Brussels Sprouts with Caramelised Garlic and Lemon Peel

My theme for Winter last year was Brussels Sprouts – I have written before about how I avoided them for most of the decades of my life, but I have found a new appreciation. This is because – roasted sprouts. And pan fried sprouts.

There is a thing about roasted brussels sprouts. I love how you can get flavours deep into the heart of sprouts that have been halved lengthwise. Lemon juice, orange vinegar, pomegranate molasses or various spices.

This recipe, which is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More, uses pan fried sprouts, but there is nothing to stop you roasting them instead. In fact it saves some work if you decide to roast them (but they won’t be as crunchy). This recipe is classic Ottolenghi – 4 or 5 different processes, depending how you count them, and about an hour to make. But I have learnt to hold back my complaints about that (a little), as the flavours are always banging. It took the release of his book Simple to make me realise how complex and layered the flavours are in his other books, and especially how much that adds to the dish. Simple strips it away – the dishes are still good but somehow now quite like the Ottolenghi I know, love and complain about.

I have been working my way through Plenty More. Never one to keep up with fashion I haven’t joined the people feverishly cooking through Simple. I had intended to finish Plenty More within 12 months but found I had to take a break of some months within sight of the end. Now I have resumed, but taking it at a slower pace.

Caramelised garlic makes a lovely condiment to lentils or roast veg, while candied lemon makes a great garnish for creamy desserts or leafy salads. I always pan-fry sprouts – it retains texture and enhances flavour. — Ottolenghi

The recipe takes the Brussels Sprouts and mixes them with a caramelised garlic syrup, candied lemon peel, chilli and basil. It sounds too amazing to be believed. And indeed it is – the interplay of sweet, spicy and tart flavours is nothing short of spectacular. Imagine this as your stand-out dish on the Xmas table, or, in Australia, make it for Sunday Lunch on the Queen’s Birthday weekend, or for Xmas in July. It will knock the socks off of your guests.

Similar recipes include Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo and Star Anise, Brussels Sprouts Salad, and Brussels Sprouts Risotto.

Browse all of our Brussels Sprouts recipes and all of our Garlic dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Brussels Sprouts with Caramelised Garlic and Lemon Peel”

Upma and Fried Upma with Ricotta

Upma is a delicious breakfast dish and snack from South India. Rava (also called Rawa, Sooji, Suji or Upma grain) is a semolina product that is cooked with spices and sometimes finely chopped vegetables for a stunningly delicious dish.

Ottolenghi, in his book Plenty More takes his version of Upma and allows it to set before pan frying wedges. It is a delicious way to use Upma and a great use of left-overs. Rather than use his recipe, I cook Upma in a more traditional South Indian way, using his method to pan fry it, then serve it with either seasoned yoghurt or ricotta.

Rava, like semolina, is a granulated wheat flour that have a grainy and coarse texture to it. There are two types available, a fine-grained version and a coarser-grained one that is better for making Upma. In general, sooji will have a finer grain than rava. If you use the fine grained one for Upma, you might have to reduce the water so that you don’t get a pasty texture.

I cook Upma until it is thick and holds shape.  One variation is to add more water to get a looser consistency. If making the fried upma, cook until it is quite thick.

As an aside and just for your information if you are interested: There are many different types of rava, perhaps thousands of regional variations. Some of the variations are because different wheats are used. One of them called Bansi Rava and also known as samba wheat in many parts of India, is a very fine powdered flour unlike the more coarsely granulated Rava. It is made from a variety of wheat called samba godumai that has a long body and slightly sharp edges on both sides.

Another famous Rava is the Bombay Rava which has a very coarse texture that is a little bigger than regular Rava. It is made from whole wheat grains of a wheat called mottai godumai. There is another type, chamba rava, which is a by-product of wheat flour. Semolina, on the other hand, is always made from Duram wheat.

Similar recipes include Polenta Crisps and Lemony Poha.

Browse all of our Semolina recipes and all of our Breakfast dishes. Indian Snacks are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Upma and Fried Upma with Ricotta”

Noodles with Fried Eggplant, Miso and Walnuts

I hadn’t really cooked any dishes from Ottolenghi’s books for about a year (and it would be another 6 months before I went back to cooking his recipes regularly). When I began cooking from Plenty More again, I realised 2 things: Firstly how much I had missed the flavours of Ottolenghi, and secondly I remembered the almost tedious number of processes in each recipe.

The deep sweetness and intensity produced by miso paste, combined with other Japanese staples, are guaranteed to put a smile on your dial on an overcast Winter or Early Spring day.

This one is no different. It has 7, yes seven, different processes with associated pots, pans and equipment. Make the vegetarian dashi, ribbon cut and soak ginger and spring onions, prep the eggplants, deep fry the eggplants, saute the onions, walnuts etc, make the sauce, cook the noodles.

So Ottolenghi flavours come at a price. Leave an afternoon free – at least several hours to cook and clean up – when making any of his dishes.

To be fair though – the man I call the Master of Flavour produces amazing dishes that makes the hours worth the effort!

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. You can see the original recipe here.

Similar recipes include Roasted Eggplant with Special Miso Sauce, Deep Fried Eggplant, Ginger Scallion Noodles, and Udon Noodles and Shimejii Mushrooms.

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

Continue reading “Noodles with Fried Eggplant, Miso and Walnuts”

Oh My Goodness! Polenta Chips. With a Charred Tomato Sauce

Polenta has been a love of mine since the time (decades ago) that my Italian hairdresser turned me on to wet polenta in a dish layered with tomatoes. We don’t use polenta enough in our kitchen though, obsessed as we are with Indian food and other dishes of Italian food.

Ottolenghi has a gorgeous polenta chips recipe and that was enough impetus for us to search for the polenta in the back of the pantry and make this delicious snack. We are still cooking our way through Plenty More but we are in the Fried chapter, and so have slowed down. You just cannot eat deep fried food each and every day.

Similar recipes include Chickpea Fingers, Paprika Oven Chips, and Cumin and Pepper Wedges.

Browse all of our Polenta dishes and all of our Chips. Or browse our Late Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Oh My Goodness! Polenta Chips. With a Charred Tomato Sauce”

Life-Changing Fried Cauliflower with Mint and Tamarind Dipping Sauce

Some vegetables that have a poor reputation because they have been over cooked or over-boiled in the past, have redeemed their reputations through roasting or frying. I am thinking of Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower particularly, also Broccoli. I do love Cauli and Broccoli steamed gently but I also have nightmare recollections of how my mother cooked them.

Today we have a life-altering Cauliflower recipe for you. This is REALLY GOOD, and you won’t believe it is vegetarian. Fool your friends!

In this recipe, cauliflower is deep fried in a spicy batter and breadcrumbs, then it is dipped in a sauce made from herbs and tamarind. The original recipe is one of Ottolenghi‘s from Plenty More, but I have changed the batter so that it does not contain eggs. Chickpea flour batter makes an excellent batter for deep frying and we have used that. I have also made the batter spicy and left the breadcrumbs plain. We always feel free to substitute ingredients in Ottolenghi recipes that are not readily available in our local area, or to massage them to suit what is available in our garden and pantry. Seek out his original recipe in the book to compare – I can’t find a version online.

Similar recipes include Tamarind Molasses, Tray Baked Veg with Pomegranate Molasses, Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil, Cauliflower Fry, and Crispy Cauliflower with Capers.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here and here are the recipes from Plenty More. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Life-Changing Fried Cauliflower with Mint and Tamarind Dipping Sauce”

Mixed Vegetables and Yoghurt with Green Chilli Oil

A glorious mix of fried vegetables in yoghurt – indeed exquisite, and direct from Istanbul (via Ottolenghi). Most of the veg are deep fried, but don’t let that put you off as it is indeed glorious. It works well with baked, roasted  and grilled veg as well.

The original recipe is one of Ottolenghi’s from Plenty More, but I have changed the cooking times and included some Thai round green eggplants. We always feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area, or to massage Ottolenghi’s recipes to suit our preferences and what is available in our garden and pantry. You can see the original recipe in The Guardian here.

Similar recipes include Avial, Winter Roast Veggies with Chickpeas, and Roast Butternut with Chilli Yoghurt Sauce.

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

Continue reading “Mixed Vegetables and Yoghurt with Green Chilli Oil”

Fig and Roasted Onion Salad

Mid Summer to Early Autumn are peak time for figs. Boy, do we look forward to that time. And even luckier that we have a green grocer 30 – 40 mins drive from us, who stocks figs from the first moment of ripening until the last fig of the latest fig variety falls from the tree. We make the trip if there are no local ones, to grab some and indulge (they are not cheap). Also, there is a Pick-Your-Own place we visit at least once during the season, especially if we want to make jam (fig jam is my favourite jam).

This is an Ottolenghi recipe – we have been working with all of his Salads from his book Plenty More. It pairs figs with hazelnuts, which we have used before – it’s a great pairing. He also adds the sweetness of roasted onions to the salad, and it’s a great innovation. That sweetness of the onions and figs bounces off the bitterness of the radicchio and watercress. (Add some purslane too, if you have it.) Not only does the salad look terrific, it works well flavour-wise too.

A great fig should look like it’s just about to burst its skin. When squeezed lightly it should give a little and not spring back. It must be almost unctuously sweet, soft and wet. Once you’ve managed to find a fig that meets all these criteria, I guarantee a heavenly experience. – Ottolenghi

The Salad is best made directly before serving. It makes a great entree (starter dish), and also a fantastic salad for bring a plate lunches with the girls, or BBQ family gatherings.

You might like to try some more fig recipes. Try White Fig and Rocket Salad, Figs with Blue Cheese, Baked Figs with Thyme, and Figs with Rosewater and Almonds. Also check out Black Onions.

Browse all of our Fig recipes, and all of our many many Salads. All of the Ottolenghi dishes that we have tried are here. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Fig and Roasted Onion Salad”

Beetroot, Avocado and Pea Salad

There is so much good stuff in this “almost superfood” salad that it makes you feel very healthy and conscientious indeed. Served as it is, it can be a very substantial meal – just scatter a few roasted hazelnuts and/or chunks of creamy goat’s cheese over the top, and you need nothing else.

Did you know that I grew up calling beetroot, red beet? That name seems to have disappeared in Australia, although a quick search on google confirms that at least some people, in some parts of the world, retain that name. I wonder if it came from my mother, whose family contained many German immigrants. Perhaps it is a European thing.

The star of this dish is indeed the blanched then quick-pickled beetroot, and its contrast with the slightly bitter pea shoots. Rather than the hour-long boil or bake, eating beetroot raw or quickly sauteed or blanched is a healthy  and very delicious alternative. The beetroot retains a bite or crunch that adds textural layers to a dish. Everything can be prepared in advance for this salad, kept in the fridge, and combined at the last moment.

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

Similar recipes include Slightly Pickled Beetroot Salad with Mustard, Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad with Rocket, and Beetroot Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing.

Browse all of our Beetroot Salads, and all of our other Beetroot dishes. Our Avocado dishes are here. Browse all of Ottolenghi’s dishes from Plenty More. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Beetroot, Avocado and Pea Salad”

Salad of Sprouts

This salad sounds quite virtuous, but in reality it is very delicious. Made with a range of sprouts that are supported by herbs, spinach, radish, tiny tomatoes, and carrots. It IS healthy, but tastes like it could be really addictive.

In this Salad of Sprouts, an Ottolenghi recipe from his book Plenty More, various oils and vinegars are used to add a richness. However, you can use just one of each if you like.

Similar recipes include Matki Sprouts Misal, Simmered Daikon Radish with Miso and Sesame Sauce, Sprouts Sundal, Sprouts Rice, and Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Mung Sprouts.

Browse all of our Sprouts recipes and all of our Salads. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Salad of Sprouts”

Broccolini and Edamame Salad with Curry Leaves and Coconut

This is a great green salad of beans, edamame and broccolini or sprouting broccoli. It is flavoured sort of South Indian style, with black mustard seeds and a handful of curry leaves. The coconut adds a beautiful contrast to the beans, although it can be left out of the recipe if desired.

It is an Ottolenghi recipe from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. This recipe involves South Indian ingredients – mustard seeds, dried chillies and curry leaves. I have slightly altered the way that these are used in the recipe to get the best out of them..

Similar dishes include Buckwheat and Broccolini Salad, Broccoli with Orange-Verjuice-Butter Sauce, Tawa Edamame, Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice, and Crispy Curry Leaves.

Browse all of our Edamame dishes and all of our Curry Leaf recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Broccolini and Edamame Salad with Curry Leaves and Coconut”