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.

 

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Recipe

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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Tomato Based Risotto


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I have to admit winter is my favourite month to cook. The cooler weather makes me hungry and I spend more time in the kitchen when it is not favourable outside. There is something so comforting about a hot healthy meal on a cold winter’s evening.

One of my favourite meals to prepare is risotto and I find it very easy to whip one up if we have more around our table than I was expecting. There is a myth that risotto is difficult to cook. I have never found this, and there is no need to stand over the pot stirring the whole time just as long as it doesn’t boil or stick to the bottom.

This recipe is for a tomato based risotto. You can add any vegetables that are in season. I added fresh peas and zucchini and some left over roasted pumpkin that I blended into the stock and tomato puree. Fresh peas take a little longer to cook than the frozen ones or canned but they are so full of flavour and I don’t mind if the peas are a little crisp.

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Here is the recipe.

Ingredients

1 can of tomato puree
1 litre vegetable stock
100g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 rosemary sprig, finely chopped
250g risotto rice
4 pieces of well cooked pumpkin (mine was pre roasted)
1 cup of shelled fresh peas. (you can substitute frozen or canned peas)
1 zucchini sliced finely
Some Basil, roughly torn
5 tbsp grated parmesan or more if you like.  Reserve some for decorating before serving.
Freshly ground pepper

Method

Firstly put the oil and butter into a large saucepan and melt and stir together.  Add the diced onion, garlic and rosemary.

Now add the Aborio rice and stir until every grain is coated in the mixture.  (There are a few types of risotto rice but Aborio is the easiest to find). Stir for a little while longer and then add the stock and the tomato puree all at once. This is also when I added the cooked pumpkin mashing it into the stock mixture while stirring. Once the pumpkin is pureed into the liquid you can leave the risotto on a low heat, just stirring now and then.

Prepare you shelled peas, zucchini and torn basil. After around five minutes add the vegetables and half of the torn basil and stir again.  The rest of the basil can be used for garnish. Eventually the stock and tomato puree will start to be absorbed by the rice. You can add salt and pepper to your taste at this point. I don’t usually add salt as the cheese is salty enough.

The only tricky part in making risotto is making sure you keep enough liquid around the rice to keep it from going “gluggy”. You can do this by keeping an eye on it while it is cooking and if you feel the liquid is not enough you can add half a cup of water at a time until it is the consistency you want.

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I always make too much risotto and end up with left overs. You can just re heat in a pan with a little water or stock or my other favourite thing to do is to make risotto balls. I have the recipe on an earlier post but here are a few photos of how they come together. You leave the risotto overnight in the fridge and then roll it into balls and leave those in the fridge for a few hours. Then coat and fry. These ones had an olive in the middle.

Delicious and great as a lunch box treat.

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Moroccan Carrot Soup from Herbies Spices


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Herbies Spices sent me a lovely package of spices with some low calorie recipes. As you can see by my recipes I am not usually someone who watches my calories however I tried this recipe and thought it was so good that I would put it up on Everydaycook. The best sort of low calorie recipes are the ones that are full of flavour.

It’s the first day on Winter today and a perfect time to start enjoying soups. Full of goodness and so easy to make, they are a family favourite. I often have a big pot of the stove simmering when they arrive home. Have you tried Herbies Spices before? I have often suggested purchasing one of their spice packets, it is a great Australian owned company and they will mail to you. The essential spice for this recipe is Ras El Hanout. It is a blend of Moroccan spices including saffron, cumin, ginger and many more. I use it in my tagines too.

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Here is the recipe for you to enjoy.

 Ingredients

1 banana shallot finely diced

200g of carrots roasted in the oven with a little olive oil

2 cups of stock (vegetable if you want to keep this vegan or vegetarian)

1/2 tsp Olive oil

1/2 tsp Ras el Hanout (or more if you prefer)

2 tbsp of coriander leaves chopped

1 tbsp of greek yoghurt (make this coconut yoghurt is you want the soup to  be vegan)

Method

Place the chopped carrots in the oven on 180 degrees and roast until caramelized.

Sauté shallot in oil over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add roasted carrots and Ras el Hanout and stir for one minute.

Add Stock and reduct to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the carrots are very tender. Then stir in chopped coriander leaves.

Let cool slightly and then puree in a food processor and season to taste. You can serve with a dollop of yoghurt that can be stir through.

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