Lighter Fare

After four days of serious French food (bread, cheese, pastry, repeat) I decided that we needed to take a bit of a break and try something a little lighter.  Ottolenghi it is.  Yotam Ottolenghi is the patron and chef of Ottolenghi, a fabulous restaurant in our neighbourhood.  The desserts in the windows are amazing.  They make a great takeaway treat to be enjoyed at home after a nice dinner out…or long day at work…or…well, I can think of any number of reasons.  They make a delicious passionfruit tart which regularly makes an appearance at our table.  We’ve also gone there for breakfast a couple of times and will likely go again.

At our last breakfast we (mr416expat) had scrambled eggs and salmon and (mrs416expat) sweet corn pancakes with guacamole and bacon.  It was a great meal that I’ve since recreated at home.  Delicious!


Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs

Sweet Corn and Green Onion Pancakes with Guacamole and Bacon

Yotam Ottolenghi also writes a column in the Guardian, a Left-Wing equivalent of the Globe and Mail.  Week after week he serves up unique recipes but they are consistently good.  His columns are my go-to-source for healthier recipes with serious flavour.  This week’s column was no exception, spiced chickpeas with a fresh vegetable salad. This recipe is a great opportunity to practice your knife skills!   There’s a lot of dicing required and that makes for good practice.

Fresh vegetables diced

Add herbs and dressing

Quickly cook up some seasoned chickpeas


And serve


Spiced Chickpeas with a Fresh Vegetable Salad – adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe in the Guardian

1 can chickpeas
2 cucumbers
2 tomatoes
1 small red onion, peeled
240 g radishes
2 red peppers, seeds and pith removed
20 g coriander leaves and stems
15 g flat-leaf parsley
120ml olive oil
2 lemons, zest grated, juiced
30 ml red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
1 tsp cinnamon

In a sealable container, mix together 75ml olive oil, lemon juice, zest, vinegar, smashed garlic clove, sugar, salt and pepper.  Shake to combine and set aside to allow the flavours to blend.

Chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, radishes, and red pepper into a 1cm dice.  Combine in a bowl.  Chop the coriander and parsley, adding them to the vegetables.  Shake the dressing again, and lightly dress the vegetables to taste.

Combine the coriander, cumin and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl.  Drain and rinse the chickpeas.  Toss the chickpeas in the spice mix.  Heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat lightly frying the chickpeas for two to three minutes, stirring frequently.

Divide the salad amongst the plates and serve with the warmed chickpeas on top.


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