Parsley and Barley Salad with Spiced Marinated Feta

A beautiful, fresh and light Salad

Oh how delightful this salad is! It feels healthy and green and very clarifying. It makes you feel so good as you are eating it. The recipe comes from Ottolenhi and Tamimi’s book Jerusalem.

Middle Eastern and Israeli dishes can be substantial and heavy and are accompanied by a sharp, fresh salad such as this one. The herbs and lemon juice cleanse the palate and give a certain sense of lightness. Serve it with other vegetable-based mezze dishes. I like to eat it on its own for lunch with some flatbread. This amount serves 4 – 5 as a side dish and 2 – 3 as a lunch with flatbread.

The flavours of garlic, olive oil, onion, lemon – flavour so familiar from the Middle East – are all there, accentuated by za’atar – and the flavours are carried by the beautiful green tastes of parsley and green capsicum. A delightful, balanced dish.

Are you looking for Barley recipes? Try this wonderful Farmhouse Soup, and Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley.

Or try some Ottolenghi recipes – Roasted Eggplant with a Garlic Sauce, Du Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin, and Smashed Garlic and Cucumber Salad.

We even have Parsley recipes for you. Chickpea “Tabbouleh”, Greek style Salsa Verde and Parsley Braised with Tomatoes.

You might like to browse other Parsley recipes here and here, other Barley recipes and other Ottolenghi recipes. Try our Middle Eastern recipes here and here, or explore our collection of easy Spring dishes here and here.

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Roasted Aubergine with a Garlic Sauce, Pine Nuts, Basil and Yoghurt

I have the Ottolenghi book Nopi, and have been determined to make something out of it if just to prove that a cookbook from a restaurant is not necessarily out of reach of someone who loves simple home cooking. While the recipes are a notch up from Ottolenghi’s other books, I enjoyed making this dish.

This really is a stunning dish. I mean, really very very good.

NOTE that this baked eggplant is so delicious, and could be used in a variety of ways. Bake the eggplant and top salads, use with pasta, remove the flesh and mix with yoghurt. Even in this recipe it won’t hold its shape once you begin to handle them, but don’t worry if they are a little mushier than expected. All the better to mop up with flatbreads.

If you would like other Eggplant recipes, try Cheese and Eggplant Torte, Marinated Eggplant, and Steamed Eggplant with Spring Onions and Sesame.

Ottolenghi recipes include Creamy Baked Sweet Potato, Creamy Caramelised Belgium Endive, and Sticky Balsamic Sweet Potatoes.

Or you might like to explore all Eggplant Recipes, and all of Ottolenghi recipes are here. Are you wanting Yoghurt recipes? Try here. Or simply browse all of our Late Summer recipes here.

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Creamy Baked Sweet Potato and Gratineed Sweet Potato

Ottolenghi has a beautiful Sweet Potato Gratin in his book Ottolenghi. The dish is beautiful, the sweet potato soft, so tender. The success of the dish is the arrangement of a lot of sweet potatoes, overlapping, in a baking dish. What Ottolenghi doesn’t say in the recipe is that it works for just 1 sweet potato as well. Using a small amount of sweet potato means that it is not gratineed, but it is beautiful, tender with a crispy crust.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

For all Sweet Potato recipes click here and here. Browse Ottolenghi recipes here, and all Baked recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn recipes here and here.

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Vegetarian Muqluba

A deeply flavoured Israeli dish from Ottolenghi and Tamimi. A reasonable amount of effort but worth it.

Maqluba is an amazing dish, deep in flavours and textures. Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s book Jerusalem has a great recipe in it that is easily vegetarian-ised. It was a great success flavour-wise. It was less successful in presentation. The dish should turn out like an upside down cake but my aged super-long grained basmati is a rice that “lifts and separates” rather than clings together to build a superstructure to support an upside-down cake look. Next time I will find a rice with a little more glugginess to build the required infrastructure.

Most recipes for Muqluba do specify basmati rice, but I suspect that the aged basmati isn’t suitable. Perhaps for the vegetarian-ised version a shorter grained rice is more suitable.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Ottolenghi collection. You might also like our Eggplant recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse cauliflower recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here. Continue reading “Vegetarian Muqluba”

Mung Bean and Baked Carrot Salad

Mung Beans shine in this beautiful salad.

There is a thing about your own cooking that embodies your preferences, and they were built from childhood food experiences, your culture, your climate and  your food journey through life.  So, like it or not, cooking is not formulaic. You twist and turn while following a recipe. You massage it here and there. You add and subtract. You compensate and accentuate. And you cook something that is pleasing to you and to those you love.

So it is with Ottolenghi. I love his recipes, but there are some things that don’t suit my preferences – or my climate. Although he does really well internationalising his dishes, unlike Nigel Slater who unashamedly cooks for an English audience, some things jar with me. For example, his over use of feta when it is not needed to enhance the dish is perhaps a fashion thing. Or maybe to enhance the visuals. Or perhaps the feta is betta in London. Or maybe it is just my preference to use only small amounts. Continue reading “Mung Bean and Baked Carrot Salad”

Caramelised Endive with a Creamy Cheesy Topping

A comforting dish as the weather turns cooler

The bitter tang of Belgium Endive is a wonderful contrast to our normal fare. Today, it is partially cooked on a pan and then finished in the oven with a creamy cheesy breadcrumb topping.

This is an ideal dish to prepare ahead. Get it ready to pop into the oven, then it is a quick dish for lunches or a quick dinner side dish.

You might also like to try Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad. Browse our Autumn dishes here and here.

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Pomelo Salad with Asian Flavours

This salad has such a fresh taste, embodying the joys of summer.

Ottolenghi has done it again. This is the first time that we’ve used Pomelo and it is a delightful find. Let me say, however, that it is a lot of work to peel and remove the membrane, but once the trick is discovered it is not a difficult task.

This salad has such a fresh taste, embodying the joys of summer. I wonder why pomelo is not very popular in Australia as this dish is very mush a beach-side picnic dish or a country-drive-and-picnic dish.

You might also want to try: Buddha’s Delight Salad, Kylie’s Tofu and Asian Herb Salad, and Ottolenghi’s Beetroot, Black Olive and Orange Salad. Browse all of our Salad Recipes here and here. Ottolenghi’s recipes are here. Be inspired by our Summer recipes here and here.

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Crushed Du Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin

This sustaining meal-on-a-plate is a little bit like hummus, though much easier and quicker to prepare. Eat with warm flatbread and a salad.

It is a very very cool summer’s day, full of storms and we are all reaching for our unused jackets to keep warm. We look for something more substantial and comforting today from the kitchen.

I love the lentils of India and the Middle East, and I love the lentils of the West (although a much more limited range). Commonly, lentils soften much more quickly than most dried beans and peas, and take only 20 – 40 minutes to cook. While red lentils (masoor dal), fall apart in the cooking (so making them perfect for soups), brown and green varieties hold their shape, making them a very good base on which to layer other foods. A pan of cooked lentils – braised with carrots, onions, celery, hard herbs and vegetable stock – is a useful thing to have in the fridge, ready to for the basis for turning yesterday’s leftover dishes into a whole new meal.

You might also like to try Indian Du Puy Lentil Sundal Salad, or Du Puy Lentil Soup. Browse through our Du Puy recipes here and here, and you might like to explore all of our Ottolenghi recipes. Be inspired by our Summer recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Crushed Du Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin”

Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onion

A Japanese Style luxurious aubergine dish – salad, side dish, main course or condiment.

Ottolenghi has a great steamed eggplant recipe in Plenty More, rather like the Thai one that I posted here but just different enough to try it out.

Don’t you just love the silky texture of steamed eggplant – so different to its grilled counterpart?

Steaming maintains some of the aubergine flesh’s texture, which doesn’t happen if you cook it in any other way. It gives this dish a particular substantial quality, making it suitable to serve with just plain rice or fried tofu. It can also be used as a condiment or side dish.

You might also like to try Saffron and Rosewater Scented Eggplant, Eggplants, Sultanas and Pinenuts, or Steamed Thai Eggplants and Zucchini. Perhaps browse all of our Eggplant recipes here and here. Or gain inspiration from our Summer recipes here and here.

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Tomato and Pomegranate Salad

From Plenty More, Ottolenghi comes up with a cracker tomato salad with hints of the Middle East.

Who can go past a tomato salad in late summer or autumn when the tomatoes are the sweetest and juiciest? And to celebrate the arrival of Autumn and it’s change in colours, Ottolenghi has this cheery bright red salad that combines the sweetness of the tomatoes with the sour-sweetness of the pomegranates.

The salad is best made in Autumn when the pomegranates come into season.

You might want to try these dishes too: Bok Choy with Capers and Tomatoes, the Best Tomato Salad Recipe, Simple Salads from Elizabeth David, and Tomato Paella. We adore a simple tomato salad, and my mother’s German tomato and cucumber salad with cream. All of our Tomato Salads are here and here.

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Sticky Balsamic Sweet Potatoes with Orange Bitters

Some of Ottolenghi’s dishes are no-brainers. Just tossing some herbs and easy ingredients with some roasted vegetable or carefully steamed grain. In these it is the combination of the ingredients that make exceptional dishes. But others take time, effort and care. While I prefer the first, the arrival of flavours in the various processes of the second can be a matter of awe.

This dish is definitely of the second variety. It is a great dish. The glaze of a reduced, sticky balsamic with orange juice and bitters caramelises as it roasts. The sweet potatoes are left sticky and delicious. Add to the equation the roasted garlic and the sage and thyme leaves and this is a dish to impress.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

Try our other Sweet Potato recipes here and here. Or browse our Ottolenghi recipes here. Be inspired by our Autumn food here and here.

Continue reading “Sticky Balsamic Sweet Potatoes with Orange Bitters”

Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Coriander

Gentle urad dal is cooked with tomatoes and topped with coconut and coriander. Reminiscent of the sub continent, this is a recipe from Ottolenghi.

We love urad lentils, particularly Urad Dal cooked with tomatoes, so when we found Ottolenghi’s recipe for Urad Dal with Coconut and Coriander in his book Plenty More, it sparked interest. He talks about his inspiration, Aasmah Mir from cookingcurries.com and the Pakistani family recipes on that site.

His recipe treats some ingredients a little differently than my usual South Indian way, so I have modified the recipe to accommodate that.

You might also want to try Urad Dal Sundal, Urad Dal Garlic Rice, or Urad Dal with tomatoes. Explore Urad recipes here and here.  You can browse our collection of Ottolenghi’s recipes here.

This time previous years I was making: Crispy Garlic and Sage, Baked Apricots with Honey and Orange, A Lovely Pumpkin Soup, A Spicy Cucumber Salad with Poppy Seeds, and Japanese Baked Eggplant with Miso and Sesame.

Continue reading “Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Coriander”

Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomatoes

Such a bang of wonderful flavours

This is another Ottolenghi classic. Ottolenghi’s recipes have a reputation for being rather involved but I have also found that the reputation for his recipes being involved is, in the main, unjustified.

This is from my favourite of his set of books – Plenty. It is a relatively simple dish, and adapts easily to some precooking. The tomatoes can be roasted beforehand, for example. You can precook the lentils and onions too, and leave assembly to just before serving.

You might also want to try Du Puy Lentil Soup, Lentil Balls in a Spicy Gravy, or Dal Makhani Nilgiri. Or browse more of Ottolenghi’s recipes here. All du Puy Lentil recipes are here and here.  Or explore our Summer recipes here and here.

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Black Pepper Tofu | Ottolenghi

With all of the SE Asian flavours that make great food, plus the tofu is deep fried, what is not to like?

Ever since I saw the Black Pepper Tofu in Ottolenghi’s Plenty, I have wanted to make it. It has all of the SE Asian flavours that make great food, plus the tofu is deep fried, what is not to like?

You might like to try Tofu, Spinach and Miso Napoleons or What to Do with Deep Fried Tofu. Or browse the tofu recipes here and here. Explore other Ottolenghi recipes. Or you might like other recipes from Asia here and here.

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Smashed Garlic and Ginger Cucumber Salad

Serve as part of a summery luncheon spread. Yum!

At Xmas the fridge fills with all things wonderful, the exotic and the common. And then I spend the next weeks slowly working through the food left in the fridge after cooking a xmas meal for  the family.

This morning I am working with some pre-cooked white peas and cucumbers. The white peas were turned into a wonderful curry – North Indian in style with (seemingly) a million spices  and a tomato-y gravy.

It needed something light and airy to go with it, something to lift the “groundedness” of it, to bring a little tang and bite, to cut through the deliciousness but heaviness of that sauce. Continue reading “Smashed Garlic and Ginger Cucumber Salad”