Ottolenghi

Ottolenghi’s Salad With Tomatoes

by Anne Maxfield on September 5, 2016

Accidental Locavore Ottlenghi Tomatoes in SaladIt’s Labor Day and I’m not laboring.

Take advantage of some great tomatoes and try this summery salad from an earlier post.

Sometimes, looking at the availability of good ingredients, you wonder about the timing of cookbooks. The Accidental Locavore tried to get a reviewer’s copy of the upcoming Plenty More (due out in October) and was turned down.

Luckily, Bon Appetit ran a few recipes from the book and this tomato salad caught my eye. I roasted the lemons ahead of time (on a cool evening), so they were ready to go and this came together quickly:

  • 1 lemon, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ pound mixed cherry tomatoes, or small heirlooms quartered
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large

Preheat oven to 325°. Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of boiling water 2 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain and pat dry.

Accidental Locavore Sliced Lemons for TomatoesToss lemon slices with sage, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium bowl. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until lemons are dry and starting to brown about 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk pomegranate molasses, allspice, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add lemons, tomatoes, onion, parsley, and mint. Toss gently; season with salt and pepper, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: A great change from tomatoes and mozzarella, it’s light and refreshing, with a nice tang from the lemons and pomegranate molasses and it might be the easiest salad dressing on the planet! My pomegranate molasses will be getting a lot more use from now on – it was great with the tomatoes and mint. I also really liked the roasted lemon slices and saved some to toss in with my usual lunch salad. Next time, I’ll roast a couple of lemons at the same time and keep them in a Ziploc bag in the fridge for future use – they’d be good with a chicken too. Mint would also go well if you didn’t have any sage. My husband thought the lemon slices would be better cut in half, but I liked them as is.

And I’d still love to see a reviewer’s copy of the book…

 

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Bacon Jam

by Anne Maxfield on June 23, 2016

Accidental Locavore Bacon JamWhile we all know that everything * is better with bacon, some things just make you beg for more – bacon jam is one of those things. The Accidental Locavore isn’t sure where she first had it, but it was really, really good.

And versatile.

And easy to make.

And I had a whole bunch of lardons from recent batches of bacon.

This, from Ottolenghi, makes about a pint jar. You’ll run everything through a blender or food processor so don’t worry about being too neat with the pieces.

  • 10 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2” strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (if needed)
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup bourbon (or scotch)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Accidental Locavore Bacon Jam PrepCook the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, until golden brown and starting to crisp, about 12 minutes.

Transfer to a small bowl, keeping a tablespoon of fat in the pan (if there’s not enough fat, add some olive oil). Fry the shallots, garlic and spices for a minute, then add the bourbon, maple syrup and mustard.

Leave to reduce for a minute, turn the heat to low and add the vinegar, sugar and bacon. Cook, stirring for a minute, until the liquid is thick and coating the bacon.

Put all the contents of the pan into a small food processor or blender (better) and process to a rough paste. Store in a glass jar in the fridge or serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Bacon Jam ProcessedMy verdict: What’s not to like? Try it on a grilled cheese sandwich, hamburger, scrambled eggs, crackers with goat cheese, etc.

Comment and let me know what you use it on.

 

*except for bacon swizzle sticks plunged into cold Bloody Marys and bacon/chocolate bars.

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Ottolenghi’s Baked Rice With Feta

by Anne Maxfield on June 9, 2016

Accidental Locavore Baked Rice With RelishYour first thought is probably why are we heating an oven up in the summer? Good question! Trust me when I tell you that this recipe is worth it.

It’s an Ottolenghi that was in bon appêtit. It may look like a lot, but it’s really pretty simple and mostly hands-off. The Accidental Locavore’s tweaks are after the recipe. Serves 6:

Accidental Locavore Pomegranate RelishPomegranate Relish

  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¾ pomegranate seeds (from about ½ a pomegranate)
  • ¾ cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped mint
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 garlic clove crushed into a paste
  • Salt and pepper

Accidental Locavore Rice for BakingRice and Assembly

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 mint sprigs
  • 8 ounces feta, sliced 1/4 “ thick

Relish: Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the nuts on a baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. Let cool then coarsely chop. Turn the oven up to 450°.

In a medium bowl, toss all the relish ingredients to combine. Check seasonings and add salt and pepper as needed.

Accidental Locavore Baked Rice With MintRice: Combine rice, butter and salt in a 13×9” baking dish, add 3 ½ cups of water. Top with mint sprigs. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 30-35 minutes until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from oven, remove mint sprigs and fluff rice with a fork.

Heat broiler. Arrange feta over the rice. Broil until the rice is browned around the edges and the feta is starting to brown, 8-10 minutes. Top with pomegranate relish, serve and enjoy!

Baked Rice With FetaMy verdict: Possibly one of the best rice dishes ever! I divided the recipe in half and still made a pretty big dish of it, easily enough for 4 people, so you might want to do the same unless you’re having a party. Pine nuts substituted for the walnuts and I toasted them in a frying pan on top of the stove, a microwave will work too. Just keep an eye on them, they go from barely toasted to burnt in an instant. Frank doesn’t like pomegranate seeds (and we didn’t have any) so I made it without them. However, if you don’t have pomegranate molasses, forget this recipe until you get some, it’s really key (and here’s the link to a great salad dressing with it)!

Having some really good basmati rice from Kalustyan’s and (not that I’m bragging) some homemade feta also contributed to this being a great dish and well worth heating the oven!

 

 

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Spring vs. Fall: Guilty of Seasonal Profiling?

by Anne Maxfield on April 11, 2016

Accidental Locavore Red Hook ApplesWhile wandering the golf course on a beautiful October day last fall and picking apples off the trees, it occurred to the Accidental Locavore that maybe, just maybe, it’s not really a dislike of fall produce, but possibly I’m guilty of seasonal profiling.

Accidental Locavore Nice MarketWhile I’ll happily gorge on asparagus, ramps, morels and strawberries the minute they start to appear, apples, and any form of winter squash generally get the cold shoulder from me. I’m always so ho-hum about them – cooking them and enjoying them on an as-needed basis, but never really embracing them.

Accidental Locavore Butternut Squash With SaucesHowever, this winter, I made a recipe for butternut squash from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More that was wonderful and could make me a believer. And when I feel like they’ve been sitting around too long, there’s always dehydrating them for the dog (or unsuspecting guests). Like most fruits and vegetables, a fresh-picked crisp apple has a lot going for it, great flavor and texture, that you don’t get later in the year. But the days get shorter, leaves fall off trees and you know it’s going to be progressively colder. Not good.

Accidental Locavore DaffodilsSpring on the other hand, brings all sorts of young greens. There are morels and ramps to be foraged for, or bought at a farmers’ market – which are back in business. Asparagus hit the stores, getting bigger (my favorites, yes, I’m a size queen) as the season progresses. Artichokes, another favorite, arrive from the other coast and strawberries introduce months of berries and cherries. There are all my favorite flowers – daffodils, tulips, peonies and lilacs. The days get longer and warmer and sorry, you can’t begin to argue that anything in October beats that!

Accidental Locavore Huge SquashEven though I might be a candidate for fall tolerance training (butternut squash matter?), I love a day where it’s light past 5:00, I can dust off the barbecue and save Frank from washing a pile of pots and pans. Give me spring lamb, asparagus any way, and a bunch of daffodils from the garden and I’m happy! What about you? Any arguments for squash and apples?

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