Caponata Siciliana | Eggplant, Olive, and Celery Appetizer

This is a beautiful dish with Roman origins, from Sicily. There is something  beautifully different about some of the taste combinations you’ll find in Sicily, especially the tendency to combine sweet and sour – a legacy, they say, of ancient Roman days when sweet dates were used instead of tomatoes and sugar.

La caponata, one of the most famous Sicilian dishes, is a good example. It’s a cousin to the ratatouille of Provence. Caponata features eggplant, with celery, tomato and onions along with capers and olives. These are typical Southern Italian flavours. And it has that sweet-and-sour touch that perfectly balances out the flavours. It layers different flavours one upon the other, and, if you care to cook it for 30 mins or more, the flavours are deep and glorious and the consistency almost jam-like.

Serve Caponata on its own, hot or room temperature, on a Sunday afternoon (with a glass of wine, of course), or in the traditional manner as an antipasto. Caponata can be served on bruschetta, with flatbread or with salad leaves, and it’s also perfect as a side dish or even as a relish.

Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray note warily in the River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook that “there are as many ways to make caponata as there are cooks in Sicily”, a fact confirmed by Giorgio Locatelli, who claims that “in every house and in every restaurant you will find a different version and opinion.”

There are many versions of Caponata on Sicily – apparently 37 official versions, depending on local customs. The differences lie in the addition of different vegetables, for example potatoes, bell peppers, zucchini.

Are you looking for other Eggplant dishes? Try Babaganoush, Grilled Eggplant Salad, Baingan ka Bharta and Eggplant Fry.

We have other Celery recipes too. Try Celery Yoghurt Salad, Spicy Celery Salad, and Chickpea, Celery and Carrot Salad with a Curry Dressing.

Or perhaps some other Italian dishes. Try Farinata, Marinated Zucchini Salad, Wet Polenta and Tomato Layers, and Grilled Sweet Peppers and Eggplants.

Or you can browse all of our Eggplant recipes, all of our Celery recipes, or all of our Italian recipes. Alternatively, take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

This is a recipe from our first blog which ran from 1995 – 2006. You can browse all of the vegetarian recipes from that blog in our Retro Recipes series.

Continue reading “Caponata Siciliana | Eggplant, Olive, and Celery Appetizer”

Advertisements

Thai Lettuce Wraps

A light Thai dish for summer nights.

This is a a raw, Thai inspired lettuce wrapped dish, which is amazingly delicious, easy to make, and just as good as leftovers. The filling, made mainly of walnuts and mushrooms, is rather brown. Don’t let this put you off. It is wonderfully tasty.

These Thai Wraps are so simple to make,  and well worth experimenting with. We love the balance of flavours, adding lime juice as we ate.

Have a look at other Thai recipes. You might like to try Thai Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Soy Dressing or Thai Betel Leaf Salad. Or be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

Continue reading “Thai Lettuce Wraps”

Roast Pumpkin Couscous Salad with Chilli Jam

When Autumn takes hold and Winter is just around the corner, salads become heartier.

As the weather gets colder in the transitional months after Summer, Autumnal and Wintery colours are introduced into the kitchen. Pumpkins, polenta, couscous. Pomegranate. Quince, Pears. Apples.

This morning – it is so much cooler in the pre-dawn mornings – pumpkin is roasted until utterly caramelised. Couscous is cooked. And a salad comes together.

Similar dishes include Salad of Butternut Tataki with Udon Noodles, Chargrilled Pumpkin Salad with Labneh and Walnut Salsa, and Couscous with Pinenuts and Sultanas.

You might like to browse our Pumpkin Salad recipes, all of the Pumpkin recipes, and our Couscous recipes. Be inspired by a range of Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Roast Pumpkin Couscous Salad with Chilli Jam”

Mozzarella and Cucumber Salad with Caperberries and Lemon

The soft flavours of fresh mozzarella pair with the tang of preserved lemon and caperberries.

Fresh Mozzarella is ideal for salads, having a creamy texture but soft flavour, so it compliments strong and tangy flavours. It also heightens dishes like grilled fennel, or produces soft and gentle flavours when paired with other soft flavours.

This salad has the softness of cucumber and mozzarella, and the tang of caperberries and preserved lemon. Each level of flavour is evident. It is a great summery salad.

Are you looking for similar Salads? Pease try our Tapenade Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella. You may also like Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella and Beetroot Salad with Honey and Ginger.

Browse our other Mozzarella dishes, and our other salads too. Or explore our Late Summer collection of dishes.

Continue reading “Mozzarella and Cucumber Salad with Caperberries and Lemon”

Eggplants, Garlic, Lemon and Rosemary | Marinated Eggplants for the BBQ or Indoor Grill

Late Summer and Autumn are the best times for BBQs.

As we launch into Autumn, every sunny day is precious. While the sun shines, marinate some eggplant and toss it on the grill for a smoky lunch with some BBQ’d onions, hot lentils and a salad.

You might also like to try other BBQ dishes, including Fennel on the BBQ, Baked Pears on the BBQ and Bananas on the BBQ. Browse our Eggplant recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Eggplants, Garlic, Lemon and Rosemary | Marinated Eggplants for the BBQ or Indoor Grill”

Moroccan Carrot Salad

Essentially Moroccan. The sweetness of the raisins against the crunchy carrots makes this salad special.

This morning’s salad, made in a matter of moments, colourful and divine, is a Carrot Salad from Morocco.

You might like to try other carrot salads – Asian Salad, Carrot and Blueberry Salad, or Carrot Raita. All of our Salads are here and here. Or browse our Carrot dishes here and here. Be inspired by Summer recipes here and here. Continue reading “Moroccan Carrot Salad”

Watermelon Salad

A salad good enough even for breakfast.

On hot days, there is nothing better than a light refreshing breakfast. In the hottest of weathers, make a salad for breakfast – for example with white beans, lentils, or vegetables. It is not a strange thing in our house – this habit was developed after travel in India, SE Asia, other parts of Asia and parts of Europe. In many places there is a greater variety in breakfast dishes, and they are not limited to sweet juices, sweet cereals, toast and eggs. I developed a real liking for diverse and savoury breakfast variety.

This morning, the temperatures lingering for days around the 35C mark, and a watermelon lying temptingly in the fridge, breakfast was a tangy, spicy, watermelon salad that put a zip into the morning. Of course it is also good at any other time of the day too.

Similar recipes include Watermelon, Apple and Lemongrass Salad, Watermelon Salad with Mint and Olives, Spicy Red Radish and Watermelon Salad, Haloumi and Watermelon Salad, or Watermelon and Peach Salad with Basil.

Try other recipes with Chaat Masala: Chickpea (Channa) Chaat, Kachumber Salad and Channa Chaat on Kovalam Beach. Also Borlotti Bean Chaat, Spicy Vegetable Sticks and Chickpeas and Young Ginger Salad.

Browse our Watermelon Salads (and all of our Watermelon recipes). Find out what else we have for breakfast, and browse all of our many Salad recipes. Or explore the collection of Late Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Watermelon Salad”

Easy White Bean Salad | Easy Cannellini Bean Salad

This salad is ready in minutes

The ability to arrive home from work and throw together a salad or two to go with the main meal – or as a meal in itself – is something that we strive for with our modern “on the go” lifestyles. Using either canned beans or precooked beans that you have kept in the freezer, this salad is ready in minutes. Grab some cherry tomatoes and rocket (arugula) from the corner shop as you walk home from the bus stop, and you are good to go.

PS It is flavoursome too.

Are you looking for other White Bean dishes? Try White Bean and Tahini Salad, White Bean Soup, and Glorious Five Bean Salad.

Try other Salads also. You might particularly like Carrot and Blueberry Salad, Grown up Potato Salad, and a Simple Celery Salad.

We have a wealth of salad recipes. You can browse them here.  Have a look at our recipes for Cannellini Beans and explore all of the Bittman Salads. Or take some time to explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Easy White Bean Salad | Easy Cannellini Bean Salad”

Cucumber and Red Radish Slightly Pickled Salad

A perfect and simple tangy salad to make in a hurry. Serve with hot or cold dishes.

With this continuing very hot weather, the only thought is about salads. Here is a simple one with Cucumbers, Red Onion and Red Radish. It is delightful.

Similar recipes include Radish Salad with Soy and Sesame, Japanese Quick Pickled Radishes, Quick Pickled Radishes with Asian Flavours, Braised, Glazed Radishes, and Jicama, Radish and Green Mango Salad. Also try Slightly Picked Mushrooms with Tamari and Sesame.

Looking for something different to do with cucumbers? Why not try Simple but Best Cucumber Salad, My Mother’s Tomato and Cucumber Salad, and a Cucumber Curry?

Browse all of our Salad recipes. Or explore all of the Cucumber Salads, all of the Bittman Salads, and all of the Radish recipes. And check out our collection of Late Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Cucumber and Red Radish Slightly Pickled Salad”

Tomato and Peach Salad

An exceptional salad of the best of summer fruits – tomatoes and peaches.

Long Summery days continue, although it is noticeably darker in the mornings now. Temps still soar and cool food is always best. This recipe combines the best of summer. Tomatoes and peaches.

Similar recipes include Tomato Salad with Parsley Oil, Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, and Broad Bean and Tomato Salad.

Browse our Tomato Salad recipes , all of our Tomato recipes, and all of our Salad recipes. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Tomato and Peach Salad”

Carrot and Blueberry Salad

A 5-minute salad that is sweet, sour, crunchy and soft. Delicious.

This is a simple salad, and quite lovely. It’s a 5-minute salad that is sweet, sour, crunchy and soft. Delicious. And so easy to make on the hottest of Summer days.

Similar salads include Summer Roll Salad and Chickpea and Carrot Salad.

Browse our Carrot Salad recipes here, and all of our Carrot recipes here and here. Explore our Salad recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Carrot and Blueberry Salad”

Grown Up Potato Salad

Do try this at home. An easy but spectacularly tasty salad for lazy summer days.

Do try this at home. An easy but spectacularly tasty salad for lazy summer days and in the post xmas haze. Great for picnics and snacks. Even in the wintery part of the world, eat it warm for comfort food reminiscent of warmer weather. Enjoy!

Similar recipes include  Potato Salad with Smoked Buffalo Mozzarella, and Crushed New Potatoes with Horseradish and Yoghurt.

Browse our Potato Salad recipes here, and all of our Potato Recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Summer recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Grown Up Potato Salad”

Pawpaw Salsa

Enjoy this very simple but delicious summery salsa with the tropical flavours of pawpaw, ginger and a touch of chilli.

Enjoy this very simple but delicious summery salsa with the tropical flavours of pawpaw, ginger and a touch of chilli.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Green Guava Salsa, Roasted Sweetcorn and Avocado Salsa, and Pomegranate Salsa. You might also like to try Salsa Verde.

Browse all of our Salsas and explore our Dips and Salads. Our Late Summer collection of Recipes are here.

Continue reading “Pawpaw Salsa”

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.

Continue reading “Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemon Grass Creme Fraiche”

Indian Style Slightly Sweet and Sour Pumpkin and Sweet Potato | Kaddu ki Sabzi | Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Subzi

A great use for left over pumpkin. Or cook from scratch.

The challenge of every xmas – and Thanksgiving, for that matter – is how to use the left over roasted pumpkin. I have found the solution.

Inspired by The Back Yard Lemon Tree, I took the Delhi Style Sweet and Sour Pumpkin and mixed it up a little to use up several different xmas leftovers. It was delicious. Do read the original recipe – it is from Madhur Jaffrey.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Pumpkin Curry, Pumpkin Soup and Pumpkin Risotto. And try these Sweet Potato dishes: Sweet Potato Subzi with Yoghurt, and Potato and Sweet Potato Spicy Curry.

Try other Subzis – Kohlrabi Subzi, Carrots and Green Peas Subzi, and Potato and Spinach Subzi.

You might also like to explore all of our Subzi recipes, all of our Pumpkin recipes and all of our Sweet Potato dishes.  Have a look at all of our Indian Vegetable Curries, and all of our Indian recipes. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Indian Style Slightly Sweet and Sour Pumpkin and Sweet Potato | Kaddu ki Sabzi | Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Subzi”