Mint Sambol

Mint Sambol is a Sri Lankan recipe akin to Pachadis or Thogayals of South India. It takes mint leaves, onion, garlic and chilli and grinds them with sultanas and coconut for sweetness, and lime juice for tang. It is a great accompaniment to rice or any Indian or Sri Lankan spicy dish.

I have blended this to a smooth paste, but you can also grind it to a more chunky mixture. That is also very nice.

Similar recipes include Spinach Thogayal, Carrot Sambol, and Andhra Spinach Pachadi.

Browse all of our Sambol recipes and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Korean Braised Tofu with Sesame-Soy-Chilli | Dubu Jorim

This is a glorious way to serve tofu. It is a Korean braised tofu dish that is enormously popular as a side or main dish. To make this dish, the sliced tofu is pan fried and then braised in a soy sauce-based sauce.

The recipe uses a little known trick to firm up the slices – this makes it easy to handle them and to serve them in a variety of ways. The trick is to simmer the slices in salted water – this process tightens protein structures and causes the tofu to exude its moisture. This in turn gives the tofu slices textural integrity so that it can be simmered for a longer time while absorbing the flavours of the sauce.

Serve the tofu atop a bowl of rice, with kimchi, with steamed greens, in salads, as part of a mezze spread, or in a wrap or sandwich.

Similar recipes include Bean Curd (Tofu) with Mushrooms, Tofu and Spinach Layers, and Sticky Kaffir and Tamarind Tofu.

Browse all of our Tofu dishes and all of our Korean recipes. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Salad of Broad Beans, Tomatoes and Parmesan

One of the precious gifts of Spring is Broad Beans. If you do not grow your own you miss the young, tender pods, no more than, say, 8cm long. Often smaller. Sweet with the grassy taste of Spring, these need not be podded or peeled – they can be used as they are.

If you are not so lucky, purchase them from your green grocer and always look for the younger pods. Remove the beans from the pods, scald them for a few minutes, and then remove the outer peel of each bean. Perfect!

This simple salad pairs the beans with tomatoes and parmesan, a classic pairing, easy to prepare, delightful to eat.

Similar recipes include Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint, Broad Beans with Pecorino, Broad Bean and Tomato Salad, and Pan Fried Broad Bean Salad with Tomato and Thyme.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes, our Broad Bean Salads, and all of our Salads. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Noodles with Fried Eggplant, Miso and Walnuts

I hadn’t really cooked any dishes from Ottolenghi’s books for about a year (and it would be another 6 months before I went back to cooking his recipes regularly). When I began cooking from Plenty More again, I realised 2 things: Firstly how much I had missed the flavours of Ottolenghi, and secondly I remembered the almost tedious number of processes in each recipe.

The deep sweetness and intensity produced by miso paste, combined with other Japanese staples, are guaranteed to put a smile on your dial on an overcast Winter or Early Spring day.

This one is no different. It has 7, yes seven, different processes with associated pots, pans and equipment. Make the vegetarian dashi, ribbon cut and soak ginger and spring onions, prep the eggplants, deep fry the eggplants, saute the onions, walnuts etc, make the sauce, cook the noodles.

So Ottolenghi flavours come at a price. Leave an afternoon free – at least several hours to cook and clean up – when making any of his dishes.

To be fair though – the man I call the Master of Flavour produces amazing dishes that makes the hours worth the effort!

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. You can see the original recipe here.

Similar recipes include Roasted Eggplant with Special Miso Sauce, Deep Fried Eggplant, Ginger Scallion Noodles, and Udon Noodles and Shimejii Mushrooms.

Browse all of our Japanese dishes and all of our Eggplant recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Baked Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms

A wonderfully surprising dish.

How do you use King Oyster Mushrooms? We love them – they are easily purchased in Asian shops if you can’t find them in your regular grocery. Slice these giant beauties and marinate them before cooking –  forming a heavenly caramelisation of the marinade. The stems, how cute they are when sliced, and they look amazing placed on a plate on their own.

I have had a dish similar to this in Thailand, where the mushrooms are served on blocks of the softest tofu you can ever imagine.

King Oyster Mushrooms are also known as King Trumpet Mushrooms, Trumpet Royale and Eryngii. 

Similar dishes include Risotto with Mushrooms, Pasta with Porcini Mushroom Sauce, and Mushroom Curry.

Feel free to browse all of our mushroom recipes, or check out our Salad recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes. Continue reading “Baked Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms”

Juice It! | Home Made Orange Based Juices

Through Spring, Summer and Autumn we regularly make and drink juices as part of our morning routine. We are lucky enough to have 2 orange trees which fruit at different times, so we have fresh oranges from late Autumn one year  through Winter, then Summer, to early Autumn the next year.  That is, unless we eat them so quickly there are none left on the tree. Oranges pair well with other fruit and vegetables like Summer stone fruits, apples, other citrus and beetroot. Try our delicious combos listed below.

We also have our Strawberry and Blueberry Juices, Unusual Home Made Juices, and Apple Juice recipes for you.

Browse all of our Juices here, or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Zucchini Gratin with Roasted Tomato Sauce | Cheesy Baked Zucchini

Summer and Autumn are the seasons of zucchini abundance, and we have some terrific recipes for dealing with the glut. This is another one – it comes from the now-defunct Lucullian Delights blog. Ilva’s recipes were so good – Italian, simple, delicious. Just my style. She as always very generous in sharing her food and recipes. You will love this one.

If you have been following this blog for a while you will know that I adore Gratin dishes and also stuffed vegetables, and this dish fits both criteria. A cheesy stuffing is made and the zucchini are baked. I also made a Roasted Tomato Sauce to go with it – you can use this recipe, but bake at a higher temperature, or begin early and put the zucchini in with the roasting tomatoes when the timing is right. I added a little bit of sugar after pureeing as it is Autumn and the tomatoes are not as sweet as in mid Summer. I love the spice kick from the chilli (but you can leave it out if you are not a fan of spicy heat).

Similar recipes include Potato Gratin with Cream, Sweet Potato Gratin, and Cheesy Baked Aubergines.

Browse all of our Zucchini dishes and our Gratins. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Green Bean Salad | Insalata di Fagiolini

Equally good hot or cold, this Green Bean Salad is sure to become a favourite. Simple and easy (very much my kind of food), the beans are steamed and then mixed with mint, garlic and lemon. Take it straight to the table for an instant salad, entree/starter or snack. With some crusty bread, it can even become a light lunch.

Similar dishes include Green Beans with Tomatoes, Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini, Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal.

Browse all of our Green Bean dishes and all of our Italian recipes. Our Salads are here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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BBQ’d Vegetables with Peppery Dressing

Recently it was the first day this season where the sun felt HOT on my face as I stepped outside, and it immediately had me thinking about the BBQ. I need to roast capsicums anyway, to make a batch of harissa, so why not make a meal of it? We roasted a range of veggies and drizzled them with a mustard-pepper dressing.

This is the sort of dish you can use as an entree or salad course, a side salad, a main dish with crusty bread, or a snack. I need to tell you that we are not so formal about courses here – we tend to cook Balinese style – prep and/or cook a whole lot of dishes early in the day and eat as required or desired through the day. We do love our salads, and also our snacks, so each day might see one of each, along with other dishes. Most are simple – that is our food style, simple – quick – easy.

This dish can actually be made at any time of the year – just make it with seasonal vegetables. It is a great way to clean out the fridge!!!

Similar dishes include Raw Vegetable Salad with Mustard-Mayo Dressing, Kohlrabi and Mint Salad, and Miso Vegetables and Rice with Sesame Dressing.

Browse all of our BBQ recipes and all of our Salads. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Cluster Beans Jaggery Kootu

Another in our Kootu series is made with cluster beans, and jaggery is added which counterbalances the slight bitterness of the beans and compliments the tamarind very well. It is slightly sweet-sour.

Most Kootus are made from vegetables, coconut and a mix of spices. Sometimes lentils or a dal is added to thicken the kootu. Generally kootus are made with vegetables that are locally available.

The recipe is another of Meenakshi Ammal‘s from her cook books Cook and See. She says that this same Kootu can be made with green beans, sabre beans, eggplant, plantain, plantain flower and chow chow.

Similar dishes include Cluster Bean Kootu, Brinjal Kootu and Mango Kootu.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes and all of our Cluster Bean dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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