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 – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. It is a Pea dish today.
There is an ode to peas (especially frozen peas) in the Guardian as it introduces this dish from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. It goes something like this (with minor alterations):
“Is there a safer bet in the kitchen than that there will be a bag of peas in the freezer? Peas are unlikely to surprise or shock in any way, but they are delightfully reassuring. They will somehow always be there, and always taste as they have and should.
Sure, freshly podded peas have about them a certain romance – they have, for example, that beautiful texture when thrown raw into a crunchy spring salad. But who has access to fresh peas that haven’t been sitting for far too long on the green grocer’s shelves? No wonder, frozen peas sit comfortably in almost all home freezers.
Peas are incredibly relaxed about whom they sit next to at dinner. Salty and tangy feta or parmesan, creamy yoghurt, nutty potatoes, sweet fresh mint, peppery watercress or bitter leaves: sweet peas will always bring out the best in their companion. Needing little more than a minute’s blanching to cook, followed by a brief drenching in cold water, peas are low-maintenance and offer instant gratification. They are hugely versatile in use, as good at being mashed, pureed, lightly stewed or blitzed as they are left whole and mixed through a salad or pasta, stirred through a risotto, or gently stuffed inside artichoke hearts ready for braising.”
Continue reading “Peas with Purslane (or Sorrel) and Mustard”
A classical Chinese dish with a twist
Scallion Pancakes are classic Chinese fare – crisp, flaky and chewy, made with layers of dough and sesame oil – they are surprisingly easy to make. You can also pre-make the dough and pop it in the fridge to make later. The pancakes can even be rolled out prior to cooking and kept with layers of baking paper between until you are ready to cook.
The traditional filling is Spring Onions (aka Scallions in the US), but indeed any filling can be used. Today, I have made 3 different ones:
- Fenugreek Leaves with Ajwain and Cumin Seed
- Coriander Leaves and Green Chilli
- Spring Onions with Grated Orange Zest and White Pepper
Are you looking for similar recipes? We have some Indian chickpea flour “pancakes” here, and try some Indian dosa.
Check out our Chinese and other Asian recipes. Or explore our easy Winter dishes.
Continue reading “Chinese Scallion and Orange Zest Pancakes | Coriander and Chilli Pancakes | Fenugreek and Ajwain Pancakes”
Spring Onion Soup is less common than, say Onion Soup, but it isn’t unusual. It is delicious with a different taste to the long-cooked onions in Onion Soup. The base of the soup is made with potatoes which gives the soup some texture. This recipe also uses cream and a flour roux to add body to the soup, sticking with the usual simplicity of the soups from Vol 4 of Cook and See, the addendum to Meenakshi Ammal’s triology, this one written by Priya Ramkumar.
I do love exploring the soups in this volume. Theoretically, reading them op paper, they should not be worth making. Compared to other Soups that we usually make, they are so very simple, sort of 1950’s simple. But they are always amazingly good. Simple, unspiced or simply spiced, their flavours are unusual and unexpected.
I have spoken about South Indian Soups before – so gentle, just with the flavour of the vegetable, no chilli and little other spice. I am even more convinced that they are a left-over from the time of the British occupation (I have just read The Complete Indian Housemaker and Cook, written for British women spending time in India during the time of occupation). But nevertheless, I love these soups because of their quaintness, and perhaps because they remind me of the soups my mother made when I was but a wee girl.
Are you after other South Indian Soups? Try South Indian Beetroot Soup, South Indian Green Pea Soup, South Indian Summery Tomato Soup, and South Indian Cauliflower Soup.
Or a Spring Onion recipe? Try Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onion.
If you want to browse all Indian Soups, they are here. Or have a look at our Spring Onion recipes. Perhaps you would like to explore all Indian dishes. Or maybe all of our Soups. Or simply take some time to have a look at our Mid Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “South Indian Spring Onion Soup”
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.
Are you looking for Spring Onion dishes? Try South Indian Spring Onion Soup.
You might also like to try some Eggplant Dishes. Try Steamed Thai Eggplants with Sesame Soy Garlic Dressing, and Steamed Thai Eggplants and Zucchini with Chilli and Lime.
Browse all of our Eggplant recipes, our Japanese dishes, and all of the Ottolenghi recipes we have tried. Or gain inspiration from our Late Summer recipes.
Continue reading “Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onion”