Collapsed Beetroot Greens (or any Greens or Cabbage) with Mustard Seeds and Vinegar

One of my online friends calls this technique hypercooked vegetables – long cooking so familiar in the traditional Italian and Greek cuisines. The result is a surprising lusciousness, intensity of flavour, and an almost stickiness. They are deeply flavoured and a little tart. I have made this dish with cabbage and with beetroot greens, but I am sure it would work with any leafy greens that do not collapse immediately on heat (eg most of the salad greens would be unsuitable).

You will find it difficult to stop diving into the cooking pot once these have collapsed down into their jammy texture. But if you do leave some, serve as a side dish, or over rice or any other grain, lentil or bean (freekeh, couscous, white beans, burghul, red rice, etc), turn into a soup with a handful of the one of the tiniest soup pastas, orzo pasta or rice, or just ladle it over thick slices of toast with a drizzle of olive oil. I have also cooked turnips, diced, and added to these beetroot greens. I sometimes add sultanas to counterpoint the tartness.

The mustard seeds and cumin that I added this time are purely optional.

Do try on a lazy Sunday afternoon, when you have time to let the greens collapse and intensify.

Similar recipes include Greek Village Salad, Parsley Braised with Tomatoes and Olive Oil, and Green Beans with Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Beetroot Greens dishes and all of our Greek recipes.

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Slow Braised Red Peppers in Olive Oil

When you are on your own (or not), and you have some left over red peppers in the fridge, and you are thinking, quick and easy eating for supper, take the red pepper (or two) and slow cook it in olive oil with some thyme (oh the aroma!).

Similar recipes include Capsicums cooked in Tomato and Garlic, Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Mozzarella and White Beans, Grilled Sweet Peppers and Eggplant Salad, and Roasted Red Peppers Salad.

Browse all of our Capsicum recipes and all of our Italian dishes. Or simply browse our Mid Spring collection of dishes.

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Miso Slow Braised Cabbage

Four hours to cook a small white cabbage? Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. This works both as a stand-alone starter or as a side for meal. I like it as a deeply flavoured mid afternoon snack too, but then our snacks are usually a little unusual. It is a wintery dish, but don’t let that prevent you from cooking it in the cooler weather of other seasons.

This dish is an Ottolenghi dish, from his Guardian column. First published four years ago, he speaks of it often as an amazing example of the transformation of food during the process of cooking. It is something that always enthralled me, in fact it is the basis of my love of cooking. The way that an ingredient changes from one thing to another as a result of little
more than the application of time and heat, it really is magic. We take it for granted: we sweat an onion in oil, for example, and it changes from something that makes us cry to something that makes us smile with joy at its brilliantly warming sweetness. Each time we throw the acrid, dung-scented spice asafoetida into some oil, it changes to an earthy taste of garlic and onions. We pop mustard seeds in heated oil and they lose their hot intensiveness and become nutty.

And we braise cabbage for 4 hours for this remarkable result. It doesn’t look like a vegetarian dish, in fact it looks quite meaty. But vegetarian it is. It does need a strong dish to accompany it, or something very bland. I have been serving it just with a little plain rice, lemon and soured cream.

Similar recipes include Baked Yoghurt in Vine Leaves, French Braised Lettuce with Broad Beans and Peas, and Pasta Baked with Cabbage and Cheese.

Browse all of our Cabbage dishes, our Braised recipes and all of our Ottolenghi recipes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Spicy Slow Cooked Tomato Chickpeas with Burrata and Leeks, Perfect for Breakfast or Supper

Sunday afternoons in Winter are the perfect time for slowing down, and what better way to do that than to slow cook a great dish for a Sunday night supper. Today, we have a 5-hour dish for you – chickpeas simmered ever so slowly in a thick spicy tomato stock. The chickpeas are excellent served on toast or in toasted sandwiches, but today we add some burrata and leek strings. We love slow cooking.

This recipe is excellent for a Sunday supper, but also very good, cooked beforehand, for a slow Sunday breakfast or brunch. Beans on Toast, what could be better!

The dish can be cooked in a slow cooker. (Perhaps it is one for your instapot? I don’t have one, so cannot advise you one way or another, but perhaps? Let me know.) It would also go well at a low heat in the oven. Or, cook it as I have, using a heat diffuser on my lowest gas flame, so that the tomato sauce is barely bubbling.

The recipe is an adaptation of one in Ottolenghi’s 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.

In fact, it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi 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 (this recipe is on the same theme but slightly different, and quicker, than the one in his book).

Similar recipes include Greek Chickpeas Slow Baked with Herbs and TomatoesBuratta with Leeks and Za’atar, Chana Masala, Baked Lima Beans with Celery, Tuscan Baked Beans with Sage and Lemon, and Rustic Spicy Butter Beans.

Browse all of our Baked Beans recipes, and all of our Chickpea dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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