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Tag Archives: side dishes

Marinated aubergine/eggplant II

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I reprised the marinated eggplant/aubergine dish, this time rubbing the eggplant with olive oil and roasting it in the oven. I also used mirin in place of vinegar and agave syrup.



Roasted Broccoli

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Roast broccoli rubbed with seasoning and served with a cider vinegar dip is quite tasty. Next time I may use bahārāt, which I already know goes well with roast carrots. I left out the cheese in the original recipe – it really doesn’t need it – and made a few alterations to the spice mix: I used maple sugar instead of brown sugar, I left out the chilli powder, I added 1 teaspoon of sumac, and I added 1/2 a teaspoon each of ground Szechuan pepper and annatto seeds. I cooked it for less time than the recipe called for (25 minutes total) as I did not want it slightly charred.


I ate this for lunch with a little bread, but it would also be good as a vegetable side dish for dinner or as a dinner centrepiece if accompanied by some potatoes or other side dishes.

Rating: Tasty – I will probably make it again

Chickpea Flour Fries

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Having just read about using chickpea flour to make fries/chips, I decided to give it a try as I had all the ingredients on hand.  The end result was certainly better than a bad plate of fries, although not as good as homemade potato fries.


Root vegetable soup

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Trying to eat local seasonal food means a lot of the vegetables that don’t inspire affection.  This week I made root vegetable soup with tarragon cream and turnip chips, which was worth making.  I used a lighter cooking cream which I didn’t beat, and next time I’ll probably leave it out to make this vegan.  I used half a turnip for the chips, which were surprisingly good.  For the soup itself I used half a turnip, 2 carrots, 1 rutabaga, 1 sweet potato, 1 potato, and 1 celeriac.  Next time I think I may toss in some parsnip or beet.


I served it with a bit of bread and a side of mixed vegetables (zucchini/courgette, carrot and bell pepper).


Roasted vegetables

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I got this recipe from my mother, who got it from a friend.  I modified it a little.  I have no idea where it originated.


  • half a small squash or pumpkin (I used a Hokkaido pumpkin so I wouldn’t have to peel it)
  • 2 sweet potatoes or yams
  • 250 g Brussels sprouts
  • 2 beets
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 springs fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • crema di balsamico


Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. 

Cut the top off the head of garlic.  Put it in a bit of aluminium foil and drizzle it with olive oil.  Close the foil and set the garlic in a baking dish.

Peel the beets and sweet potatoes and chop them.  Put them in the baking dish.  Cut the pumpkin and remove the seeds; chop it and add it to the baking dish as well.  Cut  small Brussels sprouts in half and large ones in quarters and add them to the baking dish as well.  Toss in the rosemary and drizzle the vegetables with olive oil.

The vegetables before roasting

The vegetables before roasting

Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Remove the garlic and sprigs of rosemary.  Discard the rosemary.  Squeeze the garlic toes out into a bowl.  Mash them with a bit of olive oil.  Mix the garlic mash in with the other vegetables and add salt and pepper to taste.  Just before serving, drizzle with a bit of crema di balsamico.


Chard/Mangold stems with Parmesan

Earlier I used chard/mangold leaves to make a side dish, which left some stems to use. Both the leaves and stems are nice, but I don’t like to use them in the same dish as they cook rather differently.  I decided to bake the chard stems with Parmesan for lunch.


Another menu for a hot day: meze

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I brought meze to a friend’s house for dinner.  It included yogurtlu havuc salatasi (carrots in yoghurt), hummus, baba ghanoush and borani esfanaaj (spinach in yoghurt), served with fresh homemade pita.


Marinated aubergine/eggplant

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For lunch today I couldn’t find any vegetables which weren’t earmarked for a meal later in the week, aside from a single Japanese aubergine.  I decided to pan-fry it and then marinade it; I only let it sit one hour but it would certainly benefit from sitting longer if you have the patience.

marinated aubergine


I originally thought of making age bitashi but didn’t have any dashi.  It’s a different flavour but the idea of frying and then marinading was taken from this dish.


  • 1 Japanese aubergine
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons grain vinegar (if you use mirin, you could leave out the agave)
  • 3 Tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil


Cut the aubergine into quarters.  Place in a bowl with salted water for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mince the garlic and ginger and place it in another bowl.  Add the vinegar, agave, soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil to the garlic-ginger paste to make the marinade.  Put the marinade in the bottom of a flat container which is large enough for all the aubergine pieces to lie in a single layer.

Drain and rinse the aubergine and pat it dry.  Heat a frying pan and add the vegetable oil.  When the oil is hot, add the aubergine to the pan, placing it skin side down.  Turn down the heat to medium.  Cook the aubergine until both sides are lightly browned and it feels soft to the touch (about 8 minutes).  Remove the aubergine and place it cut side down in the marinade.

Allow the aubergine to soak in the marinade for at least an hour but ideally longer.  If it will be sitting longer, put it in the fridge to marinate.  It should be served at room temperature.



Mango lime salad dressing

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This dressing is heavily based on the mango lime vinaigrette recipe from The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook by Tanya Petrovna.


  • 1 cup chopped fresh mango
  • 1/4 cup flax oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1″ fresh ginger


Grate or purée the ginger (I used my spice grinder) then toss all the ingredients in a blender and purée.



Yet another asparagus lunch

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garlic-parmesan asparagus

I’m still enjoying the asparagus season.  Today’s lunch was garlic-Parmesan asparagus.