ROASTED AND PICKLED CELERIAC WITH SWEET CHILLI DRESSING
This dish features celeriac in two very different guises – slow-roasted and pickled – giving it textural contrast and flavour complexity which enables it to take centre stage in a vegetable feast.
You can make the dressing a day ahead, but don’t mix in the fried chilli and garlic until you’re ready to serve. You’ll make more pickle than you need, but it keeps in the fridge for 3 days and is great stuffed into sandwiches and toasties or tossed through a salad. If you don’t want to pickle a whole celeriac, use just half and roast the other half, instead.
Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side.
1 whole roasted celeriac, cut into 8 wedges
2 spring onions, finely sliced at an angle, to serve
5g picked Thai basil leaves, to serve
flaked sea salt
1 medium celeriac, trimmed, peeled and cut into thin, 6cm-long batons (500g)
3 celery sticks, cut into thin 6cm-long batons (120g)
2 garlic cloves, skin on and crushed with the side of a knife
3 limes: finely shave the skin to get 6 strips, then juice to get 60ml
150ml rice vinegar
SWEET CHILLI DRESSING
120ml sunflower oil
5 garlic cloves, very finely sliced
3 red chillies, finely sliced into rounds (30g)
2 whole star anise
11⁄2 tbsp white or black sesame seeds, or a mixture of both, well toasted
21⁄2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp rice vinegar
60ml soy sauce
2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
Combine all the ingredients for the pickled celeriac with 20g flaked salt in a large bowl and set aside for at least 2 hours, stirring now and then, while you prepare the rest of the dish. You can make this up to 3 days ahead and keep it refrigerated.
Heat the sunflower oil for the sweet chilli dressing in a small saucepan on a medium-high heat. Once very hot, add the garlic, chillies and star anise and fry for 2–21⁄2 minutes, stirring to separate the garlic slices, until the garlic is crisp and pale golden (it will continue to colour after you take it out of the oil, so don’t take it too far). Strain through a sieve set on top of a small heatproof bowl to collect the oil. Set the fried chilli and garlic aside, to serve. Remove 80ml of the aromatic oil and reserve for another recipe. Combine the remaining 40ml of oil with all the remaining ingredients for the dressing.
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
Place the roasted celeriac wedges on a parchment-lined baking tray, cut side up. Make sure they’ve been brushed with their cooking oil and celeriac caramel by this point, and if not, brush with some olive oil and a little maple syrup or honey (see opposite). Roast for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Arrange the wedges on a large platter and sprinkle with a little flaked salt.
6. Add the fried chilli and garlic to the dressing and spoon over and around the celeriac. Top with 200g of the pickled celeriac mixture, avoiding the pickling liquid, garlic and lime skin. Garnish with the spring onions and Thai basil, and serve.
STUFFED AUBERGINE IN CURRY AND COCONUT DAL
Only two ingredients – lemon and milk – are what it takes to make paneer at home. It’s an experiment worth trying (it certainly feels like conducting a chemistry experiment), both for a sense of achievement and for unrivalled freshness. If you buy your paneer – which makes the most satisfying filling for the grilled aubergines here, as it soaks up the coconut sauce – try to find a soft variety, which has a texture like compressed ricotta. Other varieties, which are harder and slightly rubbery, are more suitable for making vegetarian tikka kebabs, but they will also do if that’s what you’ve got. For a vegan option, use extra-firm tofu. Try to get a good-quality, chunky Indian mango pickle for this.
Both the aubergine slices and the lentil sauce can be prepared the day before, if you want to get ahead. In fact, you can make the whole dish a day ahead, up until before it goes into the oven, chill in the fridge and then just bring to room temperature before warming up.
Serves 4 as a main.
3 large aubergines, stalks removed, each aubergine cut lengthways into 6 x 1⁄2cm-thick slices (750g)
3 tbsp olive oil
220g paneer (or extra-firm tofu), roughly grated
2 limes: finely grate the zest to get 1 tsp, then juice to get 2 tbsp
45g hot mango pickle, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
5g coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
100g large (not baby) spinach leaves, stems removed (60g)
salt and black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
5 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped (250g)
45g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped
30 fresh curry leaves (if you can’t get any, you can also do without)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp medium curry powder
2 tsp tomato paste
100g dried red lentils
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk (at least 70% coconut extract)
Heat the oven to 220°C fan.
In a large bowl, toss the aubergines together with the oil, 3⁄4 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Spread out on two parchment-lined baking trays and bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway, until softened and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
For the coconut dal, put 2 tablespoons of the oil into a large sauté pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shallots and fry for 8 minutes, until golden. Add the ginger, half the chilli and half the curry leaves (if using), cook for 2 minutes, then add the spices, tomato paste and lentils. Stir for a minute, then add the coconut milk, 600ml of water and 3⁄4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring once in a while, until the lentils are soft and the sauce is thick. Pour into a medium baking dish, around 28cm x 18cm, if making the aubergine rolls, and set aside.
In a small bowl, toss together the paneer, lime zest, mango pickle, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, the coriander and 1⁄8 teaspoon of salt.
Place one spinach leaf on top of each slice of aubergine. Put a heaped teaspoon of the paneer mixture in the middle, then roll up the aubergine, from the thinner end at the top down to the thicker bottom end, so the filling is encased. Put the aubergine roll seam side down in the lentil sauce, and repeat with the remaining aubergine slices, spinach and paneer. You should end up with about 18 rolls, all sitting snugly in the sauce. Press the rolls gently into the sauce, but not so far that they are submerged, and bake for
15–20 minutes, until the aubergine is golden-brown on top and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small pan on a medium-high heat. Add the remaining chilli and curry leaves and fry for a minute, until the curry leaves are crisp and fragrant. Spoon over the aubergine rolls, drizzle over the lime juice and serve with the coriander sprinkled on top.
SPICY MUSHROOM LASAGNE
This lasagne contains one of two epic ragù recipes in this book – the other is the ultimate traybake ragù, which we believe, give any meat ragù a terrifically good run for its money.
This particular ragù pays homage to penne all’Aconese, the first dish that Ixta fell madly in love with. It’s served at Ristorante Pizzeria Acone, a community- run restaurant in the Tuscan village of Acone, perched at the top of the mountain on which she spent her formative childhood years. The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but the complex, earthy and deeply umami flavour of dried porcini mushrooms is impossible to miss. This is our meatless take on that mythical sauce. The ragù can easily be made vegan if you lose the cream. It can also be made ahead and refrigerated, ready to be served with pasta or polenta, saving yourself the trouble of constructing the lasagne if you’re short on time. Reduce the black pepper and lose the chilli for a child-friendly version. If you want to get ahead, the lasagne can be assembled, refrigerated and then baked the next day (once it’s come back up to room temperature).
Serves 6 as a main
750g chestnut mushrooms, halved
500g oyster mushrooms
135ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing
60g dried porcini mushrooms
30g dried wild mushrooms
2 dried red chillies, roughly chopped (deseeded for less heat)
500ml hot vegetable stock
1 onion, peeled and quartered
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and quartered (90g)
2–3 plum tomatoes, quartered (200g)
75g tomato paste
130ml double cream
60g Pecorino Romano, finely grated
60g Parmesan, finely grated
5g basil leaves, finely chopped
10g parsley leaves, finely chopped, plus an extra tsp to serve
250g dried lasagne sheets (that’s about 14 sheets)
salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 230°C fan.
Put the chestnut and oyster mushrooms into the large bowl of a food processor in three or four batches and pulse each batch until finely chopped (or finely chop everything by hand). Toss the chopped mushrooms in a large bowl with 3 tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt and spread out on a large, 40cm x 35cm parchment-lined, rimmed baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes near the top of the oven, stirring three times throughout, until the mushrooms are golden-brown; they will have reduced in volume significantly. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C fan.
Meanwhile, combine the dried mushrooms, chillies and hot stock in
a large bowl and set aside to soak for half an hour. Strain the liquid into another bowl, squeezing as much liquid from the mushrooms as possible to get about 340ml: if you have any less, top up with water. Very roughly chop the rehydrated mushrooms (you want some chunks) and finely chop the chillies. Set the stock and mushrooms aside separately.
Put the onion, garlic and carrot into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped (or finely chop everything by hand). Heat 60ml of oil in a large sauté pan or pot on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion mixture and fry for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. Pulse the tomatoes in the food processor until finely chopped (or finely chop by hand), then add to the pan along with the tomato paste, 11⁄2 teaspoons of salt and 13⁄4 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rehydrated mushrooms and chillies and the roasted mushrooms and cook for 9 minutes, resisting the urge to stir: you want the mushrooms to be slightly crisp and browned on the bottom. Stir in the reserved stock and 800ml of water and, once simmering, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you get the consistency of a ragù. Stir in 100ml of the cream and simmer for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Combine both cheeses and both herbs in a small bowl. To assemble the lasagne, spread one-fifth of the sauce in the bottom of a round 28cm baking dish (or a 30cm x 20cm rectangular dish), then top with a fifth of the cheese mixture, followed by a layer of lasagne sheets, broken to fit where necessary. Repeat these layers three more times in that order, and finish with a final layer of sauce and cheese: that’s five layers of sauce and cheese and four layers of pasta.
Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of cream and 1 tablespoon of oil, then cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, increase the temperature to 220°C fan and bake for another 12 minutes, turning the dish round halfway. Turn the oven to the grill setting and grill for a final 2 minutes, until the edges are brown and crisp. Set aside to cool for 5 or so minutes, then drizzle over the remaining tablespoon of cream and oil. Sprinkle over the remaining parsley, finish with a good grind of pepper and serve.
Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage
Published on 3rd September,
Ottolenghi FLAVOUR combines simple recipes for weeknights, low-effort high-impact dishes, and standout meals for the relaxed cook. Packed with signature colourful photography, FLAVOUR not only inspires us with what to cook, but howflavour is dialled up and why it works.
The book is broken down into three parts, which reveal how to tap into the potential of ordinary vegetables to create extraordinary food:
Process explains cooking methods that elevate veg to great heights;
Pairing identifies four basic pairings that are fundamental to great flavour;
Produce offers impactful vegetables that do the work for you.