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Abundance, bounty, freshness and surprise

Abundance, bounty, freshness and surprise is the theme for the Ottolenghi recipe book ‘Simple’ another birthday gift for me this year.

I have always been excited for his recipes so this was just a perfect present. I have looked through the recipe book and picked out a number of recipes that I’m really interested in trying at some point before the end of the year.

Braised eggs with leek and za’atar

Scrambled harissa tofu

Avocado and cucumber salad

Tomatoes with sumac onions and pine nuts

Spring onion and herb salad 

Curried lentil, tomato and coconut soup

Carrot salad with yoghurt and cinnamon 

Roasted butternut squash with lentils and dolcelatte

Aromatic olive oil mash

Sweet potato mash with lime salsa

New potatoes with peas and coriander 

Couscous, cherry tomato and herb salad 

Puy lentil and aubergine stew

Bulgar with tomato, aubergine and lemon yoghurt 

Bulgar with mushrooms and feta 

Puy lentils with aubergine, tomatoes and yoghurt 

Rice noodle salad with cucumber and poppy seeds

Soba noodles with lime, cardamon and avocado 

Pappardella with rose harissa, black olives and capers

Gigli with chickpeas and za’tar 

Pasta with pecorino and pistachio

Rose harissa chickpeas with flaked cod

Blueberry, almond and lemon cake

Fig and thyme clafoutis

Brunsli chocolate cookies 

It has also introduced me to a number of new spices and flavours, that I might not otherwise have encountered. I have spent quite a few pleasant afternoon roaming around my local international supermarket buying up these ‘Ottolenghi’ ingredients. I have taken a few notes from his book about these 10 ingredients that he states are worth having a supply off.

Sumac  

Deep red ground spice made from the dried and crushed berries of the sumac shrub. The flavour is astringent and citrusy and the spice can be sprinkled over all sorts of dishes. Eggs are a classic pairing but it works just as well with grilled meat, fish and vegetables. It can either be sprinkled over a dish as it is mixed with some oil as the face for addressing all marinade.

Za’atar

The green powder made from dried and ground za’atar leaves, sesame seeds, sumac and salt. The leaves have a distinctive, savoury aroma and flavour is complex.

Urfa chilli flakes 

Smoky and almost chocolate like rather than heat.

Ground cardamom

Aromatic and distinctive sweetness.

Pomegranate molasses

Syrupy, sweet and sharp.

Rose harissa 

Heavily spiced North African chilli paste.

Tahini

Oily paste made up of ground sesame seeds.

Barberries

These have an acidic tag which sweeter currents do not. They work well with all sorts of fritters, frittata, omelettes and rice-based salads. If you don’t have them, just soak an equal quantity of currents in a little bit of lemon juice about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for 3 tablespoons of barberries for half an hour.

Black garlic

Concentrated flavour licorice allsorts meats balsamic-wine-gum. Black cloves have a mellow sweet umami-rich taste.

Preserved lemon

Offers a real pop of citrus flavour.

I just can’t wait to get started!

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