Kale and Cheese Pikelets

You won’t know that you are eating kale with this dish. The delicious cheesy pikelets successfully hide the vegetable and it is only if you focus can you detect the crunch and taste of the thinly sliced greens.

It is quite an oily dish with heaps of butter and melted cheese. You might like to place on a kitchen paper towel after cooking. They are best slightly warm rather than hot. Cheesy and buttery – what can’t be good? But not something for every day, despite the kale.

The recipe is from Plenty More, one of Ottolenghi’s books. I have made it egg-free in my version as we don’t use eggs in our kitchen. You can see the original recipe here, or check his book.

Similar recipes include Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters, Aloo Tikki, Zucchini and Sweetcorn Fritters, Crispy Couscous and Saffron Cakes, Eggplant and Kale PakoraAsian Kale with Sesame and Shallots, and Garlic- Chilli Kale with Spring Onion Dip.

Or browse all of our Kale dishes and our Fritter recipes.

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Cheesy Butternut Bake in Creamy Sauce with Quince Paste

This is an unusual dish of butternut pumpkin, roasted, then cooked in a creamy cheese sauce with quince paste (membrillo) for a great festive dish.

It is a twist on a quiche in Ottolenghi‘s Plenty More. As we do not cook with eggs, I made this into a dish that is simply the roasted pumpkin baked with cheese and quince paste in a rich creamy sauce. It has been cooked until the top is bubbling and golden. The original recipe is here if you want to make the original.

Similar dishes include: Congee with Butternut, Butternut Tataki with Udon Noodles, and Pumpkin Soup with Lentils.

Or browse all of our Butternut dishes.

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Cauliflower and Parmesan Farinata | Egg-Free

I haven’t cooked Farinata for so long, years in fact – so long that I have forgotten how good it is. So it is back on the menu, with cauliflower, onions and parmesan. Farinata tastes a little like an omelette, and cooked right, it will slide right out of the pan. Served in wedges or squares with a salad (and some Celeriac Chips!), it makes a lovely lunch or light evening meal.

The idea for this farinata came from Ottolenghi’s recipe for Cauliflower Cake in Plenty More. That recipe uses eggs and I wanted to make something with similar flavours. So this recipe for farinata was created.

Ottolenghi says that cauliflower needs more attention. He says that it’s one of the most magnificent of all vegetables and is as versatile as potato. I reckon he is right.

Similar recipes include Farinata with Tomatoes and Cheese, Farinata with Onions and Tomatoes, and Making Socca, Pudla and Farinata.

Or browse our Farinata dishes, Cauliflower recipes and all our dishes from Plenty More.

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Green Bean, Hazelnut and Orange Salad

Orange and hazelnut go wonderfully well together. The pairing offers a good balance of freshness and earthiness and the flavours are subtle enough to complement green beans without overpowering them.

In this recipe we use the orange slices that we dehydrated some time ago. Several slices are whizzed in a spice grinder until almost powdered. If you don’t have dried orange slices, use pieces of orange zest that have been sliced thinly.

This is based on a recipe from Ottolenghi’s first book, Ottolenghi. We like to play wild and free with his recipes, so you can check the original one here.

Similar recipes include Black Pepper Garlic Broccoli, Steamed Broccoli with Pinenuts, Green Bean Salad, Fava Bean Salad with Garlic and Dill, and Glorious Five Bean Salad.

Or browse all of our Bean Salads and all Bean dishes.

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Charred Broccoli and Bean Salad with Chilli and Garlic

This recipe is a riff on one by Ottolenghi in his book Ottolenghi. He also riffs it, with numerous variations on the Guardian website and elsewhere. It just proves how addictive broccoli is when it is char-grilled and tossed with garlic and chilli. We have been making this salad periodically for years – my daughter was the first to put me on to how good it is.

This time, I add beans to the mix, as (ssshhh, this is a little known secret) are also addictive when char-grilled. I’ve used a delicious sweet-hot chilli paste, and the garlic is sliced and crisped. An optional extra is to add flaked almonds to the salad.

Sadly, there are no pics tonight, an increasing trend on this blog when we cook at night. You will have to trust sight-unseen on how good this dish is. Photo is from Unsplash.

Similar dishes include Black Pepper Garlic Broccoli, Steamed Broccoli with Pinenuts, Pan Roasted Broccoli, Smashed Chickpeas with Broccoli, and Broccoli with Orange Butter Sauce.

Or browse all of our Broccoli and Bean dishes.

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Tomato Carpaccio with Spring Onion and Ginger Salsa

This beautiful salad is one of Ottolenghi’s simplest dishes. Appropriately, it is from his book Simple. You can make it in just over 5 minutes – perfect for a weekday evening, and spectacular at a weekend BBQ, picnic or lunch.

The quality of the ingredients make this dish, so you’ll need the best tomatoes – preferably home grown ones if possible – as well as the best sherry vinegar you can afford.

The salsa is glorious spooned on all sorts of dishes, from toast topped with mozzarella and/or avocado to lentil salads and pasta dishes. So double or triple the quantities when you make it. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

As I mentioned, this is an Ottolenghi dish from Simple – note that we feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. If you want to check his original recipe, see his books and Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Tomato Salad with Ginger and Lime, Tomato Salad with Parsley Oil, and Tomato and Roasted Lemon Salad.

Browse all of our Tomato Salads, and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Baked Peppers Stuffed with Buttery, Cheesy Vegetables

Fondant is a word that is associated with icing these days. But it comes originally from the French, a cooking term meaning to melt. Fondant Potatoes is the most well known dish where the method of cooking is applied, but it can be used for other vegetables. They are cooked in butter, or in butter and stock, until achingly tender. Sometimes, as is the case with the Fondant Potatoes, an external crispy layer is achieved.

Ottolenghi has a great recipe in Plenty More for capsicums stuffed with fondant swedes.  I was caught short, wanting to make this dish but forgetting to order swedes in the last COVID19 vegetable delivery. So I have twisted and turned his recipe to make it work with what I did have on hand – Kent Pumpkin, Parsnips and Cabbage. Absolutely delicious.

Ottolenghi himself has two versions of this dish. The one in the Guardian column uses gruyere cheese and does not par-cook the capsicums before stuffing. The one in Plenty More uses parmesan and goat’s cheese, and bakes the empty capsicum halves before stuffing and returning to the oven.

Similar recipes include Tomatoes Stuffed with Feta and Basil, Stuffed Okra, and Stuffed Mushrooms.

Or browse all of our Stuffed recipes and Capsicum dishes.

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Two Bean and Two Lime Salad

We have a strange green bean growing – its pod is green with flecks of red. It is delicious, as all green beans are, and perfect for this salad from Ottolenghi. You can of course use any green bean – the beans are paired with either edamame, younger broad beans or even peas. The key to the salad is a beautiful dressing made with lime zest, lime juice, coriander, mint, garlic and chillies! Oh, yes, you just might get excited.

Once the beans are trimmed, it is quite simple to make. Of course it is, it is from Ottolenghi’s book Simple. 10 ingredients, quick and it can be made ahead (see the notes below the salad). Note that I often massage Ottolenghi’s 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 Summery Grain or Lentil Salad, Sea Spaghetti, Cucumber and Edamame Salad, Italian Green Bean Salad, Green Bean Salad with Asparagus, Spring Salad, and Glorious Green Bean Salad.

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3-Cheese Eggplant Bake

This is a gorgeous baked dish with eggplants, cream and 3 soft cheeses. It is made without eggs and the result is an addictive dish with a thick set custard-like consistency.

The recipe is an adapted version of Ottolenghi’s Eggplant Cheesecake from Plenty More. I have made it egg-free. If you want to check the original recipe have a look here.

Like all good cheesecakes, tucking into this is so effortless and soothing that it’s easy to forget yourself and just gobble up more and more. And, like a sweet cheesecake, it’s also a bit of a no-brainer that yields very impressive results.

This is a soft dish, so is best spooned from the baking dish onto serving plates. A rustic alternative would be to bake it in a casserole and spoon out portions at the table.

Serve as a starter or for lunch with a lemony salad of bitter leaves and fresh herbs.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree, Eggplant, Beetroot and Potato Bake, Noodles with Fried Eggplant and Walnuts, and Roasted Eggplant with Garlic Yoghurt Sauce.

Or browse our Eggplant recipes and our Ottolenghi dishes.

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Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree | Egg-free Eggplant Kuku

Kuku , sort of like a Persian omelette or frittata, comes in many forms. I love this one that I make at home without eggs. Because it doesn’t have eggs I tend to make it looser than a frittata but it can be cooked more omelette-like and I include instructions below.  It is packed with herbs, and I love the tart barberries with the crunch of the walnuts.

Kuku is traditionally served with flatbread, crunchy items like radishes, acidic pickles and feta. Today I have served it on a Cauliflower Puree as well. It is a great mezze dish.

The inspiration for this dish originally came from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. But as his is an egg-based dish, we have made significant alterations. It is delicious, though, retaining the original flavours of barberries and herbs. I like that Ottolenghi’s version is a “wet version” – it sort of justifies my take on this dish. His recipe is here.

Similar recipes include Three Cheese Eggplant Bake, Eggplant Pahi, Smoky Eggplant with Coriander, and Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce.

Browse all our Eggplant dishes, Iranian recipes and Ottolenghi dishes.

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