food for thought

by michelle

Posts Tagged ‘Yotam Ottolenghi

saffron cauliflower + tomato, onion and roasted lemon salad

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Here are 2 salads from the master of salads, Yotam Ottolenghi. Serve them as part of a mezze selection or as side dishes.

Cauliflower is so versatile. In this recipe from PLENTY it’s paired with raisins and olives.

Preheat your oven to 200ºC (390ºF). Soak 1½ teaspoons of saffron strands in a little boiling water and allow to infuse. To a large salad bowl add a medium cauliflower (broken into florets), 1 large sliced red onion, 100g (3½ oz) of moist of sultanas, 90g (3¼ oz) of pitted green olives, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 bay leaves and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add the soaked saffron and toss everything to combine. Transfer to a baking tray, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through. I uncovered the tray for some of the cooking time to allow the cauliflower to brown a little more. Allow to cool a little and stir in 4 tablespoons of roughly chopped parsley.

This unusual tomato, onion and roasted lemon salad was published by bon appétit.


Preheat your oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Halve and thinly slice 1 small lemon and cook the slices in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, pat dry and toss with 1 tablespoon of finely sliced fresh sage leaves, ½ a teaspoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread them onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake until they are dry and slightly coloured. Allow them to cool. Meanwhile, whisk 2 teaspoons of pomegranate syrup with ½ a teaspoon of ground allspice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 700g (1½ lbs) of mixed tomatoes, ½ a finely sliced red onion, generous amounts of roughly chopped fresh parsley and mint and the cooled lemon slices. Season again to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss gently.

Written by michelle picker

August 7, 2017 at 5:44 am

barley, lentils and mushrooms with fried onions

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Once again Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe imparts amazing flavours to a vegetarian meal.


In a small bowl cover 20g (¾ oz) of dried porcini with 1¾ cups of boiling water and leave to stand for an hour. After an hour, remove the mushrooms and strain the liquid through a very fine sieve to remove any grit, then return the mushrooms to their liquid. Place 120g (4¼ oz) of barley (pre-soaked) and 170g (6 oz) of brown lentils in a large saucepan. Add 4 times the volume of cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a rolling simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool down. Cut an onion into thin slices lengthways and toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of flour. Heat oil in a medium saucepan (enough to cover the onion slices in batches) to high heat and fry the onion in batches for three to four minutes, until golden-brown. Remove them to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside to cool. Slice a second onion into wider wedges. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat and fry the onion wedges for five minutes until charred and soft. Stir in 1½ teaspoons of ground cumin, 1 teaspoons of ground allspice and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Next add 4 sliced large mushrooms, the finely sliced rind of 1 lemon and ½ a teaspoon each of sugar and salt. Fry until the mushrooms start to soften then add the porcini and all their soaking liquid. Boil rapidly for five minutes, reducing the liquid to approximately ½ a cup. Reduce the heat and add the lentils and barley plus 1 tablespoon of dried mint, 1 teaspoon of dried dill leaves, ¾ of a teaspoon of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Cook for a minute more then remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Serve garnished with the fried onion and chopped parsley with sour cream on the side.

roasted turnip, potato and garlic salad

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What to do with this enormous turnip fresh from the garden? And who doesn’t love potatoes?


Adapted from another wonderful recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi here is a spicy and fragrant warm salad.


My turnip weighed 900g (2 lbs) and I used 600g (1⅓ lbs) of potatoes. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (390ºF). Peel the turnips and potatoes and cut them into 4cm (1½”) chunks. Peel all the cloves of a whole head of garlic. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the turnips, potatoes and garlic for 6 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water and pat them dry. Now put them into a roasting pan and toss with ½ a teaspoon of sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds, 1½ tablespoons of harissa (if you don’t have time to make this you can get away with chilli paste with the addition of some ground cumin, tomato paste and lemon juice), the rind of 1 orange, 1 teaspoon of dried rose petals (optional), 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt to taste. Roast for 40 minutes until they begin to colour. Meanwhile in a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of orange juice, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of toasted and lightly crushed fennel seeds and a little salt. Slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Arrange roquette leaves on a serving platter. When the vegetables are cooked scatter them over the leaves and drizzle with the prepared dressing. Serve warm. 

Written by michelle picker

July 18, 2015 at 5:52 am

rice with onions, chick peas and currants + butternut salad

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Here are another two inspired Yotam Ottolenghi recipes from his book Jerusalem.


This dish is made with a cup of basmati rice and ¼ of a cup of wild rice both pre-cooked separately. Heat some sunflower oil in a saucepan and add 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds and 1½ teaspoons of curry powder. After only a few seconds add a drained can of chickpeas and ¼ of a teaspoon of salt. Stir over the heat for a minute or two and transfer to a large bowl. Thoroughly mix 1 very finely sliced onion with ½ a tablespoon of flour. Wipe the saucepan clean, add a generous amount of sunflower oil and place over high heat. Add the onion in batches and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown then drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle the onion with a little salt. Add both types of rice to the chick peas along with the onions, 100g (3½ oz) of currants, 2 tablespoons of chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander (cilantro), 1 tablespoon of chopped dill and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.


This butternut pumpkin (squash) and onion salad has a wonderful tahini dressing. Cut a large butternut pumpkin and 2 red onions into wedges and place them in a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and toss well. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast in a moderate oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked and colouring a little. Remove them from the oven and leave to cool. Meanwhile combine 3½ tablespoons of tahini paste with 1½ tablespoons of lemon juice, a crushed clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of water and ¼ of a teaspoon of salt. Whisk well until you achieve a consistency like thin honey. To serve, arrange the roasted vegetables on a platter or in a bowl and drizzle with the tahini dressing. The original recipe includes a scattering of toasted pine nuts. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of za’atar (a mixture of dried herbs and sesame seeds available in Middle Eastern stores) and garnish with flat-leafed parsley.

koftas with tahini sauce

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Thanks to Yotam Ottolenghi again for these delicious morsels!


In a bowl mix 400g (14 oz) each of freshly minced lamb and beef, 1 small finely diced onion, 2 large minced cloves of garlic, 50g (1¾ oz) of roughly chopped toasted pine nuts (save some whole ones for later), 30g (1 oz) of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (save some whole leaves for later), 1 large finely diced red chilli, 1½ teaspoons each of ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground black pepper and salt and ¾ of a teaspoon of grated nutmeg. Shape the mixture into torpedo-shaped koftas weighing approximately 60g (2 oz) each. Make sure to press them together firmly so that they retain their shape when cooking. Arrange them on a plate and chill them. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 210ºC (410ºF). For the sauce mix 150g (5¼ oz) of tahini paste with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 crushed clove of garlic, ¼ of a teaspoon of salt and ¼ of a cup of water in a small saucepan. This mixture should be thinner than honey. Warm the sauce a little. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frypan and sear the koftas in batches over high heat until golden brown. Remove them to an oven tray and when they are all browned finish them in the oven for 2-4 minutes. Spoon the tahini sauce into a serving platter and add the koftas. Garnish with the remaining pine nuts and parsley leaves and serve immediately.

Written by michelle picker

May 11, 2014 at 6:05 am

lamb tagine with dates + carrot salad

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Lamb and dates – what a heavenly combination. This recipes comes from THE FOOD OF MOROCCO a journey for food lovers by Tess Mallos.


Melt butter in a heavy casserole or tagine and gently cook 1 finely chopped onion until it is translucent. Add 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and ½ a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and continue to cook for a minute or so. Increase the heat and add 1 kg (2¼ lbs) of diced lamb. Stir until the colour of the meat changes. Reduce the heat, add 1½ cups of water, 55g (2 oz) of pitted and chopped dates, a pinch of saffron and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours. Stir in 2 tablespoons each of honey and lemon juice and adjust the seasoning to taste. Place 10-15 whole dessert dates over the top, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes. Meanwhile discard the pulp from ½ a preserved lemon, rinse the rind, pat dry and cut into thin strips. Melt a little butter in a small pan and fry ⅓ of a cup of slivered almonds until golden brown. If you are serving this in a different dish then remove the dates from the top before ladling it into the dish. Spread the dates over the top again and garnish with almonds and preserved lemon.

As a side dish try this Moroccan carrot salad from Yotam Ottolenghi’s book Plenty.


Peel and slice carrots then cook them in boiling water until just tender. Drain and leave to dry. Meanwhile, fry 1 finely chopped onion in some olive oil until soft and browning a little. Add 3 crushed cloves of garlic, 2 sliced green chillies, a finely sliced spring onion, a pinch of ground cloves, ¼ of a teaspoon of ground ginger, ½ a teaspoon of ground coriander, ¾ of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of caster sugar, 1 tablespoon of finely diced preserved lemon rind and the carrots. Stir to combine, remove from the heat, season well with salt and leave to cool. When cool stir in a generous handful of finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro). Serve at room temperature with some chilled, salted greek yoghurt.

Written by michelle picker

February 22, 2014 at 6:00 am

glass noodles and edamame beans

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This warm salad of glass noodles and edamame (young soya) beans is another delicious Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from his book Plenty. If your local supermarket doesn’t stock them you will find edamame beans, glass noodles and tamarind concentrate in Asian supermarkets.


Soak the noodles in hot water for 5 minutes or until just soft. Drain and let them dry. Pre-cook 300g (10½ oz) of edamame beans. In a small bowl make a sauce by mixing 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger, the juice of 4 limes, 3 tablespoons of peanut oil (or similar), 2 tablespoons of palm sugar, 2 teaspoons of tamarind concentrate, 1 teaspoon of tamari and salt to taste. Heat some vegetable oil in a fry pan or wok and fry 3 finely minced cloves of garlic until just beginning to colour. Remove from the heat and add the noodles and the sauce, stirring to combine. Add the edamame beans, 3 finely sliced spring onions, 1 finely chopped red chilli and 3 tablespoons each of chopped fresh mint and coriander (cilantro). Return to the heat briefly to warm the salad a little. Serve scattered with 3 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds.


Written by michelle picker

January 5, 2014 at 6:12 am