Roasted Cauliflower Tahini Puree

Another vegetable that can be blended into a puree to make a delightful dip, spread, or base for a vegetable dish, is cauliflower. Here I have made a puree from spiced, roasted cauliflower, but it can just as easily be made from steamed cauliflower (pop into the oven for 15 or 20 mins afterwards to remove excess moisture).

Here I have topped it with an Eggplant, Onion and Saffron dish (delicious), but it can be used with any vegetable dish, or simply layered with radishes, feta, grated carrot, pomegranate kernels, etc, and eaten with flatbread.

Similar dishes include Red Capsicum and Feta Dip, Roasted Cauliflower, Garlic and White Bean Puree, Cannellini Bean Puree with Pickled Mushrooms and Pitta Croutons, and Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin.

Browse all of our Cauliflower dishes and all of our Dips, Spreads, and Purees.

Continue reading “Roasted Cauliflower Tahini Puree”

Roasted Red Capsicum and Feta Dip and Spread

I love recipes that are endlessly versatile – dips and spreads that can use a variety of vegetables, bread recipes into which you can knead different flours, herbs, and liquids, soups that take almost anything that you have on your kitchen bench. These sorts of dishes are the lifeblood of the kitchen, using up what you have, what has arrived, what you’ve been given, what has ripened.

A great base for a dip is formed from any combination of feta, yoghurt, cream cheese, ricotta, and/or tahini. Into that puree can go some lightly cooked vegetable and flavourings. Nuts can be added to thicken and flavour the mix. It is endlessly malleable.

Today it is roasted red capsicum, feta, yoghurt and walnuts.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Spread, Horseradish Dip, and Beetroot and Yoghurt Dip.

Or simply browse all of our Dips and Spreads.

Continue reading “Roasted Red Capsicum and Feta Dip and Spread”

Spicy Crushed Carrots with Yoghurt

Carrots are one of the best selling vegetables in North Africa because of their sweetness. Their sweetness is paired with both sour and spicy flavours in many dishes of the region – salads, tangines, pastries, desserts.

In this Moroccan dish, carrots are cooked and crushed to make a sharp and hot spread. Bring it to the table while still warm, on a platter with a pile of warm pitta breads. It makes a great starter or mezze dish.

This is a recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. We are cooking our way through Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our kitchen, garden, pantry and local shops. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Red Capsicum and Feta Dip, Moroccan Orange and Carrot SaladMoroccan Carrot Salad, and Spicy Moroccan Carrot Dip.

Browse all of our Moroccan recipes and all of our Carrot dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Spicy Crushed Carrots with Yoghurt”

Sweet Potato Mash with Herb and Lime Salsa

Sometimes in Summer when the days are long and frightfully hot we love to eat mezze style – a pile of pitta bread and little dishes of things. Some feta, for example, halved tiny tomatoes with a cream dressing, some hummus, a plate of exquisite chickpeas. And some dips and purees. Today it is a sweet potato mash – this beautiful dish is made from roasted sweet potatoes and is topped with a salsa of lime zest, herbs and garlic. Truly it is divine.

The recipe comes from Ottolenghi’s Simple, and simple it is. Actually tonight I had some left over roasted sweet potato so it came together in not much more than 5 minutes. Yet the flavours of the tart salsa with the sweetness of the vegetable make this a memorable dish. 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.

The mash or spread works as a snack, mezze dish, starter and as a side. It is hardly any effort at all. The result is rich and punchy. After scooping out the flesh for this dish, save the skins and lightly roast them in the oven for a crisp-like snack. Brush them lightly with olive oil, roast for about 8 mins in a 200 – 220C oven and sprinkle with salt.

Similar dishes include Red Capsicum and Feta Dip, Moroccan Carrot Dip, Walnut and Pomegranate Dip, and Capsicum, Feta and Pistachio Dip.

Why not browse all of our Dips and our Sweet Potato recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Sweet Potato Mash with Herb and Lime Salsa”

Zucchini, Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Leaf, Yoghurt Salad

Yoghurt salads are made the world over, except, perhaps, in English speaking and some European countries. It is a puzzle why we don’t make more use of them here in Australia with our temperatures up to 45C in Summer. Yoghurt is one of the most cooling ingredients. Here I use makrut lime leaves (the new name for kaffir limes) with zucchini and garlic to make a great hot day dip or salad. We often have them around afternoon tea time, with some crisp crackers (like our Galletti), with other salads and some flatbread for lunch, or as a precursor to dinner.

Similar dishes include Green Mango Pachadi, Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yoghurt, and Onion Pachadi.

Browse all of our Yoghurt dishes and all of our Raita.

Continue reading “Zucchini, Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Leaf, Yoghurt Salad”

Guacamole | Avocado Dip and Spread

This household was eating avocados long before they became de rigueur in the Australian cafe sub-cuisine. This is how we have been making guacamole since the 1990’s.

The most basic guacamole is simply avocado mashed with garlic, lemon, salt and pepper. The velvety texture of avocado, and the zing of the lime that cuts through the smoothness just as you’re getting comfortable with it. Then comes the bite of the garlic. The flavours  blend beautifully together and yet at the same time, all flavours are distinctly identifiable.

The good thing is that the basic recipe can be endlessly varied. We include a number of variations in our recipe below – tomato, coriander, chilli, sour cream, yoghurt – all manner of things can be added to the basic blend. You can vary guacamole so each time you make it, it is different.

Some say that leaving the avocado stone in the puree will prevent discolouration. My view is that if the guacamole’s around long enough to find out, you’re not doing it right.

Are you after other Avocado dishes? Try Cold Avocado Soup, Avocado and Strawberry Salad, and Avocado Smash with Radishes.

You can browse all of our Avocado recipes and Salsa dishes. Check out our easy Late Summer recipes too.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series.

Guacamole

Guacamole | Mexican-Style Avocado Salsa

basic recipe
2 ripe medium avocados or 1 very large one
juice 1 lemon or 1 – 2 limes
2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and black pepper to taste

optional additions prior to mashing or blending – if mashing, dice or grate the onion, fresh chilli and tomato finely, or if blending, chop coarsely
mayonnaise, creme fraiche, sour cream or yoghurt
1 small tomato
chilli powder to taste, or 1-2 fresh green chillies
a little white onion
leaves from 4 – 5 springs fresh coriander, chopped

optional additions after blending
0.5 – 1 green or red pepper, diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 small cucumber, finely diced
pitted olives, chopped
1 tomato, diced

method
Gather together the basic recipe ingredients and any additions to be added prior to mashing or blending. Mash or blend in a food processor or blender until creamy.

Add any further additions after blending (if any) and stir. It is best not to double up on ingredients – for example, if you add onion prior to blending, don’t add chopped onion after blending.

Taste, and adjust seasonings (chilli, lemon, salt, pepper). Serve with tortillas and corn chips.

Guacamole | Mexican-Style Avocado Salsa

recipe notes and alternatives.
Mashing the avocado with a fork or back of a spoon can produce a chunky guacamole (I love it!), or use a blender or food processor for a smooth one.

12/96

 

Baigan Choka | Trinidad Style

The Trinidad style of Baigan Choka is very simple when compared with the many varieties of Baigan Chokha from India and of the closely related dish, Baingan Bharta. The Trinidad version is lighter and simpler in flavours, but still so delicious. I am constantly amazed how a simple shift in ingredients can create an utterly different dish.

This style of eggplant dip is served with roti, naan, paratha or other flatbread. This recipe, one of Ottolenghi’s, uses hot oil flavoured with onion and some vigorous whisking to achieve a wonderful creaminess and subtlety. To make it even milder, leave out the garlic and use less chilli, if you like, but I like it spicy and will sometimes add a squeeze of lemon juice. Not traditional but I like the way it brings all the flavours together.

As mentioned, it is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. We have not made changes in this recipe, but for his original writings check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Crushed Potatoes with Roasted Eggplant and Tomato, Begun Pora, and Baingan ka Bharta.

Browse all of our Eggplant dishes and all of our Bharta recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. If you are interested, all of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Baigan Choka | Trinidad Style”

Cannellini Bean Puree with Pickled Mushrooms and Pitta Croutons

We love our dips and spreads, as you know, and this recipe from Ottolenghi slots nicely into our collection. It’s a dish you need to begin the day before, to allow the mushrooms to pickle and the beans to soak. (You can use canned beans though, should you prefer. Use about 500g canned beans).

It is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More, and makes a great lazy afternoon snack or a mezze dish.

The dish uses miso in the pickling liquid – this is usually easily available these days. Even supermarkets stock it – also Asian groceries, health food shops and Japanese groceries. Ottolenghi says to use a brown miso, one of his usual omissions in specifying precisely which miso to use. There are dozens of types of miso. For this dish I recommend a light- medium brown miso rather than a dark brown one.

Similar dishes include Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms, Quick Pickled Shimeji Mushrooms, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, and Roasted Cauliflower, Garlic and White Bean Dip.

Browse all of our Mushroom dishes and our Dips and Spreads. The recipes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Cannellini Bean Puree with Pickled Mushrooms and Pitta Croutons”

Coriander, Coconut and Gram Fresh Chutney

A fresh South Indian Chutney made from pureed coconut and coriander.

This is a simple but totally delicious Indian coconut chutney.

There are three varieties of Indian chutneys: fresh chutneys, cooked chutneys, and dry chutneys. Fresh South Indian chutneys are smooth purees made from uncooked ingredients, perhaps seasoned with a tadka of mustard seeds, dal, and curry leaves. They are best freshly made, but they stay good for a couple of days if refrigerated. Made from raw ingredients this type of chutney is unlike most other Indian dishes which have at least some degree of cooking.

Chutneys add zing to a meal and are an essential part of a South Indian meal. They can be prepared with a limitless variety of ingredients. This one is a variation on a Coconut-Coriander Chutney that we shared a while ago. In this one, tamarind is used as the souring agent and some fried gram is added for flavour and thickness. We haven’t added a tadka but you can if you prefer.

Coconut Chutney can be made without herb additions, or, like in this case, coriander can be added, or the same recipe used with mint leaves, garlic, tomatoes, onions, almonds, carrots, beetroot, green mangos, peanuts, capsicums, and greens. Tamarind is added in today’s recipe but it can be omitted or lime juice used.

Similar recipes include Fresh Radish and Mint ChutneyCoriander and Coconut Chutney, and Ginger, Coconut and Yoghurt Chutney.

Browse our Indian Chutneys. Our Coriander dishes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Coriander, Coconut and Gram Fresh Chutney”

White Bean, Basil, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Turmeric Spread

You know we like our spreads and dips, especially classic Italian ones. Here is a simple recipe for pureed beans seasoned with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and fresh basil that can be made mostly out of cupboard ingredients. It is divine in flavour and texture, with a multitude of uses. It is difficult to get fresh ingredients during this CV-19 lockdown, I know. If you don’t have basil, use parsley, coriander or chives. I have even used rocket and baby spinach (use a little less). Or simply leave the basil out.

The optional tomatoes and fennel seeds is an idea from one of the Moosewood cookbooks of long ago – we adopted it and use that combination in all sorts of things now.

Similar dishes include Guacamole, White Bean Puree with Harissa and Rosemary, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, and White Bean Soup.

Or browse all of our White Bean recipes and all of our Spreads.

Continue reading “White Bean, Basil, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Turmeric Spread”