#Cipollini Onions #agrodolce

I found some cipollini onions at the market on the weekend and they reminded me of a recipe I have always “seen” in Alistair Little’s Italian Kitchen Cookbook…one of my favourite recipe books of all time. But then of course I couldn’t find it!

What are they? According to TheKitchn…”Their name literally means “little onion” in Italian, and indeed they are! Cipollinis are about the size of a golf ball with a slightly flattened appearance. They’re thin-skinned and have translucent white flesh with more residual sugar than your average yellow or white onion.”

But I figure baby onions would be fine with this same treatment and worth it just have the sweet and sour, agrodolce sauce.

So I googled what I could remember and realised that the recipe must be “agrodolce” or Italian sweet and sour …so this is what resulted! A new discovery of deliciousness that will be a new favourite for sure!

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 cipollini onions or baby onions
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar

Method:

1. Place raisins into bowl and cover with hot water, allow to sit for next 30 minutes. You want the raisins to absorb the water and get close to bursting. This is key to the agrodolce sauce’s success.

2. Meanwhile, peel the onions. Heat the oil in a small pan that fits them all in one layer. Heat oil until hot, add onions, salt and pepper and ….then Cook onions slowly for 10-15 minutes until brown on all sides and tender.

3. Drain raisins (after 30 minutes), add to pan with onions, add sugar, balsamic vinegar and allow to bubble until vinegar evaporates and some of the raisins burst to form a sauce. Onions will caramelise and absorb some of the sauce. I added 2 tablespoons of water to help the process along a bit too.

4. Place directly onto platter and serve alongside grilled vegetables and roast meats. Perfect to have in the fridge so next time I am going ro make double this batch!!

Onion #Pakora #Bhujia

A simple recipe that can be whipped up as a snack with just a few ingredients. Lovely with a cup of tea. A family favourite during my childhood.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion sliced thickly
  • 1-2red or green chillies chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons coriander finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of oil

1. Put all ingredients except onions in bowl and mix until a thick batter forms

2. Put onions into bowl and mix to cover in batter

3. Heat oil in non-stick pan and put dollops of onion and batter frying until golden on both sides and cooked through. Best to cook on medium heat so they don’t burn and this allows more time for onions to cook through. Drain on kitchen paper.

4. Serve hot with a cup of tea.

Onion Pakora

Cauliflower, eggplant and green bean #curry #mixedveg

A nice vegetable curry is delicious just with some dhal and rice or alongside other curries or grilled meat.

The combination of cauliflower, eggplant and green beans with the warmth of mild Indian spices is a tenure winner. I love eggplant and in this recipe I use the long, skinny variety cut in discs.

The onion mixture with dried red chillies, mustard seeds and curry leaves is a classic base for many a South Indian curry and you really can’t go wrong with any vegetable combination you add.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion finely diced
  • Handful fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 piece cinammon bark or quill
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic pounded to a paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tomato diced finely
  • 2 Thai long eggplants
  • 1.5 cups cauliflower florets
  • Greens beans, top and tailed chopped into small pieces (about a cup’s worth)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method:

1. Heat oil in a flat, heavy based pan which has a lid, add cinammon, cummin seeds , fenugreek seeds, dried chillies and curry leaves and heat over medium heat until fragrant.

2. Add onions and simmer gently until onions are transparent then add turmeric, cummin powder, mustard seeds and mix through.

3. Add ginger and garlic paste, tomatoes and mix through, stir fry until tomatoes just start breaking down, add 1/2 cup of water to stop mixture from sticking.

4. Add cauliflower florets and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on.

5. While cauliflower is cooking, cut eggplant into discs and then add with green bean pieces to cauliflower mixture. After 5/minutes, Add in peas and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 1/2 cup of water to stop mixture sticking. Simmer for 5 minutes until eggplant is tender and going transparent but not mushy.

6. Taste to see if additional salt required. Garnish with coriander and serve with fluffy white rice or naan, or just as a delicious side dish with other dishes.

#Peas, pea shoots, broccoli and feta #salad

Another easy pea-sy salad that is delicious with grilled lamb cutlets and oven baked sweet potato fries.

Weekday dinners can challenge the imagination but the addition of a yummy salad to basic meat and veg combos can really make the difference.

In this case the addition of some peas and pea shoots, along with cubed feta cubes, a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon makes for a great and very healthy side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups or so of broccoli florets steamed or just cooked in the microwave
  • 1 cup frozen peas cooked to al dente in the microwave
  • 1.5 cups of pea shoots torn it or pieces
  • 1/2 cup feta cubes
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and cracked Black pepper to taste

Cook vegetables, combine all ingredients and serve.

Red #Kidney Bean #Dhal

I substituted the black beans with a can of red kidney beans and added 1/2 a cup of red lentils about an hour into the cooking, adding extra water to stop it from sticking along the way.

The outcome was delicious and I’d recommend playing around with this recipe with beans and lentils of your choice. can’t go wrong really!!

Here’s the original recipe with black beans.

https://atomic-temporary-94611410.wpcomstaging.com/2015/09/06/black-bean-dhal-with-ginger-chilli-onions-and-tomato/

Cauliflower and fennel mash #mash #carbfree

Who needs potatoes, when you can have this delicious fennel flavoured silky cauliflower and fennel mash?

Easy as boiling the white part of the fennel for about 10 minutes, adding cauliflower florets and boiling until tender, drain, then whizz with a stick blender, add a touch of butter and salt the serve up.

Delicious with roast pork. I roast a few slices of cauliflower in the pork fat towards the end of the roasting time to top the mash with crispy cauliflower for texture.

Cauliflower and fennel mash alongside roast pork and green beans with fennel tops.