Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes with Caper Vinaigrette

This year it is a long cold start to Summer. As I write, I sit here in a jumper in January, thinking of putting a rug over my legs rather than turn the heater on. So, needing something to warm the kitchen, I popped some roast veg in the oven.

Not any roast vegetables – this is an Ottolenghi dish, one that takes a common dish and makes it extraordinary. It is a favourite, and I don’t know why I haven’t posted it before. My note in the cookbook is “Magnificent” pencilled in the margin.

It takes sweet potatoes and parsnips and roasts them with garlic and (later) some cherry tomatoes, before dressing them with a tangy vinaigrette that is both sweet and sour, full of capers for a saltiness. It’s the perfect dish for any festival, celebration, Sunday lunch or any day of the week is born.

Ottolenghi says “The addition of a vinaigrette to freshly roasted vegetables gives them a freshness and juiciness they don’t normally have; the acidity brings out new shades of flavour, too.”

You might also like Roasted Beetroot with Cumin Seeds, Perfect Roast Potatoes, or Hot Roasted Carrot Salad.

Try some Parsnip recipes too: Roughly Mashed Parsnip with Parmesan and Olive Oil, and Parsnip and Carrot Mash.

Take some time to explore the Ottolenghi recipes we have tried. Our Sweet Potato recipes are here and our Parsnip recipes here. Or browse our Mid Summer collection of easy recipes. (You might prefer our Mid Winter recipes!)

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Summer Cherry and Hazelnut Salad with Belgian Endive

Xmas and Cherries, they just go together, like birds of a feather – right? At least in Australia they do. The juicy succulent cherries help to define that early Summer time. You eat them sitting outside on the verandah or deck or balcony, even just under a tree in the hot sun, sucking that juicy flesh, spitting the seeds and throwing them as far as you can. The little stems make a pile at your feet. Sooner than you care to mention your bag of cherries is empty.

In our house, we never ever have enough cherries left to cook with. Even though there are great cherry desserts, we never seem to have enough. Anyway, most of those Cherry Desserts are European and a little heavy for the heat of this time of year. However, this year I managed to secret a few away to make a salad, one where the sweetness of the cherries goes so well with bitter greens and Hazelnuts. I do hope that you enjoy it.

While we don’t have any other cherry recipes for you to browse, we do have a few Salad recipes that use fruits. Orange and Olive Salad, for example, or Fig Salad with Almond Butter, Tomato and Strawberry Salad, or Watermelon and Peach Salad.

Or simply browse all of our Salads here and our easy Early Summer recipes here.

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Chilled Asparagus Soup

Oh, these hot days of summer! Chilled soups are gorgeous and great for picnics or days at the beach, or just at home. This is a creamy, wonderful, silky soup for those hottest of hot days.

Or really, make this soup at any time of the year when the weather is warm and you can sit in the sunshine. There is no need to wait for Summer.

Some similar recipes that you might enjoy are Quick Tomato and Cucumber Cold Soup, Fantastic Avocado and Celery Cold Soup and Roasted Tomato and Corn Cold Soup for Summer.

You might also like our Cold Soup recipes and our Asparagus recipes. Or explore our easy Early Summer recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes.

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Roughly Mashed Parsnips with Olive Oil and Parmesan

Luxurious and nourishing, a Winter dish

Parsnips are a wonder in winter – slightly sweet, beautifully tender. Once Spring comes, parsnips become more woody and starchy and are less successful. Make this mash when parsnips are at their peak. It is deliciously indulgent and nourishing.

Try these other Parsnip recipes: Baked Parsnips with Parmesan.

Are you after other Mashes? Try Garlicky Mashed Potato, and Parsnip and Carrot Mash.

And try these Potato Mashes – English, French, and Indian.

Perhaps you might like to browse our Parsnip recipes, and all of our Mash recipes. Explore all of our easy Mid Winter recipes as well.

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Green Salad with Raspberries, Walnuts and Blue Cheese

I’ve been longing for a green salad. Having made (and eaten) too many ANZAC Biscuits, we needed something to counterbalance that wonderful sweetness of the biscuits. This salad did it. It combines greens from the garden (use what you have at hand) with some soft raspberries, crunchy crushed walnuts and tangy blue cheese.

This is another wonderful salad from Bittman. I am over half way through the journey of making his 101 salads (at least, the vegetarian ones). Each one has been wonderful and this one is too.

Why not try other Bittman Salads? Try Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta, Cucumber Salad with Capers and Ricotta and Watermelon and Peach Salad with Basil.

All of the Bittman Salads that we have tried are here. Or explore all of our Salads. Maybe your would like to explore our easy Early Autumn recipes.

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Gratin de Pommes de Terre et Courgettes | Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme

Gratin – sometimes written as gratinée or au gratin—is a very flexible recipe where an ingredient is cooked in a shallow dish – a gratin dish which is an  oval-shaped oven-safe baking and serving pan. The Gratin is topped with cheese or buttery breadcrumbs that will crisp up when the dish is baked in a hot oven or placed under a grill. Adding just cream will also produce a lightly browned crust if baked in high heat. Gratins are usually served straight from the dish.

Gratin originated in French cuisine. The best known gratin dishes are Potato Gratin  and Pommes Dauphinoises. Many Tians are gratins too, only in disguise! Also Baked Pasta dishes! Often vegetables are covered with cheese, cream, and/or breadcrumbs and baked or grilled for a beautiful gratin dish.

This recipe is a beautiful, buttery, creamy gratin that combines zucchini with potatoes and flavours it with thyme. A wonderful match.

Are you looking for other Gratin dishes? Try Creamy Potato Cheese Gratin, Gratinéed Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes Gratinéed with Tomatoes and Cumin, and  Endive/Witlof with a Cheesy Topping.

Would you like to try other Potato dishes? Try Cumin and Pepper Baked Potato Wedges, Perfect Roast Potatoes, and Surprise Potato Tartin.

Or try some Zucchini recipesZucchini Preserved in Olive Oil, Making Zucchini Juice, Zucchini Rice, Steamed Thai Eggplant and Zucchini, and Zucchini Fry with Spices.

You might also like to browse all of our Gratin dishes here, and all of our Potato recipes here. Or all of the Zucchini recipes here and here. Check out our easy Early Autumn recipes. Also, feel free to browse vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in our Retro Recipes series.

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English Creamed Carrots with Spices

A modern take on an English classic.

Everything old is new again. This is definitely a retro English recipe, the sort of recipe that screams of the cold weather and the need for cream to make you feel comforted and warm and nourished. But it is also a lovely recipe that can be modernised to suit today’s palates.

Are you after other Carrot Recipes? Try Carrot Rice, Carrots with Green Peas and Green Coriander, Green Mung and Baked Carrot Salad, and a Spicy Carrot Side Dish.

Why not browse all of our Carrot recipes, or explore our English/British recipes. Or take some time to check out our easy Winter recipes.

Also, feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Creamy Baked Sweet Potato and Gratineed Sweet Potato

Ottolenghi has a beautiful Sweet Potato Gratin in his book Ottolenghi. The dish is beautiful, the sweet potato soft, so tender. The success of the dish is the arrangement of a lot of sweet potatoes, overlapping, in a baking dish. What Ottolenghi doesn’t say in the recipe is that it works for just 1 sweet potato as well. Using a small amount of sweet potato means that it is not gratineed, but it is beautiful, tender with a crispy crust.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

Are you looking for Sweet Potato dishes? Read about Sweet Potatoes here. And then try Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Figs, Caramelised Sweet Potatoes, Potato and Sweet Potato Spicy Curry, and Sweet Potato Wedges with Creme Fraiche Dressing.

What about trying more Gratin dishes? Try Potato and Cheddar Gratin, Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme, and Pomodori Gratinati – Tomatoes Gratineed with Cheese.

For all Sweet Potato recipes click here. Browse all of our Ottolenghi recipes, and all Baked recipes. Or find inspiration in our Late Autumn recipes.

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Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint

As soon as the hot weather hits, thoughts turn to iced drinks and drinks that are cooling on the system. Iced teas, iced coffee and juices are our go-to coolers. This juice uses watermelon and is delicious! It is best to buy watermelon later in the season, no early watermelons. They are lacking in the true watermelon taste.

Don’t be afraid to add other cooling juices to the watermelon. Strawberries go very well with this. Cucumber and zucchini too, although green and red juices together go a murky colour. They taste amazing, but are not so visually appealing.

We have a collection of Watermelon Salads for you to explore – we brought together all our favourite salads in one post.

Similar recipes include Zucchini Juice Coolers,  and Cooling Drinks with Juices and Herbs. Browse our Lassi recipes too, for stunning Summer fruit and yoghurt smoothies. Would you like to know how to extract Pomegranate Juice so you can include that in your juices?

Browse our other drinks and juices.  Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Orange and Olive Salad with Mint and Basil

Bounce into (almost) summer with a sweet citrus salad with Italian flavours. Simply mix herbs with orange, onion and olives – what a wonderful homage to this stunning weather. May there be much more of it. This is the time to enjoy eating outside under the shade of a tree with a carafe of white wine, salads and fresh flatbread, and lots of fruits with creme fraiche. For this salad, use navel oranges if they are of good quality (easy to peel), but grab some more seasonal ones if they look better and juicier.

Our similar recipes include Orange and Walnut Salad, and Halloumi and Orange Salad.

You might like to browse our other Orange Salads here, our Citrus Salads, and our other Salad Recipes (we have a lot!) Our Italian dishes are here. Or simply explore our recipes for Early Summer.

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Quick Tomato and Cucumber Cold Soup

Cucumber is so cooling in these hot months. With tomato it is even better. This soup is gorgeous. Not quite gazpacho, it is definitely similar. Best eaten chilled, it can have yoghurt stirred through. We first made it in 1998 – that sounds so very long ago. But it has stood the test of time, and as soon as hot weather hits, we make it again.

Our preference is to use tomato purees, pastes or sauces from our freezer – we made them in Autumn to get us through the Winter and Spring months until good tomatoes hit the green grocer shelves again. But it can be made by juicing tomatoes, or even with a can of tomato soup if you are desperate (don’t ever mention that I said that – we usually don’t promote processed foods!)

It is a filling yet cooling hot weather soup.

You might also like our Cucumber recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Cold Soup recipes here and here. Check out our easy Summer recipes here and here.

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Strawberries with a Mint Raspberry Sauce

Nigel Slater with a dessert of strawberries and raspberries.

I love Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries II and perhaps it is even better than the first volume. While browsing through the June recipes (ie those suitable for December in Australia), it was his pairing of strawberries and raspberries that grabbed my attention. The festive season is notoriously hot in many parts and it is beach and BBQ weather every day. Berries are prolifically available in Australia at this time, and their gorgeous colours and flavours suit the season well.

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Beets in a Herb Dressing

Beautiful Beetroot, roasted, and dressed with herbs

Beetroot is a great vegetable, and baby beets are sweet and tender. This recipe treats them minimally. You can use baby beets or larger, medium sized ones.

The inspiration for this dish came from Turquoise by Greg Malouf. I recommend this cookbook of Turkish recipes. It is beautiful.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Beetroot and Yoghurt Salad, Slightly Pickled Beetroot Salad with MustardRaw Beetroot and Herb Salad, Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad with RocketBeetroot, Orange and Olive Salad, and Beetroot with Honey Dressing.

Feel free to browse other recipes from Turquoise.  You might also like our Beetroot recipes. Or you might like to browse Salad recipes too. Check out our easy Mid Spring recipes here.

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Roast Beetroot with Cumin Seeds

Beetroot has been called the Prince of Vegetables. At its best in autumn and winter, beetroot’s cheery cheery presence brings joy to the kitchen all year around. It is easy to cook, but is a dense vegetable so takes time. A good vegetable for lazy Sunday afternoons.

Browse our other Beetroot recipes here and here, or Roasted recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Winter recipes here and here.

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Buttery Spinach Stems

The intensity of Spinach without the bite.

Did you know that Spinach stems are edible, in fact, wonderful? With all of the spinach flavour of the leaves but without the bite, they are a delight to eat.

My favourite way, which I share with you today, is Buttery Spinach Stems where they are quickly sautéed  before steaming a little and serving with their buttery sauce.

Feel free to browse all of our Spinach recipes here and here. We really like an Indian Stir Fried Spinach Poriyal with Coconut.  Or find inspiration in our Winter recipes here and here.

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