A wonderful Winter salad is apple and celery with walnuts – seasonal, healthy, crunchy and delicious. This easy salad has a blended dressing made with seeds (sunflower or pepitas – pumpkin seeds), miso and umeboshi plums.
For the last couple of years, black garlic has been the thing – slowly fermented until black, the garlic has the taste of parmesan, tamarind and molasses It is gorgeous. Mostly mashed or pureed into other dishes, it is quite versatile, if not an expensive addition to all sorts of dishes including soups, simmered dishes and dressings. Or just spread on some toast.
Ottolenghi took a while to warm to black garlic, but several recipes feature in his books – one absolutely gorgeous one in Nopi, and this one – both with eggplants that have been roasted. In this recipe, from Plenty More, the roasted eggplant slices are drizzled with a yoghurt-black garlic sauce, which is then topped with crispy chilli rings and garlic slices, before being liberally sprinkled with herbs. It is delicious. Of course.
We are cooking our way through Plenty More as our project for the year. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.
Don’t have any black garlic? See the Nopi post for substitutions that work very well.
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. As mentioned, 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 or Telegraph columns.
Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.
We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
The garden has recently acquired a horseradish plant, so we are beginning to think about uses. It is commonly included in cocktail sauce, cheese sauces, specialty mustards, dips, spreads, hummus, relishes and dressings. It gives coleslaw, potato salad and baked beans an exciting new taste. Horseradish butter, horseradish mayonnaise, horseradish sour cream dip and horseradish barbecue sauce are common. It can be added to stock, even to pizza sauces! But most of all I am looking forward to liberally as a herb. It can be fermented as well.
If you are growing horseradish, it can be used fresh, but mostly it is grated and mixed with vinegar to maintain its fresh, spicy taste.
However, in these recipes, you can use store-bought horseradish, sold in jars at the supermarket.
This post contains one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can see more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.
Simple salads are still coming – a few more yet – we are nearly at the end of our 101 Salads project. Simple salads can seem at first glance of the recipe to be incomplete, but put them together and the simplicity leaves the vegetables to shine gloriously. Whether it is tomato or Brussels Sprouts, or lettuce, or avocado, or whatever, simple salads remind us that it is Ok to leave ingredients alone, allow them their own space. Elizabeth David was a great advocate of this approach. Ottolenghi, conversely, breaks all the rules of simplicity.
This salad is shredded cabbage (Napa or Wombok) or some lettuce with some nutty Swiss cheese (I love Ementhal) and some rye bread croutons. Dress it with a dressing with a touch of heat. Nice.
Our Quince Molasses this year is awesome, tasting every so slightly of roses and with a tart-sweet flavour. We make a jar full in Autumn each year to last us through to Summer, but having discovered this recipe we may have to double the quantity in future.
Mixing Quince Molasses with Tahini produces a spread (or dip, or dressing) that could be used for sweet or savoury purposes. The tahini modifies the sour notes of the molasses to form something that is so moreish, I dare you to stop eating it by the spoonful.
In Iraq, this spread is called Ardeh Shireh and in Turkey it is called Tahin Pekmez.
We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
Packets of miso often come with small recipes on or under the lid, and they are fun to try. Many of them are for Miso Soup, but I have that sorted already. Occasionally there is a recipe for a sauce or dip. This tiny but excellent recipe came on a pack of Shiro Miso. It mixes Shiro with Tahini – the taste is earthy, yeasty and awesome.
I call this sauce a drizzle sauce, because it can be drizzled into and over anything. When I first started making this as a dressing and a dipping sauce, it was quite unusual. That was way back in 2003. These days, Asian style dressings, broths and dipping sauces are reasonably common. This is a great recipe to play with – it makes about half a cup. Store it in the fridge and use for salads, noodles, dipping sauce, drizzle in or on soups, add a little to your bowl of miso, drip over a pile of deep fried tofu, a little over avocado on toast.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can see more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.
Cauliflower has been used for ages as a vegetarian answer to the classic Middle Eastern Shawarma recipe. The cauliflower is roasted with a range of spices including toasted cumin and coriander, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and sumac. In this recipe, the cauliflower is then dressed with tahini, pomegranates, pine nuts and rose petals. Beautiful Middle Eastern flavours.
This particular recipe, they say, originally came from Josh Katz of Berber and Q, and it is such a beautiful dish. It has sweetness, tartness, creaminess, ‘burntness’ (umami), warmness from the spices and a fragrance that brings the bazaars of the Middle East to your table. Its such a great dish.
If you are like us, you will love the different ways that sauces and dressings can be made with yoghurt. And yoghurt and tahini combine amazingly well. Today is another variation on this theme, making a beautiful Egyptian style sauce and dressing that is perfect with salads, falafel and other snacks.
It is very easy to make, the ingredients are simply whisked together.
Such a simple salad – tomatoes with a parsley dressing, or make it a basil dressing if you prefer. Salads are such an easy way to get a few extra healthy ingredients into your body to work their magic. Even a simple salad like this one is perfect for adding tomatoes, perhaps a few greens and anything else that you care to add, to your count of the number of fruit and veg you’ve consumed today.
It is easy to whip up a salad. With over 200 salads on this site as I write, and even more scheduled, I hope I have convinced you. Most of these are very, very easy – that’s my style. A few take a bit more forethought, but again they act as a hugely flavoursome way of adding more goodness to your body.
Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Green Papaya, Snake Bean and Tomato Salad, Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime, Cherry Tomato with Soy Dressing, and Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo.
Longans are new to me, the result of a quick trip to the Asian grocer on the way home from work. Rather than the two things I wanted to come home with, I found jicama, longans, and such incredible young fresh ginger. Oh my!
Longan in Mandarin means “dragon’s eye”. Such beautiful names meanings Chinese words have.
Longans are sold fresh at the end of summer and, interestingly, their availability marks the end of the lychee season. They look a bit like lychees with white flesh, hard brown seed, a thin brown leathery shell that easily peels off, and they grow in clusters in tropical climates. But the flavour, texture and moisture content are completely different. Lychees are fleshy, juicy, and are light tasting, but longans have a thinner, drier flesh that is firm in texture with a honey like flavour, and which is deeply perfumed. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees.
My Mother would make two salad dressings – one an eggless, mustardy mayonnaise made with condensed milk (its a beauty) and today’s recipe, a creamy salad dressing that is also eggless. It is not that she was against using eggs (we had several dozen chooks), but she had a number of things influencing her cooking – her experience in the tough times of World War II as she was growing up, living in an isolated part of South Australia, her Germanic influences from her parents and grandparents, and a preference for things to be easy in the Kitchen as she didn’t really enjoy cooking.
I am glad that these things all came together to produce both of these dressings, because I keep my Kitchen meat-free and egg-free. So these two recipes are heaven-sent, ready to use whenever mayonnaise style dressings are required. The other one that is handy is this lemony yoghurt dressing.
This creamy dressing always appeared on my Mother’s tomato salads, and it well suits both tomatoes and cucumbers. Who thinks of putting mayo or a creamy dressing on tomato salads these days? My mother always did. And they were delicious, our favourite.
But it is also versatile, useful for all sorts of salads. It can be flavoured, eg with mustard or garlic or capers or spring onions, and this is done so easily. Try it on a raw vegetable salad, crunchy shredded root vegetables, a green lettuce based salad, over salad bowls, and with roast vegetable salads.
An Autumn and Winter salad, this one. Cabbage, fresh can crisp, with black beans and an orange juice vinaigrette. It’s refreshing and filling at the same time, making it perfect for either lunch or dinner.
Cabbage is often paired with caraway seeds, but if you are not a caraway lover, do what this salad does – use cumin instead. The flavour is different, but a similar bite to the flavour is there, and it pairs just as well.
Neither cabbage nor black beans are seen often in this kitchen, so it is nice to bring them together here.
Similar recipes include Black Bean and Avocado Salad with Green Tomatoes.
Here we are with broad beans again (my favourite), and paired with radishes. Both are so easy to grow, so this really is a from-the-garden salad. But when broad beans are out of season, use frozen ones. You can make the all-too-short broad bean season last longer this way.
A friend living in Tasmania still picks Broad Beans at the end of December, so if you are in a cooler climate, how good is it to have broad beans through mid Summer. I still have a few on my bushes, not many, but enough to make the occasional meal.
Light, refreshing and perfect for a warm weather day, this recipe can also be a light lunch with some beautiful flat bread and maybe a wedge of pecorino cheese. It brings together my two favourite ingredients of Spring – Broad Beans and Radishes. It’s another Ottelenghi beauty.
Now to the question of whether to double peel the broad beans. While very young pods can be cooked and eaten with the beans, this is not the recipe to try that. Should you peel the individual beans? It is a personal preference. I almost always peel them, but younger beans can be eaten as is. I find popping broad beans out of their individual skins can be meditative, and I prefer the taste and texture of peeled broad beans. But many people can’t be bothered. If you’re one of the latter, skip the skinning stage – you’ll need to cook the beans for a minute longer and you will lose the light texture of the naked beans.
You might like other Broad Bean recipes – try Braised Broad Beans, Peas and Lettuce with Parmesan Rice, Broad Beans with Lemon and Coriander, Tawa Broad Beans, Broad Bean and Dill Rice, and Five Bean Salad.
Are you looking for Radish recipes? Try Mung Sprout, Edamame and Radish Salad, Chinese Cabbage and Red Radish Salad with Peanut Dressing, and Red Radish and Green Mango Salad.
Miso is an underused ingredient. These days mostly relegated to Japanese cuisine, it was a darling of the macro-biotic movement of last century. You still find the odd recipe that uses it and the occasional blogger who is confident enough to use it often (have a look through Lucy Nourish Me’s recipes).
It was nice to find it mentioned in Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries – such an English approach to food he has, that the incorporation of miso was a surprise. A minor mention indeed, but a mention nevertheless.
This is a fairly standard miso dressing, but Nigel credits Nigella with its creation. No matter the origin, it is a cracker. Use it with Roast Pumpkin, green beans that have been quickly sauteed, steamed or boiled, or Japanese noodles (as Nigel does). It can be used as a dipping sauce.
Similar recipes include Miso and Tahini Sauce, Spread and Dressing, Chilli Soy Sauce, and Broth and Dipping Sauce for Noodles and Tofu. Try Chargrilled Pumpkin Salad with Labneh and Walnut Salsa and Butternut with Buckwheat Polenta and Tempura Lemons too.