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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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

Roast Mushrooms with Burrata and Baked Toast Soldiers

Roast Mushrooms -a breakfast of champions. These mushrooms are perfect for the morning meal, for brunch, as a first course later in the day or as a BBQ in the evening. Spiced oil is spooned into large mushrooms which are then roasted before some creamy burrata is placed on the warm mushrooms. I know that you will love this dish, especially if you like egg-free breakfasts.

The idea for this dish comes from Ottolenghi’s Simple. He tosses sliced mushrooms in the oil before roasting them but I have a love of whole roasted mushrooms. The oil mix he uses is pure genius!  As always, I never feel constrained by Ottolenghi’s recipes and will adapt them to what is in our kitchen, pantry and garden. As we do not eat eggs, I make our usual stunning substitution – burrata. Its outer layer has the texture of cooked eggwhite and the inside is soft and creamy.  If you want to check his original recipes, see his books and his Guardian column.

By the way, these mushrooms are great in burgers – pair them with halloumi, grilled zucchini, cos lettuce and onions caramelised with a touch of brown sugar. Add slices of tomato and pickled beetroot if you wish.

Similar recipes include Mushrooms with Barley and Preserved Lemon, Pan Fried Mushrooms in Butter, Roasted Mushrooms with Butternut and Spinach, Mushrooms and Black Rice, and Mushrooms in Terracotta.

Browse all of our Mushroom dishes and recipes using Burrata. Ottolenghi recipes are here – just those from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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BBQ’d Vegetables with Peppery Dressing

Recently it was the first day this season where the sun felt HOT on my face as I stepped outside, and it immediately had me thinking about the BBQ. I need to roast capsicums anyway, to make a batch of harissa, so why not make a meal of it? We roasted a range of veggies and drizzled them with a mustard-pepper dressing.

This is the sort of dish you can use as an entree or salad course, a side salad, a main dish with crusty bread, or a snack. I need to tell you that we are not so formal about courses here – we tend to cook Balinese style – prep and/or cook a whole lot of dishes early in the day and eat as required or desired through the day. We do love our salads, and also our snacks, so each day might see one of each, along with other dishes. Most are simple – that is our food style, simple – quick – easy.

This dish can actually be made at any time of the year – just make it with seasonal vegetables. It is a great way to clean out the fridge!!!

Similar dishes include Raw Vegetable Salad with Mustard-Mayo Dressing, Kohlrabi and Mint Salad, and Miso Vegetables and Rice with Sesame Dressing.

Browse all of our BBQ recipes and all of our Salads. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.

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My Favourite Grilled Asparagus | Simple Food is BACK!

Simple recipes are now the fashion, thank goodness. I grabbed Nigel Slater’s Greenfeast from the library just after it was released – I never buy a book these days without a good look at it first. I was surprised by the book, perhaps initially a little disappointed.

First of all, its dimensions are small for a cookbook, especially one that is to be used regularly in the kitchen. But it is also quite thick and bound in such a way that the book will not open flat. To cook from it I would need to put my heavy mortar on the edge of one page and the pestle on the edge of the other.

And then to the content – I was surprised at how everyday and simple the recipes are. My initial comment on social media was that it is a book to give Simple, by Ottolenghi, a run for its money. Few exotic ingredients, recipes that suit time-hungry but foodie professionals. Recipes without 6 or 7 or 8 different processes. But, well, also without excitement.

24 hours later I realised that the lack of excitement, the everydayness of the recipes is the genius of this book. It is a cookbook that thumbs its nose at all of the chefy cookbooks we have been drooling over for the past decade. It thumbs its nose at the hours we spent searching down new ingredients that in cities like Adelaide have not and never will make it into the mainstream. It thumbs its nose to those of us who like to think we know 1 or 2 things about food – but have forgotten how to cook simply.

Nigel’s recipes are always unapologetically British, but the first of the Greenfeast 2-Volume set focuses on stunning fresh-from-the-garden ingredients arranged with love on a plate to produce Summery yet nourishing dishes. It is a book that you want to cook through from start to finish for easy, satisfying, home cooked meals. Thanks Nigel.

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Potato, Garlic and Rosemary Pizza

This pizza is one of my favourites – who does not like garlic on a pizza! It is the perfect meal for a hoard of hungry people in a hurry to eat. It makes a flavoursome meal with a minimum of fuss – just serve with a simple side salad. Salad leaves and tomato is perfect.

Make sure that you slice the potatoes thinly, otherwise they will not cook properly.

Similar recipes include Pizza on the BBQ, and Halloumi and Oven Dried Tomato Pizza.

Browse all of our Pizza recipes and all of our Snacks.  Or explore out Late Summer recipes.

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Broad Bean Burgers/Patties

Chickpea flour is really easy to make at home, especially if you have a high speed blender. We toast the chickpeas until they are aromatic – either the small Indian chickpeas or the regular, larger ones – and allow them to cool. Then grind them to a fine powder in a high speed blender. We are fortunate enough to have a “dry” blender jug, designed for powdering dry ingredients, but I hear you can do this just as easily using the normal blender jugs.

We toasted our chickpeas early this morning, pre dawn, and the house smelled toasty and chickpea-y. They cooled while we had breakfast, and then made our flour – a couple of cups worth. The reason we are doing this today is that we were out of the flour and needed a little for today’s recipe. I love to make my own besan – you know what is in it when you grind it yourself.

The fritters come from an Ottolenghi recipe and I have made some adjustments to it. Firstly the egg is replaced with the chickpea flour as we do not cook with eggs. Secondly – we wondered why Ottolenghi was toasting spices and then adding black pepper separately. So we have used our South Indian tricks to toast and grind black peppercorns along with the other spices. We replaced fennel seeds with ajwain as we love ajwain and were out of fennel seeds.

We have also been used to making this recipe with a fabulous Indian tomato chutney to accompany it. Today we made it with a sour cream sauce but I do recommend it with the tomato chutney – I’ve included the recipe below.

And by the way – a little Indian sour and salty mango pickle sets these burgers off beautifully (we prefer to call them patties).

The broad beans were from our stash in the freezer.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – a day per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely (this recipe is from Plenty). Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Crispy Couscous and Saffron Cakes, Vegetable Cutlets, Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens, Broad Beans with Lemon and Coriander, Broad Bean and Cabbage Kofta, and Falafel.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Char Grilled Vine Leaves Stuffed with Goat’s Cheese and Pinenuts

There is so much to celebrate in Spring, so many spring things that it is hard to keep up with them. One such abundant item in Spring is Grapevine Leaves. Of course, you think of Dolmades, but there are also other ways to enjoy this green taste of spring. For example, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves (delicious) and Grapevine Leaf Pecorino Parcels. Then there are rice mixtures, baked in vine leaves, and, of course, feta or goat’s cheese wrapped in vine leaves.

This recipe also uses goat’s cheese – I love a goat’s milk feta too – which is mixed with herbs, pinenuts and preserved lemon, and wraps the mixture in vine leaves before grilling. My preference is to make these when the BBQ is lit, perhaps to roast red peppers, and we make them as a snack with a squeeze of lemon juice. Grab your goat’s milk feta from your local Middle Eastern shop.

If you are using fresh vine leaves, the leaves from a fruiting grape vine are softer then those of an ornamental grape vine. I have used the ornamental vine leaves, and they are great, particularly for baking, but fruiting vines are better for stuffing and wrapping.

Do you have mixture left over? No worries, it is great on crusty bread or crackers.

Similar recipes include Baked Feta with Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Grapevine Leaf recipes, our Snacks, and all of our Greek dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Grilled Goat’s Milk Feta Wrapped in Vine Leaves

There is so much to celebrate in Spring, so many Spring things that it is hard to keep up with them. One such abundant item in Spring is Grapevine Leaves. Of course you think of Dolmades, but there are also other ways to enjoy this green taste of spring. For example, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves (delicious) and Grapevine Leaf Pecorino Parcels.

This recipe uses goat’s cheese – I love a goat’s milk feta especially – and wraps it in vine leaves before grilling. My preference is to make these when the BBQ is lit, perhaps to roast red peppers, and we make them as a snack with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Left over filling is wonderful in toasted sandwiches with tomatoes, or spread on crusty bread or crackers. Top the spread with thin slices of cucumber or tomatoes.

Similar recipes include BBQ’d Vegetables with Peppery Dressing, Vine Leaves Stuffed with Goats Cheese and Pine Nuts.

Browse all of our Grapevine Leaf recipes, our Snacks, and all of our Greek dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Fennel with Garlic and Orange

Toasted in a pan, this fennel dish is a delight.

Fennel is a wonderful vegetable with a strong aniseed taste when raw and a mellower taste when it is cooked. Raw fennel makes wonderful salads, and baked, grilled or fried fennel make excellent side dishes.

Here, a simple pan fried fennel dish flavoured with orange (a wonderful pairing with fennel) and lemon or pomegranate for acidity. Easy to make, this dish will surprise. It could also be cooked in a foil pan in a covered BBQ.

Similar recipes include BBQ’d Vegetables with Peppery Dressing, Florentine Fennel with Parmesan, Fennel and Potato with White Beans and Garlic, Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella, and Fennel a la Grecque.

You might like to read about Sweet Green Fennel and Florence Fennel.

Browse more Fennel recipes here.  Or explore our collection of easy Early Winter recipes.

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