Big red cabbage

Whole cabbages just seem to go on and on for ages and never end. It is like some horrible, boring magic. If you do have a whole red cabbage, ‘slaw’ (as the cool kids seem to call it these days) is your friend. This slaw recipe uses half a cabbage (though somehow there still seems to be a lot of cabbage left). I served the slaw with an Asian-style omelette (recipe a bit further below).

cabbage salad

Winter slaw (serves four as a side)

To make the slaw:

Ingredients: 1/2 a red cabbage, sliced finely; 1 bunch of coriander; 2-3 oranges peeled and chopped into largish chunks.

Combine these ingredients in a bowl. I thought about adding some ginger or spring onion – either would probably be quite nice for some extra zing.

To make the slaw dressing:

Ingredients: Juice of two limes; 1 teaspoon of soy sauce; 1 tablespoon of sesame oil; 3 tablespoons of olive oil; dash of honey (to taste); 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (though I just used chili oil)

Combine and pour over salad. Toast some black sesame seeds in a pan over a low heat. Sprinkle over the top.

Omelette  (should serve 4 but is really a feast for 2)

This is one of those recipes that feels like it won’t work but actually does.

Ingredients: 12 eggs; 2 tablespoons of fish sauce; 2 teaspoons oyster sauce (plus 2 tablespoons extra); handful of coriander; 4 spring onions finely chopped; 1/3 cup olive oil; sesame oil; chives.

Combine eggs, fish sauce and oyster sauce in a bowl or jug. Add coriander and spring onions. Combine a bit more.

Heat a quarter of the oil in a wok. When the oil is hot add a quarter of the egg mixture. Use a slotted spoon to push the cooked mixture inwards repeatedly until the omelette starts to set. Turn temperature to low. Allow to cook for forty seconds, then fold in half and leave for another forty seconds. Remove and keep warm. Repeat three more times until all of the mixture is cooked.

Sprinkle with chives and pour over mixture of oyster sauce and sesame oil.

I borrowed ideas from here and there to come up with this – vegetable omelette (Women’s Weekly Modern Asian Cookbook) and winter slaw (Ottolenghi).

If you still have a lot of red cabbage left you might also like to make fish tacos.

Zapping some vegetables with Ottolenghi’s cookbook

A fellow vegetable-lover recently popped a copy of Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi under my nose. Ottolenghi really is all about his vegetables!

Ottolenghi

Founded in his Israeli heritage, Ottolenghi’s cooking takes inspiration from family, friends and travels.

The book is lovely – mostly because the recipes are very thoughtful about how the different vegetables that make up the dish should be prepared. They are a unique take on how vegetables can be combined together to make interesting flavours and textures.

So far I have tried the Surprise Tatin …

suprise tatin

My surprise Tatin came with extra surprise – I had some dirty big potatoes and roma tomatoes from the last co-op shop that I decided to use up. I sliced the tomatoes into segments and then halved each wedge to make the size roughly equivalent to half a cherry tomato and it worked fine. Admittedly my more rustic take was not as pretty as Ottolenghi’s but it still tasted yummy!

And then my life changed after making the pasta and fried zucchini salad…

zuchini

Ok it looks pretty humble but it is freakin’ delicious.

Due to supply constraints I used frozen broad beans instead of frozen edamame (but fresh broad beans would be the best Australian option) and bocconcini instead of buffalo mozzarella. Still trying to come up with a new describing word equivalent to amazing to give proper recognition to how yummy this pasta was. It was a bloody good way to use up three zucchinis !

Big ups to Ottolenghi for keeping the inspirational fires burning but there are a few challenges… There are things in ounces, the degrees are in farenheit and some of the instructions are vague (eg cooking time only but no description on how big or how cooked vegetable should be – this can be hard given one type of vegetable can come in different shapes and sizes). I found this a bit frustrating at first but realised in the end that precision was not all that important for these recipes – if you err on the side of underdone for your vegetables it is pretty hard to go wrong!

Now to plan what to make out of the book with my next round of vegetables … something with eggplant I think!