Minestrone alla Genovese | Genoese Minestrone with Pesto

How most excellent is pesto and its cousin pistou swirled into vegetable soups! We do it in our 13 Treasure Happiness Soup, so called because it brings a sense of joy and happiness to anyone who eats it. More correctly it is a Provencale Vegetable Soup.

Our soup today is one of the Italian ones that combines pasta and dried beans, a classic soup pairing, with vegetables. The pasta used can be Vermicelli or Maltagliati – the irregular shapes of pasta designed to go into soups. A hand made pesto crowns the soup and is swirled through the soup before eating – a process that adds to the joy of hot soup on a cold day.

Similar Soups include 31 Soups for Winter, 13 Treasure Happiness Soup, and Chickpea and Butterbean Noodle Soup.

Browse our Minestrone Soups and all of our Soups. Our Italian dishes are here. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Minestrone alla Genovese | Genoese Minestrone with Pesto”

Sweet Potatoes and Deep Fried Tofu in Coconut Miso Broth with Noodles

Oh deep fried tofu! Sssshh, don’t tell tofu-haters how good deep fried tofu is! I think we should keep it to ourselves. Deep frying changes the soft mushy texture of tofu to a crispy outer skin with a pillow soft inner. If you are drooling already, have a look at this deep fried tofu with a peanut sauce. Sensational.

This recipe takes some deep fried tofu and cooks it with sweet potatoes in a coconut green curry broth, and then serves it with noodles and coriander leaves. It is typically S. E. Asian, like the curries of Thailand and Malaysia. I also make it as one of my Miso Soup options, adding a little more broth to the ingredients. Miso Soup with Sweet Potato, Tofu and Noodles.

If you are not familiar with using miso, read about the different types.

Similar recipes include Noodles with Spring Onions and Edamame, Chinese Bean Curd with Mushrooms and Vegetables, Lemak Style Vegetables, and Black Pepper Tofu.

Recipes with Rice Vermicelli Noodles include Green Mango and Vermicelli Salad. Or read about other Asian Noodles.

Browse all of our Tofu recipes and all of our Sweet Potato dishes. Our S. E. Asian dishes are here. Or explore our Late Winter set of recipes.

Continue reading “Sweet Potatoes and Deep Fried Tofu in Coconut Miso Broth with Noodles”

Glass Noodles with Spinach

Glass Noodles are wonderful – silky, soft and translucent, they are great in salads, soups and stir fries. Other names for these noodles include Cellophane Noodles, Chinese Rice Vermicelli and Chinese Vermicelli. They don’t take much to prepare – stiff like wire when you buy them, they soften with a short soak in hot water, and within about 5 minutes they are ready to toss with other ingredients. But don’t mix them up with Indian rice Vermicelli, that is vermicelli of a different type.

This salad takes some fresh, younger spinach and wilts it with sesame oil before tossing with the glass noodles. You can sprinkle with some sesame seeds to complete the dish.

Similar dishes include Noodles with Spring Onions and Edamame, Persian Noodles with Eggplant, Saffron and Kashk, Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad, Indian Vermicelli Payasam, and Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji.

Browse all of our Spinach dishes, and all of our Vermicelli dishes. Our Asian dishes are here. Or browse our Early Spring recipe collection.

Continue reading “Glass Noodles with Spinach”

Kosheri | Lentils, Rice and Vermicelli with Onions and Spices

Kosheri (also spelled Koshari) is a dish with its genesis in Egypt, although it now traverses many time zones. We have some similar recipes, but this one from Ottolenghi (in his bookΒ Ottolenghi) is another of his dishes that perfectly layers spices with other ingredients. It is a bit intense, this dish, with several cooking processes on the go at one time, but the effort is worth it. Cook the sauce, cook the lentils, cook the rice and vermicelli, cook the onions – then bring them all together.

Frankly, I love how North Africa, the Middle East and India are much more adventurous with their rice dishes than our English-based cultures. Who would have thought of cooking lentils, various pasta, burghul and/or vermicelli with rice? It seems to break all of our Western rules of food composition. Yet here they are, these mixed rice dishes, such a delicious alternative to plain white rice.

Cheap, easy and filling, kosheri is ubiquitous on Egypt’s streets and thought to be an adaptation of Indian kitchari, brought to Egypt in the late 19th century during the British occupation of both countries. Egypt’s Italian community is held responsible for kosheri’s pasta factor. Lebanon and Palestine have a simple version, a rice with pasta dish that works on the principle that less is more.

The dish can be made with or without the tomato sauce. Although it is a good accompaniment, the kosheri is also good with a Cucumber Raita, or any other Raita, Pachadi, or Yoghurt based salad, for that matter. Or just plain yoghurt.

In Egypt, this dish is sold by street vendors, but it is also very welcome at the dinner table. It can be a side dish, but I prefer it as a main, with the accompaniments tailored to eat on and with the rice. I particularly love it with the tomato sauce, some roasted cauliflower and toasted hazelnuts.

Similar recipes include Orzo and Rice, Cauliflower, Mung and Cracked Wheat Kitchari, and Cracked Wheat and Mung Kitchari.

Browse all of our Egyptian recipes and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. Our Rice recipes are here. Or explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Kosheri | Lentils, Rice and Vermicelli with Onions and Spices”

Vermicelli (Glass Noodles) and Green Mango Salad

This year, Summer declines to do more than peek her head between the clouds about 1 day per week. Today, a couple of days after Xmas, it is cool and wet, with persistent rain. I can do no more than pretend it is Summer and dream of hot days, beaches and cool drinks.

This is a beautiful, light, Summer salad with green mango for tang, peanuts for crunch and vermicelli for bulk.

Similar recipes includeΒ Peanut Noodle Salad with Coriander and Mint, Soba Noodle Salad with Cucumber and Sesame Seed, Persian Noodles with Eggplant, Saffron and Kashk, Longan and Green Mango Salad, Jicama and Green Mango Salad; and Jicama, Green Mango and Red Radish Salad.

Or try Glass Noodles with Spinach.

Browse all of our Green Mango dishes, and all of our many and varied Salads. Our Glass Noodle dishes are here. Or explore our easy Early Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Vermicelli (Glass Noodles) and Green Mango Salad”

Vermicelli Payasam

I have had this recipe since forever. It is the kind of dessert you want to eat on a night you are feeling a little vulnerable and out of sorts with the world. It will make you feel great again.

It is so easy, so simple, very wonderful, especially after a hot Indian meal. Given to me by an Indian friend, I believe this recipe is much much better than one published in a recent popular large book on India and Indian food. It is very special.

Nachi made this often and taught me to make it, although he was never too keen to have me cook it for him. He was very particular, and I was still learning, particularly about the precision needed in traditional Indian dishes. One cardamon pod either way, and you could spoil the dish. I had to lose my free-form, flexible Australian ways. We also often made his favourite vegetable dish, Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach Madras Curry.

Are you after more Payasam recipes? Try Besan Payasam, Sago Payasam, Nachi’s Payasam, and Bengali Rice Kheer. You get two Payasams for one, here – Sago and Vermicelli.

You might like to browse our Payasam recipes here. Or our other Desserts here. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or simply explore all of our Late Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Vermicelli Payasam”

Sevai Kheer | Vermicelli Payasam

A delicious dessert from a Parsi lady.

There is a fabulous cook in Sydney, a Persian (Irani) lady from the North of India, who cooks a mean yoghurt curry and this lovely dessert. She is an Ayurvedic healer and Bowen therapist and I love her work. You will enjoy this dessert.

You can browse our other Payasam recipes here and here, and the Dessert recipes here and here. Explore our Summer recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Sevai Kheer | Vermicelli Payasam”