Burghul, Walnut, and Tomato Salad with Pomegranate

This is a salad with flavours of the Middle East, taking burghul and tomatoes and mixing them with spices, walnuts and pomegranate molasses.

It is a lovely salad, so well suited to Autumn and early Winter (if you can still get good tomatoes). Burghul is available from Middle Eastern groceries – our local shop has about 5 different varieties. This salad uses fine burghul.

Are you after other Burghul dishes? Try A Quick Burghul Salad with Olives, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts, and Cauliflower, Mung Bean and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Burghul dishes, and all of our many many Salads. Or take some time to browse our Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Burghul, Walnut, and Tomato Salad with Pomegranate”

Aloo Do Pyaja | Potatoes with Onions | An Indian Home Cooked Recipe

While the current fashion of food photography and food videos has been helpful to many home cooks, especially when cooking unfamiliar dishes, it has done a great disservice to home cooking. The requirement for everything to be instagram-worthy has meant that the rustic dishes without visual appeal are sidelined and instagrammed out of existence. It’s a pity. More than that, it is a shame.

Moreover, the word Peasant as attached to food is beginning to be seen as derogatory. I have never thought of “Peasant food” as been anything “less than”. I think of it as extraordinary food being produced without the influence of fashion and with local and common ingredients. My real favourite sort of food. Isn’t it what we strive for at home – cost effective and flavoursome food with local ingredients?

I am often amazed by the simplicity of Indian home cooked dishes, and how much flavour can be put into a couple of ingredients with a couple of spices. These sorts of dishes, so simple, so easy, are rarely seen on social media. I hope you enjoy this one. This is a simple recipe – not the best looking, made with minimal ingredients, but very very tasty. Serve with some Indian bread as an afternoon snack or as part of a meal.

By the way, Do Pyaja (also spelt Pyaza) means double the onions or lots of onions. There are many recipes for this dish, from the Punjab through to Rajasthan. Some have peas or a dose of cream, for example, a more complex spice mix, and it can be a wet or dry curry. But I adore this recipe for its simplicity. It is real home cooking.

Similar recipes include Aloo Hing Jeera (Potatoes with Cumin), Sesame Potatoes, Saag Aloo, and Potato Subzi.

You might also like to browse all of our Potato recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Check out our easy Late Winter recipes too.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. It is cross posted on our sister site, Heat in the Kitchen. It appears there as part of the Retro Recipes series of recipes which documents our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

Continue reading “Aloo Do Pyaja | Potatoes with Onions | An Indian Home Cooked Recipe”

Burghul and Chickpea Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Did you know there are so many different types of Burghul, from extra fine to extra coarse? You must search out your Middle Eastern grocery and explore the different types. At the moment, we are using a coarse one that comes mixed with small pieces of toasted vermicelli noodles. Its delicious and the noodles add a lovely visual and textural effect.

This is a lovely easy salad where Burghul is mixed chickpeas, and with tomatoes, herbs and spices. Like most salads made from grains, not much is needed to make the salad utterly delicious. The likes of Ottolenghi may disagree with me, they layer fabulous flavours upon fabulous flavours, but for weekdays, for the utter enjoyment of the ingredients, and indeed for frugal pantries, the simple approach is utterly delicious.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Burghul with Pinenuts and Sultanas, Burghul Salad with Pomegranates, Olives and Hazelnuts, and Chickpea Salad with Preserved Lemon and Feta.

Or browse all of our Burghul recipes, and our Chickpea recipes. All of our many many salads are here, or check just the Bittman Salads that we have cooked. Alternatively, explore our Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Burghul and Chickpea Salad with Cherry Tomatoes”

Dakos | Tomato and Bread Salad from Crete

Dakos, the salad, is a loved salad of Crete, made with rock hard crisp breads and tomatoes, feta and olives. Ottolenghi has a version in his book Plenty More, born of his stay in Crete where he fell in love with it.

Dakos is alsothe name given to  oven-dried breads (often called rusks), which are made with barley to make them sweeter, nuttier and more crunchy than their wheat-only counterparts. Spread out on a plate and covered with the best ripest chopped tomatoes, good olive oil, some crumbled white cheese and black olives, they are seriously addictive. (Confusingly, both this dish and the unadorned rusks themselves are called Dakos!)

Cretan barley rusks aren’t easy to come by (try Greek grocers or online), but the salad Dakos is easy to make with any dried bread, e.g. the Italian Frese Integrali (aka friselle, freselle, frisedde, fresedde, frise) or the Swedish wholemeal Krisprolls, which are more commonly available in some supermarkets and many specialty stores. The tomato juices and vinegar seep into and soften the dry bread as they mix with the creamy cheese and olive oil, to create a timeless Greek experience.

However, if you don’t have access to Dakos or other rusks, try drizzling some medium thick slices of wheat bread with olive oil and baking for 10 – 15 mins in a 175C – 180C oven. They need to be hard, and the ingredients of the salad soak into the bread to soften it and make it addictively delicious.

The taste of any simple tomato-based salad is dependent on the quality of the tomatoes. There is a rich and beefy depth to end-of-season tomatoes that can exceed even those of high summer, but if yours are anything other than bursting with flavour, a pinch of sugar or a few drops of balsamic vinegar will help draw out their natural sweetness. And maybe mix your feta with some ricotta, to simulate the flavour of the sweet Cretan mizithra cheese, which is often served with dakos. (Thanks for this advice, Ottolenghi.)

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.

In fact 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 recipes include Simple Tomato Bread Salad, and Tapanade Bread Salad with Mozzarella.

Browse all of our Tomato Salads, and all of our Salads. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Dakos | Tomato and Bread Salad from Crete”

Quinoa Salad with Parsley, Tomatoes and Pinenuts

Quinoa, once a darling of every food blogger and health-follower-of-fashion is now a little off-trend. Never mind, that never bothered us. We still love it, even though it is not a constant staple item in this pantry.

Let’s remedy that. This is a salad with lots of parsley, juicy tomatoes and crunchy pinenuts. Simple, but it is bound to make you fall in love with Quinoa all over again. The lemon juice is wonderful in this salad, and today I added some chopped cumquat pickles to enhance that tang.

Similar recipes include Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pecans, Quinoa Salad with Orange, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad, Quinoa Porridge with Tomatoes, and Quinoa, Lemon and Parsley Salad.

This is a Bittman Salad. We are counting down to finishing making his 101 Salads – all the vegetarian ones, and we modified many of the non-vegetarian ones. Less than 10 left to make.

Browse all of our Bittman Salads here, and all of our Quinoa recipes. Our many many Salads are here. Or simply take some time to browse our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Quinoa Salad with Parsley, Tomatoes and Pinenuts”

Purslane Salad with Tomatoes

Purslane is that lemony tart succulent-leaved plant that is considered a weed. In fact, for many years, I hounded it from the gardens that I had the pleasure to work in. But, well hello!, the leaves are beautiful in salads and even in cooked dishes.

This is a very simple salad, but delightful. It features Purslane, whereas we usually just added it to other salad ingredients. It also makes a great substitute for rocket and sorrel in your salads, if you don’t have any of those ingredients at hand.

Similar recipes include Purslane Salad with Radish, Peas with Purslane and Mustard, and Purslane Salad with Burrata.

Browse all of our Purslane dishes, and all of our Salads. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Purslane Salad with Tomatoes”

Pasta Salad with Artichoke Hearts

Pasta is back in fashion! The supermarket shelves are bowing under the weight of the multitude of different types and brands of pasta. Italian shops are extending their shelves to stock the increased range. Customers are querying staff about the different sorts and the differences between brands.

The local Italian shop is amazing, their staff very knowledgeable, and the range of pastas outstanding. Using a good quality pasta makes quite a difference.

Continue reading “Pasta Salad with Artichoke Hearts”

Feta Salad

Today’s salad is Middle Eastern in style – fresh ingredients, simply sliced and served at every meal. It features feta – get some of the creamy feta from your Middle Eastern shop if you can. We have used fresh herbs from the garden, but feel free to use baby spinach, rocket and any soft herbs that you have at your disposal.

You can add some olives too, to make it more of a Greek Mezze salad.

Similar recipes include Cucumber, Feta and Mint Salad, Broad Beans with Feta and Lemon, and Baked Eggplant with Feta.

Browse all of our Salads, particularly our Feta Salads. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Feta Salad”

Persian Stew with Winter Vegetables

I remember when the Ottolenghi books first came out, there was some excitement (at least in this household) about the dried Iranian limes. They were difficult to find, but finally I tracked some down. I can’t recall where I found them at last, probably at a shop that had an extensive rack of spices.

These days, they are much more common (thank you, Ottolenghi), and I discovered that there are both black dried limes and the lighter coloured, beige dried limes. The dried limes impart a citrusy, smoky flavour with a slight tang to food, lifting them from ordinariness to something spicy and tangy. The flavour is bright and limey while also being earthy, funky and grounding. The black limes are slightly more smoky in flavour than the lighter coloured ones.

One of the recipes I would look at longingly in those days was the Iranian Stew, and yet, all these years later, I had not made it. Until today. And it is quite amazing. The vegetables are simmered in a broth of tomatoes, onions, herbs and dried limes, before being baked with barberries in the oven. It produces an amazing plate of vegetables with a thickened sauce and an amazing, bright, citrusy flavour.

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. In this case, track down those dried limes in Middle Eastern shops or purchase online if your local providore does not stock them.

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 recipes include Sesame Potatoes, Vegetables with Indian Flavours, Dried Lime Tea, and Persian Tea with Rose Flowers, Lime and Persian Borage.

Browse all of our Stews and all of our Dried Lime dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Persian Stew with Winter Vegetables”

Gorgonzola and White Bean Salad with Chickpeas

For a huge amount of time, gorgonzola was not available in Australia. It was a source of huge frustration for any foodie, particularly those who love cheeses. But over the years, the restrictions have been relaxed and gorgonzola now appears even on supermarket shelves.

Need I say that we love this cheese? Here is another salad that uses it. It is one of our simple salads and combines the cheese with some tomatoes and Chickpeas and/or White Beans. I like to use cannelini or haricot beans. If you can’t get gorgonzola, there are more cost effective Australian Blue Cheeses that are also divine.

Are you looking for other Gorgonzola Salads? Try a Gorgonzola Snack, and Gorgonzola Torte.

Or other White Bean Salads? Try Roasted Red Pepper Salad with White Beans and Mozzarella, Grilled Eggplant Salad with White Beans, and Easy White Bean Salad.

Or perhaps Chickpea Salads? Try xBoondi Salad with Chickpeas and Coconut, Green Salad with Chickpeas and Feta, Chickpea Tabouleh, and Chickpea and Carrot Salad with a Curry Dressing.

Browse all of our Gorgonzola dishes, all of our White Bean recipes and all of our Chickpea recipes. All of our many many Salads are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Gorgonzola and White Bean Salad with Chickpeas”