A herby noodle salad with a sauce that combines the creaminess of both peanut butter and coconut milk, bringing an Asian island flavour to this salad. It is fresh and inviting with a touch of heat and it deserves a place at your table.
Quinoa is making its way into our kitchen more and more – it is a delicious grain (actually it is a seed that acts like a grain) and is very easy to cook. This is a recipe that you will love, both for its flavour and its versatility.
In this recipe, Quinoa is cooked much longer than usual until a porridge-like texture is achieved, then it is enriched with butter and feta. It is topped with tomatoes and a herb oil, and the result is satisfying and comforting in a way that will appeal both to lovers of quinoa as well as those still in need of some convincing.
This is an Ottolenghi recipe, a cracker of a dish, from his book 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, or ones that we already have in our kitchen. For this recipe, Ottolenghi chars some cherry tomatoes. But we have used our own dried tomatoes in oil with some lovely roasted garlic that we had sitting in a fridge. It is divine.
It is Ottolenghi Cook the Books 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 – 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 again 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 Quinoa dishes, and all of our Tomato 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.
This is a herby salad with the tang of purslane, the bite of spinach, the crunch of nuts and the creaminess of burrata.
I have used Purslane, as we grow it exceptionally well in Summer. Rather than weed out all of this plant, I leave a little patch and water it well. It grows lusciously with long branches lifting up from the soil. It is easy to pick, and more important, easy to clean by rinsing a couple of times. The tart tang of purslane adds a lovely lift to salads. It is very easy to grow, and you may find it occasionally at your green grocers. You can always forage it, it is everywhere, but make sure it IS purslane and that it has not been sprayed.
I have to mention how lucky I am to have a green grocer owned by a Middle Eastern family. They stock the best Dill that I have ever seen. Very thankful. I need to mention that the inspiration for this recipe comes from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More but we evolved the recipe over the years to use our common ingredients and make it egg-free. It is like a third cousin twice removed.
Radishes have been called the Unsung Hero of the Vegetable world. This year I began growing them in my newly formed vegetable patch. Easy and quick to grow, they are featuring more and more in my dishes. They add spice, texture and colour.
Radishes come in a range of colours – white, red, green, purple or black (or anything in between); they can be round, oval or long, big or small, and taste anywhere from mild to peppery. They are versatile vegetables that can be eaten raw or cooked.
Here they are paired with watermelon, a fruit of summer that I love to use in salads, as well as drinking its juice, or simply eat on very hot days, in the garden, spitting its seeds, Australian Style, into the garden (and then they appear next year as seedlings!).
We have a collection of Watermelon Salads for you to explore – we brought together all our favourite salads in one post. Or perhaps try these recipes: Watermelon, Apple and Lemongrass Salad, Watermelon Salad with Mint and Olives, Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint, Watermelon and Peach Salad with Basil, and Haloumi and Watermelon Salad.
You might also like these Radish dishes: Mung Sprout, Edamame and Radish Salad, Radish Salad with Soy and Sesame, Cucumber and Red Radish Slightly Pickled Salad, Spicy Radish Salad with Coconut Milk, or Jicama, Red Radish and Green Mango Salad.
Browse our Watermelon Salads, all of the other Watermelon recipes, our Radish Salads, and all of our other Radish Recipes. Check out our many Salad recipes, or our S. E. Asian recipes. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.
Today’s recipe is for a common style of salad around the Mediterranean – it is light and full of sunshine! Herby and lemony, it feels so healthy and is ideal for outside eating in Summer.
The Mediterranean style salad of quinoa and cannellini beans is quick to put together. Super simple once the beans and grains are cooked, it is ready in minutes and very delicious. It is an Ottolenghi recipe that does not have a mile-long list of ingredients or dozens of steps in the recipe. Tucked away in a corner of a page in his book Plenty More, it is a salad that should not be missed.
It is a very white salad, so it looks great served next to a salad with lots of tomato or pomegranate seeds. If you use red quinoa, it looks very elegant against the cannellini beans!
You might like to see our other Quinoa recipes and Cannellini Bean recipes. All of our Salads are here. Browse all of our Ottolenghi recipes here, or explore our collection of easy Early Summer dishes.
A Herbal Tea, great any time.
A beautiful refreshing tea, excellent in Spring and Summer, and especially nice in Autumn. Minty, health giving, and relaxing. If you don’t have fresh Tulsi, tea bags are easily bought and some places have dried Tulsi leaves. The other day I saw dried Tulsi leaves at my Indian Grocer’s. Or failing that, using Basil will give you a lovely, relaxing tea.
This Umbrian Sauce is an approximation of an old recipe for a sauce which is said to cure many maladies, using modern day ingredients. It keeps very well in the fridge, so if you are feeling under the weather, make a batch and drizzle it on everything. I do love it on a green salad. Since moving into this house with its excellent back yard, we are never without greens suitable for salads.
It is herby and mustardy. You can imagine why it has a reputation of being a cure-all.
Celebrate Spring with Broad Beans
This has been the year of the Broad Bean in our household. A rarely used vegetable before last year, it is again a focus for us this Spring – we found that we actually love Broad Beans. Our local Italian green grocery near our new house has large amounts of them – something that our inner-city grocery did not carry, even during Spring – so it is easy for us to celebrate this humble bean.
When you buy broad beans, young and fresh is best – they have a sheen on the pod, and will be bright green, crisp to the touch and without any black marks or blemishes. Pods are usually about 10cm long.
This pasta dish celebrates all that is Spring. Fresh and herby, it is a delight. We have used broad beans here, but it could easily use asparagus, peas or the last of the globe artichokes of the season. Or use them all together!
Remember to double-peel broad beans. Remove them from the pod, then scald them for around 30 – 60 seconds. Place in cold water then drain. With a sharp small knife make a nick in the top or side of each bean and slip it out of its skin.
Are you after other Pasta recipes? First, check out our home made eggless pasta. And try Bucatini con Zucchini, Tagliatelle with Walnuts and Lemon, Penne with Broad Beans and Ricotta, Rice and Orzo Pasta, Hand Made Pesto, and Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce.
A beautiful dish from Ottolenghi – one that takes time to produce a marvellous dish
Pottering in the kitchen today, I had a little more time so brought together Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem Artichoke recipe from his book Plenty. Simple to make, it takes just a little time as you need to roast the artichokes, make the charred tomatoes, blend up the basil oil and grill the halloumi. It appears a random combination of ingredients, but it is not so. A perfect combo of bitter, sour, sweet, crispy, crunchy, soft and creamy.
Sometimes bitter greens are not available, so I substitute nasturtium leaves which are always plentiful here. And some rocket leaves.
Once again we head to Ottolenghi land, and again play with that delightful and under-used fruit, Pomelo. This time the pomelo is complimented by the sweet-tart pickled carrots and heaps of Asian green herbs. If you can’t find Pomelo (Asian groceries often have them), use Pink Grapefruit.
This is a lovely side for a vegetarian BBQ, a herby bowl of steamed rice, or some Japanese Noodles. Pair it with some freshly deep fried tofu or grilled halloumi. It is a very special salad.
Similar recipes include Pomelo Salad with Chilli, Coconut and Peanuts, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo, Pomelo and Ruby Grapefruit Salad with Avocado, Pomelo with Avocado, Pomelo and Green Mango Salad, Glazed Carrots with Cumin and Ginger, and Three Citrus Salad.
How great is the earthy taste of beetroot! Growing my own, the earthiness and its inherent sweetness are both intensified in these fresh-from-the-ground crimson balls.
This crunchy salad is a good way to start or end a meal, or to serve as part of a spread of vegetable-based dishes. It is an Ottolenghi recipe, simple in its design and gorgeous in its delivery. It is very crunchy with the beetroot raw and the toasted nuts and seeds. If you like it a little softer, quickly saute the julienned beetroot, like we do in the Beetroot and Carrot Salad.
Everything can be prepared in advance, kept in the fridge, and combined when you’re ready.
We have some similar Beetroot recipes. Try Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Salad with Walnuts, Beetroot with Yoghurt Tahini Dressing, Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad with Rocket, and Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad.
Also try Purslane Salad with Herbs and Burrata.
You can browse all of our Beetroot recipes here. Or have a look through our Ottolenghi recipe collection. We love Salads and have so many. Browse them here, or explore our easy Mid Summer recipe collection.
Hand made, home made pesto is the most exquisite of creations. Do try it.
I first made it long ago, when I took a cooking class with Bill Grainger of the famous Bills Restaurants in Sydney, and author of many Sydney-style cookbooks. He made pesto by hand in the class. At home, Bill didn’t keep a lot of gadgets in his kitchen and didn’t have a blender!! So at home he always made it by hand. A man after my own heart – Meditation in the kitchen through manual grinding. There is something about pesto that you make yourself, especially if you grow your own basil.
This recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and bring the mortar and pestle out of the cupboard. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta.
You should check out our home made eggless pasta too.
Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato. Use Broad Bean and Mint Puree as a pasta sauce too, by thinning it until a suitable consistency is reached.
You might also like our Pesto recipes here and here. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes here and here. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.
Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.
This dish combines the classic flavours of an Italian pasta dish.
Often a pasta dish is my go-to Saturday or Sunday night fare. With a friend from a good Italian commercial pasta making family, we are never short of good pasta. This dish combines the classic flavours of an Italian pasta dish. Use a great spaghetti, a thick one if you can, or thin if you cannot. Pasta shells work well also.
You might like to read Pasta with Soul – how long to cook pasta.
When the weather warms, so does the need for cooling drinks. Herbal teas are wonderful. So versatile, they can be sipped in the morning for a refreshing morning break, or drunk iced in the afternoon for a true cooling experience.
Make a whole jug full in the mornings, and put the remainder in the fridge for the afternoon. You can even pour some into ice-cube trays, place a mint leaf in each, and freeze for the afternoon iced tea.
You might like to try some of our other herbal teas – they are all suitable for being served iced during the summer months. Or check out our Drinks in general. You might like to explore our Early Summer recipes.
A tea to take you back to Bali
The combination of strong ginger and lemongrass is quintessential Bali. This is a tea that still features often at our place. Not only is it such a peaceful tea, engendering bliss and well being, it is great for the appetite and digestive system.