Fancy Pants Coleslaw

If you are of a certain age in Australia, you grew up with Coleslaw, a creamy dressed salad of shredded cabbage. Well, Ottolenghi has taken Coleslaw to the next level, of course he has, with this Fancy Coleslaw. It shreds carrots, fennel, cabbage, red capsicum and radicchio for a very special salad.

After all of that shredding and chopping, you’ll have a huge bowlful of fresh and refreshing vegetables – the ideal antidote to all the fats, carbs and general debauchery of the holiday season. It is a healthy and nourishing salad, but also over-the-top delicious.

The creamy dressing for this salad is made with mayo and yoghurt. NOTE that I make an Eggless Mayo which is already mustardy and sweet, so I adjust Ottolenghi’s dressing accordingly (less or no extra mustard and only a little honey).

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest round of posts featuring recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely.

Similar recipes include Waldorf Salad, Wombok and Radish Salad, and Chilli Cabbage.

Browse all of our Cabbage Salads, and all of our Salads. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here. Or browse our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Fancy Pants Coleslaw”

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Peas with Purslane (or Sorrel) and Mustard

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 from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. It is a Pea dish today.

There is an ode to peas (especially frozen peas) in the Guardian as it introduces this dish from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. It goes something like this (with minor alterations):

“Is there a safer bet in the kitchen than that there will be a bag of peas in the freezer? Peas are unlikely to surprise or shock in any way, but they are delightfully reassuring. They will somehow always be there, and always taste as they have and should.

Sure, freshly podded peas have about them a certain romance  – they have, for example, that beautiful texture when thrown raw into a crunchy spring salad. But who has access to fresh peas that haven’t been sitting for far too long on the green grocer’s shelves? No wonder, frozen peas sit comfortably in almost all home freezers.

Peas are incredibly relaxed about whom they sit next to at dinner. Salty and tangy feta or parmesan, creamy yoghurt, nutty potatoes, sweet fresh mint, peppery watercress or bitter leaves: sweet peas will always bring out the best in their companion. Needing little more than a minute’s blanching to cook, followed by a brief drenching in cold water, peas are low-maintenance and offer instant gratification. They are hugely versatile in use, as good at being mashed, pureed, lightly stewed or blitzed as they are left whole and mixed through a salad or pasta, stirred through a risotto, or gently stuffed inside artichoke hearts ready for braising.”

Continue reading “Peas with Purslane (or Sorrel) and Mustard”

Aromatic Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice

This rice dish, very delicious I must say, is cooked in the oven. This method is  very handy if you are cooking a large meal and want to leave the stove top for other dishes. The general method can be used without the addition of the aromatics. Ottolenghi has this recipe in his book Plenty More but I have tarted it up just a little. As much as I love Yotham and crew, they need to get a better handle on Indian ingredients (IMO), so I have added or changed out a couple of things in this dish.

Try to get hold of fresh curry leaves on the stem for this dish – they freeze or dry well, so don’t worry if you end up with a big bunch. One of the ways in which curry leaf flavour is layered into a dish is to use them in several different ways in the same dish. Flavour a broth with them, as Ottolenghi does, saute/fry them in ghee or some other oil because the flavour is most easily transported by oils, and add crushed leaves to the final dish. I have used the last two methods in my version of this dish.

Serve the dish with an Indian pickle and a vegetable or lentil curry.

We have several ways of cooking rice, and this oven method is one more. Also try Oven Finished Rice, Buttery Steamed Rice, and The Absorption Method.

Similar recipes include Turmeric Rice, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, Carrot Rice, and Lemon Rice.

Browse all of our Rice dishes, and our Indian Recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. All of the Ottolenghi dishes we have made are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Fava | Split Pea Puree

Fava is a puree or spread made from yellow split peas, not Fava Beans (Dried Broad Beans).  The naming of these Mediterranean dishes is a mine field! A puree made from dried Broad Beans is known as koukofava.

There are many versions of Fava, some with cumin and sumac, but this one is made from split peas which are topped with capers and caramelised onion, eaten warm and served as a starter dip. Ottolenghi, whose recipe this is, says the dish is soothing yet exciting. It is indeed. It is a delight to see Ottolenghi use white pepper in several of his recipes – a rare thing these days but an exquisite taste.

You know we love pastes, purees, dips and spreads here and this is a delightful addition to our collection.

Similar recipes include Green Olive Tapenade, Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, and Fava Bean Puree with Dill and Olive Oil.

Browse more of our Purees and Spreads. Our Greek dishes are here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Waldorf Salad, Sort of

We delve into the Ottolenghi library again for today’s salad, and it is this twist on the Waldorf Salad that takes our fancy. With some red cabbage sitting neglected in the fridge, it is an ideal way to put it to use.

Ottolenghi twists up the classic Waldorf Salad, created by Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel of the Waldorf Astoria, and we make some changes too. Our changes are to accommodate readily available ingredients and our preference for eggless mayonnaise. Healthy and tasty, what could be better?

Similar Salads include Black Bean and Cabbage Salad with Orange Dressing, Celery Yoghurt Salad, Fennel, Potato and Tomato Salad with Mustardy Yoghurt, and Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo.

Browse all of our Salads, and all of our Cabbage dishes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Waldorf Salad, Sort of”

Quinoa, Parsley and Lemon Salad with Cannellini Beans

Today’s recipe is for a common style of salad around the Mediterranean – it is light and full of sunshine! Herby and lemony, it feels so healthy and is ideal for outside eating in Summer.

The Mediterranean style salad of quinoa and cannellini beans is quick to put together. Super simple once the beans and grains are cooked, it is ready in minutes and very delicious. It is an Ottolenghi recipe that does not have a mile-long list of ingredients or dozens of steps in the recipe. Tucked away in a corner of a page in his book Plenty More, it is a salad that should not be missed.

It is a very white salad, so it looks great served next to a salad with lots of tomato or pomegranate seeds. If you use red quinoa, it looks very elegant against the cannellini beans!

Similar dishes include White Bean Salad with Tahini, Grilled Eggplant Salad with White Beans, and Roasted Red Pepper Salad with White Beans.

You might like to see our other Quinoa recipes and Cannellini Bean recipes. All of our Salads are here. Browse all of our Ottolenghi recipes here, or explore our collection of easy Early Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Quinoa, Parsley and Lemon Salad with Cannellini Beans”

Saffron, Date and Almond Rice

Goodness, what a beautiful rice dish. Ottolenghi again creates magic with this Iranian recipe that he credits Claudia Roden’s classic A Book Of Middle Eastern Food. He believes that Irani people cook the best rice, and I have to say he might be right.

This recipe takes a bit more effort than banging some rice into the rice cooker, but for special occasions, and for weekends, it is definitely worth it. The rice grains are beautifully separated and soft. The dish has a sweet overtone from the dates, and conjures up beautiful Middle Eastern feasts on low tables in tents with thick rugs covering your legs.

This dish is cooked like a biryani, in layers. It needs a very low heat – raise the pot above your heat source a little if you can (eg place a roasting rack or heat diffuser over the heat source). It could also be cooked in a very low oven, but you’ll miss the crunchy rice that forms at the bottom.

Recently I needed to replace my saffron, so I ordered some from Saffron Only. It is the most beautiful saffron! Far better that what I had been using. If you love saffron, check her out on Instagram. (I only recommend products when they are excellent, and am not recompensed for my recommendations.)

Similar dishes include Kosheri, Green Mango and Coconut Rice, and Rice with Orzo.

Also try Saffron and Rose Scented Aubergine, Golden Saffron Spiced Tea, and Dates and Saffron Soaked in Spiced Ghee.

Browse all of our Rice dishes and all of our Ottolenghi recipes. Or take some time and explore our Mid Spring collection of dishes.

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Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad with Nasturtium Leaves and Garden Flowers

Colourful, juicy, delicious.

It is Spring, and the nasturtiums have leaves as big as lotus leaves and flowers of all hue peaking out from beneath.

This dish is an adaptation of an Ottolenghi recipe – a salad using pink grapefruit. I had a dozen pink grapefruit and this seemed an awesome opportunity to play with this recipe. The original recipe uses watercress, which is difficult to find here – its not common and is expensive. Not having the inclination or the time to drive the 30 mins it takes to get to a green grocer that does stock it, I substituted with produce from my garden. Into the salad went baby nasturtium leaves, yellow and red nasturtium flower petals and marigold flower petals. It was extraordinary.

This is a salad that, even in its original form, appears on paper like it won’t come together with Ottolenghi’s usual balanced and banging flavours. It feels like too much sumac. There is a chilli in the dressing.  And crispy, sharp raw onion. But the flavours are massive and surprising! Bright, puckery grapefruit gently mixed with peppery watercress (in my case, nasturtium leaves), bitter Belgian endive, sweet leaves of basil basil, sharp red onion slices, and a tangy vinaigrette heavy with the lemony tangy sumac. Flavour clash? Not at all. A beautiful, balanced, juicy salad that is colourful and divine.

Pomelo can be used in place of the grapefruit. Pink Pomelo can be found over Summer in local Asian green groceries.

Similar recipes include Locquat Salad, Three Citrus Salad with Chilli, Ginger and Almond Salsa, Pink Grapefruit Salad with Avocado, and Pomelo and Green Mango Salad.

You might also like to explore our extensive Salad recipes and Grapefruit dishes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here. Or browse our Early Spring dishes.

Continue reading “Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad with Nasturtium Leaves and Garden Flowers”

Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini

Feekeh! No longer an ingredient that we need to travel across town to buy.  With several Afghan shops closeby in my new neighbourhood, those sorts of ingredients now go on the weekly shopping list. Oh, the joy!

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More, one of my fav of his books. Beans are cooked and mixed with walnuts, then drizzled with a minty-tahini dressing. The dressing is what ranch dressing would taste like if it spent a few months traipsing through the Middle East, so they say.

Yotham advises beans of the best quality for this dish. He also says that the walnuts can be omitted, but we are loving them so much this season, so they are definitely in. They provide a texture in this salad that is otherwise missing.

Similar recipes include Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs and Yoghurt Dressing, and Cyprian Grain Salad with Freekeh.

For Green Beans, try Five Bean Glorious Salad, and Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal.

Browse all of our Green Bean recipes and all of our Freekeh dishes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Winter collection of recipes.

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Raw Beetroot and Herb Salad

How great is the earthy taste of beetroot! Growing my own, the earthiness and its inherent sweetness are both intensified in these fresh-from-the-ground crimson balls.

This crunchy salad is a good way to start or end a meal, or to serve as part of a spread of vegetable-based dishes. It is an Ottolenghi recipe, simple in its design and gorgeous in its delivery. It is very crunchy with the beetroot raw and the toasted nuts and seeds. If you like it a little softer, quickly saute the julienned beetroot, like we do in the Beetroot and Carrot Salad.

Everything can be prepared in advance, kept in the fridge, and combined when you’re ready.

We have some similar Beetroot recipes. Try Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Salad with Walnuts, Beetroot with Yoghurt Tahini Dressing, Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad with Rocket, and Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad.

Also try Purslane Salad with Herbs and Burrata.

You can browse all of our Beetroot recipes here. Or have a look through our Ottolenghi recipe collection. We love Salads and have so many. Browse them here, or explore our easy Mid Summer recipe collection.

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Mung Bean and Baked Carrot Salad

Mung Beans shine in this beautiful salad.

There is a thing about your own cooking that embodies your preferences, and they were built from childhood food experiences, your culture, your climate and  your food journey through life.  So, like it or not, cooking is not formulaic. You twist and turn while following a recipe. You massage it here and there. You add and subtract. You compensate and accentuate. And you cook something that is pleasing to you and to those you love.

So it is with Ottolenghi. I love his recipes, but there are some things that don’t suit my preferences – or my climate. Although he does really well internationalising his dishes, unlike Nigel Slater who unashamedly cooks for an English audience, some things jar with me. For example, his over use of feta when it is not needed to enhance the dish is perhaps a fashion thing. Or maybe to enhance the visuals. Or perhaps the feta is betta in London. Or maybe it is just my preference to use only small amounts. Continue reading “Mung Bean and Baked Carrot Salad”

Pomelo and Green Mango Salad with Asian Flavours

This salad has such a fresh taste, embodying the joys of summer.

Ottolenghi has done it again. This is the first time that we’ve used Pomelo and it is a delightful find. Let me say, however, that it is a lot of work to peel and remove the membrane, but once the trick is discovered it is not a difficult task.

This salad has such a fresh taste, embodying the joys of summer. I wonder why pomelo is not very popular in Australia as this dish is very much a beach-side picnic dish or a country-drive-and-picnic dish.

Are you looking for Pomelo recipes? Try Three Citrus Salad with Green Chilli and GingerPomelo Salad with Avocado, Pomelo and Carrot Salad, and Pomelo, Green Mango and Pea Eggplant Salad with Tamarind Dressing.

Ore perhaps other Green Mango recipes? Try Green Mango and Lemon Rice, and Jicama and Green Mango Salad.

Are you looking for other Salads? Try Buddha’s Delight Salad, Kylie’s Tofu and Asian Herb Salad, and Ottolenghi’s Beetroot, Black Olive and Orange Salad.

Or browse all of our Pomelo dishes, all of our Salad Recipes and our Ottolenghi recipes. Or be inspired by our Late Summer recipes.

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Crushed Du Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin

This sustaining meal-on-a-plate is a little bit like hummus, though much easier and quicker to prepare. Eat with warm flatbread and a salad.

It is a very very cool summer’s day, full of storms and we are all reaching for our unused jackets to keep warm. We look for something more substantial and comforting today from the kitchen.

I love the lentils of India and the Middle East, and I love the lentils of the West (although a much more limited range). Commonly, lentils soften much more quickly than most dried beans and peas, and take only 20 – 40 minutes to cook. While red lentils (masoor dal), fall apart in the cooking (so making them perfect for soups), brown and green varieties hold their shape, making them a very good base on which to layer other foods. A pan of cooked lentils – braised with carrots, onions, celery, hard herbs and vegetable stock – is a useful thing to have in the fridge, ready to for the basis for turning yesterday’s leftover dishes into a whole new meal.

You might also like to try Indian Du Puy Lentil Sundal Salad, Kosheri – Rice with Vermicelli and Lentils, and Du Puy Lentil Soup.

Browse through our Du Puy recipes, and you might like to explore all of our Ottolenghi recipes. Be inspired by our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Crushed Du Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin”

Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onion

A Japanese Style luxurious aubergine dish – salad, side dish, main course or condiment.

Ottolenghi has a great steamed eggplant recipe in Plenty More, rather like the Thai one that I posted here but just different enough to try it out.

Don’t you just love the silky texture of steamed eggplant – so different to its grilled counterpart?

Steaming maintains some of the aubergine flesh’s texture, which doesn’t happen if you cook it in any other way. It gives this dish a particular substantial quality, making it suitable to serve with just plain rice or fried tofu. It can also be used as a condiment or side dish.

Are you looking for Spring Onion dishes? Try South Indian Spring Onion Soup.

You might also like to try some Eggplant Dishes. Try Steamed Thai Eggplants with Sesame Soy Garlic Dressing, and Steamed Thai Eggplants and Zucchini with Chilli and Lime.

Browse all of our Eggplant recipes, our Japanese dishes, and all of the Ottolenghi recipes we have tried. Or gain inspiration from our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onion”

Tomato and Pomegranate Salad

From Plenty More, Ottolenghi comes up with a cracker tomato salad with hints of the Middle East.

Who can go past a tomato salad in late summer or autumn when the tomatoes are the sweetest and juiciest? And to celebrate the arrival of Autumn and it’s change in colours, Ottolenghi has this cheery bright red salad that combines the sweetness of the tomatoes with the sour-sweetness of the pomegranates.

The salad is best made when pomegranates are in season and beautiful tomatoes are available.

Are you after Pomegranate recipes? Why not make your own Pomegranate Molasses and Pomegranate Honey. Or try Green Olive, Walnut, Pistachio and Pomegranate Salad, Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate Molasses, and Crab Apple and Pomegranate Jelly.

You might want to try these Tomato Salads as well: Simple Tomato and Bread Salad, Bok Choy with Capers and Tomatoes, the Best Tomato Salad Recipe, and Simple Salads from Elizabeth David. We adore a Simple Tomato Salad, and my Mother’s German tomato and cucumber salad with cream.

All of our Tomato Salads are here and all of our Pomegranate dishes here. Or browse all of our many Salads. Alternatively, explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Tomato and Pomegranate Salad”