Tag Archives: Ottolenghi

Roasted Cauliflower, Hazelnut and Pomegranate Salad

Roasted Cauliflower, Hazelnut and Pomegranate Salad

Last week, I promised you that I’d now found two whole ways in which I don’t dislike cauliflower anymore (the first being smother it in cheese!), and here I am with that second method: unsurprisingly, roast it in the oven at high heat. It’s a popular means of preparing cauliflower these days, and for very good reason.

Roasted Cauliflower, Hazelnut and Pomegranate Salad

This is really one of the best winter salads I’ve discovered yet. Roasting cauliflower really does make it well, good! It brings out this deep, non-bland flavor and turns the texture into crunchy yet soft inside. This salad absolutely upstaged the main dish. The sweet-tart flavor of the pomegranate seeds were a perfect foil for the slight bitterness of the cauliflower. It’s really this perfect, hearty, cold weather salad that works any night of the week. Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower, Hazelnut and Pomegranate Salad

Source: Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
5 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced on an angle
5 tbs chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 tbs sherry vinegar
1 ½ tsp maple syrup

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F.
On a rimmed baking sheet, mix the cauliflower with 3 tbs olive oil, plus salt and black pepper to taste. Spread out in a single layer and roast for 25 to 35 minutes, until the cauliflower is crisp and parts of it have turned golden brown. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let it cool down.
Add the hazelnuts to the cauliflower, along with the remaining 2 tbs olive oil and the rest of the ingredients. Toss well, then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve immediately.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Pecan

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Pecan

With less than two weeks to go until December 25th, I’m guessing that most of us are starting to think about menu planning – I know I definitely am. Here I’m offering up a side dish we should all consider serving for our holiday meal. It’s easy, it’s unexpected, and of course, it’s delicious.

This is one of those side dishes you sit down to eat and don’t think much of, until you realize you have been ignoring those around you and absolutely scarfing it for the past five minutes. And then you wonder how uncouth it would be to take seconds of it even though you’ve touched nothing else on your plate. I really can’t say enough good things about it.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Pecan

I absolutely loved the mixture of the savory, grassy herbs with the sweetness of the potatoes and the maple syrup. The crunch of the pecans lends a needed contrast with the softness of the sweet potatoes, and truth be told, I wasn’t sure how to feel about leaving the skin on the potatoes until I tasted it; rest assured, it’s wonderful. Interesting, unexpected, and balances out the sweet notes with a little bit of “roughness”.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Pecan

Highly, highly recommend this one. Enjoy!

Source: Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:
2 medium to large sweet potatoes
3 tbs olive oil
4 tbs pecans
4 scallions, thinly sliced
4 tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 tbs dried cranberries
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

DRESSING:
4 tbs olive oil
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs sherry vinegar
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs orange juice
1 scant tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Do not peel the sweet potatoes! Wash them, dry them, then cut them into ¾-inch cubes. Spread them out on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and mix well with your hands. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, shaking the pan well about halfway through.
On a separate baking sheet, toast the pecans for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and chop coarsely.
Make the DRESSING: whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
When the potatoes are done, transfer them to a large bowl while still hot. Add the scallions, parsley, cilantro, pepper flakes, pecans, and cranberries. Pour the dressing over and toss gently to coat (you may not need all the dressing!). Season to taste, then serve at once or at room temperature. It’s even pretty good leftover and cold.

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

Around six or so years ago, Matt and I decided to embrace seasonal eating. We were convinced of all the compelling yet, well, preachy arguments in favor of it, like reducing carbon footprints and all that, but I think my favorite part about it is admittedly quite self-serving: in-season produce just plain tastes better and is more pleasurable to eat.

Like asparagus. Years ago, I mistakenly thought asparagus could and should be eaten year-round, so I did just that – solely for the health benefits – and for years I found it to be mostly bitter and soggy. Let’s just say that asparagus and I turned our relationship right around when I discovered that duh, if you only eat it in the spring when it’s locally grown and in-season, it tastes kind of amazing! What a concept, right?

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

Since we now eschew it at least eight months out of the year, when it is in its tasty prime I go a little nuts with it, cooking and eating as much as I can before it goes back to its sad, flaccid, not-in-season-anymore state. And I must admit, I’m generally not terribly creative with it. I find that it serves as a perfect side dish for any number of proteins, and all it needs it a roast in the oven, or a trip to the grill or a hot sauté pan. Some salt and black pepper and a small pat of butter.

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

I wouldn’t blog such unoriginality though – I didn’t tell anyone anything they didn’t already know. Instead, I do make sure some of my asparagus cooking is less mundane, and this one I’m happy to share with you. I’ve always found salmon and asparagus to be a perfect pairing whenever possible, and apparently I’m not alone. Ottolenghi. The guy knows what he’s doing. This is beautiful. Enjoy!

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Bruschetta

I made this recipe twice, the first time with fat asparagus and the second time with the pencil-thin stalks. With the fat version, I used a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus stalks, then tossed them with a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste. The thin asparagus version is written below, which is basically blanching the asparagus quickly in salted water, then tossing in a bowl with the same salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil and splash of lemon juice.

{One Year Ago: Pork Neck Bone Stew; Nocello-Spiked Carrot Cupcakes; Vegan Carrot Soup; Carrot Pie; Whiskey Glazed Carrots; Carrot Cake Pancakes; Banana Chocolate Whoopie Pies; Crispy Cornmeal Waffles with Spinach Queso Sauce; Joanne Chang’s Perfect Waffles with a Lemony Twist; Fudge Chocolate Waffles; Chicken and Waffles for Two}
{Two Years Ago: Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Ice Cream; “Old Fashioned” Snickerdoodles; Greek Salad with Chickpeas; Meatless Muffulettas; Easy Adobo Chicken; Malted Waffles; Chicken Pot Pie}

Source: slightly adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:
Olive oil
12 oz. slab of salmon fillet, skin on
4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
4 juniper berries
½ cup rose wine, or another light red wine of your choice
1 lemon, halved
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced thickly
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled but not smashed, cut in half lengthwise
5 oz. pencil-thin asparagus spears
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
Lemon wedges, or torn parsley, or torn chervil for garnish, if desired

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Drizzle a small (8×8”) baking dish with olive oil. Place the salmon skin side down in the dish, then add the bay leaves and juniper berries. Pour the wine over the salmon, then squeeze half the lemon over the salmon as well. Sprinkle the flesh of the salmon with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the salmon flakes with a fork but is still a little pink in the center. Remove the foil and let cool – not all the way to room temperature, but you definitely want it warm, not hot.
Meanwhile, lay the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil if desired, then toast in the oven about 10 minutes. While they are still hot, rub the bread slices with the cut side of the garlic. Let the bread cool down a little bit too.
Trim off the woody ends of the asparagus, then cut into roughly 2-inch lengths. Drop those lengths into boiling salted water and blanch for about 1 minute. Drain in a colander and run them under cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer the asparagus pieces to a small bowl and hit them with a splash of lemon juice and a small drizzle of olive oil. Toss to combine.
When the salmon has cooled enough, flake it into nice chunks with your hands and spread it out on a plate.
Spread the toasts liberally with the cream cheese. Place some salmon chunks on top, then arrange a few asparagus pieces on top of the salmon. Finish with a grind of black pepper, and you can garnish with chopped herbs or serve with lemon wedges if you like.

Pear Amaretto Loaf Cake

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The past several years in a row, Matt and I have done the apple picking thing. We’ve driven upstate, admired the changing leaves on our peaceful drive, then stopped for lunch in the area of the orchard. Then we’d descend on the orchard and fill up two giant bags with apples, various different kinds (Fuji, honeycrisp, gala…). And then, we would get home and of course make the inevitable discovery that we’d picked too many apples. Adding insult to injury is the fact that neither of us like applesauce.

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This year, we decided to skip this venture. Something in me just wasn’t up for it this year; maybe it’s a sign we need to find a new orchard – the one we’ve visited has a cover band playing every year, and it’s the only time I’ve ever heard a Maroon 5 song in the same set as “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” And then there’s the whole apple cider doughnut situation-thing.

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And of course, it’s entirely possible that my readers may remember the plethora abundance of apple recipes I posted with my stash last year, and were perhaps hoping there would not be a repeat. There won’t. Throughout this whole apple explosion of the last two years, I realized I’ve neglected the lovely pear, apple’s oft-forgotten cousin, and thought I’d take a small step to remedy that. With cake. Because, what else? I mean, really. I do feel I should offer a small and sheepish apology for how many bowls you’ll use to make this cake, but I promise you, it’s well worth it. So moist and delicious. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Apple Cheddar Quiche, French Apple Tart}

Source: adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:

CAKE:
2 large Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and chopped
5 tbs toasted walnuts, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbs Amaretto liqueur
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp kosher salt
6 ½ tsp slivered almonds
3 large eggs
¾ cup sunflower or canola oil
1 cup plus 2 ½ tbs granulated sugar

GLAZE:
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tbs Amaretto liqueur

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Grease a standard loaf pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the pears, walnuts, lemon zest, and Amaretto. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Add the almonds to a mini food processor and pulse until finely ground; but be careful not to turn it into almond butter. Add the ground almonds to the flour mixture and whisk to combine.
Separate 2 of the eggs, reserving the whites in one bowl and transferring the yolks to another small to medium bowl. Add the third whole egg to the yolks and whisk to combine.
In yet another bowl, briskly whisk together the oil and sugar, then whisk in the egg yolk mixture. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the oil and sugar mixture. Whisk to combine, then gently fold in the pear mixture.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold them into the cake batter. It’s okay if a few white streaks remain, you want to avoid overmixing as that will make the cake dry.
Pour the cake batter into your prepared pan. Bake 45-60 minutes, until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool, then remove the cake from the pan.
Now make the glaze. Simply add the confectioners’ sugar and Amaretto to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour the glaze liberally over the cake. Slice and serve.

Smoky Scrambled Duck Eggs with Tomatoes on Toast Points

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I am so predictable. Really, I am. Every time I get a new cookbook, I make a beeline for any recipe that can even remotely resemble a Tex-Mex dish, and that usually ends up what I make first. And I kid you not, this is every time. And I usually don’t even realize I’m doing it until the meal is on the table.

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I mean, seriously, take it from me to buy Plenty, a book by an Israeli-born Londoner, and find one of the *few* Tex-Mex-ish recipes in there to make first. You really wouldn’t even expect such a thing from Ottolenghi, but the man’s genius seems to know no bounds, and yes, he has a sort-of version of migas.

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Only he uses duck eggs. (Which you can find at Whole Foods, and no, they are not cheap). I’d never experimented with duck eggs before, and I must say, they are a bit different from chicken eggs. I get why people go gaga over them. They are larger, so you don’t need as many, and they are richer and more luxurious.

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This dish is great as is of course, but I firmly believe you could use chicken eggs with spectacular results. If you’re looking to get all fancy and impress someone, definitely splurge for the duck eggs, but it’s not wholly necessary. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Apple-Pork Ragout over Pappardelle}

Source: adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:
2 dried chipotle chiles, stems removed and seeds shaken out
2 thick slices sourdough bread, regular or whole wheat
Softened butter, for spreading
1 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 scallions, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
3 duck eggs, or 4 large chicken eggs
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
Sour cream, for serving

Directions:
Place the dried chipotles in a small stockpot over medium-high heat. Toast for about a minute, flipping once, until you can just smell them. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, shut off the heat and cover the pot. Let it sit for 20 minutes. When the chiles have rehydrated and are soft and pliable, transfer them to a cutting board and dice.
Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Dry toast the sourdough slices on both sides until golden brown and crisped. Remove them to a plate and immediately smear the butter onto one side. Set aside, tenting with foil to keep warm.
Wipe the bread crummies out of the skillet, then place it back on medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan, then the garlic and scallions. When they begin to turn golden, increase the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes and chipotle. Cook, stirring frequently, another 2 to 3 minutes.
Break the eggs into a bowl and beat gently with salt and black pepper to taste. Pour the eggs into the skillet and cook, stirring moderately, until they have reached your desired scrambled egg consistency. Runny eggs will only take 30 to 60 seconds, longer if you want them firmer.
As soon as the eggs are done, shut off the heat. Place the toasts on serving plates, spoon the eggs on top and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately with the sour cream on the side or on top, if desired.

Champagne Chocolate Truffles

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Yesterday I made these insanely scrumptious little chocolate bites for my newest niece, who was born to my sister yesterday morning!!! [Well, okay, I didn’t make them for her, not literally anyway. No worries, no one in my family is feeding these to a newborn.]

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But yes, I made these in her honor! Miss Hannah Rose made her way into this world smoothly and safely, and everyone is doing very well. I’m so excited to have another niece (between my side and Matt’s, she is Niece 4!!), and I cannot wait to meet her in person. Welcome to the world, Hannah!

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Since champagne usually signals celebration, these elegant little bites seemed perfect for this wonderful occasion. They are supremely delicious, quite decadent and pretty rich. I found I didn’t want more than one at any given sitting. So they would be perfect for setting out at a cocktail party for a sweet ending.

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Recipe notes are in the recipe; this one appears complicated but really isn’t. A perfect way to celebrate a new baby! Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Rainier Cherry Mojitos}

Source: adapted from The Ottolenghi Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:
2 oz. milk chocolate
12 oz. dark chocolate, divided
2/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
5 ½ tbs champagne
2 tbs plus 2 tsp brandy
½ cup cocoa powder, for dusting

Directions:
Chunk up the milk chocolate and 7 oz. of the dark chocolate into little pieces. My preferred method is to leave the chocolate bar in is wrapping and beat it up with a meat mallet. You can also chop it with a sharp knife.
Place a glass bowl over a small pot of simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. You can also use a double boiler if you have one. Add the milk chocolate plus the 7 oz. dark chocolate chunks to the bowl and let them melt, stirring with a spatula as you go. Once melted, add the champagne and brandy, and stir vigorously until the mixture blends again. Now add the butter, a little at a time, stirring to combine it as it melts. Once all the butter has been added and melted, remove the chocolate from the heat source.
Grease a small glass baker (I used an 8×8” square) and pour the hot chocolate mixture in. Refrigerate for a good 3 hours, until very firm.
When the chocolate is ready, chunk up the remaining 5 oz. of dark chocolate, and place a clean glass bowl over the same skillet of simmering water. Melt the chocolate until smooth, then remove it from the heat source. Let it cool about 10-15 minutes, until it is no longer steaming but still stirrable. Spread the cocoa powder onto a plate.
Remove the firm chocolate mixture from the fridge. Use a cookie scoop or melon baller to scoop small rounds of the firm chocolate, then drop those round truffles into the melted dark chocolate. Use a fork or 2 toothpicks to roll it around and coat it, then carefully lift it out and drop it into the cocoa powder. Roll it around to lightly coat. Remove to a plate. Repeat until you have used up all the firm chocolate. If the chocolate is getting too soft to work with, simply stick it back in the fridge for about 30 minutes. If your dark chocolate hardens during that time, zap it in the microwave for a few seconds and stir.
Once all your truffles are assembled, stick the plate in the refrigerator for about an hour so they can set up. Serve chilled or room temperature, your choice.