Cauliflower Salad

Another great recipe from Jerusalem by Ottolenghi – I made a few minor changes.

1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
5 TBSP olive oil
3 large celery stalk, cut on an angle into 1/4-inch slices
1/3 c hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1/3 c small flat-leaf parsley leaves, picked
1/2 pomegranate seeds
Generous 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Generous 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets (1 1/2 pounds total)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 large celery stalk, cut on an angle into 1/4-inch slices (2/3 cup total)
5 tablespoons hazelnuts, with skins
1/3 cup small flat-leaf parsley leaves, picked
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (from about 1/2 medium pomegranate)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 TBSP sherry vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix the cauliflower with 3 TBSP olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and some black pepper. Spread out in a roasting pan and roast on the top oven rack 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 set aside to cool.

Add nuts to the cauliflower, along with the remaining oil and the rest of the ingredients. Stir, taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6 – 8


Saffron Rice

I’m working my way though all of Ottolenghi’s cookbooks. I love his dishes – quick, easy and packed with flavor! You can use currents in place of barberries.

2 1/2 TBSP unsalted butter
2 c brown basmati rice, rinsed under cold water and drained well
2 1/3 c boiling water
1 tsp saffron threads, soaked in 3 tablespoons boiling water for 30 minutes
1/4 c dried barberries, soaked for a few minutes in boiling water with a pinch of sugar
2 TBSP dill, coarsely chopped
4 TBSP tarragon, coarsely chopped
1/2 c crushed pistachios, lightly toasted
salt and freshly pepper

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the rice, making sure the grains are well coated in butter. Add the boiling water, 1 tsp salt and some pepper. Mix well, cover with a tightly fitting lid, and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes.

Remove the rice pan from the heat. All the water will have even absorbed by the rice. Pour saffron water over one side of the rice, covering about one-quarter of the surface and leaving the majority of it white. Cover the pan immediately and reseal tightly with the lid. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes.

Drain the barberries and stir them in, followed by the herbs and most of the pistachios, leaving a few to garnish. Mix well. Fluff the rice with a fork. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer the rice to a shallow serving bowl and scatter the remaining pistachios on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6 – 8

Leek and Beef Meatballs

Another amazing dish from Jerusalem by Ottolenghi! I made a few minor changes.

6 leeks
1 lb ground beef
1 c bread crumbs
2 large eggs
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 TBSP oil
1 ¼ c chicken stock
1/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
Greek yogurt
1 TBSP fresh chopped parsley

Cut the leeks into 3/4 inch slices, rinse well, and steam them for about 20 minutes until completely soft. Drain and leave to cool, then squeeze out any residual water with a tea towel then roughly chop the leeks by hand.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the leeks, meat, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, and pepper. Form the mix into meatballs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat oil over medium high heat in a large, heavy bottomed frying pan (with a lid). Sear the patties on both sides until golden brown.

Pour over enough stock to almost, but not quite cover the patties. Add the lemon juice and ½ tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

When the meatballs are done cooking, remove the lid and cook for a few more minutes, if needed, until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat and sit aside to cool down. Serve with a dollop of the yogurt and a sprinkle of the parsley.

Serves 6.