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Monthly Archives: September 2009

  • Roasted sweet potato with pecan & maple

    From the Ottolenghi cookbook, here's one of our favourite recipes that unfortunately didn't get a picture. Try it as a side dish at your Christmas table or as an original picnic salad. Serves 4 2 sweet potatoes (about 850g in total) 3 tbsp olive oil 35g pecans 4 spring onions, roughly chopped 4 tbsp roughly chopped parsley 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander ¼ tsp flaked chilli 35g sultanas Salt and pepper Dressing 60ml olive oil 2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tbsp sherry vinegar 1 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp orange juice 2 tsp grated fresh ginger ½ tsp ground cinnamon Preheat the oven to 190ºC/Gas Mark 5. Start with the sweet potatoes. Don’t peel them! Cut into 2cm cubes, spread out on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, mix well with your hands and roast in the oven until the potatoes are just tender, about 30 minutes. Turn them over gently half way through the cooking. In a separate tray, toast the pecans in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and chop roughly. While the potatoes are roasting make the dressing. Whisk together all the ingredients in small bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper in needed. When the potatoes are ready, transfer them to a large bowl while still hot. Add the spring onion, parsley, coriander, chilli, pecans and sultanas. Pour the dressing over and toss gently to blend, then season to taste. Serve at once or at room temperature.
  • Many Turkish delights

    Just back from a scrumptious weekend in Istanbul, where the six of us from Ottolenghi – or, otherwise very closely associated – ate our way through heaps of burek, baklava and beyaz peynir (the famous salty white cheese). The best food we had was in simple, unassuming street stalls or basic restaurants, where the greatness of Ottoman food is evident in its simplicity yet strict adherence to tradition. The combination of flavours of Arab, central Asian and Balkan cuisines produces the most inspiring dishes. Here’s a few of our favourites: Kanaat Lokantesi in Üsküdar for simple home-style cooking and the best stuffed vegetables. The Egyptian spice market that sells much more than spices, or actually, everything and anything you never knew you needed. Balikci Sabahattin restaurant in Sultan-Ahmed for the freshest and, literally, the most delicious fish in the world, or as Itamar calls it, the Temple of Love. The best burek we had at Asli Borek on Buyuk Postahane Caddesi, just off the spice market. Namli, a shop full of Turkish magic selling and serving Ottolenghiesque style salads and much more. You must buy their tahini, halva and many cheeses! At Hamdi Et Lokantasi we had the best lamb kebabs we have ever tasted, and that’s quite something. We also visited Muzedechanga, where we sampled some amazing modern Turkish cuisine and got lots of tips from the lovely owners, Tarik and Savas.

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