Steamed Broccoli Scattered with Pine Nuts

We love broccoli any which way – roasted, grilled, steamed, sauteed, pan roasted. Today’s dish is incredibly simple. Broccoli is steamed, buttered, peppered and scattered with toasted pine nuts. Simple. Incredibly delicious. The buttery pine nuts pair so well with the tender yet crunchy broccoli. Butter is best for this dish – try not to be tempted by other oils.

Imagine this with pasta too! Oh my!

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can see more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

Similar dishes include Black Pepper Garlic Broccoli, Broccoli with Orange-Verjuice-Butter Sauce, Broccolini with Sweet Tahini, and Smashed Chickpeas with Broccoli.

You might also like our Broccoli recipes and our Salads. Check out our easy Mid Winter recipes.

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Yummy Zucchini Dip with Yoghurt Sauce and Buttery Chilli Pinenuts

Just when you had thought you had seen everything, charred/burnt zucchini crosses your path. In the same way that you would char eggplants for dishes like Babaganoush, zucchinis can be roasted and turned into delicious dips and spreads. After charring, the flesh is slippery, silky, smoky and delicious.

Then, in Middle Eastern Style, the mashed zucchini flesh is topped with a sauce made with yoghurt and Roquefort cheese. In the original of this Ottolenghi recipe, the sauce uses an egg to thicken it. As we do not cook with eggs, we use the age old trick of adding besan (chickpea flour) to the cheese-yoghurt mix, and let it cook out to produce the most beautiful sauce. It is tangy and intriguing, this sauce.

THEN, over the top of what already feels like a whole dish, chilli buttery pinenuts are drizzled, and that is scattered with za’atar. Divine. Inspired. Gorgeous. It challenges Baba Ganoush for deliciousness.

As mentioned (you could guess anyway, right?) 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.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s 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 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 Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese, Babaganoush, Baingan Pora, and Smoky Aubergine with Tahini and Pomegranate.

Browse our Dips and our Spreads, and our Zucchini recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Baked Figs with Cheese and Honey

As Autumn arrives, even before, my Italian-owned green grocery is full of figs – green, black and in between. What a gorgeous time it is – the last of the summer stone fruits, grapes, plums – one of my 4 favourite seasons of the year!

I must admit to liking my fruit, any fruit, fresh. You will see that we don’t have a lot of fruit recipes in our collection because of that. But once in a while, we will bake, grill or roast, maybe poach, something sweet.

Figs are so wonderful in their natural state, and we have several salads that attest to that. They pair well with cheese, honey, and even almonds and pinenuts! Figs are simply gorgeous this way.

But roasting brings in another dimension. It is a different taste – just as fig jam tastes different to fresh figs. Roasted figs are soft, warm and sticky, and they shine with either savoury flavours, sweet flavours, or a mix of both. They can be mashed onto bruschetta and topped with pesto, without the honey they can be used with pasta, or top a green salad with them. Serve them for breakfast, lunch, dessert, a snack or supper.

Are you looking for Fig recipes? Try Boozy Baked Figs, Figs with Rosewater and Almonds, Fig Salad with Almond Butter Dressing, and Figs with Pecorino. Also try our Banana Porridge with Glazed Apples, and Sweet Orange Star Anise Sauce.

Browse all of our Fig recipes here, all of our Italian recipes, and all of our Dessert recipes. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Grilled Eggplant Salad with Pine Nuts, White Beans and Pita Chips

Bittman once put together 100 salad recipes in short 2 or 3 line descriptions. I love to turn to these suggestions in the warmer months for inspiration. They are great flavour combinations yet simple and easy to put together, and are great inspiration on hot days when your creativity flags.

Grilled eggplants are always a winner, and I grill them on my covered BBQ. A few red and green capsicums are added alongside, shining from being wiped with oil prior to being placed on the grill. Twenty minutes later the capsicums are charred and the eggplants are soft and collapsed. Perfect bases for salads and soups.

Would you like to try some other Eggplant dishes? Try Eggplant Pachadi, Smoky Eggplant and TomatoesBBQ’d Marinated Eggplant, Roasted Eggplant Salad with Verjuice, and Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onions.

Our White Bean dishes include Gorgonzola and White Bean Salad with Chickpeas, Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean Salad with Mozzarella, Quinoa, Parsley and Lemon Salad with White Beans, White Bean and Tahini Salad, Easy White Bean Salad, and Glorious Five Bean Salad.

The Bittman salads we have beein inspired by are here.  Or take some time to explore all of our Salads, and all of our Eggplant recipes. Try some Cannellini Bean Recipes. Or take some time and explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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