Capsicum, Roasted Garlic, Olives and Caper Salad

Our journey into the 101 Bittman Salads changed our salad eating habits, and it is rare that we go a day or two without one now. Not only are they delicious but they are a good vehicle for eating a range of vegetables (and sometimes fruits) that we might not otherwise get in our day.

This recipe was inspired by a recipe in Spice, a book by my old friend and celebrated chef Chris Manfield. It is not a recipe from that book (her’s is not vegetarian) – but it sparked an idea.

We have compiled 30 Great Mid Summer Salads for you, so it is very easy to vary your salads each day.

Similar recipes include Glass Noodles with Spinach, Spinach Salad with Raisins and Pine Nuts, Sweet Pepper and Rice Salad, and Roasted Red Pepper Salad.

Browse all of our Capsicum recipes and our Spinach dishes. All of our Salads are here. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Lemony Pepper Crackers | Egg Free

Oh so many years ago now I first made these crackers from Christine Manfield‘s book Spice. It is a funny story. I used to sit in that fabulous cafe in Woollahra – Jones the Grocer I believe it was, in Moncur St. It closed long ago, but back then it was THE destination for ingredients, food, equipment and cook books.  It had the best Fromagerie. It also incorporated a cafe with one large, long table and great coffee. I’d sit for ages browsing through Spice which the cafe kept with a pile of cookbooks on the table to read while drinking coffee. I loved that book. (This is before I was vegetarian – it is heavily non-vegetarian, with a few fabulous exceptions.)

Some years later I bought Spice and over time cooked various things from it. Her Chilli Jam is particularly exceptional! One day I took a good look at the author’s picture and with a shock realised that I knew her a long time ago – when we were both at Uni. I think this is my one claim to fame. Anyway we have since crossed paths again and I’ve had the pleasure of eating at her restaurants – what a chef!

One of the very easy things to make from the book are these wafer thin biscuits. They are divine with cheese – aged Cheddar, Gruyere, washed rind and blue cheeses. Add quince paste to complete the picture. They are also great with dips and soft spreads – apply with a knife or spoon to the cracker rather than use them spoon-like, or you might find pieces of cracker in with the dip.

Similar recipes include Garlic, Rosemary and Parmesan Biscuits, Sri Lankan Crackers, and Oatmeal Crackers.

Browse all of our Crackers and all of Chris Manfield‘s recipes that we’ve made. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Chilli Salt Tofu with Salad of Greens

Do you need a chilli hit? This is the dish for you then. The recipe is from my old flatmate, Chris Manfield, in her book Stir but over the years it has had a little altering in our kitchen. It is a dish that will wake you up. Mind you, it is a bit Ottolenghi-esque, with four or five different processes in the recipe. It will take you about 30 mins to make.

The dish sounds like a firey chilli heaven or hell, depending on your viewpoint. However it is not as hot as it seems. The chilli salt is moderated with the rice flour. You can add as much chilli as you prefer to the dressing, but I like it spicy. Use your loved chilli sauce or jam to garnish the salad. Don’t skimp on the sugar or vinegar/lemon juice elements as both of these help to moderate the impact of the chilli heat.

I adore deep frying tofu – it is so much better than the deep fried tofu squares you will find in Asian shops. Crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy in the middle. You might like to read How to Use Deep Fried Tofu. In this dish, the tofu is coated in a chilli-pepper crust before frying. You will think of a thousand ways to use this even without the salad.

Similar dishes include Deep Fried Tofu in Coconut Broth, Sticky Makrut and Tamarind Tofu, and Black Pepper Tofu.

Browse all of our Tofu dishes. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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The Best Miso-Peanut-Coconut-Chilli-Turmeric Sauce

This is a totally magic sauce – it makes every dish you use it in very special. I use it in a hundred different ways – so many, you might want to make a double recipe. It will keep for 2 – 3 weeks in the fridge and it reheats easily.

The sauce is a combination of sweet, chilli and sour, with the tempering of the coconut milk and peanut butter. The sour flavours are layered in a tantalising way – you have palm vinegar or rice vinegar, lime juice, umaboshi and tamarind, and yet it is not too much. The sweet is layered with sweet soy and palm sugar. The heat comes from fresh green chillies and red chilli jam or paste. I usually have this one and this complex-flavoured one on hand – you can use what is in your cupboards, or you might like to make one of these so that you have some on hand. As always, because chilli pastes vary in heat level (and so does your tolerance), adjust the amounts in the recipe to your preference.

The sauce is a brown one though, or beige rather, from the soy, sugar and tamarind. But don’t mind that, it is delicious. Normally I would throw a heap of coriander leaves on top of the dish, but thanks to the record-breaking heatwaves we have had, the coriander fields are burnt to a crisp. However, do scatter some chopped peanuts over the top of your dishes using this sauce.

How is this sauce used? I drizzle the sauce on soups. Dunk noodles in it. It makes a wonderful sauce for deep fried tofu, or baked sweet potato, or steamed snake beans (or all 3 together). It goes beautifully drizzled over steamed, grilled or baked vegetables. Mix it through salads, especially Gado-Gado.  Pour around steamed dumplings.

You might like to read our Very Special Turmeric Recipes.

Similar dishes include Fried Tofu in Sweet Peanut Sauce, and How to Make Nut Butters.

Browse all of our Peanut recipes and Peanut Sauces. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Red Rice and Quinoa with Orange and Pistachios

Quinoa seems to be out of fashion now, but it still has a place in our pantry. This is such a healthy salad, in fact it balances the best of the healthy world with the tasty world of food. Quinoa tastes great, has a satisfying, bouncy texture and is one of the healthiest foodstuffs going. It is said to have more protein than any other grain and the perfect set of amino acids.

This salad combines the quinoa with rice. I have made this salad with both the skinny variety of red rice and also with black rice. Both are amazing, with a wonderful nutty flavour. I have also seen recipes for this dish made with Indian red rice (see comments below), and will experiment with that combination in the future. It is certainly more cost effective.

This is another amazing Ottolenghi dish, from his first book, Ottolenghi. in fact, today 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 – currently we are cooking mostly from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Hence this salad from Ottolenghi. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

Interestingly this same recipe is included in Chris Manfiled’s Tasting India, as a recipe from the Himalayan regions of India where red rice (patn1) and red quinoa are grown. The recipe differs in the rices used – she uses patna and Ottolenghi uses French rice – and Ottolenghi adds pistachios. Chris also uses red rather then white quinoa. While (to my mind) it sits uncomfortably in Chris’ book, the book is a collection of recipes given to her by people across India, so it is conceivable that the recipe provided (without provenance) was Ottolenghi’s. To be fair, we are not given the origins of the recipe in Ottolenghi’s book either, and the combination is probably common to areas of the Middle East and Mediterranean. For example, see Cypriot Grain Salad.

Today, instead of using rocket which will never grow well in our garden, we used a combination of three greens to give that sour and peppery taste that rocket has – purslane, watercress and nasturtium leaves.

Similar recipes include Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Parsley and Pinenuts, Rice, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad, Quinoa Porridge with Tomatoes and Herb Oil, Cypriot Grain SaladQuinoa, Parsley and Lemon Salad, Fennel and Quinoa Salad with Broad Beans, and Sweet Pepper and Rice Salad.

You can browse all of our Quinoa dishes and all of our Rice recipes. The Ottlenghi dishes that we have made are here. Or explore all of our Early Winter dishes.

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Red Onion and Green Chilli Bhajiya

Looking for quick and easy snacks? These Onion Bhajiya are feather light and so more-ish – you had better make quite a few. Heat from the chilli, the beautiful citrusy warmth of the coriander seed and the chickpea flour coating make these a great go-to accompaniment to a strong cuppa Indian tea either morning or afternoon on a cool day.

This is a treasure of Bengal, north of India. The original recipe comes from Christine Mannfield in her collection of Indian recipes Tasting India. I adapted it a little. The beauty of this recipe is that the onions are not coated in a batter, but the chickpea flour is worked into the onions, using its own moisture, to form a delicious crispy light coating.

Have a look at this other style of Onion BhajiEggplant and Kale Pakora, and these Huge Vine Leaf Pakora and  Vegetable Bhaji. Or try this Greek-Indian Tomato Pakoras and Salty Battered Broad Bean Pods.

Other Onion dishes you could try include Confit d’Oignon (Onion Jam), Onion Salad with Sesame Oil, and South Indian Onion Strings Slightly Pickled Salad.

Browse all of our Bhajiya/Pakoras here, or have a look at our Indian Snacks. All of our Onion recipes are here, and Indian dishes are here. Or you might like to explore all of our easy Mid Autumn dishes.

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Chilli Jam with Deep and Complex Flavours | A HOT Chilli Paste

A Chilli Jam with extraordinary depth of flavours.

This Chilli Jam is more complex and refined that many others. Slow, slow cooking gives it an enduring and lingering natural sweetness which is enhanced with the addition of jaggery.

Although it is called a jam, it is not a spread unless you are a chilli fiend. It is closer to a Sambal or Chilli Paste. It is as hot as you can imagine chillies to be, and spread it on your toast at your peril. However, the long slow cooking intensifies the sugars in the ingredients and the heat is mellowed one compared to the heat of the raw or fresh pastes.

Similar recipes include Hawaiian Chilli Water, Balinese Sambal Tomat and Hot Sweet Chilli Jam.

Feel free to browse our Chilli recipes or you might like to browse Sweet and Savoury Jam recipes . Check out our easy Early Autumn recipes too.

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Spiced Quinces

Spiced Quinces from Chef Christine Manfield

Autumn of course is a time of change. It takes me a while to get into the swing of Autumn but beautiful foods like pomegranates and quinces help. I get a few buckets of quinces from a friend’s farm each year. Not a great lover of quince tarts, pies, etc, I generally bake them all and use the beautiful results for jams, fresh chutneys, syrups, sauces and to feed my freezer (so that I can continue to have jams, chutneys, syrups, sauces throughout the year). This is how I bake them.

We have other Quince recipes too. Try Quince Jam/Jelly, Quince Paste, Afghani Quinces with Split PeasIndian Quince Pickles, and Slow Cooked Sweet Spiced Quinces.

Or browse all of our Quince recipes, and you might like to read about Autumn Preserving. Chris Manfield’s recipes are here. Also, explore our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.

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