Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad with Nasturtium Leaves and Garden Flowers

Colourful, juicy, delicious.

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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 sald 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.

Similar recipes include 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.

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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.

This is our first Freekeh recipe that we have posted, but there will be more. Check back here later to see what we post.

Actually we don’t have many Bean recipes either! That must be remedied. In the mean time, 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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Pomelo and Carrot Salad

Once again we head to Ottolenghi land, and again play with that delightful and under-used fruit, Pomelo. This time the pomelo is complimented by the sweet-tart pickled carrots and heaps of Asian green herbs. If you can’t find Pomelo (Asian groceries often have them), use Pink Grapefruit.

This is a lovely side for a vegetarian BBQ, a herby bowl of steamed rice, or some Japanese Noodles. Pair it with some freshly deep fried tofu or grilled halloumi. It is a very special salad.

Similar recipes include Pomelo with Avocado, Pomelo and Green Mango Salad, Glazed Carrots with Cumin and Ginger, and Three Citrus Salad.

Similar Carrot Salads include Chickpea and Carrot Salad, Moroccan Carrot Salad, and Carrot and Blueberry Salad.

Have a look at our other Pomelo recipes and our Carrot Salads. You might like to explore other Ottolenghi recipes. All of our Salad recipes are here. Or browse our recipes for Mid Spring.

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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.

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

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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.

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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: 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.

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Sticky Balsamic Sweet Potatoes with Orange Bitters

Some of Ottolenghi’s dishes are no-brainers. Just tossing some herbs and easy ingredients with some roasted vegetable or carefully steamed grain. In these it is the combination of the ingredients that make exceptional dishes. But others take time, effort and care. While I prefer the first, the arrival of flavours in the various processes of the second can be a matter of awe.

This dish is definitely of the second variety. It is a great dish. The glaze of a reduced, sticky balsamic with orange juice and bitters caramelises as it roasts. The sweet potatoes are left sticky and delicious. Add to the equation the roasted garlic and the sage and thyme leaves and this is a dish to impress.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

Are you looking for Sweet Potato recipes? Try Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Figs, Madras Curry of Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach, and Creamy Baked Sweet Potato.

All of our Sweet Potato recipes are here. Or browse our Ottolenghi recipes. Be inspired by our Mid Autumn food.

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Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Coriander

Gentle urad dal is cooked with tomatoes and topped with coconut and coriander. Reminiscent of the sub continent, this is a recipe from Ottolenghi.

We love urad lentils, particularly Urad Dal cooked with tomatoes, so when we found Ottolenghi’s recipe for Urad Dal with Coconut and Coriander in his book Plenty More, it sparked interest. He talks about his inspiration, Aasmah Mir from cookingcurries.com and the Pakistani family recipes on that site.

His recipe treats some ingredients a little differently than my usual South Indian way, so I have modified the recipe to accommodate that.

Are you looking for similar Dal recipes? Try Simple Monk’s Dal, Urad Dal Sundal, Urad Dal Garlic Rice, and Urad Dal with tomatoes.

Explore Urad recipes and our collection of Ottolenghi’s recipes. Or browse our collection of Late Autumn dishes.

This time previous years we were making: Crispy Garlic and Sage, Baked Apricots with Honey and Orange, A Lovely Pumpkin Soup, A Spicy Cucumber Salad with Poppy Seeds, and Japanese Baked Eggplant with Miso and Sesame.

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