Mushrooms, Garlic and Shallots with Lemon Ricotta

Tray-Baked seems to be the catch phrase of the moment, and has me wondering whether I need to update all of my baked dishes to reflect current fashions. I have a lot of them, they warm the kitchen in Winter and provide needed comfort as well as nourishment in the cold weather. And right now, I think I will stick to the term baked.

Ottolenghi is in on it too, with recipes that are tray baked, but not this one. I have noticed that Yotham will often cook dishes on the stove top when I might throw them in the oven. It gives him more control, I suspect, whereas I am happy to have dishes bubble away in the oven, intensifying flavours, and then pull them out when they smell right. There is something about smell in the kitchen that we don’t often talk about, but it is there, just like sound is a cue to what needs to happen for stove-cooked dishes. It needs stirring, or it is running out of liquid or it needs a drop more oil, or it sounds cooked. All of these things can be identified without looking. We are such smart creatures.

So this recipe is not tray-baked, but it could be. Cook it on the stove top the first time, then make your adjustments and tray bake it next time.

If you are not put off by peeling lots of shallots and garlic cloves, you’re in for a winter treat with this hearty, oniony mushroom stew topped with ricotta. You don’t need much more, though a chunk of sourdough would not go amiss. To help with the peeling, soak the shallots and garlic in water for half an hour.

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.

The recipe takes an awful lot of small shallots and garlic, but the end result is definitely worth the effort. They are cooked with mushrooms, herbs, spices and PERNOD. There are a number of recipes in Plenty More that use Pernod, so we have overcome our reluctance to purchase it  and now have a bottle sitting proudly in our kitchen cupboard.

Sadly, we don’t get the really small shallots in Australia – our shallots are large and hefty. Halve the quantity, or take even 1/3 of the amount, depending on your shallots.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. We are running behind our schedule, so you are on the receiving end of a score of wonderful dishes.

Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Red Onion and Green Chilli Bhaji, Onion Jam, and Grilled Mushroom and Red Onion Salad.

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

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Asian Kale with Sesame and Crispy Shallots

The curly kale in the shops right now is magnificent. Here it is cooked simply but with strong flavours – kecap manis, garlic and sesame oil – to counteract its intense greenness. For texture, sesame seeds are stirred through and crispy onions are layered on top.

It is an Ottolenghi recipe. He has several kale recipes in his books, promoting it a decade or so ago when it wasn’t as popular as it is today.

In fact it is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Burnt Spring Onion Dip with Garlic Chilli Kale, and Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips.

Browse all of our Kale recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Braised Broad Beans, Peas and Lettuce with Parmesan Rice

A couple of years ago we made a lovely French dish with our home grown broad beans – they are briefly simmered in stock and wine with peas and lettuce. It is such a gorgeously gentle, green and fresh dish.

Ottolenghi, in his book Plenty More, has a similar recipe, sans the wine, and where the ingredients are cooked for substantially longer than our dish. He serves it with gorgeous, buttery, parmesan rice, a delicious accompaniment.

I feel that the cooking times in Ottolenghi’s recipe are far too long, and have reduced them accordingly. I have also added a little verjuice to the dish, as I miss the tang of the wine in the French recipe. But the play of the vegetables against the buttery parmesan rice is quite amazing. Usually I recommend reducing the quantities of Ottolenghi’s recipes, they are always ample, but this one makes enough for 4 people – however, if you think you might want seconds (and you will), make a larger quantity.

It is Ottolenghi Cook the Books 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 – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Pea Croquettes with Mint Sauce, French Braised Lettuce, Broad Beans and Peas, Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque, and Green Beans Braised in Tomatoes and Olive Oil.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes and all of our Pea dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata

Leeks are not often the primary ingredient in a dish, but just occasionally, and justifiably, they are the centrepiece. Their creamy flavour when slow cooked or braised is a delightful Winter element that is best appreciated outside of the soups and purees that they usually inhabit. The sweet oniony flavour is a surprise to people who have not experience it before.

These leeks are braised in wine and olive oil, then sautéed a little to give colour to the pieces, before being served with a sweet-sour sauce and creamy cheese.

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

In fact it is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque, and Cream of Tomato and Potato Soup with Leeks.

Browse all of our Leek recipes and recipes using Burrata. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata”

Braised Fennel with Capers, Olives and Ricotta

Ah fennel – the vegetable that says Summer to me, yet grows in Winter. It goes so well in crisp, light, lively salads, the sort that don’t seem to pair well with the cold, short, dark days of Winter. The trick of course, is to apply heat to the bulb, braising or sauteeing it into dishes suitable for Winter. We have a few ready to be posted over the next few Wintery months, so stay tuned.

This dish braises the fennel with salty capers and black olives, splashing it with verjuice before serving it with a little creamy feta and tangy lemon zest. It is an Ottolenghi dish – who else would put those flavours together? It is a pleasure to add this dish to our heat-applied fennel dishes.

Just in case you are wondering, the 15 garlic cloves isn’t a typo – once scorched, they add a mellowing sweetness to an otherwise piercingly sharp dressing. Keep the ricotta in the dish if you can, it helps balance the acidity of the verjuice and other ingredients.

This Ottolenghi dish is 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. In fact, it is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. As I said, I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Fennel with Garlic and Orange, Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange, Fennel and Fig Salad with Vin Cotto, and Fennel, Tomato and Potato Salad.

Browse all of our Fennel recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Braised Fennel with Capers, Olives and Ricotta”

Green Beans Braised in Tomato and Olive Oil

In Turkey, slow braised vegetables in olive oil is common. It’s a cooking method that creates fabulous flavours. These green beans are cooked with tomatoes, olive oil and onions until meltingly soft – and the sauce! Oh my!

The method of cooking is very similar to a la Grecque style of cooking, where wine and olive oil are used to slowly cook the vegetables. This dish  has no wine, but uses lemon juice instead. Indeed France, Italy, Greece, all over the Middle East and Sephardic Jewish communities all have similar recipes for long cooked beans with tomatoes and olive oil. No wonder! It is delicious, with the beans absorbing the flavours of the sauce as they soften and meld into the dish.

Similar recipes include Gujarati Green Beans, Green Beans with Freekeh, Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Salad.

Browse our Green Bean dishes and our Turkish recipes. Our a la Grecque  recipes are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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French Braised Lettuce, Broad Beans and Peas | Peas and Broad Beans a la Grecque

Well, the news is out. I love broad beans and have had quite a broad bean fest this year, eating them in various ways and forms on most days. This recipe is a gentle braise that is very much French in style, gentle in style and flavours, but glorious as a dish.

It uses those lettuce leaves that can withstand heat – cos and iceberg are two that are ideal for this recipe. You can use other leaves, but make sure that they are not too strongly flavoured or else they will overwhelm the dish.

Similar recipes include Braised Broad Beans, Peas and Lettuce with Parmesan Rice, Mustardy Peas with Purslane, Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf with Broad Beans, Broad Beans with Feta and Preserved Lemon, and Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint.

A la Grecque dishes you might lie to try include Green Beans in Tomato and Olive Oil, Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque, Gentle Vegetables a la Grecque, and Courgettes a la Grecque.

You might like to browse our other a la Grecque recipes (in the Greek style), or our French recipes. Our Broad Bean recipes are here and are worth a look. Or simply explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque with Tomatoes and Herbs

This is a beautiful Autumn and Winter dish that can also be made with Spring vegetables. Today it might be Spring here, but leeks and carrots are still on the menu on the colder days of this transitional season. We have had such cold weather this year, even breaking records for the coldest November day in 50 years.

You can vary this dish. For example, use leeks only, or carrots only.  Potatoes on their own are also very very good.

Read about Cooking a la Grecque Style.

Similar recipes include Golden Brown Carrots with Garlic, Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata, Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque, Mushrooms a la GrecqueCauliflower a la Grecque, and Fennel a la Grecque.

You might like to browse our Leek recipes, and our “a la Grecque” recipes. Also check out our easy Mid Winter recipes.

This dish is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.

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Braised Glazed Radishes

We don’t often cook radishes, but they can be sautéed or braised easily. Most people prefer them raw, but for a change, braising them can be an exciting alternative.

This recipe braises them with raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar, with sugar added to make a sticky glaze. It is rather interesting.

My radishes are home grown and quite small this year, so I reduced the cooking times. They are topsy turvy and not uniform in size, and I quite like the variation. We have round ones and long ones.

Are you looking for other Radish recipes? Try these: Jicama, Radish and Green Mango Salad, Slightly Pickled Cucumber and Red Radish Salad, Quick Pickled Radishes with Asian Flavours, and Spicy Radish with Coconut Milk.

Browse all of our Radish Recipes, and all of our many Salads. You might also like to browse our easy Late Summer Recipes.

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Bamies Laderes | Rustic Greek Okra in Tomatoes and Olive Oil

All through the Mediterranean, okra is cooked in a thick tomato sauce, and in Greece they are also liberal with the olive oil. Its a delicious dish that can be eaten as part of a table laden with Mediterranean vegetable dishes, or serve with fresh crusty break and feta. It also goes so well with rice, burghul, polenta, quinoa or any grain pilaf.

Vinegar helps to reduce the sliminess of the okra, and there are various ways of using it. Some sprinkle it on the okra and leave to rest for an hour (or don’t rest it), others soak in acidulated water from 1 – 12 hours. Take you pick – I soaked these for some hours as I was pottering around the kitchen doing other things. When I was ready, they were drained, rinsed and used in the dish.

Are you looking for other Okra dishes? Try Baked Okra with Gingery Tomato, Ladyfingers Masala, Malaysian Lemak-Style Vegetables, Armenian Pickled OkraOkra with Mustard Oil, and Sambar.

What about other Greek Recipes? Try Roasted Eggplant Salad, Braised Parsley and Slow Cooked Cauliflower.

Or, for more information, browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Greek dishes. Or simply take some time to explore our Mid Autumn collection.

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