Sweet & Sour Okra

Here is another one from Madhur Jaffrey, doyenne of Indian cookery . Okra (also called bhindi or ladies’ fingers) is in plentiful, cheap supply in local greengrocers during the summer months and this is a wonderful way to cook it. In colour and texture it complements Lake Palace Aubergines very well. Serve with raitha andContinue reading “Sweet & Sour Okra”

Tabouleh

Another Levantine dish with disputed spelling (see hummus) and fluid composition, tabouleh is a quick, cheap vegetarian salad or mezze that makes a great accompaniment to a summer barbecue. It often includes tomatoes, although our version doesn’t. Don’t be alarmed by the large quantity of herbs – they’re what give the salad its distinctive colour.Continue reading “Tabouleh”

Ratatouille

This popular mediterranean vegetable stew is originally from Nice, its name derived from Occitan ratatolha, which comes in turn from Latin (natch). Recipes and cooking methods differ widely, but common ingredients include tomato, garlic, onion, courgette, aubergine, pepper, and various green herbs. Sometimes you’ll find saffron or olives included, and the process might involve cookingContinue reading “Ratatouille”

Double Dips

Two recipes in one post again this week because neither feels substantial enough to justify a post in itself. There are countless possible variations upon both of these dips and you should feel free to experiment. As a snack or appetizer they can be accompanied by raw vegetables, toast, pitta bread or tortilla chips. TheyContinue reading “Double Dips”

Carluccio’s Carrots

In 2001, just before I went on maternity leave, one of my Year 9 tutees gave me a signed copy of Antonio Carluccio’s newly-published book ‘Vegetables’. His simple recipe for carrots with garlic has accompanied almost every roast dinner we have eaten since, and is the reason I break out into a cold sweat whenContinue reading “Carluccio’s Carrots”

Greek Bean Stew

Take the plunge and dip into your stockpile with this cheap, nutritious combination of store-cupboard ingredients. It requires some forethought (soaking the beans overnight) but you could use tinned ones if you forget. Serve with bread or turn into a complete one-pot meal by adding 2 large handfuls of pasta 20 minutes before the endContinue reading “Greek Bean Stew”

Bruschetta

Roasted pepper and cannellini bruschetta This uses fridge and store cupboard staples that keep well, and it never fails to delight guests. Ottolenghi’s original recipe calls for dried cannellini beans, which require overnight soaking and long cooking, but I’ve found that canned beans work just as well. Apart from the toasting of the bread, allContinue reading “Bruschetta”

Lake Palace Aubergines

Is this recipe responsible for converting the vegetable-sceptic Zita? It’s another one inspired by Madhur Jaffrey, who gives it the verbose title ‘The Lake Palace Hotel’s Aubergine Cooked in the Pickling Style’. Works well as a meal on its own, with rice, raitha and chutney, or to accompany a more varied Indian meal. It’s alsoContinue reading “Lake Palace Aubergines”

Spinach & Lentils

Originally an actress, Madhur Jaffrey became a household name in the UK in the 1980s as an authority on Indian cookery. We cooked loads of her dishes at home and several have become family staples. Spinach & lentils, which I’ve adapted over the years, is cheap and nutritious (sorry, Zita) and makes a great mealContinue reading “Spinach & Lentils”