find store-bought apricots are not as good flavour-wise and in texture as home grown fruit, so keep them for salads and cooked dishes. When we have the delight of a gift of home-grown apricots, they are eaten as-is.

You can browse all of our Apricot recipes here. And check out our 100 Vegetable Series.

Continue reading “100 Vegetables (and fruits): #3 Apricots”

Dried Apricot Pachadi

Our local Afghan shop has the most gorgeous dried apricots. They are as hard as a rock and really uninviting, but once soaked, their flavour is sweet and intense. We make a range of dishes with them, often long, slow cooked dishes of a Middle Eastern style, but we also make a South Indian pachadi (pureed vegetable or fruit in yoghurt with spices).

You might expect this dish to be sweet, but the sourness of the yoghurt and the heat of the chillies counterbalances any sweetness that the apricots retain. You can also use apricots that you have dried yourself.

Similar recipes include Zucchini, Lime Leaf and Yoghurt Salad, Onion Pachadi, Bitter Melon Pachadi, Pomelo Raita, and Cucumber Pachadi.

Browse all of our Pachadi recipes and all of our Mango dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Dried Apricot Pachadi”

Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pecans

This is a lovely quinoa salad with apricots and nuts. You can make it with fresh fruit in summer or beautiful dried fruit (soaked) in Autumn and Winter. It is pretty glorious even if I do say so myself.

Finally, we are on the last leg of a three year journey to cook all of the 101 Salads of Mark Bittman. Just a couple more to go, less than I can count on 2 fingers. The first of the salads was posted in 2015, and first made perhaps 12 months before that, and it has taken all of this time to make, write up and then schedule, each recipe for posting. It took around 3 years of focused salad making to complete.

The first Summer, we probably made around 20 or 25 of the recipes, the second Summer, perhaps another 20. But the difference in the third Summer was twofold – I fell in love with this routine of salad making, and, well, I didn’t want to spend another 2 years on this project. So a very focused effort began in Autumn of 2017.

The funny thing was, making a salad almost every day – around 5 salads a week – changed food in our kitchen. We now look for our daily salad. We think about it and plan it. We enjoy our salad at different times of the day too – sometimes it makes a great snack mid morning or mid afternoon, sometimes it *is* lunch, sometimes a part of our dinner. Leftovers are eaten for supper, or packed for lunch the next day, or eaten for breakfast even (they are that delicious).

We are completing the 101 Salads in at the end of Early Winter of 2017, even though as you are reading this, it is probably well past that date. The salad posts have been scheduled over time so as not to overwhelm our feed with only salads. We were lucky, taking the salads through Autumn into Winter, as Bittman finishes his list with salads that are based on grains – quinoa, barley, couscous, wheat, rice. We loved these grainy ones in the colder weather of Winter.

We made every salad that we could, and converted many others. There were a few that we could not make – once the non-vegetarian items were removed, there was nothing left to make a salad from. Other salads featuring non-veg items, well, we just stripped them out and made the bones of the salad. We thought about tarting them up by substituting other ingredients, but actually we enjoyed the really pared down salads with killer dressings. We did. Simple is good. (Over the top complex is good too, hey Ottolenghi?)

Some salads we changed a little, due to availability of local ingredients, some we added a couple of items – white pepper, for example, to Asian style salads (my absolute love), or something we might have sitting on our kitchen bench that made a good addition. Pickled cumquats made it into a tart quinoa salad, and were divine. Some pickled jicama topped another salad, adding that delightful apple-flavoured crunch. But mostly, we left the original version alone.

And there you have it. Our long, multi-year journey of Salads with Bittman. I hope you like this one, #99 on his list. Please enjoy! Then browse all of our others.

Continue reading “Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pecans”

Red Rice and Quinoa with Orange and Pistachios

Quinoa seems to be out of fashion now, but it still has a place in our pantry. This is such a healthy salad, in fact it balances the best of the healthy world with the tasty world of food. Quinoa tastes great, has a satisfying, bouncy texture and is one of the healthiest foodstuffs going. It is said to have more protein than any other grain and the perfect set of amino acids.

This salad combines the quinoa with rice. I have made this salad with both the skinny variety of red rice and also with black rice. Both are amazing, with a wonderful nutty flavour. I have also seen recipes for this dish made with Indian red rice (see comments below), and will experiment with that combination in the future. It is certainly more cost effective.

This is another amazing Ottolenghi dish, from his first book, Ottolenghi. in fact, today 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 – currently we are cooking mostly from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Hence this salad from Ottolenghi. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

Interestingly this same recipe is included in Chris Manfiled’s Tasting India, as a recipe from the Himalayan regions of India where red rice (patn1) and red quinoa are grown. The recipe differs in the rices used – she uses patna and Ottolenghi uses French rice – and Ottolenghi adds pistachios. Chris also uses red rather then white quinoa. While (to my mind) it sits uncomfortably in Chris’ book, the book is a collection of recipes given to her by people across India, so it is conceivable that the recipe provided (without provenance) was Ottolenghi’s. To be fair, we are not given the origins of the recipe in Ottolenghi’s book either, and the combination is probably common to areas of the Middle East and Mediterranean. For example, see Cypriot Grain Salad.

Today, instead of using rocket which will never grow well in our garden, we used a combination of three greens to give that sour and peppery taste that rocket has – purslane, watercress and nasturtium leaves.

Similar recipes include Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Parsley and Pinenuts, Rice, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad, Quinoa Porridge with Tomatoes and Herb Oil, Cypriot Grain SaladQuinoa, Parsley and Lemon Salad, Fennel and Quinoa Salad with Broad Beans, and Sweet Pepper and Rice Salad.

You can browse all of our Quinoa dishes and all of our Rice recipes. The Ottlenghi dishes that we have made are here. Or explore all of our Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Red Rice and Quinoa with Orange and Pistachios”

Summery Apricot Sweet Salad with Orange and Thyme

I am not a great fan of cooking summer fruits – its quite rare for us to do so. I love the fresh summery taste of our stone fruits and most generally they are served as-is – to eat as the mood takes us, or perhaps as a post-meal grazing plate with some great cheeses.

How good it is to come home from the green grocers with my trusty cane basket full of cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines, peacharines. There is nothing better! Toss in some bunches of fresh herbs tucked into the corners of the basket. Mostly I grow herbs at home, but there are always some that have flowered or are yet to be large enough to be picked.

Today, I am sticking to the no-cook rule-of-thumb, but making a sort-of fruit salad, using just apricots. Use ripe, juicy apricots for this one.

I do have an cooked Apricot recipe if you are interested – Baked Apricots with Orange and Honey. Or try this great, tangy, Indian, Apricot Chutney recipe. Similar recipes include Locquats and Mango with Kaffir Lime Leaf.

You can browse all of our Apricot recipes are here. You might also like to browse our Desserts. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Summery Apricot Sweet Salad with Orange and Thyme”

Bamiya | Okra with Apricots and Lemon

This dish is an Armenian classic, one that brings sweetness through fruits into a dish with the softness of long-cooked okra. This recipe is a straightforward version of the dish – some recipes add tamarind and spices, but this one is quite an easy dish to cook while retaining the beautiful flavours of the cuisine. Tartness is added to the dish with lemons and tomato puree.

The okra are first sautéed and then cooked in the tomato puree with the apricots and lemon, for 40 mins or so, until meltingly soft. You will love it.

Are you after more Okra dishes? Try Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, Plain Kuzhambu with Okra, and Sambar with Okra.

Are you looking for more Armenian dishes? Try Green Peppers in Yoghurt and  Armenian Pickled Okra.

And try our Sweet Apricot Salad with Orange and Thyme.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes, all Apricot recipes, and all of our Armenian dishes. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Bamiya | Okra with Apricots and Lemon”

Bamia b’Mishmosh | Okra in Tamarind Sauce with Apricots and Prunes

Okra and Orzo Rice go so well together. Some time ago, we made Orzo Pasta Rice, a version of Vermicelli Rice, and the mixture of the two (rice with either orzo pasta or vermicelli) is utterly delicious. Today, we are pairing it with some simply cooked but oh so delicious okra, cooked on the stove top.

The okra, with Middle Eastern Flavours, is cooked with tamarind, dried apricots, prunes and spices, for that special Middle Eastern sweet-sour taste.

Are you after more Okra dishes? Try Okra with Apricots and Lemon, Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Warm Salad of Charred Okra, and Okra with Mustard Oil.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes, all Apricot recipes, and all of our Middle Eastern dishes. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Bamia b’Mishmosh | Okra in Tamarind Sauce with Apricots and Prunes”

Georgian Coriander and Walnut Sauce or Dip

Coriander and walnuts – who would have thought the zingy freshness of coriander would pair well with the earthy brown flavours of walnuts? It seems they do, with a plethora of recipes around for pastes and sauces containing the two ingredients.

This recipe is a little different than most. I first saw in The Guardian newspaper. It includes dried apricots. The sauce is both slightly sweet from the apricots, a little peppery and fragrant from the herbs with a pinch of heat from the chilli and, well, garlicky. This sweet, pungent sauce is a mainstay of Georgian national cuisine. It works beautifully as a marinade – try rubbing it on vegetables before baking or BBQing. Stir into cooked red beans. Marinate some tofu in it. Glaze cooked carrots with it. Put it in your soup. And it is rather good with roasted summer vegetables too. It is great included in your salad dressing. Spread it on your salad sandwiches. You will constantly find more and more ways to use this glorious paste.

My most favourite way to eat it is as a dip. It is non-traditional, but I have to let you into a secret. This is very good with some Middle Eastern flatbread. Put it on your next mezze or tapas plate.

According to Georgian legend, God took a supper break while creating the world. He became so involved with his meal that he inadvertently tripped over the high peaks of the Caucasus, spilling his food onto the land below. The land blessed by Heaven’s table scraps was Georgia.

Georgian of course refers to the country in the Caucasus rather than the southern U.S. state or the period of time when knights roamed England.

Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Caponata Siciliana, Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Spread, Coriander PasteZhoug, the Middle Eastern Coriander Paste and Dip, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

Also similar is an Apricot Chutney that can be made with dried apricots.

Or try these: Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Pudla with Green Coriander, or Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Green Coriander. Coriander Fritters are pretty good too.

Continue reading “Georgian Coriander and Walnut Sauce or Dip”