Avocados are the darling of Australian cafes and homes. Available all year round, there are peak seasons for the popular varieties. Salads, mashes, salsas and soups are the most popular uses, but smoothies, cakes and even warm and baked avo are all possible. (For the record, I am not sure about warm or hot avocado 🙅♀️🙅♀️🙅♀️)
One of my enduring memories of Kerala is the proliferation of freshly cooked plantain chips – delicious deep fried slices of raw banana, crispy and salty. Even when I was staying in Mylapore in Chennai, the wallah was making huge woks-full of fresh plantain chips right there on the street, so you’d get them straight from the pan.
They can be made at home of course – quite easily in fact. Just like the street wallahs, you can slice the plantain right into the hot oil if it is safe to do so. Otherwise slice them onto a plate and add to the oil. As they cook the flavourings are added to the layer of chips, or they can be salted as they come out of the pan. Madhur Jaffrey also adds curry leaves and green chilli to the oil before removing the chips – the oil does erupt a bit when you do this so I often leave it out. You can add chilli powder to the chips as they come out of the oil if you wish.
I have always loved pasta with chickpeas – a pretty classic dish in this household. There is something about the texture of the chickpeas with the pasta that is wonderful. And of course a pasta dish seems really healthy with all those chickpeas.
This recipe brings pasta and chickpeas together again, this time in a classic Minestrone. Use smaller pasta for this soup – small shells or small rounds of pasta like anelli or ditalini.
Asparagus, the joy of Spring. Spring Asparagus is in a class of its own. Fresh, gentle, spring green and tender stalks – for me, so evocative of hot steamy days and the typical Australian BBQ with a large plate of char grilled asparagus stalks with lemon and sea salt.
The gentleness of asparagus means that is is just right for a range of dishes, from salads to soups, to hot and steamy to chilled and icy. From whole stalks to creamy purees. Grilled, BBQ’d, baked, steamed or lightly simmered.
Time to get your asparagus on and try these 22 recipes!
Have you heard of White Pea Bhatura? Chole Masala is a very popular north Indian dish. White Pea Bhatura is very similar except that it uses vatana or dried white peas in place of the chickpeas. As you can imagine, it is very delicious! Bhatura – oh my, a delicious puffed bread.
White peas are very popular in North India. They are smaller than chickpeas, white in colour and smooth and round. Bhatura is a deep fried puffed bread made from a fermented dough.
Chole Bhatura is often eaten as a breakfast dish, sometimes with lassi. It is also a street food snack and even a complete meal. It is often accompanied by onions, tomatoes, carrot pickle, green chutney and pickles.
This is truly delicious! Even without the Bhatura, but especially with them.
Avarakkai Beans are peculiar to India and I have only ever seen them fresh in Adelaide on one occasion. So for this 8th vegetable in our series, there is only one recipe. They might be available frozen in Indian groceries but I haven’t checked.
Avarakkai Beans are also called Indian Broad Beans, and interestingly, if you google them, google returns only recipes for the Western broad bean. Other names for the beans include Hyacinth Beans and Lablab Beans.
The Pea is there through all the seasons – in its pod in Spring and Summer, frozen year round. It grows up with us, from pea mashes to buttery steamed peas, from to risotto to fritters, and salads to soups. They can seem predictable and are often overlooked. But peas are incredibly versatile. Freshly podded peas are fantastic if they are eaten as soon as possible after picking; the rest of the time frozen will more than do. Peas are the ultimate vegetable, reliable, versatile and almost as good frozen as fresh.
These beautiful fritters are from Simple by Ottolenghi, and they are actually quite simple to make. A pea puree is mixed with za’atar, mint and feta, formed into fritters and fried. They can be served simply with a salad and lemon wedges, or with a yoghurt or cream based sauce for dipping. You can use any yoghurt or cream based sauce – I’ve included a sour cream and mint one below.
When we cook Ottolenghi recipes we feel free to substitute according to what is in our kitchen and pantry. In this recipe we have replaced the eggs with our usual chickpea flour based replacement for fritters – 1 Tblspn chickpea flour + 1 Tblspn cream or yoghurt + 0.25 tspn eno for each egg. We are egg-free in our kitchen. If you want to check the original recipes, you can do so in his books or in his Guardian column.
Browse all of our Pea recipes and all of our Fritters. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.
This is a perfect evening salad, reminiscent of a cheese and greens plate – so much so that you will find yourself wanting to eat it with crackers! It is simple and quick, yet utterly delicious.
I don’t often advise buying bags of mixed lettuce leaves but sometimes it is the easiest and cheapest way to bring a salad together. Here I use mesclun, but any mix will work. If you have some watercress leaves, radicchio or Belgian Endive, add some of those too.
Top with toasted nuts or seeds. Walnuts are great – I generally keep a bowl of two of unshelled walnuts in the kitchen just to add to dishes as needed. But other nuts will work easily as well – pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts, for example. Or sunflower seeds, pepitas or other seeds.
Then drizzle with just a little walnut or hazelnut oil with even less lemon juice. Voila! A salad.
I am a fan of artichoke hearts, and use them particularly in Summer salads. Although they can be roasted, sauteed, gratineed, used to top pizza and turned into a dip, our recipes are primarily salads.
Today we have brought together our five favourite artichoke recipes for salads and pilafs. We love them, and you will find something here that is just for you.
Orange salads are very common in the Middle East and places like Morocco, and suit our Winter very well. This is a different take on them – usually Orange Salads are savoury, but this one is sweet with a little sugar, cinnamon and dates. Delicious! Serve at the end of a meal for a beautiful and healthy final course, or serve in the afternoon with a strong cuppa tea. We also find it a great dish to put on a breakfast table.