Tag Archives: plenty

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet Coleslaw

It’s a little bit coleslaw, a little bit art. Maybe it’s for dinner tonight?  This recipe is the Sweet Winter Slaw from the cookbook I am obsessed with, Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi.  I made this for the first time in Omaha when visiting family and then again on Saturday to go with the Black Pepper Tofu (from the same book) which is irrationally loveable.  If I figure out where I saved the photos from that preparation I will post them soon too.

But this salad is not only easy (the chopping takes a bit of time but you can do it in advance) but the combo of papaya, mango, mint, cilantro and red cabbage (plus the candied macadamia nuts) is pretty stellar.  Your guest’s taste buds will be at your mercy–you can serve charred, dried out chicken breast right after and people will still walk away thinking you are a genius.

When we made this in Omaha we forgot to get macadamia nuts so we used pecans. The nuts are candied and then roughly chopped before being tossed in with the other ingredients.  You can use peanuts as well.

The smell of cilantro as you chop it will energize your work as you rush towards dinner hour ( especially if you’re like me and are always one side dish behind in prep because you’ve  decided to take extra time arranging the glasses on the dining room table “just so”.)

If you make this in advance, I think you can cut everything a few hours ahead except for the mint and cilantro.  If you add the herbs  an hour before serving (don’t toss yet, just add on top of the salad and put a damp paper towel on top of the ingredients) I think everything will still be fresh and fine.  Realistically, chopping the herbs does not take a lot of time–but you may be space crunched as I am though so anything done if advance helps.

The dressing can be made the day before.  You may want to steal this dressing and us it on other greens or salads.  Its addictive flavour comes from maple syrup, lime juice, lemon grass, sesame oil and chile flakes in it.

Finally just before serving, toss everything together, pour on the dressing and serve.  This will actually still taste pretty good the next day (if you have leftovers) though the herbs and nuts will be a bit moist by that time.  When I made it this weekend I reserved some of the salad without dressing for the next day, figuring I could always toss some more if we ran out.

And here it is going on the plate:

This image is from our Omaha dinner, we served it with this tomato and onion Socca.   In the book there’s  recommendation to serve this with roast chicken.  Perfection I think!

Sweet Winter Slaw  (adapted from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi)

Serves 6

Dressing

6 1/2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice (3-4 limes)

1 lemongrass stalk, chopped into small pieces  (you can substitute with zest of lemon)

3 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp chile flakes

4 tbsp light olive oil/sunflower oil

Candied Nuts

1 1/4 cup macadamia nuts

2 tsp butter

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp chile flakes

Slaw

7 inner leaves of Savoy Cabbage, finely shredded ( I used 1 quarter of a green cabbage, could not get savoy)

1/2 small red cabbage, finely shredded

1 ripe mango, cut into thin strips  (How to peel and slice a mango)

1 papaya, cut into strips

1 fresh red chile, seeded and finely sliced

1/4 cup mint, leaves roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups cilantro, leaves roughly chopped (How to Chop herbs)

Method

For the dressing: Place all the ingredients except the oil into a small saucepan and reduce over high heat for 5-10 minutes until syrupy and thick. Remove from heat and once cooled strain into a bowl and add the oil.  Set aside.

(* ok, I am laughing at how I did not read this instruction and just mixed this all as if making a regular vinaigrette (no heating in pan).  I think it will be better reduced but it still worked great!  So one more time–ALWAYS READ THE RECIPE ALL THE WAY THROUGH)

For the candied nuts:

Place the nuts in a medium pan over medium heat  and roast until lightly browned.  Watch these and shake the pan occasionally so they don’t burn.

Add the butter and when melted add the sugar, salt and chile flakes.  Stir constantly so the sugar doesn’t burn and when caramelized (the sugar will be melted and gooey) remove from the heat and pour onto parchment to cool.  Chop roughly once solid.  Set aside.

Assembly:

Put the cabbage and the rest of the salad ingredients into a bowl (including the nuts).  Add your dressing and toss.  Give it a taste to see if it needs anymore seasoning and serve it up!


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I will not shut-up about you Socca (aka chickpea flour pissaladière) with crème fraîche

Click on this for deliciousness in detail.

Today I am the drunk person that will not shut-up. This is the first recipe I ever made from Plenty (the vegetable cookbook from London’s Ottolenghi) when I bought it and it led to a love affair (whirlwind even) that has not ended.    And may yet seem endless to you my bloggies, as I have a few more recipes coming and feel gushy about all of them.  I may soon be the Julie and Julia version of Plenty except with a really awkward title.  (Plenty of Cheese?  Sue and Ottolenghi?) The recipes work exactly as promised, with clear defined directions and honestly, turn out just like the picture in the book.  See for yourself:

The book image for your "compare and contrast" pleasure.

Despite the fancy photo shoot, what you see is what you get.  Beautiful dish in cookbook becomes beautiful dish on your dinner table.  In order to save some obnoxious gushing for future posts, let me show how this recipe comes together.

Take 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, slice in half, and toss with some olive oil and salt and pepper.  You’re going to roast these, cut side up, at 275°F for about 25 minutes.  You don;t want them to dry out completely.

Then chop a couple of sprigs of rosemary (the recipe calls for thyme but we had none on hand) and toss with about 2 lbs of thinly sliced white onions adding some olive oil, slat and pepper.

Put this in a large pan and cook n high for about a minute, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 25 minutes (I think we did 40 minutes last time though) until he onion is light brown and sweet.

At the end mix in 1/2 teaspoon of white wine vinegar.

When the tomatoes are done you need to bump up your oven temperature to 325F.  And now to make the Socca batter with your chickpea flour.

Combine 1 3/4 cups chickpea flour, 2 cups water, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt plus a grind of pepper in a bowl and whisk by hand until smooth and well combined.

Ina  separate bowl you need to whisk two egg whites to soft peaks and then gently fold them into the batter.   Now line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside to put your pancakes on as you make them.

In the cookbook one is to use a small 6″ pan to fry the pancakes but I just used a regular non-stick frying pan, keeping the pancakes about 6 ” in diameter.  Put a teeny bit of olive oil in the pan, then you want to pour the batter about 1/4 ” thick and then just wait for the bubble to start appearing on the top.  Give it a flip and cook for about another minute and pop onto the parchment lined cookie sheet.  Make the rest of the pancakes (4-6 total) and then put them all in the oven for 5 minutes.

Top the pancakes generously with the caramelized onion and then add the tomatoes. You can warm this in the oven for a few minutes before serving.

The crème fraîche can be served on the side but we just popped it on top. And I would say–make extra onions.  I always seem to want more.

We served this with a Thai-style salad from the same cookbook, which also kicked ass, and I will post that recipe down the road.

You know how I felt about this?  Kind of like The Cure Song Just Like Heaven.  That was a good song.  Especially after a few Keg sized Iced Teas on a first date. But as they say on the Riverbank, that’s another story.

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Plenty: Join the Chicken Confit Club (Sandwich) at Dundas/University

Starving,  I rushed not to be late for a doctor’s appointment and stumbled upon a lovely little cafe called Plenty.  It’s on Dundas, just west of University on the north side.

Previously hoping only to grab a generic sub I was thrilled to walk away with a grilled Club that contained thick, smoky bacon and chicken confit.

I’m not a regular in the area but I used to work down there and my doctor is there, so it was sweet  to find decent lunch grub.

And grub is really an unfair summary as everything looked extremely fresh, tasteful and mouth-watering (they had bacon and ..ummm..something mac and cheese…ok they lost me after bacon)

Quite a few savory galettes too which looked amazing and were priced well.  I couldn’t quite get them all in this photo below (they’re on the edge).

There is no website as of yet-they had just been open 3 days as of last Thursday, so here is a shot of the menu (apparently created by Scot Woods)  for your salivating pleasure:

Note there is a SMOKED BACON AND TOMATO JAM SANDWICH. MMMM.

And if you had not time to make breakfast:

I doubt you’ll ever make breakfast again.  Anyway, personally, I’m now psyched to have another baby at Mt. Sinai one day,  if only so that after the birth I can get a black currant scone with butter and marmalade instead of sending Tad out for Swiss Chalet.  Hell, I’ll take both.

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