Figs with Basil, Goat Curd and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Late Summer and Early Autumn are peak time for figs. Any other time of the year, you will probably be getting fruit from great distances and, as figs don’t ripen after picking, this normally means that they are bland and dry. 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.

The unctuous sweetness of a fresh fig, combined with its ripe-rich texture, is unbeatable. I have been picking figs from a local estate, to make jam, and can tell you that nothing beats them straight from a tree. This salad was made with the left over, over-ripe figs.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe, from Plenty. Relatively easy, for an Ottolenghi recipe, it can be made at the last minute. Phew! So many of his recipes take an hour or 3 to make.

Similar recipes include Fig and Halloumi Salad, Fennel and Fig Salad, Fig Salad with Almond Butter Dressing, and Fig Salad with Hazelnuts.

Browse all of our Fig Salads and all of our Fig recipes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here (and just the ones from Plenty here). Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Baked Yoghurt Encrusted with Vine Leaves

Ottolenghi believes that Turkish cuisine is one of the most exciting and accomplished in the world. I would argue that Indian is, but the cuisines between Indian and the Mediterranean definitely come close. Ottolenghi’s Book Plenty contains this unusual savoury cake (perhaps a pie) from the Turkish part of Northern Cyprus (where it is called Kibris Böreği).  A version of this dish is also known in Greece, being made in the Drama Region of Greece’s Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, where it’s known as Asmapita. The name comes from the Turkish word Asma, which means grapevine.

Ottolenghi credits a book Classic Turkish Cooking by Ghillie Basan, so I borrowed the book to browse through. It is a great book if you are looking for Turkish recipes. I recommend it.

The recipe caught our attention because we have a Vine Leaf thing going at the moment, using them in a number of ways. We haven’t made dolmades yet, but they are on the list. Have a look at what we have made so far. There are more to come.

This is a dish where a shallow layer of yoghurt mixed with herbs and thickened with rice flour is baked wrapped in vine leaves! Grape leaves impart their exceptional flavour and aroma to the filling as it bakes. The breadcrumbs and sesame seeds add a crunchy layer to each slice. How very delicious! This recipe comes together in minutes, tastes great, and can be eaten warm or cold. It is an excellent contribution to a table of mezze.

Have I mentioned too, how the grape vine leaves are scented, and the kitchen begins to smell like a grape arbour. As you scald them, they release the fragrance. As I dry them in the sun the outside deck is scented with grape vines. As they bake, they have a lovely woody, grapevine aroma.

Similar recipes include Dolmades, Grape Leaf Encrusted Rice Pie, Burghul Dolmas, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, and Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves.

Browse our Turkish dishes and all of our Vine Leaf recipes. All of our Yoghurt dishes are here. Or explore our other Early Summer recipes.

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Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes with Caper Vinaigrette

This year it is a long cold start to Summer. As I write, I sit here in a jumper in January, thinking of putting a rug over my legs rather than turn the heater on. So, needing something to warm the kitchen, I popped some roast veg in the oven.

Not any roast vegetables – this is an Ottolenghi dish, one that takes a common dish and makes it extraordinary. It is a favourite, and I don’t know why I haven’t posted it before. My note in the cookbook is “Magnificent” pencilled in the margin.

It takes sweet potatoes and parsnips and roasts them with garlic and (later) some cherry tomatoes, before dressing them with a tangy vinaigrette that is both sweet and sour, full of capers for a saltiness. It’s the perfect dish for any festival, celebration, Sunday lunch or any day of the week is born.

Ottolenghi says “The addition of a vinaigrette to freshly roasted vegetables gives them a freshness and juiciness they don’t normally have; the acidity brings out new shades of flavour, too.”

You might also like Roasted Beetroot with Cumin Seeds, Perfect Roast Potatoes, or Hot Roasted Carrot Salad.

Try some Parsnip recipes too: Roughly Mashed Parsnip with Parmesan and Olive Oil, and Parsnip and Carrot Mash.

Take some time to explore the Ottolenghi recipes we have tried. Our Sweet Potato recipes are here and our Parsnip recipes here. Or browse our Mid Summer collection of easy recipes. (You might prefer our Mid Winter recipes!)

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Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs and Yoghurt Dressing

Such a wonderful earthy flavour, Freekeh, that strange sounding name (to Western ears) belonging to the nutty grain. Sold whole or cracked, it is easy to find at Middle Eastern stores, some providores and some bulk lentil and grain places. Freekeh actually means rubbed – the process of removing the grains from its husks.

Like quinoa, freekeh is full of protein, with a beautiful smokiness, and is dead easy to cook. It is Middle Eastern duram wheat that is picked while unripe then traditionally roasted over wood fires to burn off the husks – hence its wonderful smoky flavour. Surprisingly it is also a little sweet, so a squeeze of lemon or lime always does wonders to a freekeh dish.

Freekeh is so unusual as generally the grains we use have been allowed to mature and dry on the head.

This dish is a take on an Ottolenghi dish from his book, Plenty, but has some minor variations. It is beautifully cooked by simmering for 15 mins and then leaving covered, to steam until cooked. Then it is tossed with herbs and topped with garlicky lemon yoghurt before serving.

Similar recipes include Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini, Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms, and Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf.

Browse all of our Freekeh recipes and all of our Pilafs. Our Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or browse our Late Spring collection of recipes.

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Jerusalem Artichokes with Halloumi and Basil Oil

A beautiful dish from Ottolenghi – one that takes time to produce a marvellous dish

Pottering in the kitchen today, I had a little more time so brought together Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem Artichoke recipe from his book Plenty. Simple to make, it takes just a little time as you need to roast the artichokes, make the charred tomatoes, blend up the basil oil and grill the halloumi. It appears a random combination of ingredients, but it is not so. A perfect combo of bitter, sour, sweet, crispy, crunchy, soft and creamy.

Sometimes bitter greens are not available, so I substitute nasturtium leaves which are always plentiful here. And some rocket leaves.

Are you after other Jerusalem Artichoke recipes? Try Jerusalem Artichoke and Cumin Salad. We have some others  planned, so check back here later for updates.

Or some Halloumi dishes? Try Halloumi and Orange Salad, Halloumi Pizza and Halloumi and Watermelon Salad.

Browse all of our Halloumi recipes, our Tomato recipes, and our Jerusalem Artichoke dishes. Explore all of 0ur Ottolenghi recipes. Or browse our Late Autumn dishes.

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Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Creamy Cheddar Salad

A perfect wintery cauliflower salad

A lazy Sunday Lunch with my Father included this great Wintery salad with roasted cauliflower. Easy to make, this Ottolenghi salad can be partly prepared earlier, to mix and serve at the table. It is from Ottolenghi’s book Plenty.

You might like other Cauliflower recipes – Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts and PomegranateCrispy Cauliflower with Tahini Dressing, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, A Plate of Cauliflower, and Cauliflower Slow Cooked in Oil with Lime and Spices.

Browse all of the Cauliflower recipes, all of our Salads, and all of our Ottolenghi recipes. Or find inspiration in our easy Early Winter 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. Or try Cherry and Hazelnut 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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Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad

A harmony of flavours.

Did I tell you just how good Ottolenghi’s Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad is? It is amazing. From Plenty, a favourite amongst his books. It is a great salad for late Winter and early Spring, but can be made any time.

Our similar recipes include Orange and Walnut Salad, and Orange and Olive Salad with Mint and Basil.

Or are you looking for Beetroot Salads? Try Beetroot, Herb and Nut Salad, Roasted Beetroot Salad with Sweetcorn, and Beets in a Herb Dressing.

Also browse our other Ottolenghi dishes, all of our Beetroot Recipes, Orange Recipes, and Olive Recipes. We have a wealth of Salad Recipes for you to try. Or explore our Early Spring recipes for more inspiration.

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Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomatoes

Such a bang of wonderful flavours

This is another Ottolenghi classic. Ottolenghi’s recipes have a reputation for being rather involved but I have also found that the reputation for his recipes being involved is, in the main, unjustified.

This is from my favourite of his set of books – Plenty. It is a relatively simple dish, and adapts easily to some precooking. The tomatoes can be roasted beforehand, for example. You can precook the lentils and onions too, and leave assembly to just before serving.

You might also want to try Cyprian Grain Salad with Freekeh, Du Puy Lentil Soup, Lentil Balls in a Spicy Gravy, or Dal Makhani Nilgiri.

Browse more of Ottolenghi’s recipes, and all du Puy Lentil recipes are here.  Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Black Pepper Tofu

With all of the SE Asian flavours that make great food, plus the tofu is deep fried, what is not to like?

Ever since I saw the Black Pepper Tofu in Ottolenghi’s Plenty, I have wanted to make it. It has all of the SE Asian flavours that make great food, plus the tofu is deep fried, what is not to like?

You might like to try Tofu, Spinach and Miso NapoleonsBaked Marinated Tofu, and What to Do with Deep Fried Tofu.

Or browse our Tofu recipes here and, and other Ottolenghi recipes. Our recipes from Asia are here. Or browse our easy Late Summer dishes.

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Smashed Garlic and Ginger Cucumber Salad

Serve as part of a summery luncheon spread. Yum!

At Xmas the fridge fills with all things wonderful, the exotic and the common. And then I spend the next weeks slowly working through the food left in the fridge after cooking a xmas meal for  the family.

This morning I am working with some pre-cooked white peas and cucumbers. The white peas were turned into a wonderful curry – North Indian in style with (seemingly) a million spices  and a tomato-y gravy.

It needed something light and airy to go with it, something to lift the “groundedness” of it, to bring a little tang and bite, to cut through the deliciousness but heaviness of that sauce.

Often in India a small bowl with pieces of raw onion, cucumber, maybe tomato, will be served with a curry for this same reason. The juxtaposition of the two types of tastes is amazing. But I opted for a cucumber salad that is almost pickled, and one which has the same bang and bite as the traditional accompaniments in India. Maybe more so as it also has some raw garlic!

Similar recipes include Cucumber, Feta, Mint and Dill Salad, Cucumber and Avocado Salad, and Cucumber Salad with Capers and Ricotta.

Looking for other cucumber recipes? You can find some here. And some other Ottolenghi recipes here. Wanting other salads? Try here. Or just browse the Cucumber Salads.

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Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemon Grass Creme Fraiche

Another Ottolenghi Classic.

One of our xmas lunch dishes came straight from Yotham Ottolenghi. Let’s be clear – most years we cook at least one dish from Yotham’s repertoire. Last year it was Potato Tartin. This year it was sweet potato wedges. They are surprisingly good.

The creme fraiche dressing was a bit heavy, I thought. Next time I might replace the creme fraiche with some thick yoghurt. Otherwise, the recipe was cooked mostly as detailed in Yotham’s book Plenty.

Have you also tried Potato and Sweet Potato Vindaloo or Madras Curry with Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach? Also try Chilli Soy Sauce.

Browse all of Ottolenghi dishes here, and all of our Sweet Potato recipes here and here.

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Surprise Tatin | Potato Tatin

Another Ottolenghi stunning dish.

The style of Ottolenghi’s vegetarian dishes is layered flavours created by layered elements. No other recipe shows that as much as this dish.

The recipe is form Ottolenghi’s book Plenty. It is an upside down potato tart. I have to admit that it is both tasty and visually amazing.

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

Similar recipes include Tomato Tarte Tatin, and Asparagus in Pastry.

You might also like to try other Ottolenghi Recipes, such as Sweet Potato Vindaloo, Black Pepper Tofu, and Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemongrass Creme Fraiche.

You might like to browse our Potato recipes here and here. You will love our Early Winter recipes.

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Gentle Vegetables a la Grecque | Vegetables Poached in Wine

Oh how seductive are Autumn mornings. Full of golden light, rayed so jaw-droopingly beautifully through the leaves. Plants in autumn reach up lovingly to the sun, after months of shrinking away from the heat of summer. Long tendrils holding flowers wave in the breezes and welcome your passing smile — they nod knowingly in that gentle breeze. Chives and spring onions are flowering. Geraniums as red as lipstick. Mint and lemon verbena. Bog sage. Curry leaf. Earlier, my Lemongrass flowered — the first time ever!

How fitting then to find a recipe of matching gentleness, a warm salad of wine poached baby veggies, needing nothing else but the magnificent flavours of plants, leaves, wine and the very best of oils. Yes, Ottolenghi, you understand Autumn.

Are you after other a la Greque dishes? Try Slow Braised Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange, Zucchini a la Grecque, and Parsley Braised with Olive Oil and Tomatoes.

You might like to browse other Ottolenghi recipes and all of our a la Grecque recipes. Be inspired by our collection of Mid Autumn recipes.

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Potato and Sweet Potato Spicy Curry | A British “Vindaloo”

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes pair for a curry

This dish is perfect for the peace of Autumn and it’s fantastic light. It originates from Yotam Ottolenghi‘s book Plenty. A present, it is my one of most loved cookbooks. This man is a wizard with food, both the visual and the flavour combinations. It’s not difficult or pretentious food, simply a delight to cook and to eat.

Just for the celebration of Autumn is Two-Potato “Vindaloo”, a spicy dish of potatoes and sweet potatoes. There are some adjustments from the original recipe because by habit I use some of the spices slightly differently. Best made during a slow afternoon, it takes 2 — 2.5 hours to make. But they are not difficult hours — you could delve into your favourite book in the Autumn sun while this bubbles away on the stove-top. Oh and by the way, your house will be headily scented with the most magnificent spicy aroma.

Are you looking for Sweet Potato recipes? Why not try Creamy Baked Sweet Potato, Madras Curry of Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach, Caramelised Sweet Potato, and Sweet Potato Wedges.

Potato dishes include Saag Aloo.

We have some other recipes from Goa for you. Try Crispy Fried Okra, Sweet Surnoli Dosa, and Coconut Rice Roti.

You might like to browse other Ottolenghi recipes. Or explore other recipes from Goa. Other Potato recipes are here and other Sweet Potato recipes here. Or be inspired by our Mid Autumn recipes.

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