Middle Eastern, Ottolenghi Style

These recipes are altered slightly from how they originally appear in the cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. I modified them for our kitchen and replaced ingredients that are out of season or not available in Buenos Aires. This is a great menu for hot weather and everything but the Chickpea sauté can be prepared ahead of time if necessary. We served the stuffed zucchini warm, as a contrast to the cold carrot salad, though the recipe suggests that they be just above fridge temperature. Aside from the yogurt this menu is vegan. We served it with a cold rosé and ended the meal with crisp watermelon and dark chocolate.

Spicy Moroccan Carrot Salad for 4

  • 2lbs carrots chopped in 1/2 thick rounds or semicircles
  • 1/3 C olive oil plus extra to finish
  • 1tsp unrefined cane sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 hot chilis (in BA get the ones called puta pario)
  • 1 green onion finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tblsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 C plain yogurt (to get greek yogurt consistency place 2/3 C yogurt in cheesecloth inside strainer and leave 5-8 hours; discard liquid that drains out)
  1. Place carrots in large saucepan, cover with salted water, bring to boil then simmer for 10 mins max, until tender but still crunchy. Drain in colander and leave to cool and dry out in fridge.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet and sauté onions until soft. Let cool.
  3. Mix carrots, onions, chilis, and spices. Best if they can sit a couple of hours so flavors can mingle.
  4. Just before serving stir in cilantro, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish with a spoonful of yogurt and a drizzle of olive oil.

Stuffed Zucchini for 4

  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 Tblsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup arroz yamani (medium grain brown rice)
  • 2 Tblsp raisins
  • 1 Tblsp hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 Tblsp chopped parsley, and some sprigs for garnish
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 2 Tblsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsps unrefined cane sugar
  • 2 medium zucchini halved lengthwise
  • salt and black pepper
  1. Saute onion in a little oil until softened. Add rice, raisins, mint, and spices. Stir to mix well and then add 1 1/4 C water. Bring to boil then simmer, covered about 45 mins until all water is absorbed.
  2. Place halved zucchinis in large pot of boiling water, cook til soft enough to scoop out the centers with a spoon to make boats. (Save this flesh from the center to purée DSC_0048with garlic and olive oil for a delicious vegan mayonnaise as pictured here.) Drain zucchini cut side down a few minutes.
  3. Toast chopped hazelnuts in dry skillet just until aromatic.
  4. When rice is cooked stir in lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper, and parsley and then fill zucchini boats generously. Leftover rice makes a great salad, especially on top of arugula or other greens.
  5. Bake in hot oven about 8 minutes, just until edges of zucchini dry out. Garnish with parsley sprig and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Chickpea Sauté with Greek Yogurt* for 4

*follow same instructions as above to get a resemblance of greek yogurt. Use 2/3 C plain whole milk yogurt to end up with about 1/2 C. The greens can be chard or other cooking greens, which you should blanch. You can also (as we did) use spinach or arugula or any other tender green you can just stir them in when you add the chickpeas.

  • 8 cups greens
  • 1/3 C olive oil and a little more to finish
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds (semillas de alcaravea in spanish)
  • 1 1/2 C freshly cooked chickpeas (garbanzos)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tblsp mint, chopped
  • 1 Tblsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tblsp lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 C greek style yogurt mixed with 1 Tblsp olive oil
  1. Sauté carrots and caraway seeds in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and greens and cook another few minutes.
  2. Add garlic, herbs, and lemon juice and remove from heat.
  3. Serve topped with yogurt mixture and freshly ground black pepper.

Plum Barley Salad for 4

This originally calls for pomegranate seeds (from 2 large pomegranates). We used plums instead because they were in season, and some dried cranberries because my dad brought them down for Christmas.

  • 1 C pearl barleyDSC_0049
  • 6 celery stalks, diced (remove and save leaves)
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 3 Tblsp sherry vinager (vinagre de jerez in spanish)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tblsp fresh dill or 3 tsp dried dill
  • 1 Tblsp parsley, chopped
  • 4 large, firm plums, diced
  1. Rinse barley in cold water. Place in medium saucepan and cover with almost double the water. Simmer 30-35 mins until tender but still with a bite. Be aware that it will continue to cook for several minutes after you remove it from heat/drain it.
  2. While barley is still hot add celery, garlic, sherry vinegar, olive oil, and spices.
  3. Once completely cooled, stir in chopped plum or pomegranate seeds. Taste and adjust seasoning as need be.











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