Tag Archives: chickpeas

Clean Detox Day 11: A new use for tahini

Clean detox day 11

Breakfast: Black and blue avocado smoothie with mint and orange flower water (boom!).

Lunch: Grilled salmon and chargrilled cauliflower and carrot salad with dill and capers (if you’ve never grilled carrots before, you must – it’s a special kind of awesome).

Dinner: An amazing new soup! Made with onion, garlic, carrots, chickpeas, coriander and cumin seeds. This was like eating velvet. I garnished it with a couple steamed broccoli florets (inspired by this chickpea soup), lemon and tahini sauce, za’atar and fresh parsley. Really good and very satisfying. I basically used smitten kitchen’s recipe for carrot soup with tahini and crisped chickpeas but omitted the crisped chickpeas and instead subbed about half the carrots in the soup with cooked chickpeas. It worked and I’m loving this tahini thing as soup drizzle.

Clean detox day 11

Related Links:

Cooking from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem

Untitled

My friend Sam came over last weekend with a big box of vegetables from Shipton Mill‘s biodynamic garden and what seemed to be her entire kitchen larder. The haul including some of my favourite ingredients: beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, courgettes and a big pile of carrots. She also brought her copy of Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook. It was obvious what needed to be done.

In a welcome change from my usual foodie escapades, Sam took over the menu, choosing three recipes from Jerusalem:

  • Basmati and wild rice with chickpeas, currants and herbs
  • Roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad
  • Pureed beetroot with yoghurt and za’atar

My only mission was an Ottolenghi side project: his kohlrabi, carrot and radish salad recipe from the Guardian, inspired by a kohlrabi I received in the latest Riverford organic box.

Pureed beetroot with yoghurt and za’atar

Ottolenghi's Pureed Beetroot with Yoghurt and Za'atar

I’ve had various beetroot dips before, including River Cottage’s beetroot hummus which I adore. This was similar, but with yoghurt instead of tahini for creaminess and was extra exciting because it gave me an opportunity to use the date syrup I was gifted from Tim Clinch. But what really made it bad-ass was the inclusion of za’atar and a garnish of toasted hazelnuts and sliced spring onion. We enjoyed this, first on Saturday with Turkish style flatbread, and again on Sunday with sourdough bread baked by Julio Hevia.

Ottolenghi's Pureed Beetroot with Yoghurt and Za'atar

I’m not sure if it was the bread or the beetroot, but everything seemed somewhat better on day two. The flavours of the pureed beetroot had a chance to mingle and develop, and you can’t go wrong with good sourdough bread.

Roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad

Roast cauliflower & hazelnut. @ottolenghi recipe from Jerusalem. Crazy (genius?) ingredient combo!

As one Instragrammer put it, “roast cauliflower is the jam”. And it’s even more jammin’ with a kick-ass Ottolenghi dressing. The ingredients were a totally non-obvious combination of cauliflower, celery and pomegranates with a crazy combo of spices and flavours including sherry vinegar, cinnamon, allspice, maple syrup and parsley. It worked. In fact, I’m not even sure if the roast cauliflower was the most jammin’ part of the dish. The dressing was exceptional, and I especially loved how the sweetness of the dressing worked with the hazelnut and the celery.

Basmati and wild rice with chickpeas, currants and herbs

Untitled

If we had one regret with this recipe it was that we were short on fresh coriander. But never mind, this dish might also be described as “the jam”, and indeed it went exceptionally well with the roast cauliflower salad. It also fits well into the “vegetarian main course” category, and as omnivore Sam said, it proves that vegetarian food can stand alone.

Kohlrabi, carrot and radish salad

Kohlrabi, carrot & radish salad. Complete!

This dish was perhaps the odd man out. It was more of a pickle than a salad, and as a pickle lover, I think it was my most favourite dish of all. It involves massaging the veg with salt and sugar until the juices release, then letting them sit in their juices for 30 minutes before draining.

Finishing the job we started yesterday: @ottolenghi's kohlrabi, carrot & radish salad in progress.

The veg then gets tossed with an unusual combination of poppy seeds, crushed fennel, lime juice, parsley and mint. It rocked my world, and made me REALLY want a mandolin slicer.

As we finished up our Ottolenghi weekend, I asked Sam if I could look at Jerusalem and take a snap of the recipes we made, but as I flicked through the pages, I found myself bookmarking recipe after recipe. This is definitely a cookbook to own and cook from again and again. There’s already talk of going aubergine style this weekend with his recipes for burnt aubergine and chermoula aubergine with yoghurt and bulgar. Yes, I know there are other cookbooks to try and chefs to learn from, but the thing is, there’s so rarely a miss with Ottolenghi. And furthermore, each dish is like a learning experience in flavour and texture combinations. That much of it is vegetarian is just a bonus (in fact, all of these dishes were vegan but for the kohlrabi salad which included fish sauce, but that’s optional).

Thanks to Sam and Shipton Mill for all the veg, to Riverford for my precious kohlrabi of intrigue and to Julio Hevia for the sourdough bread. Look out for more delicious results from Shipton’s biodynamic farm in blog posts to come. It’s summer glut time, prime opportunity to indulge my obsession with pickles!

Baked Falafel

IMG_0646

The traditional way of making falafel involves soaking chickpeas, blending them up with onion, herbs and spices, then deep frying them into crispy balls of perfection. The key point here is that the chickpeas aren’t cooked – if they were, they falafel would fall apart and you’d need flour or breadcrumbs to hold the falafel together. To me, this defeats the purpose, especially if you’re serving the falafel in a pita. I want to fill my pita with beans, not bread (it’s the age-old veggie burger versus bread burger dilemma).

For lack of good falafel in the Cotswolds, I’ve tried making my own falafel the traditional way but it’s always been a disaster, primarily at the deep frying step. I don’t think I can get my oil hot enough on the electric hob (that, or I’m scared). So the falafel just ends up soaking up all the oil and then falling into greasy gross pieces.

I’ve experimented with several baked falafel recipes, all of which involve using cooked chickpeas, or in Leon’s case, chickpea flour. The baked falafel I made with my sister was decent, but not exactly ultimate.

Falafel for breakfast

At last I came across this baked falafel recipe, adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook, which follows the traditional method of soaking the chickpeas. To get around the fried bit, olive oil is included in the falafel mixture itself, and in the baking tray.


I’ve made these twice now, and while they don’t have quite the same wow-factor as really good deep-fried falafel, they are still pretty damn good and, as it seems, worth making again and again. They also keep well in the freezer which makes them handy for lunches (I re-heat them in the toaster!).

I like to serve mine with a simple tahini sauce made with lemon juice, tahini and enough water to make a drizzle-able dressing. Chilli jam or harissa is nice, too.

The next thing to master are those great pickles you get with falafel in good falafel joints. The best I’ve ever had were the falafel and pickles from  Arabica in Borough Market, though the last time I had them they weren’t quite as good as I remember. (I’ve since been told I must go to Mr. Falafel in Shepherd’s Bush.)

Arabica falafel

Is it pickled turnips I’m after? And I haven’t even touched on the falafel sauce. Tzatziki? Tahini? Hot sauce? All of the above?

Suggestions welcome.

Recipe: Baked Falafel

Beetroot and Walnut Veggie Sausages

Beetroot & Walnut Sausages

I wrote about these veggie sausages for Great British Chefs this week, but thought they were so good I wanted to give them a wider audience. Make them and enjoy with a crispy salad of carrot, apple, celery, red onion and honey mustard dressing, plus a big blog of good dijon mustard on the side.

Yesterday, Monday, 5th November 2012 marged the beginning of British Sausage Week, a time intended for encased-pork devotion. I may not eat pork, but I do have a fondness for sausage-esque foods. This may have something to do with my Chicago-based upbringing, studded with Polish sausage at family gatherings and an ardent appreciation for the Chicago-style hot dog, served with yellow mustard, whtie onions, pickle relish, “sport peppers”, tomato and celery salt (never ketchup). (Mention must be said of Hot Doug’s, the “sausage superstore and encased meat emporium”, for doing the best Chicago-style veggie hot dog in the world – it’s wrong, but oh so right.)

Back to British Sausage Week, I thought it a fine excuse to seek out a worthy veggie sausage to honour the occasion. But let’s not misdirect our plaudits: I’m not referring to those “fake meat” varieties of veggie sausage you often find in the supermarket (or dare I say Hot Doug’s), filled with weird stuff that not only isn’t meat, but also isn’t food in my opinion (don’t get me started on Quorn). In fact, these supermarket varieties give “vegetarian sausage” a bad name. In fact, the veggie sausage can be a delight, with as much nuance and comfort factor as its porky counterparts.

So what makes a great veggie sausage? I feel the same way about veggie sausage as I do about veggie burgers: they shouldn’t try to imitate meat – people who want a meaty sausage should just eat a meaty sausage. But if you love vegetables and want to experience them in tubular form, then veggie sausages are the way to go and are a novel form factor in which to showcase delicious ingredients. Options abound, from Rachel Demuth’s Glamorgan Sausages, made with cheddar, spring onions, breadcrumbs and loads of herbs to the Gluttonous Vegan’s Beany Snausages, a sort of rice-and-beans in sausage form.

I like my vegetarian sausages to be about the vegetables, and since we’re in the depths of autumn and beetroot season, I am sharing with you my recipe for beetroot and walnut veggie sausages inspired by Susan Voison. These sausages combine ingredients that work exceptionally well together – beetroot, walnuts, fennel and chilli – to create a sausage reminiscent of American-style “Italian sausage”. It’s great in a bun with sauteed onions and peppers, or on its own with tomato sauce or dijon mustard. The sky’s the limit: these babies are versatile, not to mention vegan and gluten free. You can even crumble them up and put them on a pizza.

Beetroot & Walnut Sausages
Beetroot and Walnut Veggie Sausages
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 medium raw beetroot
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • ½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • olive or sunflower oil for baking

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C. Prepare a roasting tin or baking pan by oiling it generously with olive or sunflower oil.
  2. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes, then drain and squeeze out the excess liquid.
  3. Put the walnuts into a food processor and pulse to chop finely (but not too finely, we want chopped nuts, not nut powder), then remove and put into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Peel the beetroot and cut it into small cubes. Add it to the food processor along with the mushrooms, garlic, and onion and pulse to chop coarsely. Add the chickpeas and all remaining ingredients and pulse several times to chop the chickpeas. Don’t over-do it: you want to maintain some texture, while still processing enough to form a mixture that you can shape into veggie sausages.
  5. Add the processor contents to the nuts and stir well to combine.
  6. Using a tablespoon, scoop out pieces of the mixture and, using damp hands, form the pieces into sausage-shapes (of whatever size you fancy!), squeezing lightly to compact it (you can also shape them into balls or patties if you wish). Place the sausages on the roasting tin or baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes, turning the sausages once mid-bake, until lightly browned on all sides.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 227 Fat: 12.9 Carbohydrates: 26.6 Fiber: 7.3 Protein: 8.3 Cholesterol: 0