Eggplant, Potato and Tomato

I love a good brunch, right? Lazy mornings, catching up with friends, relaxed, easy, informal and chatty – untroubled, comfortable being. It’s a long meal that takes up a large chunk of the middle of the day. So very delightful with a touch of indulgence.

This is a lovely brunch dish. The sort that you can centre your brunch spread around. Everything else should come out of the fridge, cupboard or bakery: bread and real butter, home made jams, fresh coffee and full cream milk, fruit juice from the fruit in the trees in the garden, sliced fresh fruit or perhaps baked fruit, a few cheeses (including a blue with bite), overnight oats or bircher muesli, yoghurt and some buttery pastries. This, plus the weekend papers and some good gossip, is all you need to spend half a day in unadulterated bliss.

Of course, it also makes a great supper dish – I might make it on a cold Spring evening. Who doesn’t want something deep fried on a cold night?

There’s a fair bit of preparation involved in this but it is a stunning, unusual dish that you can easily get hooked on. There is also quite a bit of washing up!

This is an Ottolenghi dish of course – it takes a while to make and has 8 or 9 processes. He floats eggs on top of the fried vegetables – I use burrata, bocconcini or buffalo mozzarella. Actually the dish is somewhat similar to Mixed Vegetables with Green Chilli Oil, another dish from Ottolenghi.

This is a recipe from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that we don’t eat (e.g. eggs), and ones that are not readily available in our local area.

If you are keen to reduce the frying in this dish, bake the eggplant until cooked. There won’t be any loss of flavour. You could also bake the slices of potato.

I couldn’t make this dish look nice, but boy, the combination of potato, tahini sauce, eggplant and tomato is so. very. good.

Similar dishes include Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata, Slow Cooked Tomato Chickpeas with Burrata, and Purslane Salad with Burrata.

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

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Burrata with Leeks and Za’atar

The sad news regarding ingredient availability near my home is that the new huge supermarket that opened with an amazing array of cheeses has downsized that section to about 1/4 its original size. So cheeses like burrata – I was so excited when they originally stocked it – are no longer part of their inventory. This means it became a luxury item once again and I have to travel into the city if I need it. I adore burrata as a replacement for eggs in dishes where the eggs would be nestled into a base or served on top of, say, a salad.

I cannot complain too much, though. There is an extraordinary range of Asian, SE Asian and Middle Eastern ingredients available in this area, including hot Middle Eastern flatbread straight from the oven. I am blessed!

This is a quick way to get a very comforting meal on the table in a wonderfully short amount of time. It’s a dish as happily eaten for brunch, with coffee, as it is for a light supper with some crusty white bread and a glass of wine. The leeks and spinach can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge, ready for the burrata and feta.

After a trip to Adelaide’s Central Market and a fresh stock of burrata, I went back to Ottolenghi’s Simple to make his brunch dish of Leeks, Spinach and Za’atar. It is divine – you should try it. I made the usual adjustments, which I share below, but the link will take you to the original recipe.

Similar recipes include Eggplant, Potato and Tomato, Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata, Celeriac Hummus with Spiced Cauliflower and Burrata, and Slow Cooked Tomato Chickpeas with Burrata.

Browse all of our Leek recipes and all of our Burrata dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Burrata with Leeks and Za’atar”

Celeriac Hummus with Spiced Cauliflower Tabouleh and Burrata

An article about the original talent behind the food at Nopi reveals a Malaysia-born Indian-Malay-Australian man, Scully. We can claim him as Australian as he lived and trained here before heading off to London. He sounds amazing, and the story of him teaching Ottolenghi “restaurant” and being taught “Ottolenghi” by Yotham is gorgeous. I have to say his Paprika Oven Chips are the most amazing thing I’ve ever tasted – or at least the family demands them often. Now Scully has his own restaurant – called, of course, Scully. I hear it is amazing!

This recipe from Nopi comes at a time that most of a celeriac bulb sits in the fridge – the way that most dishes come, right? I’d used a little of the bulb for another dish, and was idly searching for a new use. The idea that this puree is a great alternative to hummus was attractive. So, the puree can be made without the cauliflower topping, but, combined with the other elements, it makes a substantial starter or even a meal in itself, served with warm, crusty bread, pitta or other flatbread. For guests, make the puree and cauliflower in advance.

It is sort of Sully’s take on Hummus with Tabouleh – I have cheekily named it Celeriac Hummus with Cauliflower Tabouleh and Burrata. And it is a wonderful Sunday Brunch dish.

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 and articles.

A note about ras el hanout – this is a warming but not hot  North African spice mix and recipes for it can contain 20 different spices. They vary from family to family.  A simple recipe is here if you can’t find it locally.

Similar dishes include Root Mash with Wine Braised Shallots, Turmeric Cauliflower with Chilli-Orange Dressing, Turmeric Hummus, Celeriac Salad, Cauliflower Shawarma, Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad, and Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree.

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

Continue reading “Celeriac Hummus with Spiced Cauliflower Tabouleh and Burrata”

Spicy Slow Cooked Tomato Chickpeas with Burrata and Leeks, Perfect for Breakfast or Supper

Sunday afternoons in Winter are the perfect time for slowing down, and what better way to do that than to slow cook a great dish for a Sunday night supper. Today, we have a 5-hour dish for you – chickpeas simmered ever so slowly in a thick spicy tomato stock. The chickpeas are excellent served on toast or in toasted sandwiches, but today we add some burrata and leek strings. We love slow cooking.

This recipe is excellent for a Sunday supper, but also very good, cooked beforehand, for a slow Sunday breakfast or brunch. Beans on Toast, what could be better!

The dish can be cooked in a slow cooker. (Perhaps it is one for your instapot? I don’t have one, so cannot advise you one way or another, but perhaps? Let me know.) It would also go well at a low heat in the oven. Or, cook it as I have, using a heat diffuser on my lowest gas flame, so that the tomato sauce is barely bubbling.

The recipe is an adaptation of one in Ottolenghi’s 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 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 (this recipe is on the same theme but slightly different, and quicker, than the one in his book).

Similar recipes include Greek Chickpeas Slow Baked with Herbs and TomatoesBuratta with Leeks and Za’atar, Chana Masala, Baked Lima Beans with Celery, Tuscan Baked Beans with Sage and Lemon, and Rustic Spicy Butter Beans.

Browse all of our Baked Beans recipes, and all of our Chickpea 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.

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Collection: Farinata, Socca, Pudla, Cheela, Giant Pakora – Making Chickpea Flour Pancakes

Many parts of the world have pancakes, fritters, or thicker, baked “pan” cakes that are made from chickpea flour and water. In these variations, an infinite array of flavourings are added to the base – spices and herbs; thinly sliced vegetables such as onion, tomatoes, and zucchini, beans sprouts; coriander leaves to give a fresh crisp punch; basil or parsley oil is a terrific addition.

The various versions of the chickpea pancake – farinata in Italy, socca in France, pudla or cheela in India – are often found in the streets of cities and at roadside stalls in the rural areas. They are served on parchment paper or piece of banana leaf, and devoured hot on the spot.

The batter can be made several days before using, so plan ahead and use spare moments to mix the batter, ready for a quick snack or a mezze dish.  Mix up a double amount, and make pancakes one day, and baked chickpea pizza a day or two later. Divine.

See below for a range of pancake recipes made from chickpea flour batter. Or browse all of our Farinata and Pudla. Alternatively, explore our other Late Autumn dishes.

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Aussie Scones | Egg Free

Scones, those English and Australian afternoon-tea essentials, slathered with strawberry jam and whipped cream, are often the star of our afternoon snacks. From a young age, I would make scones for visitors. As soon as I could, I would slip away and leave them to chat with others in the house. I would head for the kitchen and whip up a batch of scones, bringing them out still hot from the oven to the delight of everyone who happened to be there at that time.

In fact, it takes only 15 minutes to produce a basket full of lovely hot scones that are feather light.

Sometimes you can eat them just with butter, or without sugar but with cheese mixed into the batter and sprinkled over the top before baking. Jam and cream is very traditional. Sultanas can be added to the dough. Pumpkin scones have a reputation in Australia but they are not something that I make more than once a decade. Or omit the sugar and add a little black pepper, and serve them with a large bowl of soup.

These favourites are not, take note, *not* the American scone, pronounced scoh-n, more like our biscuits than this light and fluffy delicacy. Ours is pronounced sco-n, a short “o”, as in pond.

Similar recipes include Bannock, Australian Quick and Easy Date Slice, Oatcakes and Griddle Cakes.

Browse all of our Biscuits (there are not many, we don’t have a sweet tooth), and our Desserts. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Mushrooms a la Grecque | Mushrooms Cooked with Herbs

Versatile Greek style mushrooms

A quick lunch that does not miss out on flavour. A gorgeous brunch for a Spring day. Or part of a tapas style meal. Or a snack under the grape vines. This recipe even works well with mushrooms that are, well, a little tired and still sitting in the bottom fridge drawer.

Similar recipes include Pearl Mushrooms with Thyme.

Read more about a la Grecque cooking. Feel free to browse our “a la Greque” recipes and our Mushroom recipes. Check out our easy Mid Spring recipes too.

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Pudla with Green Coriander and Mung Sprouts | Chickpea Flour Fritters

Tangy deliciousness

Those little chickpea flour fritters, pudla, with their tangy deliciousness, are on my menu for breakfasts, brunches and snacks quite often. For example, see the Pudla recipe collection.

Similar recipes include Crespeou (Eggfree), Pea, Za’atar and Feta Fritters, and Crispy Fried Potato and Onion Strings.

You might also like our Chickpea Flour recipes , and our Chickpea recipes. Or you might like to browse Breakfast recipes . Check out our easy Mid Spring recipes here.

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Indian Essentials: How to make Besan Dosa | Pudla | Chickpea Flour Fritters

Those little chickpea flour fritters, pudla, with their tangy deliciousness, are on my menu for breakfasts, brunches and snacks.

Those little chickpea flour fritters, pudla, with their tangy deliciousness, are on my menu for breakfasts, brunches and snacks very often. They are a type of quick, simple dosa, that pancake-like flatbread of India. Truly, they take no time at all to make, can be cooked thick or thin, and can be made plain or have different herbs, spices and vegetables mixed into the batter. This recipe includes coriander and healthy mung bean sprouts.

There are many ways of cooking Pudla. Why don’t you explore our Pudla recipe collection. You might also like our Chickpea recipes here. Or simply browse our Breakfast recipes here. For seasonal delights, check out our easy Spring recipes here.

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