Roast Mushrooms with Burrata and Baked Toast Soldiers

Roast Mushrooms -a breakfast of champions. These mushrooms are perfect for the morning meal, for brunch, as a first course later in the day or as a BBQ in the evening. Spiced oil is spooned into large mushrooms which are then roasted before some creamy burrata is placed on the warm mushrooms. I know that you will love this dish, especially if you like egg-free breakfasts.

The idea for this dish comes from Ottolenghi’s Simple. He tosses sliced mushrooms in the oil before roasting them but I have a love of whole roasted mushrooms. The oil mix he uses is pure genius!  As always, I never feel constrained by Ottolenghi’s recipes and will adapt them to what is in our kitchen, pantry and garden. As we do not eat eggs, I make our usual stunning substitution – burrata. Its outer layer has the texture of cooked eggwhite and the inside is soft and creamy.  If you want to check his original recipes, see his books and his Guardian column.

By the way, these mushrooms are great in burgers – pair them with halloumi, grilled zucchini, cos lettuce and onions caramelised with a touch of brown sugar. Add slices of tomato and pickled beetroot if you wish.

Similar recipes include Mushrooms with Barley and Preserved Lemon, Pan Fried Mushrooms in Butter, Roasted Mushrooms with Butternut and Spinach, Mushrooms and Black Rice, and Mushrooms in Terracotta.

Browse all of our Mushroom dishes and recipes using Burrata. Ottolenghi recipes are here – just those from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Roast Mushrooms with Burrata and Baked Toast Soldiers”

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.

Continue reading “Eggplant, Potato and Tomato”

Fresh Mozzarella with Char Grilled Grapes

Italians love to roast grapes, for a concentrated and smoky flavour. They make great additions to Summer meals, picnics and BBQs. It turns out that you can also grill them, and the easiest way to do that is to skewer them! Grill on a ridged grill pan on the stove top or on an Aussie style BBQ.

This lovely recipe pairs the cooked grapes with Burrata or fresh Mozzarella for a fresh, gorgeous Summer lunch, or a pre-dinner starter.  It could also be a Summery salad as part of a outdoor lunch spread or picnic. It is one of Ottolenghi recipes from his latest book Simple. Note that we feel free to substitute ingredients to suit our own cooking styles and what is available in our kitchen, garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

If you can’t get hold of burrata, use buffalo mozzarella instead. That is what I have used today. I have kept to the original recipe when skewering the grapes, but include an alternative method to roast the grapes instead.

But I have to say the char of the grapes, their sweetness, the tart of the marinade and the cheese is a combination made in heaven.

Similar recipes include BBQ’d Grapes, Grain and Grape Salad, and Celery Salad with Burrata.

Browse all of our Burrata recipes and all of our Grape dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking throughPlenty More. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Fresh Mozzarella with Char Grilled Grapes”

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”

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 Fresh Mozzarella with Chargrilled Grapes, Buratta with Leeks and Za’atar, 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.

Continue reading “Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata”

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.

Continue reading “Spicy Slow Cooked Tomato Chickpeas with Burrata and Leeks, Perfect for Breakfast or Supper”

Potato Salad with Smoked Buffalo Mozzarella

New potatoes in Autumn deserve special attention. They are simply gorgeous simmered, unpeeled, until tender then tossed while hot with butter, seasoning and finely chopped parsley.

Here we ramp up the flavours a little by tossing the cooked potatoes in pesto and mixing in smoked buffalo mozzarella. It is a magical combination, and gorgeous on a sunny Autumn day, sitting under the last of the grapevine leaves enjoying the sun and a bottle or two of wine.

This is my take on an Ottolenghi recipe in Plenty. He makes the salad with quail eggs. We do not use eggs in our kitchen, but we have found that either a good quality, soft and oozy buffalo mozzarella or some burrata are wonderful alternatives.

It is Ottolenghi Cook 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 mainly 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 Elizabeth David’s Potato Salad, Buratta with Leeks and Za’atarBeautiful, Simple Potato Salad, Grown Up Potato Salad, and Fennel, Potato and Tomato Salad with Garlicky Mayo.

Browse our Potato Salads and all of our Potato recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Potato Salad with Smoked Buffalo Mozzarella”

Purslane Salad with Burrata

This is a herby salad with the tang of purslane, the bite of spinach, the crunch of nuts and the creaminess of burrata.

I have used Purslane, as we grow it exceptionally well in Summer. Rather than weed out all of this plant, I leave a little patch and water it well. It grows lusciously with long branches lifting up from the soil. It is easy to pick, and more important, easy to clean by rinsing a couple of times. The tart tang of purslane adds a lovely lift to salads. It is very easy to grow, and you may find it occasionally at your green grocers. You can always forage it, it is everywhere, but make sure it IS purslane and that it has not been sprayed.

I have to mention how lucky I am to have a green grocer owned by a Middle Eastern family. They stock the best Dill that I have ever seen. Very thankful. I need to mention that the inspiration for this recipe comes from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More but we evolved the recipe over the years to use our common ingredients and make it egg-free. It is like a third cousin twice removed.

Similar recipes include Herby Salad with Radishes, Spinach and Watercress Salad with Ricotta, Purslane Salad with Tomatoes, Every Meal some Simple Greens, Purslane Salad, Raw Beetroot and Herb Salad and Mustardy Peas with Purslane.

Browse all of our Purslane dishes, and all of our Salads. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Purslane Salad with Burrata”

Celery Salad with Sour Grapes and Burrata

They say that Burrata is the best thing since sliced bread. And certainly it is very very good. A delicious mozzarella shell filled with thick cream. Has your mind gone to heaven? Indeed. It is simply the dreamiest. Creamy, luscious – burrata is Italian for butter, if that gives you any clues on how beautiful it can be.

Burrata is quite difficult to find here, in our little outback town of Adelaide. Not so in other cities, where it perches on the shelves of every supermarket. I had to search hard to find it within reasonable driving distance of my home. It took some time – distributors and cheese makers were not willing to help – I contacted several – but persistence paid and I found a reliable source not far from my work. That is Adelaide for you.

One of the great things about Burrata is that it is perfect for replacing coddled or poached eggs in salads. Thus for those who, like me, avoid cooking with eggs, the creaminess of the interior with the soft mozzarella coating brings that something that soft cooked eggs give to salads and baked dishes.

Celery salads are so rare, but I love one particular recipe, it is my favourite use of celery. I have modified it here to include the burrata. I hope you enjoy it. The origin is an Ottolenghi salad but the recipe keeps morphing into a dish that is appearing more and more often on our table.

Oh, and the other ingredient that is introduced in this salad, is Sour Grapes. Yes, I know, you all know those who are always full of sour grapes. But, it is also an exciting ingredient. Preserved sour grapes can be found in jars in Middle Eastern and Afghani groceries. They taste sour and briney, and a little like capers and caper berries. They are great in salads and in dishes where a sour taste is called for to balance other flavours. Pick some up today (or use capers in place of the grapes).

Similar recipes include Celery Salad with Lemon and Feta, Spinach and Watercress Salad with Ricotta, Purslane Salad with Herbs and Burrata, Celery Yoghurt Salad, Nashi Pear and Celery Salad, and some Simple Celery Salads.

Browse our Celery Salads and all of our Celery dishes. Our Burrata dishes are here.  Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Celery Salad with Sour Grapes and Burrata”