Chilli Beans

Years ago I used to make a chilli dish – the recipe comes from a dear friend who lives in the Grampians. It was a chilli that is often called “Mexican” although it is not, and includes coffee, chocolate and red wine. I gave up making it when I adopted a vegetarian diet. It was only recently that another friend reminded me that chilli without meat is possible – and also delicious.

Elwyn’s Chilli Beans was such a no-fuss recipe – a few essential ingredients cooked at the barely simmering heat level for hours until all was infused with chocolate, coffee, wine and chilli.

The success of a Bean Chilli, with our without meat, is the deep, dark richness of the sauce. I took Elwyn’s recipe and added favourite spices to deepen the flavours, a variety of vegetables to enrich the dish, and some walnuts – I made enough to feed our street! Luckily it freezes very well. It is quite a “meaty” dish with the walnuts adding a great texture.

Because this dish requires long and slow cooking, it can also be cooked at a low-moderate temperature in the oven.

Similar recipes include Borlotti Bean and Garlic Soup, Persian Stew with Winter Vegetables, Barley and Root Vegetable Stew, and Black Barley with Mushrooms.

Browse all of our Kidney Bean recipes, Borlotti Bean dishes, and all of our Stews. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Roasted Red Capsicum and Feta Dip and Spread

I love recipes that are endlessly versatile – dips and spreads that can use a variety of vegetables, bread recipes into which you can knead different flours, herbs, and liquids, soups that take almost anything that you have on your kitchen bench. These sorts of dishes are the lifeblood of the kitchen, using up what you have, what has arrived, what you’ve been given, what has ripened.

A great base for a dip is formed from any combination of feta, yoghurt, cream cheese, ricotta, and/or tahini. Into that puree can go some lightly cooked vegetable and flavourings. Nuts can be added to thicken and flavour the mix. It is endlessly malleable.

Today it is roasted red capsicum, feta, yoghurt and walnuts.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Spread, Horseradish Dip, and Beetroot and Yoghurt Dip.

Or simply browse all of our Dips and Spreads.

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Lentil and Radicchio Salad with Capers and Walnuts

Brown or black lentils are a particular favourite in Autumn, Winter and Early to Mid Spring. They have an earthy heartiness about them. Any of the dark lentils are happily received in this kitchen – puy, beluga, horse gram, matki, whole red lentils, for example.

Today I paired them with a radicchio – the bitterness of this lettuce goes so well with the earthy lentils, and added tartness with some lemon juice and capers. Walnuts have a great affinity with earthy flavours – beetroot for example – so they go well with earthy lentils too. Capsicum adds fresh crunch and herbs enliven the dish.

Similar recipes include Lentil Salad with Pomegranate Molasses, Brown Lentil Sprouts Sundal, and Salad of Rocket and Radicchio.

Browse all of our Salads, all of our Radicchio dishes or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Fig, Walnut and Goat’s Cheese Salad with Herbs

Figs and goat’s cheese – what a pairing! Throw in some walnuts and drizzle with a reduced dressing of orange juice, red wine vinegar and honey, and you have a stunning Autumn salad.

This is my take on a recipe from Ottolenghi’s book¬† Ottolenghi. Specifically, I’ve removed the non-vegetarian items. We always feel free to massage his recipes and use what is available in our garden, pantry, fridge and kitchen bench.

The dressing takes a little time to make but it is gorgeous with the figs. You will have some left over – keep for tomorrow’s salad dressing.

Similar recipes include Three Ways to Caramelise Figs, Fennel and Fig Salad with Vin Cotto, Fig Salad with Almond Butter, and Fig and Halloumi Salad.

Browse all of our Fig Salads, and indeed, all of our Fig recipes. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Penne with Walnuts, Gorgonzola and Sage

Pasta is that comforting dish that is generally easy to make and forms a perfect Friday Night or quick weekend meal. It takes 10 or 11 minutes to cook the pasta, and the creamy accompaniments are ready to be tossed with it. Perfect! It is also good for when a friend pops in unexpectedly at lunch time.

It is mildly flavoured and goes really well with a green salad, herb salad or just some bitter leaves of Belgian endive or rocket.

Similar recipes include Penne with Ricotta and Broad Beans, Rocket Salad with Penne and Parmesan, and Pasta Salad with Artichoke Hearts.

Browse all of our Pasta dishes, and all of our Penne recipes. Our Italian dishes are here. Or browse all of our Early Summer recipes.

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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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Collection: Recipes with Walnuts

Walnuts are often available in the local shops still in their shell, and they are delicious eaten this way. I will let you into a little secret – I crack their shell with my heavy pestle from the Chinese mortar and pestle set. Knocking this heavy object around the seam of the walnut does the trick!

I have collected together some recipes that feature walnuts, just for you. From hot to cold dishes, sweet to savoury, for seasons from Summer to Winter and back again. Sit back and enjoy them!

Similar articles include Delicious Chilli Pastes and Sauces, 20 Soups for Mid Autumn, and 30 Salads for Early Spring.

Browse all of our Pistachio dishes, and all of our Collections. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Walnut and Pomegranate Dip

This is a particularly great dip or spread for Autumn. You know that we love our dips and spreads, and this one makes use of our home made pomegranate molasses and the unshelled walnuts that are commonly available in the local area. Pomegranate Molasses makes great dips and spreads when mixed with any nut butter, tahini or miso.

This paste is simple to make using the food processor and easy to pull together when unexpected guests arrive. We love those sorts of recipes.

Similar recipes include White Bean and Sun Dried Tomato Dip/Spread, Grilled Eggplant with Walnuts and Pomegranate, Broad Bean Dip, Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese, and Green Olive Tapenade.

Browse all of our Dips and Spreads, and our Pomegranate recipes. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Burghul, Walnut and Yoghurt Salad with Pomegranate

There is a Lebanese dish, sometimes called Mafrouket Laban (not to be confused with the dessert of the same name), made from burghul (aka Bulgur) and yoghurt with plenty of herbs. It is a delight in Summer. Because the burghul is soaked, it is the sort of dish you begin in the morning, and leave for 4 or 5 hours, then mix in the remaining ingredients and serve for lunch or dinner.

The burghul soaks in the yoghurt for a few hours to form the base of the salad. It is often served with tender young vine leaves, so it is a perfect dish for Spring and Early Summer. With all that yoghurt, it is a cooling dish, perfect for the first heat waves that we encounter in Spring as it warms up towards Summer.

Use the coarse burghul for this dish if you can (otherwise, medium will be fine).

Similar recipes include Burghul, Pistachio and Tomato Salad, Burghul Salad with Olives, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts, Cracked Wheat Kitchari, and Cauliflower, Mung and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Burghul dishes and all of our Salad recipes.  Our Lebanese dishes are here. Or browse all of our Early Summer recipes.

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Herb and Walnut Fritters

These Iranian fritters are herbaceous and delicious. They are a perfect snack at afternoon tea time, or make a great lunch with flatbreads and fresh salads.

We make our herby fritters with a chickpea flour base rather than eggs. With a little eno or baking soda for aeration, it is the perfect replacement for eggs in this type of recipe.The inspiration was Ottolenghi’s dish in his book Simple. They are very easy to make and utterly delicious. These fritters are a bit of a fridge raid – use whatever soft herbs you have to hand.

Similar recipes include Rosti with Goat’s Cheese and Chives, Spinach Fritters, Vegetable Fritters, and Chickpea Flour Fritters and Pancakes.

Browse all of our Fritters and all of our recipes from Simple. Or explore all of our Mid Summer recipes.

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