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 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.

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Sunday Brunch Cucumber Salad

Brunch, that late breakfast or early lunch, really a replacement for both, gorgeous on long lazy Autumn weekends. It’s blend of 2 meals means that it has elements of both. Whether you are doing more lunchy elements for your brunch, or more breakfasty elements, a salad always goes down a treat. Think Avo on Toast with a Brunch Salad. Perfect.

This is a Bittman inspired salad from his 100 Salads. You might like to try some of his other salads – for example, Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Salad with Walnuts, Grilled Eggplant Salad with Garlic and Pine Nuts and White Beans, and Charred Tomatoes with Mint and Lime.

Are you after just Cucumber Salads – try Cucumber and Red Radish Slightly Pickled Salad, Lightly Pickled Cucumber Salad with Tofu, and Mozzarella and Cucumber Salad with Caperberries.

You can browse all of our Bittman Salads, and all of our Cucumber Salads. All Salads are here. Or simply explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Avocado and Capers Salad

A quick salad came together tonight, using the ingredients we had available. Greens from the garden, an avo from the kitchen bench and onion and capers from the fridge. A melon too, a few spices, some herbs.

This salad is great with crispy bread for lunch, or as a side for any meal. It even makes a good mid afternoon snack. Its adjustable and versatile. Use what you have in your kitchen and garden. As a bonus, how beautiful it is!

Are you looking for other Avocado Salads? Try Cucumber and Avocado Salad, Avocado and Strawberry Salad and Retro Recipes with Avocado.

We have some other Avocado recipes too. Try Avocado and Celery Cold Soup, Avocado Soup and Guacamole.

Or, if you’d rather, browse all of our Avocado Salads,  all of our Avocado recipes, and all of our many Salads. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Cucumber and Tomato Sunday Salad

Brunch, that late breakfast or early lunch, really a replacement for both, so that its identity is that it has elements of both. Whether you are doing more lunchy elements for your brunch, or more breakfasty elements, a salad always goes down a treat. Think Avo on Toast with a Brunch Salad. Perfect.

Are you looking for Salads? Try Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo, Tofu and Chilli Salad, and Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes.

Are you after just Tomato Salads? Try Tomato Salad with Ginger and Lime, Salad of Marinated Zucchini and Tomatoes, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad, and Bok Choy with Capers and Tomatoes.

Or try some Cucumber SaladsSpicy Cucumber Salad with Herbs and Poppy Seeds, Cucumber Salad with Sesame Seeds, and Smashed Garlic and Cucumber Salad.

You can browse all of our Tomato Salads and all of our Cucumber Salads. All Salads are here. Or simply explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Cucumber Salad with Capers and Ricotta

Cucumber Salads never fail to remind me of the British and their cucumber sandwiches. There is something elegant, simple, yet refined and luxurious about cucumbers. The taste is subtle and it is their water content that provides the perception of being cooling and wonderful.

Featuring them in salads is tough, given that subtlety. They can easily be overwhelmed by the ingredients that you pair them with. One of the ways to circumvent this is to use something creamy – feta, ricotta, avocado, for example, and then highlight the flavours with a contrasting tang from an ingredient or the dressing.

That is exactly what this salad does. It relies solely on the quality of the olive oil (must have an excellent taste), the cucumbers (not late seasons, make this in early or mid Summer) and the ricotta (to maximise the creaminess). I do hope that you enjoy it.

Are you looking for other Cucumber Salads? Try Yoghurt with Cucumber and Mint, Cucumber, Feta, Mint and Dill Salad, Cucumber and Tomato Sunday Salad, Cucumber and Avocado Salad, Translucent Cucumber Salad, and my Mother’s German Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Creamy Dressing.

All of our Cucumber Salads are here, and all of the Cucumber Recipes are worth browsing. Otherwise, perhaps browse our Mid Summer recipes.

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Bok Choy with Capers and Tomatoes

Summery goodness in a bowl.

Summery goodness in a bowl. For something different in the hottest of weather, opt for a cold salad of bok choy – and some iced tea.

Similar recipes include Tomato Salad with Ginger and Lime, Green Papaya, Snake Bean and Tomato Salad. You might also like to make Kimchi too.

Browse our Salads and our Tomato recipes here. Be inspired by all of our Late Summer dishes.

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Salsa Verde | Greek Style Sauce and Dip

Sometimes the old, the traditional, the simple, the uncomplex is truly wonderful. Salsa Verde is a classic Greek sauce of parsley, capers and olivae oil.

Similar dishes include Umbrian Cure-all SauceTomato and Chilli Jam, and Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce.

Are you looking for other Dips, Sauces, Purees or Salsas? Browse our collection here. Our Greek dishes are here and here. Have a look at other Parsley recipes here and here. Our Winter recipes here and here might offer some inspiration.

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