Black Olive, Herb and Chilli Pine Nut Cream Cheese

Cream cheese still features in our kitchen, despite its fall from grace. Over-used in the ’80s and ’90s, cooks have relegated it to supermarket shelves. But, thank goodness, really good cream cheese still exists if you look around. It makes very easy, simple but flavoursome dips and spreads, and snack balls.

This spread mixes cream cheese with olives and herbs. Cream cheese is quite bland, so we spice things up by incorporating some chilli toasted pine nuts. It is hardly a recipe, it is that simple. But we share it here anyway.

Use the spread on crackers, on hot toast or crumpets, and with roasted vegetables.

Similar recipes include Quince Molasses and Tahini Spread, Miso and Tahini Sauce, and Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Leaf Spread.

Browse all of our Cream Cheese dishes and all of our Spreads. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Black Olive, Herb and Chilli Pine Nut Cream Cheese”

Peanut Noodle Salad with Coriander, Mint and Thai Basil

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.

Are you looking for other Noodle dishes? Try Broth and Dipping Sauce for Noodles and Tofu, Fox Noodles, and Sesame-Ginger Sauce for Noodles.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes here, and use our basic pasta/noodle recipe to make your own noodles. All of our salads are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Peanut Noodle Salad with Coriander, Mint and Thai Basil”

Quinoa Porridge with Tomatoes and Herb Oil

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.

Similar dishes include Black Glutinous Rice Congee, Sweet Congee with Poached Oranges, Red Rice and Quinoa Salad, and Quinoa, Parsley and White Bean Salad.

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.

Continue reading “Quinoa Porridge with Tomatoes and Herb Oil”

Purslane Salad with Burrata

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.

Similar recipes include Spinach and Watercress Salad with Ricotta, Purslane Salad with Tomatoes, Every Meal some Simple Greens, Purslane Salad, Raw Beetroot and Herb Salad and Mustardy Peas with Purslane.

Browse all of our Purslane dishes, and all of our Salads. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Purslane Salad with Burrata”

Spicy Red Radish and Watermelon Salad, Thai Style

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.

Also try Raw Vegetable Salad with Mustardy Mayo Dressing.

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.

Continue reading “Spicy Red Radish and Watermelon Salad, Thai Style”

Quinoa, Parsley and Lemon Salad with Cannellini Beans

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!

Similar dishes include Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pecans, Quinoa Salad with Orange, Quinoa Porridge with Tomatoes and Herb Oil, Fennel and Quinoa Salad with Broad Beans, and Red Rice and Quinoa Salad with Orange and Pistachios.

Also try Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean Salad with Mozzarella, White Bean Salad with Tahini, Grilled Eggplant Salad with White Beans, and Roasted Red Pepper Salad with White 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.

Continue reading “Quinoa, Parsley and Lemon Salad with Cannellini Beans”

Tulsi, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea

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.

Similar teas include Tulsi Khara, Green Tea, Apple Juice and Strawberry Cooler, Ginger Root and Turmeric Tea, Longan and Young Ginger Tea, and Lemon Verbena and Lavender Tea.

Browse all of our Tea recipes and our Tulsi recipes. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Tulsi, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea”

Umbrian Sauce for a Cure | Salsa di Curata | Herby Mustard Sauce or Dressing

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.

Similar recipes include Garlic-Yoghurt Dressing, Roast Capsicum Sauce and Dressing, Almond Butter Dressing, and Umbrian Broad Bean Puree.

You might like to browse our Dressings here and Sauces here. Our Italian recipes are here. Or browse our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Umbrian Sauce for a Cure | Salsa di Curata | Herby Mustard Sauce or Dressing”

Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint

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.

Are you after other Broad Bean dishes? Try Broad Bean and Dill Rice Fava Bean Puree with Dill, Tawa Broad Beans, Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread, and Glorious Five Bean Salad.

Check out our other Broad Bean recipes, and other Pasta recipes. Our Italian dishes are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint”

Jerusalem Artichokes with Halloumi and Basil Oil

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.

Are you after other Jerusalem Artichoke recipes? Try Jerusalem Artichoke and Cumin Salad. We have some others  planned, so check back here later for updates.

Or some Halloumi dishes? Try Halloumi and Orange Salad, Halloumi Pizza and Halloumi and Watermelon Salad.

Browse all of our Halloumi recipes, our Tomato recipes, and our Jerusalem Artichoke dishes. Explore all of 0ur Ottolenghi recipes. Or browse our Late Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Jerusalem Artichokes with Halloumi and Basil Oil”