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AN ADAPATED OTTOLENGHI SERIES…BECAUSE OTTOLENGHI

And adapted because we can’t always get our hands on the same produce, and whilst on holidays it was just about enjoy the cooking, and following recipes to switch off (sometimes the creating your own thing switches on work mode – work on holidays = no thanks) so whatever guided me and was available was just perfect.

Like….

CASTELLUCCIO LENTILS WITH TOMATOES AND GORGONZOLA 

Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty, p222

Base ingredients: red onion, red wine vinegar, castellucio lentils, olive oil, garlic, chervil, chives, dill, gorgonzola, black pepper, tomatoes, thyme, balsamic vinegar

This recipe has all sorts of holy hell balls EPIC factor going on in it. I would make this for big events in a heart beat if more people loved gorgonzola, which is admittedly a fairly strong cheese. However, when you eat gorgonzola in this recipe it balances amazingly welly with the onion, lentils and heavenly tomatoes. Slow roasted tomatoes are my personal fave, I learnt to make them years ago working with the very inspiring Kate White of Katering. I’ve used brown tinned lentils in this as castellucio just weren’t quite on the ready at the Kiama IGA and they worked beautifully. Also beefed up the sides with some field mushrooms roasted with olive oil and some chilli flakes.

 

ASPARAGUS MIMOSA…which became broccolini mimosa..

Yotam, Ottolenghi, Plenty, p182

Because I can’t bear to purchase asparagus from Mexico when I am holidaying in Kangaroo Valley, or Bondi for that matter. Fresh produce from the other side of the world just doesn’t feel fresh anymore. Sooooo the base ingredient being asparagus had a little flip on its head!

Ottolenghi original recipe calls for eggs (boiled and grated), 2 bunches asparagus (blanched), olive oil, capers, sea salt and pepper. Simple right?

A couple of changes to make it ready for our ingredient avails – sauteed broccolini in the pan – winner! Then because there might have been some extra olive oil lingering in the pan and you know #holidays I popped the capers in there to fry them until crispy… OMG OMG OMG. Have you tried this? It’s my cheeky vice (with a glass of red wine and piece of cheese, maybe some sourdough with EVOO…) – SALTY FACTOR! Again not your everyday snack but so good on this! You can just toss the capers on the top otherwise. Really was a surprising winner this recipe – really love how basic it was but all the flavours exploded together like a New Year’s firecracker.

 

 

SQUASH WITH CHILLI YOGHURT AND CORIANDER SAUCE 

Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty More – p193

Ingredients: butternut squash, cinnamon, olive oil, coriander stalks and leaves, garlic, pumpkin seeds, greek yoghurt sriracha or savoury chilli sauce

Made the mistake of not actually reading the method on this one before gathering all the ingredients together and then found that the herb paste requires a bit of blending / processing which our little cottage didn’t have. Adaptor hat on!

Rather than blend the herbs and drizzle over the yoghurt as the recipe calls I finely chopped and popped the herbs directly into the yoghurt and drizzled the yoghurt on top followed by Sriracha and pumpkin seeds.

Truth = I’ve never really tried sriracha so it was kind of a treat to learn about its flavour profile! It’s not the healthiest of sauces but every once in a while is ok.

Also – had forgotten how much I love cinnamon on roast veggies and this recipe was a wonderful reminder – super easy too and so impressive with flavour (although my pic in the evening probably isn’t doing it much justice)!

 

AUBERGINE POTATO AND TOMATO

Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty More, p216

Base ingredients : eggplant, tomatoes, red onion, potatoes, herbs

Started to write “didn’t adapt this one too much” because it looks as though I haven’t but actually I did a little… Ottolenghi fries his eggplant, but we popped ours in the oven to save on the oily fry factor and it worked as it should – yew! Plus he called for boiling the potatoes before popping them in the fry pan but I just popped them in the oven also to save on utensils #lazy.

The final adaptation was the dressing using tahini, lemon juice, garlic and some eggs to finish. I omitted both these as we’d had a day out and about and just felt like something verrrry simple. Twas all in all delicious and to be honest even better the next day when it was a juicy and had marinated a little overnight.

It’s much like a roast of eggplant and potatoes with a juicy tomato salsa on top. Happy days. (Pardon the shoddy pic – not much light left for a good one!)

 

LENTILS RADICCHIO WALNUTS AND MANUKA HONEY 

Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty More, p138

Made this one on Christmas Day for the family (well was Boxing Day which was our main event celebs). And it was one of the more adapted recipes I’ve done of Ottolenghi’s so I feel it’s ok to share in full! All due to credit to the master Ottolenghi who inspired it of course!

His original recipe calls for puy lentils, bay leaves, red wine vinegar, manuka, turmeric, walnuts, radicchio, pecorino, basil, dill, parsley, salt and pepper.

Mine went like this:

LENTILS WATERCRESS CARROTS AND HONEY TURMERIC WALNUTS 

Serves 4

200g black lentils (or you can use 1x 400g tin cooked brown lentils)

2 bay leaves

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

500g carrots, washed, ends trimmed and sliced into thin strips

120ml olive oil

100g raw honey

1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

100g walnuts

1 bunch watercress, leaves picked with a some stem remaining

60g pecorino

1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 cup dill leaves, roughly  chopped

1/2 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped

sea salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 180C and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Place the lentils in medium saucepan, cover with water, add bay leaves and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well and return to pan. If using tinned lentils, then warm them gently in a pan. Whisk together vinegar, 45ml olive oil,(approx 1/3 cup), half the honey and a good pinch sea salt and black pepper until the honey is a slightly runny. Stir into lentils while hot, and leave to cool a little, then discard bay leaves.

Whilst lentils are cooking, toss the carrots in the baking tray with 2 tablespoons olive oil and place in top of oven to cook. Put the remaining honey, chilli flakes, turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt in a small bowl. Mix well, adding just enough water – 1 teaspoon approx – to create a thick paste. Add walnuts and stir until well coating. Spread them onto another baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and roast in bottom of oven for about 20 minutes, stirring once until golden and crunchy but still a little sticky. Remove both the carrots and walnuts from the oven at the same time. Remove walnuts from baking paper as soon as they are cool enough to touch.

When ready to serve, layer the ingredients together in a large bowl or serving dish and devour!

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline Alwill, is an accredited nutritionist, author, founder of Brown Paper Nutrition and recently launched vegetarian meal delivery service Brown Paper Eats She is passionately committed to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and families. Jacqueline is mum to her 8 year old boy - Jet.

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