Green Bean, Hazelnut and Orange Salad

Orange and hazelnut go wonderfully well together. The pairing offers a good balance of freshness and earthiness and the flavours are subtle enough to complement green beans without overpowering them.

In this recipe we use the orange slices that we dehydrated some time ago. Several slices are whizzed in a spice grinder until almost powdered. If you don’t have dried orange slices, use pieces of orange zest that have been sliced thinly.

This is based on a recipe from Ottolenghi’s first book, Ottolenghi. We like to play wild and free with his recipes, so you can check the original one here.

Similar recipes include Black Pepper Garlic Broccoli, Steamed Broccoli with Pinenuts, Green Bean Salad, Fava Bean Salad with Garlic and Dill, and Glorious Five Bean Salad.

Or browse all of our Bean Salads and all Bean dishes.

Continue reading “Green Bean, Hazelnut and Orange Salad”

Charred Broccoli and Bean Salad with Chilli and Garlic

This recipe is a riff on one by Ottolenghi in his book Ottolenghi. He also riffs it, with numerous variations on the Guardian website and elsewhere. It just proves how addictive broccoli is when it is char-grilled and tossed with garlic and chilli. We have been making this salad periodically for years – my daughter was the first to put me on to how good it is.

This time, I add beans to the mix, as (ssshhh, this is a little known secret) are also addictive when char-grilled. I’ve used a delicious sweet-hot chilli paste, and the garlic is sliced and crisped. An optional extra is to add flaked almonds to the salad.

Sadly, there are no pics tonight, an increasing trend on this blog when we cook at night. You will have to trust sight-unseen on how good this dish is. Photo is from Unsplash.

Similar dishes include Black Pepper Garlic Broccoli, Steamed Broccoli with Pinenuts, Pan Roasted Broccoli, Smashed Chickpeas with Broccoli, and Broccoli with Orange Butter Sauce.

Or browse all of our Broccoli and Bean dishes.

Continue reading “Charred Broccoli and Bean Salad with Chilli and Garlic”

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”

Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Yoghurt Sauce

These are some of the most delicious fritters that we have made. The soft bite of the cauliflower with the spices is a warming mouthful that you won’t forget quickly. Here we have served them with yoghurt with short mung sprouts and herbs.

The recipe appears in 2 books from the Ottolenghi family – Falastin by Sami Tamimi, and Ottoleghi by Ottolenghi and Tamimi. They are the sort of fritter you can have for a meal, as a snack (make them smaller), or packed in a lunch or picnic box.  Or shove them into some pitta bread with hummus and tomato for a great afternoon filler with a cuppa tea.

They keep a couple of days in the fridge (think – after school snack), and are best eaten either at room temperature or heated slightly in a warm oven. The batter will also keep a couple of days in the fridge if you want to cook on demand.

“These are not your usual fritters,” says cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi. These are packed with cauliflower and spiced with cinnamon, cumin and turmeric. As a dipping sauce, he serves a spiked Greek yoghurt.

Of course, I have switched out the eggs in Tamimi’s recipe for my usual egg replacer in friters – 1 Tblspn chickpea flour, 1 Tbslpn or a bit less of cream and about 0.25 plain or lemon eno per egg.

Similar recipes include Roasted Cauliflower Tahini Puree, Buckwheat Upma, Crispy Couscous and Saffron Cakes, Sweet Potato Fritters, Mung Bean Flour Fritters, and Pakora.

Browse all of our Fritter recipes, and all of our Snacks. Our Tamami recipes are here, and the dishes from Falastin are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More.

Continue reading “Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Yoghurt Sauce”

Mushrooms with Pearl Barley and Preserved Lemon

We are all working to stay happy, healthy and somewhat sane during this time. It is the middle of the coronavirus pandemic as I write this draft. We are social-distancing, a new word, and we s-d even in our own homes. It is a scary time that is changing the world in many large and small ways. Oh, so many countries have been devastated with so many deaths, my heart is broken for you. Who knows what is to come ….

As it happens, I happen to have a couple of flat mushrooms in the fridge, barley in the pantry and feta from the Afghan shop. There is parsley and thyme in the garden, so this seems to be the perfect use for the mushrooms. I also have wine! It is a rare occurrence, but is perfect for this dish. The mushrooms are slowly braised in the oven in wine, stock, butter and thyme, to become achingly soft, fragrant and highly flavoursome. The stuffing is barley, feta, preserved lemon, garlic and herbs. It is an unusual stuffing for mushrooms, but one that is divine and perfect against the soft ‘shrooms. They mended my heart a little, just for a moment.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe from his book Ottolenghi. I serendipitously came across it while browsing last evening. We are always free to massage his recipes into a shape that fits what we have at hand, but this time it needed little alteration. I toyed with the idea of using goat cheese for feta, and it would have worked, but used feta instead. I did chop up the mushroom stems and add them to the barley as it cooked. No waste, no want, always my mantra. This recipe doesn’t appear to be on the Guardian website, so you will have to check his books for the original.

Similar recipes include Toasted Barley and Pistachio Pilaf, Sweet Barley and Ginger Poached Rhubarb, Roasted Mushrooms with Burrata, Pan Fried Mushrooms in Butter, Roasted Mushrooms and Garlic, Black Barley with Mushrooms, and Mushrooms in Terracotta.

Browse all of our Mushroom dishes and all of our Barley recipes. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Mushrooms with Pearl Barley and Preserved Lemon”

Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yoghurt

Eggplant and Yoghurt is very common, even eggplant and saffron yoghurt is not unusual. Ottolenghi has his version in his first cookbook, Ottolenghi. This book is still one of my favourites, given to me as a gift when I was spending a couple of months in London. Lucky for me I was so very close to Islington, and so Ottolenghi’s became my usual haunt. This was long before anyone in Australia had heard of him. So this book brings back many joyful memories.

As usual, I feel free to massage his recipes to suit my preferences at the time and the availability of ingredients. Today I had a deep sticky sauce that I had made sitting on the kitchen bench, so the eggplant slices got smeared in this before roasting. You don’t need to do that, though. This recipe is actually very very simple to make (Yay!) and it is perfect for evening suppers. It doesn’t seem that it has appeared in the Guardian column, so you will need to check his books if you want to check the original.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree, Noodles with Fried Eggplant, Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce, and Cheesy Baked Eggplants.

Browse all of the recipes from Ottolenghi, and all of our Eggplant dishes. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yoghurt”

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”

Herb Salad with Radishes and Burnt Betel Leaves

A salad of herbs is common elsewhere, but not in the English Speaking countries (in general). However herb-full salads are extraordinary and worth seeking out and making.

This one is inspired by a salad in Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi, but his is far too fussy for me. There is no way that I am going to spend hours picking leaves from the stalks of herbs. So I mixed it up to make my version of the salad.

This salad is made with herbs – rather than cutting or slicing them, the leaves are plucked (with stem) to form leaf-sized pieces. I used the herbs available in my kitchen and garden. It is a fresh and lively salad. We kept Ottolenghi’s almonds for texture and the butter-lemon dressing, and added radishes and betel leaves. The betel leaves are optional of course – my Asian grocery stocks them so occasionally I bring some home. To soften them we wave in a gas flame and then use them as a bed for the salad.

Similar recipes include Quinoa, Herbs and Lemon Salad, Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs, and Thai Betel Leaf Salad.

Browse all of our Salads and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. Or explore all of our Early Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Herb Salad with Radishes and Burnt Betel Leaves”

Marinated Eggplant with Tahini and Oregano

Fresh oregano must be one of the most underused herbs. It is rather potent, so must be used with care, similar to rosemary or sage. It’s a herb that can dominate if used too liberally. However, oregano is very versatile and works well in marinades or dressings for roasted vegetables or substantial salads. It also flavours gratins and makes a great addition to pasta sauces, pizzas, or over steamed potatoes.

Some combinations are just a match made in Middle eastern heaven. Eggplant and Tahini, for example. With roasted wedges of eggplant and a creamy tahini sauce, it’s hard to go wrong. The fresh oregano needs to be added with a little caution as mentioned, but adds a fresh herby note to the dish.

Wedges of eggplant are baked and then marinated in garlic, chilli, herbs and oil, before being dressed with the tahini sauce. Truly, the baked eggplant wedges are good enough to eat on their own, so make sure that you cook enough of them to have a quick snack while making the dish. For the finished dish, the play of the green flavours of the herbs against the eggplant and tahini is magnificent. And don’t you love the way that lemon juice works with tahini? I have always loved that.

It is a magical side dish, entree, mezze plate addition or salad, and can be made up to 2 days in advance. The recipe is from Ottolenghi’s book Ottolenghi.

Small eggplants such as Japanese or Chinese varieties are good to use for this recipe, as well as the globe varieties. If using white eggplants, perhaps peel them before roasting as the skin is thicker than most other small eggplants.

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Ottolenghi. It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one 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. 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 dishes include Algerian Eggplant Salad/Spread, Lentil Salad with Pomegranate Molasses, Eggplant and Zucchini Baked with Chickpeas and Harissa, Eggplant Steaks, and Saffron and Rose Scented Eggplants.

Browse all of our Eggplant dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Ottolenghi and from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Marinated Eggplant with Tahini and Oregano”

Fennel and Feta Salad with Sumac and Pomegranate

Fennel is a capricious vegetable, pretending to be summery with that fresh, crisp taste that needs nothing more than some salt and olive oil before it lands on the table. But only sorry specimens of fennel are available through Summer, and at exorbitant prices. But as Autumn wanes and winter pikes its head around the corner, fennel appears with bulbs big and firm, and the prices plunge.

Before the cold weather hits, it is important to taste some of those minimal dishes with fennel. I promise, if you slice fennel thinly, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, your salad dish might not make it to the table. It becomes so more-ish that it can be completely polished off in the kitchen before the rest of the meal is finished.

And blessings continue in the late Autumn. All of a sudden pomegranates fill the green grocers’ shelves again. Those ruby red kernels that add sheer joy to any dish and look divine at the table. These kernels of happiness also speak of Summer, but it must be of Summer-gone, because Autumn and early winter is their real season.

Fennel and pomegranate, unsurprisingly, make a great match in the salad bowl. One crunchy and liquorishy, and the other slightly tart and juicy. Ottolenghi in his book Ottolenghi, pairs them with feta and sumac. This must bring four of Ottolenghi’s most loved ingredients together – he uses them a lot.

He recommends Greek feta for the bite that it gives, but I have fallen in love with a more Middle Eastern feta, one that I can get from the local Afghan grocery. It is creamier and gentler, and I adore it. In this recipe, use your favourite feta too.

Would you like more Fennel recipes? Try Fennel with Almonds and Raisins, Grilled Fennel with Saffron Crumbs, Braised Fennel with Capers, Olives and Ricotta, Fennel, Potato and Tomato Salad with Garlicky Mayonnaise, Grilled Fennel with Fresh Mozzarella, and Fennel a la Grecque.

Or some Pomegranate dishes? Try Pomegranate Molasses, Pomegranate Salad with Green Coriander and Lime, and Crab Apple and Pomegranate Jelly.

Browse all of our Fennel dishes, Pomegranate recipes and the Ottolenghi dishes that we have made. All of our Salads are here. Or explore our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Fennel and Feta Salad with Sumac and Pomegranate”