Another great recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi

IMG_5529 pumpkinAt a time when cooking, cook books, restaurants and ingredients are so popular, when gadgets and gizmos are everywhere telling you how they will make our lives easier. It is easy to forget that there are two things that money can’t buy when it comes to making food taste amazing. Love and time. It can be love for the product, love for the person you are serving, love of cooking but there needs to be some feeling going into the preparation and you need time. It doesn’t matter how quickly you can cook a meal, it tastes better when you have set aside some time to prepare it. All over the world there are people who don’t consider themselves culinary geniuses taking time to prepare a nutritious meal for their loved ones. I know you all are yelling at me but I don’t have time!  The great thing is that you can build meals that will work for the week. Like if you make a spaghetti bolognese sauce one night it can be the lasagne sauce later in the week. If you roast these ginger tomatoes for this salad they will be wonderful with another meal later in the week so make sure you make plenty. Try thinking ahead and using the meals ingredients as building blocks. With this recipe the meal is great on its own or a side dish. Can even be eaten cold for lunch.


IMG_5649 pumpkin 2


Yotam Ottolenghi’s Butternut Squash with Ginger Tomatoes and Lime Yogurt
Serves 4

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed (we call this butternut pumpkin)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
6 plum tomatoes, halved
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 small red chili, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup/120 grams plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 organic lime
Handful fresh corianer or basil leaves
2 tablespoons roasted, chopped cashews
1 tablespoon fried shallots, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 465 F/240 C. Cut the squash in 1-inch slices and toss with two tablespoons of the oil, two teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on a large, parchment-lined baking tray and roast for 35-40 minutes, until golden-brown. Set aside to cool.

2. Turn down the oven to 340 F/170 C. Put the tomato halves skin-side down on a parchment-lined baking tray, sprinkle with a quarter teaspoon of salt, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and roast for 80 minutes, until softened.

4. Put all the ingredients for the lime yoghurt in a small bowl, add half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, mix well and put in the fridge until ready to serve.

5. Spread out the squash on a large platter and arrange the tomatoes in between. Drizzle over the yoghurt, sprinkle over the cilantro, cashews and shallots, if using, and serve.




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Roast pumkin, chicken, avocado, chickpea salad with Moroccan hummus dressing

Even in March it is still very hot and humid in Brisbane. To be honest we have all had enough of summer by now! Still it’s a good excuse to put together a few last salads before the cooler weather arrives and what better combination than Roast Pumpkin, Chickpeas and Chicken? The great thing about this salad is it can be rolled inside pita bread for your lunch the next day too.




750 grams of Japanese pumpkin cut into wedges

three spring onions, chopped

1 firm avocado cut into small pieces

2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded

200 grams of mixed salad leaves

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/2 cup of hummus

cumin seeds

chopped parsley

salt and pepper

lemon wedges


Cut Avocado into slices and set aside.

Place pumpkin wedges on a tray with a little olive oil and roast until brown and tender at 170 degrees. Cool in the fridge and then cut into smaller pieces.

Place chicken breasts in a fry pan with a little olive oil and fry until cooked through. Let cool and then shred into bite size pieces.

Drain chickpeas from the can in a colander and run fresh water through them.

Combine the roasted pumpkin, spring onion, feta, chickpeas and mixed salad in large bowl. Combine the vinegar and remaining oil and hummus and cumin seeds in a small bowl. When well combined  pour over the salad and toss through. Place shredded chicken and chopped parsley on top of the salad and sprinkle with a few more cumin seeds. Salt and Pepper to taste.

You can serve this with warm flat bread.


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Quinoa, pumpkin and red cabbage salad


I am in Sydney at the moment. I have a little work down here and it makes a great excuse to visit my daughter and enjoy this wonderful city. I am writing recipes for Thomas Dux a great grocer that stocks fantastic produce and products like quinoa and cheeses and everything someone like me would love to cook with. Keep an eye out for this and other recipes on their website and in store.

Oh how I love this city. The harbour is so glorious to cross over in the train each day. I find it hard to imagine that commuters don’t want to stop texting on the phone and admire the view. I feel very comfortable here as I lived here from about 16 until I was 24. Although there are new roads and new buildings the basics are the same and I can find my way around without any problems.

I have cooked with quinoa before and many of you tell me that you have not had success cooking with it, so here are the essentials for making sure it works. There are many types of quinoa, for this recipe I chose one with three different coloured grains however they all cook the same way. Quinoa must be washed until the water is clear. You need a fine sieve that you can throw the grain into after washing in a big bowl of water. The water should be clear not milky before you start cooking with it. The proportions should be one part quinoa two parts water.  Add salt and a little olive oil to the water while boiling then bring down to a simmer until the grain in tender (around 10 -15 minutes) Quinoa is an amazing grain, gluten-free, high in protein and full of animo acids.




  • 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 pieces of prosciutto roasted in the oven until crispy and then broken into pieces.
  • Baby spinach
  • 1/4 red cabbage sliced finely
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed several times until water is cleared, drained
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 baby tomatoes cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • roasted pistachios and roasted hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar


Pre-heat oven to 180C  fan-forced. Place pumpkin, oil and seasoning in a bowl. Toss to coat. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once, or until golden and tender.

Meanwhile, place quinoa and 1 1/2 cups cold water in a saucepan over high heat. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Drain and let cool.

Place prosciutto in the oven on a baking tray at 170 degrees and bake until crispy, let cool and then break into small pieces.

In a large bowl place spinach, red cabbage, parsley, pumpkin, tomatoes toss lightly so ingredients are mixed. Add to this drained cooled quinoa, crispy prosciutto, and roasted nuts and dress with oil and vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.


This is a photo of the salad before the pumpkin.

Also you might notice I have sprinkled a little roasted black rice on the salad. I was given a meal a Three Blue Ducks with this used as a garnish and they were kind enough to share how to make it with me. All you do is put some black rice in a very hot fry pan and wait for it to do a little jump and it is popped. The taste is so nutty and delicious.

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