Occasionally the urge for green vegetables hits, usually when you are tired, overworked, stressed or anxious. How wonderful a large plate of greens looks, smells and tastes at those times. Don’t worry, we have your back, try this kale dish. It combines the great Asian flavours of garlic, ginger, spring onions (scallions) and a little soy. Quick to make, it is just a few minutes from stove to table.
Green Beans – so fresh, crisp and inviting when fresh. This recipe comes from an old Chinese cooking book – it is probably 40 years old, but the recipes are incredibly good. It is an easy dish to whip up and is fragrant with the garlic and spring onions.
The green beans are first simmered in a vegetable stock, then briskly stir fried with the garlic and spring onions in some butter and oil. Then they are drizzled with Rice Vinegar and Sweet Soy. I like a bit of sesame oil at the end too.
Green Bean recipes include Freekeh with Green Beans, Walnuts and Tahini.
On the day that I picked 3 kg of broad beans, I knew I had to find some additional recipes. We have some wonderful broad bean dishes, but I was looking for something new and different. We had recently made Avocado and Broad Bean Mash (delicious), and this time it was a rift on that recipe, combining a herby and lemony broad bean mix with ricotta flavoured with roasted garlic. What could be better? Slather it on sourdough toast. (You can make it with frozen broad beans too.)
We have made this successfully with cream cheese instead of the ricotta. We’ve been keeping cream cheese handy lately, it is so versatile. We love to pile it onto fresh bread or toast and then top it with pistachio butter. I can’t tell you how good this is.
The recipe for this broad bean and ricotta spread comes from Ottolenghi- we are currently cooking our way through his book Plenty More. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.
It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one day 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. 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.
Browse all of our Broad Bean dishes and our Spreads. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.
There is a quick thing you can do with zucchini and garlic – or leave the garlic out – that is an instant supper. Cook some rice to go with it, if you like,or some pasta with butter and black pepper, and your hunger will be satisfied.
I always wonder – what is the proper name for these beauties – courgette or zucchini? Both names are slightly romantic – I try to stick to zucchini because it’s Australian, but sometimes courgette sounds better. Courgettes and Garlic, a quick and utterly delicious dish, perfect on its own and also perfect with pasta.
A whole-heartedly winter dish, this bake combines aniseed-flavoured fennel with the soft beauty of potatoes and white beans.. And, if you go for the alternative noted below the recipe, Jerusalem artichokes can feature too. You probably know that we adore dishes that go into the oven on cold winter days – they warm us, and both scent and warm the kitchen and living areas. It draws the family together, addicted as we are to warmth and flavours, and by the time the meal is served everyone is laughing and the wine is already poured.
The health benefits of garlic in the diet are well known. Pair garlic with Long Pepper and you have an immune boosting rasam. Long Pepper is well known in Ayurveda to have multiple health benefits. It also is known by numerous names in India – Pippali, Thippili, Kandathippilis, Desavaram.
This rasam is flavoured with the Pippali and Garlic, as well as black pepper, cumin seeds, chilli and curry leaves. With such layerings of flavours, how could it not be delicious?
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It is nearly Spring, and salads are all the go for our daily menu. If you have been following our salads, you will know we are mainly doing very simple salads at the moment, as life is busy and wearying. Thank goodness for that mesclun that green grocers sell – by-the-kilo varietal mixes of green salad leaves. The base of any salad is so easy! They are available year round, and you can make this salad in a nest of salad greens in the centre of a big plate. We haven’t done that today, but often serve it that way.
The salad takes beans – green or broad beans, either one, or mix them – and tosses them with asparagus and olives. A little black garlic is broken into small pieces and added.
Are you after other Bean Salads? Try Crispy Green Beans with Ginger and Soy, Italian Flat Bean Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnut Crumbs, Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Green Beans with Lentil Crumble. Also try Baked Asparagus with Wine and Herbs.
This classic Egyptian Salad is wonderful, if you are a lover of dried broad beans (fava beans). It cooks the small dried fava until just done, or just a little over-done and beginning to disintegrate, and then mixes them with herbs, spices and olive oil. The result is a wonderfully flavoursome salad or side dish.
The recipe makes a fair amount, so you are likely to have some salad left over. Left overs make great spreads (try on sour dough bread with sliced tomatoes, cucumber and radish) and it is wonderful in salad wraps.
We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
The carrot spread through Europe in the 14th Century, coming from Spain and Sicily via Italy. In very old recipe books it is treated only as one of the roots, and it wasn’t until the 18th Century that it was given a place of its own in French cuisine. A popular peasant food, the carrot was almost always present in rural dishes, like this one which turns a humble vegetable into an exquisite dish. Thankfully it is more widely accepted now, and this dish is glorious. You will love it.
The carrots are cooked slowly over low heat with oodles of garlic until crispy on the outside and softly melting in the middle.
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.