Posts Tagged ‘Yotam Ottolenghi’

A taster from my new cook book Healthy Eating for Life due to be published on January 8th 2014–my birthday!


We had it for lunch today–with some green beans, as suggested in the recipe–spiced up with a couple of ripe tomatoes and feta.

A traditional North African favourite, this version is adapted from a recent discovery in Ottolenghi’s sumptuous vegetable cookbook, Plenty.

The name means “mixture” in Tunisian–better to stick to Shakshouka I reckon!

It is often served in individual cast iron pans, which I imagine adds to the pleasure–one pan and ALL for ME!

It makes a pretty picture on the plate—a perfect light summer lunch.



for 2

1/2 tsp cumin seeds–dry roasted in a medium pan


1 large onion–red or yellow, sliced

60ml/1/4 cup olive oil

red peppers--washed, deseeded and sliced thin

bay leaf, thyme leaves from a few sprigs, 2 tablespoons of parsley

3 large fresh ripe tomatoes or tinned [canned]–roughly chopped with the juices


1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and a pinch–a few strands–of saffron (optional)

¼ cup/60 ml water

2 or 4 eggs

salt and pepper

Dry roast in a small frying pan the cumin seeds for a minute or two, taking care not to burn them.

Heat the oil in the pan over a medium-high flame and cook the onion for 5 minutes to soften it.


Add the peppers and three herbs (bay, thyme and parsley) and turn everything over thoroughly.


Cover the pan for 5 minutes to start the softening of the peppers.

Cook a further 5 minutes uncovered.

Add the tomatoes, the water, a little at a time to avoid diluting the sauce, the two spices (cayenne pepper and saffron) and season with salt and pepper.

Cook for 15 minutes on a low heat–covering for a short time if you think the peppers need further softening.

The result should be a lightly spicy sauce in which to poach the eggs.


Carefully break the eggs (2 or 4–your choice) into the sauce–leaving space between them.


Cover the pan and cook, over a lowish heat, until the eggs are cooked to your taste.

IMG_8632Reluctantly–I shared the pan’s contents with Meredith!

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We had these for lunch yesterday.

Chermoula the north African spice mix is spread lightly over aubergine/eggplant halves which are then baked in a moderately high oven until tender.

There are as many chermoulas as there are camels in the desert!

(Which means if you are short of one of the ingredients go ahead anyway–just means there’ll be another camel in the desert!)

This version is from Ottolenghi’s new book Jerusalem.

The thinner variety of aubergine/eggplant works well for this–two halves each with salad and a small bowl baba ganoush on the side made a agreeable light lunch.

for 4

4 thin aubergines/eggplants–halved carefully top to toe

For the chermoula:

2 tsps cumin powder

2 tsps coriander powder

1 tsp smoked sweet paprika

1 tsp cayenne powder

2 garlic cloves–pulped in a tsp of salt

rind of a preserved lemon–chopped fine

80ml/4 tblsps olive oil

set the oven at 200C/400F

  • Put all the chermoula ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Make a couple of diagonal slits each way in the flesh of the aubergines.

  • Sprinkle with a little salt and leave to drain for an hour or so.

Works better with something under the colander to catch the drips!

  • Dry the aubergine halves.
  • Spread a thinnish layer of the chermoula mix on each half (yesterday Meredith thought I had laid it on too thick).

  • Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes–depending on the thickness of the aubergines.
  • Leave to cool a little.
  • This yogurt sauce would balance the spiciness.

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