Rustic White Beans in Tomato and Onions

This dish has a vague Turkish origin. White beans – haricot or cannellini beans – are cooked and mixed with a delicious tomato-based mixture. You could make the same dish with chickpeas or lima beans.

I often make it with passata for a real saucy base, but other times will use chopped tomatoes for quite a different style. Your choice.

Similar dishes include Broccoli and White Bean Soup, Fennel and Potato with White Beans and Garlic, and Rustic, Spicy Butter Beans.

Browse all of our White Bean recipes and Turkish dishes.

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Turnips and Onions in Olive Oil

Turnips, the forgotten vegetable of Winter. Yet they are divine either raw or cooked. We have quite a few recipes for you to experiment with. And to add to that list is a simple Turkish dish of turnips and onions simmered using an a la grecque style, and finished with herbs. It is a simple and easy recipe.

The dish is very gentle, some might think it is bland. But it marries beautifully with a host of other, more strongly flavoured dishes. Just don’t overcook the turnips or they will go watery. Remove from the heat when juuuuust tender enough.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes and our Turkish dishes.

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100 Vegetables: #73. Onions

Where would we be without onions? They add a bite to dishes, or a sweet goodness if they are cooked longer. Often tucked into the background or base of a dish, here we celebrate dishes where they are in the foreground.

You can browse all of our Onion recipes. And check out our 100 Vegetable Series.

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Kachumber | Chuchumber

Kachumber is a Hindi word for chopped into small pieces. It can mean any Indian salad made with a few salad vegetables that have been finely sliced or chopped and served with a wedge of lemon. Here we have the most commonly made kachumber – tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and herbs. The dressing is always lemon or lime juice and black pepper, although vinegar can be added in the Parsi version.

I have other Kachumber recipes here, but this one is simple. Quick and simple. I thought that I would include it because often that is what we want and need. It is as delicious as ever. I hope you enjoy it.

I’ve made Kachumbers using the chopping blade of a food processor, by grating some of the ingredients and by chopping by hand. Use which ever method suits you on the day.

You might like to read What is a Kachumber? And our Collection of Kachumber Salads.

Similar recipes include Apple and Grape Kachumber, Daikon and Carrot Kachumber, Chickpea (Channa) Chaat and Channa Chaat on Kovalam Beach.

You might like to try other Indian Salads and Indian Snacks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Other Late Summer recipes can be found here.

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Barley and Lentils with Mushrooms and Fried Onion

You couldn’t get a more Wintery dish than this. Barley and Brown Lentils with Mushrooms and Crispy Fried Onions. And today is quite warm! What am I thinking? Haha, still, it is great comfort food.

For this dish I have used horse gram lentils, a favourite lentil from India, but you can use any brown or dark lentil. The recipe, one of Ottolenghi’s, specifies pot barley and you should use that if it is available. Here it has gone out of fashion in recent times and I could not find any for love or money.  So I used pearl barley – almost as good in my opinion. Pot barley is the love of the UK, where it is readily available.

As mentioned, this is a recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. Note that we always feel free to use whatever is in our garden, pantry, fridge or kitchen bench in his dishes. For this one, the barley is the only substitute we have made. However if you wish to see his original recipe check his books or his Guardian column.

What is Pot Barley

Whole (as opposed to rolled or ground) barley comes three ways: as a whole grain, as pot barley or as pearl barley. The difference between them is the degree to which their tough outer shell has been removed. Pot, or Scotch, barley has its outer casing hulled. Pearl barley also has it removed, and is then polished clean. The hull is left on for whole grain, which gives it an inherent nuttiness and bite that allows it to stand more alone in a dish.

Pot barley takes longer to cook than pearl, but an overnight soak in water will speed things along. It’s a robust grain that, if overcooked, won’t collapse but will become more tender. It’s wonderfully versatile, too: try it instead of pasta, rice, couscous or bulgur wheat next time you reach for those cupboard staples.

This dish is very versatile – have it with a green salad in Summer or some roast veg in Winter.  I am be happy to have this by itself as a light lunch or supper.

Similar recipes include Pan Fried Mushrooms in Butter, Barley, Millet and Mung Congee, Toasted Barley with Pistachios and Raisins, and Butternut with Roasted Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic.

Browse all of our Barley dishes and all of our Mushroom recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Onion and Chilli Polenta

Another way that we love to cook polenta is with caramelised onions and oregano, with a ton of butter and cheese added. Then it is pan fried until crispy on the outside and soft and cheesy in the middle.

It takes a while to caramelise the onions properly, then simmer them with the stock. Allow sufficient time to make this, perhaps as you potter around the kitchen on a Sunday morning.

Another way of serving this polenta is to leave it quite moist so that it does not harden, and lay a bed of it on a plate. Top with anything you fancy – below that is a Sticky Fennel Jam that I made while the onions were caramelising. But also a beautiful Italian tomato sauce with be perfect on top. Also some roasted broccoli florets. A green chilli paste. Crispy onion rings. Whatever your imagination suggests.

Similar recipes include Wet Polenta and Tomato Layers, Polenta Crisps, and Polenta Chips.

Browse all of our Italian dishes and all of our Polenta recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  It appears here as part of the Retro Recipes series of recipes which documents our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

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Dried Fava Beans with Onions, Fennel, Sage and Lime/Lemon

You no doubt know of my love for dried broad beans by now. And this riff on a Greek dish is one of my favourites (along with the Fava Bean and Turmeric Soup). Here I have combined my favourite flavours of the dried broad beans with a little fennel bulb and a hit of turmeric, and then lifted the flavours with some ever-so-sweet caramelised red onions. Into that goes the rind and juice of a lime or lemon. It is fairly easy to make – it takes time but most of it is not hands-on.

The lovely book Ikaria by Diane Kochilas has a similar recipe – a little simpler perhaps but full of flavour too.

Similar dishes include Greek Village Salad, Dried Fava Beans with Garlic, Mexican Fava Bean Soup, and Fava Bean Falafel.

Browse all of our Dried Broad Bean dishes, and our Greek recipes.

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Buckwheat and Broccolini Salad

I happily eat this buckwheat salad as is for a light lunch or snack. You know I love my salad snacks. It is lovely just on its own. Or it is great served with, say, some fritters, herby new potatoes and roasted beetroot. Yum.

This is an excellent dish for the cooler days of Summer and Autumn. The recipe is based on one from Ottolenghi’s Simple. He uses beans in the salad. After the devastating bushfires in Australia, fresh beans are difficult to source. Broccolini makes a great alternative. We cook a lot of Ottolenghi dishes but always feel free to use what is in our pantry, on our kitchen benches, in our garden, or available locally. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Some say buckwheat is an acquired taste. But I think of it as a creamy quinoa, and adore the flavour and texture. You will too. It has a slightly earthy and nutty flavour.

Similar dishes include Butternut with Buckwheat Polenta, Broccolini and Sweet Tahini, and Buckwheat Salad.

Browse all of our Buckwheat recipes and all of our Broccolini dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Tray Baked Veg with Pomegranate Molasses and Baharat

As Autumn slowly turns colder we pull out the jumpers, get the heater serviced and turn the oven on. What is it about oven cooked food that is so delightful in late autumn and winter? It is used most days during the cold weather in our kitchen. Today we throw some vegetable onto an oven tray and bake them with home made pomegranate molasses and baharat, the Middle Eastern spice.

They get placed in a very hot oven and are cooked in no time.

Similar recipes include Throw a Tray of Veg into the Oven, Tray Baked Spicy Chickpeas, Kombu Baked Veg, and Winter Roast Vegetables with Chickpeas.

Browse all of our Tray Baked dishes and all of our Baked dishes. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Black Onions – Onions Slow Roasted

Black onions sound intriguing, don’t they? Well they are. Onions, sauteed then cooked with vinegar and sugar until brown and crispy in a low oven. Sweet with a touch of sour and deep oniony flavours, they are the perfect topping for soups, salads and dals. They go well in sandwiches, rolls and wraps. Mix with chopped herbs and top rice with them. Mix into pasta dishes. Use them for lunches, snacks and dinner dishes.

The black onions keep well so they can be made and will last a week in the fridge. They are not burnt but rather are deeply caramelised.

Similar recipes include Lentils and Pasta with Caramelised Onions, Broad Bean Dip with Roasted Onions, and Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways.

Browse all of our Onion recipes or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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