Fig and Roasted Onion Salad

Mid Summer to Early Autumn are peak time for figs. Boy, do we look forward to that time. And even luckier that we have a green grocer 30 – 40 mins drive from us, who stocks figs from the first moment of ripening until the last fig of the latest fig variety falls from the tree. We make the trip if there are no local ones, to grab some and indulge (they are not cheap). Also, there is a Pick-Your-Own place we visit at least once during the season, especially if we want to make jam (fig jam is my favourite jam).

This is an Ottolenghi recipe – we have been working with all of his Salads from his book Plenty More. It pairs figs with hazelnuts, which we have used before – it’s a great pairing. He also adds the sweetness of roasted onions to the salad, and it’s a great innovation. That sweetness of the onions and figs bounces off the bitterness of the radicchio and watercress. (Add some purslane too, if you have it.) Not only does the salad look terrific, it works well flavour-wise too.

A great fig should look like it’s just about to burst its skin. When squeezed lightly it should give a little and not spring back. It must be almost unctuously sweet, soft and wet. Once you’ve managed to find a fig that meets all these criteria, I guarantee a heavenly experience. – Ottolenghi

The Salad is best made directly before serving. It makes a great entree (starter dish), and also a fantastic salad for bring a plate lunches with the girls, or BBQ family gatherings.

You might like to try some more fig recipes. Try White Fig and Rocket Salad, Figs with Blue Cheese, Baked Figs with Thyme, and Figs with Rosewater and Almonds.

Browse all of our Fig recipes, and all of our many many Salads. All of the Ottolenghi dishes that we have tried are here. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Beetroot, Avocado and Pea Salad

There is so much good stuff in this “almost superfood” salad that it makes you feel very healthy and conscientious indeed. Served as it is, it can be a very substantial meal – just scatter a few roasted hazelnuts and/or chunks of creamy goat’s cheese over the top, and you need nothing else.

Did you know that I grew up calling beetroot, red beet? That name seems to have disappeared in Australia, although a quick search on google confirms that at least some people, in some parts of the world, retain that name. I wonder if it came from my mother, whose family contained many German immigrants. Perhaps it is a European thing.

The star of this dish is indeed the blanched then quick-pickled beetroot, and its contrast with the slightly bitter pea shoots. Rather than the hour-long boil or bake, eating beetroot raw or quickly sauteed or blanched is a healthy  and very delicious alternative. The beetroot retains a bite or crunch that adds textural layers to a dish. Everything can be prepared in advance for this salad, kept in the fridge, and combined at the last moment.

This is an Ottolenghi dish from 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.

Similar recipes include Slightly Pickled Beetroot Salad with Mustard, Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad with Rocket, and Beetroot Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing.

Browse all of our Beetroot Salads, and all of our other Beetroot dishes. Our Avocado dishes are here. Browse all of Ottolenghi’s dishes from Plenty More. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Salad of Sprouts

This salad sounds quite virtuous, but in reality it is very delicious. Made with a range of sprouts that are supported by herbs, spinach, radish, tiny tomatoes, and carrots. It IS healthy, but tastes like it could be really addictive.

In this Salad of Sprouts, an Ottolenghi recipe from his book Plenty More, various oils and vinegars are used to add a richness. However, you can use just one of each if you like.

Similar recipes include Sprouts Sundal, Sprouts Rice, and Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Mung Sprouts.

Browse all of our Sprouts recipes and all of our Salads. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Broccolini and Edamame Salad with Curry Leaves and Coconut

This is a great green salad of beans, edamame and broccolini or sprouting broccoli. It is flavoured sort of South Indian style, with black mustard seeds and a handful of curry leaves. The coconut adds a beautiful contrast to the beans, although it can be left out of the recipe if desired.

It is an Ottolenghi recipe from 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. This recipe involves South Indian ingredients – mustard seeds, dried chillies and curry leaves. I have slightly altered the way that these are used in the recipe to get the best out of them..

Similar dishes include Broccoli with Orange-Verjuice-Butter Sauce, Tawa Edamame, Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice, and Crispy Curry Leaves.

Browse all of our Edamame dishes and all of our Curry Leaf recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms

In Australia, we usually eat our noodles hot, but in Japan, noodles – especially soba noodles – are often consumed cold. They are flavoursome, textural and refreshing, and a great base or carrier for other flavours.

This dish pairs some quick pickled Shimeji mushrooms, carrots, radishes, snow peas and nori seaweed with the noodles. It is an Ottolenghi recipe from Plenty More and is is a great Summer dish.

Yotham says:

Cold noodles are a Japanese art form. On a trip to Tokyo a few years ago I queued with a bunch of suited businessmen to have lunch in one of the city’s most renowned soba noodle restaurants. It was incredibly humbling to watch a bunch of very busy people putting aside time to sit quietly for half an hour and completely immerse themselves in the appreciation of the profound subtlety of the noodles. Enlightenment still escapes me but I’ve had my own little life moments in various London noodles bars in recent months.

I ordered a “Cold Soba Noodle Bowl” in Sydney recently, looking forward to the noodles. Sadly it was 99% shredded raw veggies, and 1% noodles. This dish fixes that ratio with a more balanced serve of noodles with the herbs and vegetables. Delicious!

Similar recipes include Glass Noodles with Spinach, and Glass Noodles with Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Soba Noodle dishes and our Shimeji recipes. Our recipes from Plenty More are here. Or explore our recipes for Late Summer.

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Herby Salad with Radishes and Burnt Betel Leaves

A salad of herbs is common elsewhere, but not in the English Speaking countries (in general). However herb-full salads are extraordinary and worth seeking out and making.

This one is inspired by a salad in Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi, but his is far too fussy for me. There is no way that I am going to spend hours picking leaves from the stalks of herbs. So I mixed it up to make my version of the salad.

This salad is made with herbs – rather than cutting or slicing them, the leaves are plucked (with stem) to form leaf-sized pieces. I used the herbs available in my kitchen and garden. It is a fresh and lively salad. We kept Ottolenghi’s almonds for texture and the butter-lemon dressing, and added radishes and betel leaves. The betel leaves are optional of course – my Asian grocery stocks them so occasionally I bring some home. To soften them we wave in a gas flame and then use them as a bed for the salad.

Similar recipes include Quinoa, Herbs and Lemon Salad, Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs, and Thai Betel Leaf Salad.

Browse all of our Salads and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. Or explore all of our Early Summer dishes.

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Sea Spaghetti, Ginger and Carrot Salad

I have been looking for seaweeds in my local neighbourhood, and have been surprised at the scarcity and price! The range seems to be dictated by the “superfood” label rather than considering them as ingredients. The range is also limited to Dulse, Nori and Wakame, with nare a piece of kombu in sight (one shop owner even asked me what kombu was!). Sigh. A quick search online finds them at half the store price but the range remains the same in most cases. I found an online shop stocking Seaweed Spaghetti (The Essential Ingredient) and quickly ordered some.

It is a pity that it is not more common, as this recipe, one of Ottolenghi’s in Plenty More, makes great use of Sea Spaghetti. It looks like dark fettuccine and has a similar texture. Perhaps it should be called Sea Fettuccine, to be more precise. If you are keen to try this, but find it is impossible to find Sea Spaghetti, and if you have wakame in the pantry, use that. Or use any seaweed that you have or can find locally. You will just have to prepare it specifically for the type of seaweed, rather than cooking it as described in this recipe.

Similar recipes include Pomelo and Carrot Salad, Mung Bean and Carrot Salad, and Chickpea and Ginger Salad.

Browse all of our Carrot Salads and all of our recipes from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Roasted Carrots with Coriander Seeds and Garlic

Ottolenghi’s book, Nopi, has an undeserved reputation of being to chefy, too difficult for a home kitchen. While that is sort of true for some recipes, there are also so many dishes in this book that are either simple to make, or can be adjusted to suit your kitchen and pantry.

This recipe falls into the first category. It is just roasted carrots, but the mixture that the carrots are tossed in makes all the difference. Quite divine. We ate a plateful each.

For this dish I did three things differently. I used some Quince Honey that I made earlier this year – quite divine in its own right. I layered white and black pepper in the dish – using both in dishes is my current obsession, as it gives layered peppery flavours. And thirdly, our garlic cloves here are large and fat and luscious, so I avoid mincing or dicing them. They have a right to be present in the dish, front and foremost. So I slice them whenever I use them, but you could also use them whole.

Similar dishes include Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque, Carrots Glazed with Honey and Ginger, and Hot Roasted Carrot Salad.

Browse all of our Carrot dishes, all of our Ottolenghi recipes and our collection of Late Spring recipes.

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Roasted Okra with Tomato, Lemon and Coriander Seeds

Even Ottolenghi loves okra. His books contain a range of okra recipes, and this one comes from Plenty. It is a classic combination of okra, tomato and lemon, with the Ottolenghi twist of herbs and spices. The use of preserved lemon is genius, and he uses it also in this Salad of Charred Okra and Preserved Lemon.

In this part of the world the quality of the okra is good, whether the okra is small or large. In other parts you might find that small okra pods have a more attractive texture than large ones, which can be a bit gloopy and stringy when cooked. Check your local large okra to see whether it will work in dishes like this. Middle Eastern and Indian groceries often stock frozen okra that are tiny, with a perfect firmness, and they come with an added bonus: the okra are ready-trimmed.

Are you looking for other Okra dishes? Try Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Kerala Okra Curry, and Greek Okra in Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Okra dishes and all of the Ottolenghi dishes we have tried. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Freekeh Salad with Broad Beans

When Ottolenghi says mix some Broad Beans with Freekeh, you say Ok. It just happened that I had a focus on both Broad Bean dishes (as they are growing in the garden as I write) and on Freekeh (as I got some awesome freekeh from my local Afghan market). Here they come together in true Ottolenghi style. This really is a great Spring dish.

It is said that Ottolenghi created this dish for Red Online.

Similar recipes include: Broad Bean Salad with Spring Onions, Chopped Salad, Cypriot Grain Salad, Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini, and Broad Beans with Feta and Preserved Lemon.

Browse all of our Freekeh recipes, and our many many Salads. All of Ottolenghi dishes are here. Or take some time to browse our Mid Spring dishes.

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