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May 2011 COTM, PLENTY: Green Things, Green Beans


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  1. This is the reporting thread for this Month's Cookbook of the Month, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. The chapter is: Green Things, Green Beans

    1. Green pancakes with/out lime butter*, p. 150 (UK edition)

      In which I detail my intentional change to the recipe, as well as my unintentional error.

      This is another in the vegetable pancake genre. A pancake batter is made, and to it are added steamed, squeezed, and chopped spinach leaves, lots of sliced spring onions (scallions), and sliced fresh green chile (I used a large jalapeño), as well as ground cumin. He calls for self-r(a)ising flour as well as baking powder; as I had only plain flour, I looked up equivalencies and determined that 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder and a bit of salt would work for the 110g flour, in addition to the other 1 T. baking powder, however I only had 1 T. baking powder left. Oh well. Milk, more salt, an egg, and melted butter are called for, as well as a softly beaten egg white folded in. The pancakes are cooked in olive oil. I decided to use 2 whole eggs and skip the egg white, as I was pressed for time and wanted to increase the overall volume of batter slightly, adding a bit more flour if needed (it wasn't). Despite having a bit less baking soda than called for and not folding the egg white, these rose nicely. I didn't meaure the batter exactly, but probably used more like 3 T. per pancake than 2, and got around a dozen. Unfortunately, only later did I realize that I forgot to add the melted butter (see: pressed for time). I had intended to use half what was called for, which would still be an ounce or so. Oops.

      *He calls for a compound butter to be melted over the finished pancakes. Having decided I didn't want to add more butter (ha!) to my meal, I took inspiration from Breadcrumbs's serving of tzatziki with the vegetable pancakes in the Greenspan COTM and made a sauce of Greek yogurt, chopped cucumber, and the flavoring components called for in the lime butter: lime juice and zest, garlic, chile flakes, and salt and pepper (he also calls for a bit of cilantro, but I had none).

      I thought the pancakes were full of bright flavor from the spinach, scallions, and chile, and was happy with my egg jiggering. The cucumber-yogurt sauce was a nice complement to them, so kudos to Breadcrumbs for the pairing idea. Would they be improved by the addition of melted butter? No doubt about it; the texture was just a tad dry and lacked richness, given I had used lower-fat dairy. I look forward to making them again *with* butter in the batter.

      I have a photo, but will have to add it at a later point.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        Caitlin you must have read my mind because these are at the top of my list! I'll follow your lead w the eggs on this and, know I won't forget the "butta in the batta" thanks to you!! I've made notes based on your post and look forward to your photo too!

        Thanks for the shout-out on the tzatziki, we're totally addicted to it lately!!

        1. Mee Goreng p185

          Sounds promising, looks tasty, yet somehow fails to deliver.
          I began by marinating my tofu strips in kecap manis to avoid bland-soy-syndrome. Stir fried some onions and green beans until browning, added the tofu and let it sear in the bottom, hoping to obtain the highly desirable wok-hay stir fry flavour. That done, added bok choy and fresh egg noodles. I did not cook the noodles at all, they went straight into the wok. I should have at least let them have a quick dip in a pot o'boiling water, as it took a lot of extra water in the dish to rid the noodles of the starchy raw flour taste. A sauce containing sweet soy, soy sauce, coriander, cumin, chilli paste and water is added, as are bean sprouts. Done. Top with lettuce and crisp fried shallots.
          I had to add plenty of extra soy sauce and kecap manis to my bowl, hoping I would find a good balance. Never really did. The best part of the meal was, somewhat surprisingly, the soy product. My eldest offspring inhaled it, and then promptly declared a new love for tofu. So something good came out of this after all!

          Cucumber Salad with smashed garlic and ginger p.166

          This was as Mr.Ottolenghi described-"a dish shouting freshness". Sliced red onions are marinated with rice vinegar, sugar, oil and sesame oil. Ginger is pounded to a paste in a mortar with salt, and garlic is added and pounded until broken in small pieces. Sliced cukes are added, along with toasted sesame seeds and cilantro. Very nice. I will imagine that this would be a lovely topping for soba noodles. Would reduce the onion and garlic next time, they were very,very pungent. Nice and quick to prepare.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Allegra_K

            In our house, Mee Goreng, page 185, was a major winner and QUICK.

            There were a couple of modifications.

            I used no green beans, but had a big bunch (400 g) of choy sum. Threw in the stems toward the beginning and the leaves at the end with the sprouts.I think this was better than beans would be. Didnt marinate the tofu, no need- it browned a bit with the onions and took on plenty of flavor. I used the very skinny HK precooked noodles, recommended by my tofu dealer for this dish. They worked just fine, still firm to the tooth but not floury. I did add another tbst kejap manis and water to steam a bit more at the conclusion of cooking. I bought some malaysian sambal badjak and used that in place of the sambal oelek (too much like the chili garlic already in my frudge). It has dried shrimp and added a nice extra flavor. I skipped the shallots and lettuce and didnt miss them, with the added greens. We really loved this dish - more than ample for two people, and it came together in less than 15 min altogether. I was dubious about the coriander and cumin but they worked. Think a sprinkling of cilantro leaves would have been a nice garnish - the lemon was essential in picking up the flavors, and we enjoyed spooning in bits of the sambal badjak as well.

          2. Chard Cakes With Sorrel Sauce (from PLENTY)

            They were nice, but felt like more work than they were worth to me, mostly the washing, blanching, squeezing, chopping of a massive amount of chard. (I made a double batch for a party.) The vegetarians present were thrilled however, which was the desired intent -- having something a little special for a minority in a meat eating group. A (carnivore) friend remarked that these were self-conscious Good Vegetarian recipes. I like the sorrel-yogurt sauce very much -- very handy when sorrel is in season and you don't know what to do with it! Sorrel is very astringent and slightly lemony.

            1. When I see the words "plenty" and "green beans", I think of the year our green beans produced and produced... We canned our last green beans on Veteran's Day that year. My husband did most of the picking, I snapped and my son did the pressure cooker part. We canned 256 quarts that year. And,yes,we still have some and they're still yummy.

              1. Asparagus Mimosa – p. 182

                Another enticing photograph in the book and, some lovely looking asparagus at the market was all it took to convince me to try this recipe. I love eggs and asparagus together and the idea of inviting some capers to the party had me salivating!!

                This dish comes together fairly quickly. Eggs are hardboiled and grated. Asparagus is boiled to cook then drained, drizzled w olive oil and sprinkled with capers, salt, pepper and the grated eggs. Tada…you’re done!!

                I think this would make a lovely starter however tonight I served it as a side dish w some bistecca style grilled steaks. We started the meal w some antipasti that included two new recipes I tried from Michele Scicolone’s “The Antipasto Table” – the Mushrooms in Tomato and Anchovy Sauce and the Venetian-style Beans. Both were exceptional.

                We really enjoyed this dish and would be happy to have it again. A perfect spring dish and, now I’m two for two w this book!!

                5 Replies
                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  Breadcrumbs, I'm intrigued by that Venetian-style bean dish. Could you, would you paraphrase the recipe for me? Pretty Please. Also, are there many Venetian recipes in the Antipasto book?

                  Your dinner sounds scrumptious.

                  1. re: Gio

                    Hi Gio, happy to do this. I've done both dishes below as the mushrooms are amazing too. I'd highly recommend this book. I wouldn't say there were a lot of Venetian dishes in the book however there are salt cod recipes, and lots of recipes using fresh vegetables which is what drew me to the book. Not sure if you have any of MS's other books but she always includes headnotes w background info on the dish along w some great tips and stories. I love this book . . . its one I could cook from cover-to-cover. I just recently acquired it but have already decided to leave it in the kitchen (where shelf-space is at a premium!). Here's a link to the Harper Collins site w some recipes from the book so you can get a sense of her style. She's very clear and specific which I love:


                    Below I've paraphrased the recipes. MS does note that canned beans can be used in the Venetian dish if you wish. I had some dry romano beans in the pantry so I used those but I thought that was a good tip to mention as this would then be a very quick dish to pull together.

                    Venetian-Style Beans – p. 75 – The Antipasti Table by Michele Scicolone

                    One pound of cannellini beans are rinsed and soaked in cold water overnight. Oven is pre-heated to 300F. Beans are drained and placed in a Dutch oven covered w fresh water and garlic, a sprig of sage and a tbsp of evoo are added. Once beans have reached a simmer they are placed in the oven (covered) and cooked until the beans are very tender. In my case this took about an hour though MS does note that cooking times can vary by 1/2hr. Beans are drained and set aside.

                    Over medium low heat finely chopped garlic is cooked until golden in some olive oil before adding 5 anchovies (which I chopped), a couple of tablespoons of chopped parsley, 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. These ingredients are cooked for approx 3 mins before stirring in the beans to heat through. MS notes this dish can be served warm or, at room temperature. I served at room temp w a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Squisito!!

                    Mushrooms in Tomato and Anchovy Sauce – p. 35 - The Antipasti Table by Michele Scicolone

                    One pound of white button mushrooms are cleaned and halved or quartered into bite-sized pieces. Over medium heat, garlic is cooked in olive oil until fragrant then the mushrooms are added and cooked until they begin to brown ant the juices have evaporated (this took approx 15 mins in my case). At this point chopped tomatoes (2 medium – skin and seeds removed) are added along w 5 chopped anchovies and some fresh, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Ingredients are simmered until the sauce thickens then dish is plated and topped w additional parsley.

                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      Many thanks for both recipes Breadcrumbs, and for inspiring me to buy yet another cookbook. (`_')

                      Yes, I ordered Michele Scicoloni's "Antipasto" after reading the recipes... Love her method for preparing the beans.

                      1. re: Gio

                        I agree on the beans Gio; they smell and taste wonderful braised in the oven. I could have happily eaten them at that point but once they were incorporated w the remaining ingredients there really was a symphony of flavours. mr bc has already asked me to make some more!

                        Happy to have done my bit regarding your cookbook collection too! ; - )

                  2. re: Breadcrumbs

                    made the asparagus mimosa dish, excellent! I cut the spears into diagonal bite sized pieces for easier cooking and eating - it worked out extremely well. Also added a sprinkle of fresh tarragon since I had this. A very delicious and different (from some of the other) asparagus dishes I have been making. Agree that it would be a fine first course as opposed to a side dish..

                  3. Warm Glass Noodles and Edamame – p. 198

                    A lovely sweet, salty, spicy, sour noodle salad that was the perfect accompaniment to our grilled Asian chicken. We really enjoyed this dish and I’ll happily recommend it.

                    A sauce is made by combining grated ginger, lime juice, peanut oil, palm sugar, tamarind paste, tamari and sea salt. Sesame seeds are toasted for the salad then sunflower oil is heated before adding garlic and I also added the chopped chili (Thai bird) so it could release it’s oils and flavours. Once the garlic is golden the pan is removed from the heat and the sauce and (soaked and drained) noodles are tossed in along w most of the Edamame, green onions, cilantro (I used parsley due to an allergy) and mint. Once everything is tossed together the pan is returned to the stove to heat through. The noodles are then plated and topped w the remaining Edamame and herbs. YO notes that this can be served warm or at room temperature.

                    I was a bit nervous about the acidity in the dressing since the quantity of lime juice far exceeded the quantity of oil so I incorporated the lime juice slowly until the flavours were balanced. All told I likely used 3 limes.

                    We especially enjoyed the salad warm and I’m hoping it will stand up to a quick re-warm for lunches. Very nice indeed.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      Excellent, this one is on my list. Glad to hear it 'pans' out (har, har). Gorgeous, tantalizing photos, as always!

                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                        My original plans for dinner didn't come to fruition, so I had to find a replacement, and fast. This one fit the bill! It was lovely! The flavours went so well together-the mint and the cilantro worked beautifully! I was also concerned about using too much lime juice, and 3 limes did the trick, about 1/4 cup or so. I added some cubed, fried eggplant to the dish to use up aforementioned dinner-failure ingredients, and the purple iridescent skin of the eggplants jazzed up the look of the noodles. Sprinkled some chopped spanish peanuts on top for more texture. A very fresh tasting, summery dish.

                        1. re: Allegra_K

                          Thanks so much Allegra, your's looks wonderful too! So glad you enjoyed this, you're right it is very summery isn't it? I warmed it up for lunch yesterday and it was so delicious. I'm having it again for lunch today w some strips of fried egg and roasted broccoli on top.

                      2. Green bean salad with mustard seeds and tarragon p.196

                        Loved this though I must admit to missing out a few ingredients - nigella seeds (didn't have them), red onion (too pushed for time), tarragon (didn't feel like it) and baby chard leaves (which were optional anyway). But the ingredients I did use - French beans, snow peas, green peas, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, garlic, lemon zest made for a really refreshing, tasty vegetable dish.

                        I served this with Quinoa salad on p.245 and the Chicken with sumac, za'atar and lemon on p.122 of Ottolenghi the Cookbook.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: JaneEYB

                          Oh good. I have this planned for next week... Sunday?? Any way I'm glad to read your report...Going to Tendercrop on Saturday and hope this awful weather hasn't made too much of an impact . As if...

                          1. re: JaneEYB

                            Green Bean Salad with Mustard Seeds and Tarragon, Pg.196

                            As Jane has said, this is tasty and flavorful, and it's pretty to look at too. We liked it and its easy prep means we'll be making it again. It reminded me of Ottolenghi's other bean recipe...French Beans and Mangetout with Hazelnuts and Orange on page 36 of his first cookbook.

                            I used all the main ingredients: fresh from the farm haricot verts, snow peas and shell peas, red onion, toasted coriander seeds & mustard seeds, garlic, and lemon zest. Omitted the nigella seeds, tarragon (have dried in the pantry but couldn't find it (/_\),,, also, forgot to buy the chard. Nevertheless, the beans and peas were delicious and went very well with a Turkey we grilled on the Weber.

                          2. Cucumber Salad with Smashed Garlic and Ginger, Pg. 166, English Edition

                            A refreshing salad, somewhat like a pickle, but different. We got some adorable and fresh small cucumbers at the farm yesterday with this recipe in mind.

                            The dressing is made first to let the flavors infuse:

                            rice wine vinegar, caster sugar, sunflower oil and roasted sesame oil are whisked together. Add a small sliced red onion ... set aside for half an hour.

                            Freshly sliced ginger and a bit of Maldon salt are pounded in a mortar then whole garlic cloves are added and litteraly smashed and smooshed but not pureed. This mixture is added to the bowl with the dressing and stirred together. Slice the cucumbers lengthwise then in chunks on the bias. Add to dressing along with sesame seeds (I omitted these) and chopped cilantro. Mix it all together and let sit for about 10 minutes. Before serving pour out the accumulated liquid, adjust seasoning if necessary.

                            Very nice. Went well with grilled garlic marinated chicken breasts and leftover Fr

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Gio

                              That last Fr is supposed to be the first two letters of the word, "Freekah.

                              What's with this editing problem lately?

                              1. re: Gio

                                Cucumber Salad with smashed garlic and ginger p.166 (US)

                                This was just ok to me. It seemed like a bit of a waste of some lovely summer cucumbers. I actually really like cucumber dishes that are not quite pickles and not quite salads but this was too muted and just not enough something. I think it's because the ginger and garlic are too subtle, to the point where you could barely discern their flavor. I even used a bit more then called more.

                                This dish did taste better the next day but it won't be a repeat for me.

                                I used farm fresh cucumbers and spring red onions. It is a pretty dish though.

                                1. re: Gio

                                  Cucumber Salad with Smashed Garlic and Ginger

                                  We quite enjoyed this salad. The garlic and ginger flavors were very pronounced, not at all subtle, though the vinegar effect was mild, so I definitely considered it a salad rather than a pickle. I used a mature Asian cucumber, so I scooped out the seeds after halving it, which meant there wasn't very much accumulated liquid. I'll definitely make this again next summer.

                                2. Char-Grilled Asparagus, Pg. 182

                                  This preparation for asparagus is the simplest and tastiest of all, I think. I've grilled. rossted and steamed asparagus forever, but the final touch of feta slices and lemon zest is delectable.

                                  Wash and trim the asparagus, place on a plate and toss gently with rapeseed oil (I used grapeseed), Maldon salt and black pepper. Grill on a grill pan perpendicular to the ridges. You want to have the grill marks visible when the asparagus is cooked. To serve, put a serving portion on a plate, place a couple os feta slices on top, sprinkle with lemon zest, drizzle with a little more oil if you want.

                                  So simple. It mattered that the asparagus was the freshest I've ever eaten. The finishng touch of lemon zest brought out the wonderful earthy flavor of the asparagus. Served with soy-orange marinated pork chops, Jasmine rice and a bean sprout dish from Seductions of Rice. I couldn't wait 7 d

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Gio

                                    Sounds perfect! We just picked up asparagus at the farmer's market today. I think I'll do this tomorrow. Thanks for drawing my attention to the recipe.

                                    1. re: Gio

                                      Char-Grilled Asparagus - p. 182

                                      Fresh picked asparagus and Gio's enticing description of this dish was all it took to put this on my dinner menu last night and what a hit it was!

                                      Gio describes the prep perfectly so really nothing more for me to add other than to say we thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. We did this on the charcoal grill to be served alongside some porterhouse steaks. The sweetness of the asparagus played beautifully w the rich, smokey flavours from the grill and we totally agree w Gio, the lemon zest just takes this over the top.

                                      We also enjoyed the tang of the feta and look forward to trying the recipe w Ottolenghi's suggested alternative of ricotta which I think will be nice as well. mr bc, who is not a fan of anything green, absolutely loved this dish and even had second helpings which just never happens here . . . I was stunned and delighted!

                                      Needless to say this will be on our menu again soon. Thanks for pointing it out Gio!!

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        Char Grilled Asparagus
                                        Ditto on this dish. We had this last night and Mr. Nightshade made me promise to do this one again. We got asparagus at the farmer's market, a lovely feta from the cheesemonger, some lemon zest and olive oil, that's it and you've got a wonderfully flavorful dish. The recipe in the book is overshadowed by the photo of the other asparagus dish (I'm blinded by a pretty picture, apparently), so I'm grateful to Gio for pointing me towards it.

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Char-Grilled Asparagus - p. 182

                                          I came across this recipe searching EYB for an asparagus recipe. Just searching on "asparagus" gave me too many results, so I listed them in order of rating, and noticed that this recipe had a couple of comments on it. Turned out to be L.Nightshade and Breadcrumbs doing the commenting, so that sealed the deal. So I hope that provides some incentive for folks to post ratings and comments on EYB. It really does help.

                                          The prep is already well described, so I'll just say that I used grapeseed oil instead of rapeseed, really fresh asparagus from my CSA, and a local goat feta (which was fairly mild and not overly salty). I grilled the asparagus outdoors alongside a couple of ribeyes. For the final drizzle of oil, I used olive oil.

                                          Very simple and very delicious. Grilling gives the asparagus an especially intense flavor, but the touch that made this dish really click, in my mind, was the lemon zest. Thanks again, LN and BC, for posting your revies on EYB!

                                          1. re: MelMM

                                            Mel I'm so glad you enjoyed this and thank-you for sharing feedback on the EYB reviews. I try to be diligent in recording my notes there so it's nice to know someone other than me might find them helpful.

                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              After this experience, I'm also going to try to be more diligent about posting reviews and comments on EYB. I really haven't been good about this at all, but I will try to be better, as I can truly see the value in it.

                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                I look forward to reading them Mel, you always make me hungry with your enticing descriptions!

                                        2. Caramelized Fennel with Goat's Curd, Pg. 172

                                          A very nice and relatively simple way to cook fennel. The combination of ingredients and the quick sauté give the fennel a very pleasant flavor. Butter, sugar, and fennel seeds make the fennel slices shine. Instead of goat's cure, I used a young, creamy goat cheese as recommended.

                                          Trim and slice several fennel bulbs (I had 2 large ones). Melt butter in a frying pan over high heat, add the slices in one layer and sear for 2 minutes without touching. Flip and cook the other side. Don't stir, you're looking for a golden brown color. With tongs place the fennel on a plate.

                                          To the pan add sugar, fennel seeds, salt & pepper and fry for 30 seconds. Return fennel slices to the pan and over gentle heat let them caramelize for a few minutes.

                                          To serve the recipe calls for placing the fennel in a bowl with a crushed (pressed) garlic clove and chopped dill. I added the pressed garlic to the frying pan at the last minute to get rid of the rawness. Then I simply placed a few fennel slices on the dinner plate, and crumbled the goat cheese over, sprinkling with chopped fennel fronds since I had no dill. The flavor was bright, a little sweet, and a little anise-y. It reminded me of the caramelized endive I made earlier in the month.

                                          The main was a Weber grilled whole chicken with steamed broccoli along side.

                                          1. Asparagus Mimosa (US. pg. 182)

                                            I made this last week when we had an unexpected burst of heat and humidity. I had intended on roasting the asparagus but couldn't bear the thought of having to turn on the oven. With this reciipe, I could use the electric kettle to boil my water and then the dish is eaten at room temperature. I did have doubts since this is essentially, boiled asparagus with stuff on it, but it ended up being delicious.

                                            First, make boiled eggs (I upped the egg amount to three) and after they've cooled, grate them.

                                            Place the asparagus spears into boiling water and cook until done. Cool slightly, then drizzle a bit of olive oil (2T), capers (2t), Maldon sea salt (1t), and pepper to taste. Lastly, add the grated egg.

                                            This ended up being a simple and delicious dish. The flavors all worked well together and the maldon gave it that special crunch.

                                            1. Soba Noodles with Wakame – p. 188

                                              As I looked through the ingredient list for the sauce in this recipe I just knew we would love it and, I was wrong, we loved it!!

                                              This is a soba noodle salad w cucumbers, wakame and chopped herbs. It makes a perfect summer meal or side dish and I’m delighted to have some leftover for lunches.

                                              Here’s how it comes together.

                                              Cucumbers are grated, salted and left to drain. Soba noodles are cooked, rinsed and drained then left to cool. Wakame is soaked to reconstitute then drained and chopped. Sesame seeds are toasted and, herbs are chopped. YO suggests cilantro and mint. Since I’m allergic to cilantro and mr bc hates mint, we went w Italian parsley! YO also suggests that you can use thinly sliced radishes in place of the wakame. Since I had radishes in the fridge, I decided to use them in addition to the wakame.

                                              The sauce is made by mixing together rice vinegar, lime juice and zest, ginger, chilis, sugar, toasted sesame oil, peanut oil, sweet chili sauce, garlic and salt. Everything is tossed together and topped w the toasted sesame seeds and herbs. YO also suggests radish sprouts however there were none to be had in my neck of the woods.

                                              This dish is an explosion of flavours and textures…truly a delight. I wasn’t sure how mr bc would feel about the wakame but he loved it. So glad to have discovered this recipe, I’d highly recommend it. Definitely a favourite from the Ottolenghi collection.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                glad for the report, this is on my summer list. Curious, did you figure out what Ottolenghi means by sweet chili sauce? I made the butter beans recipe twice the first time (I now remembered) with sort of a clearsih sweet chili sauce from jvietname where I could see the chile seeds, the second with the huy tong chili garlic sauce. The latter was much too strong and I had to wash half of the dressing off to make the dish palatable I also have some singapore sweet chile sauce which would probably work. What did you use?

                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                  Hi Jen, I just used the Mae Ploy brand of Sweet Chilli sauce. I've pasted a link to a website that has a phot oof the bottle if you scroll down. It sounds like the first one you mention above. Looking forward to hearing what you think of this dish, we truly loved it and mr bc asked if I could make it again as he loved it for lunch the next day!

                                                  Here's the link:


                                                2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                  Soba Noodles with Wakame – p. 188

                                                  I never would have picked out this recipe myself, but after your glowing review I gave it a try this weekend. I substituted kelp noodles for the soba and used mint, cilantro and radish sprouts as recommended. I initially thought 2 cucumbers was a lot, so I only bought one.. to become horrified at how much it wilted and threw in a grated kohlrabi to compensate. Delicious. I am still giddy at how surprisingly wonderful it was. :)

                                                  1. re: blinknoodle

                                                    blinknoodle its wonderful to hear you enjoyed this too. We've had it on a couple of occasions since my write-up here and each time its refreshing flavours delight. It's a great weekday lunch as it travels well too.

                                                3. Mixed Beans with Many Spices and Lovage, p. 192 (UK ed.)

                                                  The beans called for are sugar snaps, flat beans, and broad beans. I had planned to get Romano beans, but ended up with regular green beans from the farmers' market along with the sugar snaps. In place of favas, I used the frozen shelled edamame that was in my freezer.

                                                  An onion is sauteed in olive oil, followed by garlic, tomato paste, and the many spices, all ground (cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and I added a bit of cayenne). Canned chopped tomatoes and their juices and all the beans are added, and the pan is covered and left to simmer 15 minutes, until the beans are tender. Finally, chopped lovage is added, though I used his suggested substitute of cilantro.

                                                  This is saucy and curry-like, with spices typical of the Indian cuisines. He suggests serving it with rice; I enjoyed it with bulgur with sauteed garlic and shredded basil.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    Mixed Beans with Many Spices and Lovage


                                                    I lent my book to a vegetarian cousin many months ago, and haven't seen it since. I'm currently up to my eyeballs in beans and greens and other summer bounties, and vaguely recalled this recipe. Luckily I found it online somewhere (hopefully it's the same one!) after having to search for the unusual and aptly named title.

                                                    Instead of canned tomatoes, I used some slightly over-ripe fresh ones, several sweet heirloom varieties, which made the addition of sugar unnecessary (which I discovered only after I had added the sweetener). I didn't have lovage (what does it even taste like? I've never seen it before) so instead stripped a portion off my monster tarragon plant, as is suggested as an alternative.

                                                    I added the broad beans first to let them have more time to cook, but mine were apparently elderly in the legume world, and had to be removed from their very tough skins. I found myself picking the beans out of the stew piece by piece in order to accomplish that. I don't know where my head was at last night.....I created many extra steps for myself.

                                                    Anyway, this turned out to be a lovely little stew, full of green flavours and Indian spicing, as Caitlin mentions. I rather enjoyed this, though it wasn't exactly hearty. Would make more of a nice side dish than a main. It was a perfect way to use up all of the beans I've been getting, and if I found myself with all three to use up at once, I wouldn't hesitate to make this again.

                                                    1. re: Allegra_K

                                                      Your dish does sound lovely Allegra and as you say, it seems like a great recipe to make use of the season's abundance. Thanks for the reminder about this book and recipe!

                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                        Re lovage, it has a very strong celery-like flavor with a hint of mint. A little lovage goes a long way. I suppose you could sub celery leaves, but they have a slight bitter edge that lovage doesn't. The tarragon sounds great in that stew anyhow.

                                                    2. Okra with Tomato, Lemon, and Coriander, p. 179

                                                      I am getting the most gorgeous okra ever in my CSA box. Tiny pods, less than 2" long, perfectly fresh, unblemished, and tender. It is the best okra I've ever seen, and that includes what I've grown myself. Looking for new things to do with these perfect pods, an EYB search led me to this recipe.

                                                      The okra is roasted. The pods are kept whole, tossed in olive oil and salt, and roasted at 200 C (390 F) for 15-20 minutes. I let mine go a little longer, until it had started to crisp up. Meanwhile, you make a sauce of onion, corinander (seed), red pepper, chile pepper, parsley, cilantro, paprika and fresh tomato. To finish, the roasted okra is stirred into the sauce with some preserved lemon and black olives, and it is garnished with mint and some more cilantro.

                                                      The recipe suggests serving with steamed bulghar or couscous. I served with steamed quinoa. The dish has a thick stew-like texture and an intense flavor from the reduced tomato and preserved lemon and olives. I even went easy on the olives. I forgot to put the mint in, which would have been a good addition, but there was plenty of flavor as is.

                                                      It's pretty rare to see okra called for in a UK book, but I guess this is where Ottolenghi's mid-east background kicks in. This works very well as a summer dish for me, using a very familiar set of ingredients (okra and tomatoes, what could be more classic?), but with the extra twist of the lemon and olive. Nice dish that will probably be repeated around here. Plus the technique of roasting okra, which I will use again, is an added bonus.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                        I think that's because okra is so very expensive in the UK! I try to steer clear of recipes requiring okra, especially stews. And if I must use a recipe with okra, I always subsituted it various other veg, like green beans, zucchinis, eggplants. (I'm thinking of the coconut rice with sambal and okra from Plenty. I really don't think I've cooked anything else that asks for okra).

                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                          Good to see your review, as I've had my eye on this recipe now that okra's appearing at the farmers' market.