Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Ottolenghi love: Gluten-free salads

Even more neglected than the vegetarian at a BBQ is the gluten-free attendee.
Sausages? Out.
Marinated meats? Out.
Tomato sauce? BBQ sauce? Wholegrain mustard? Out. Out. Out.
Anything with soy sauce (what can I say, we're Chinese!). Out.

Here are a couple of simple salads for the gluten-free friend in your life.

The first is a fresh salad with lovely smokey flavours of charred eggplants, and the second is a broccoli salad with a bit of punch.


Burnt aubergine with yellow pepper and red onion
from Ottolenghi the Cookbook
Serves 4
2 medium aubergines
2 yellow or green peppers, cored and cut into 1.5cm dice
1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
24 cherry tomatoes, halved
40g flat leaf parsley, roughl chopped
70 mL sunflower or nut oil
90 mL cider vinegar
3 tsp ground cumin
coarse sea salt and black pepper

1. Place the aubergines directly on 2 separate moderate flames on the stove and roast for 12-15 minutes, turning them occasionally with metal tongs, until the flesh is soft and the skin is burnt and flaky. Alternatively, place the aubergines under a hot grill for about an hour, turning them occasionally and continuing to cook even if they burst.
Leave to cool slightly.
2. Make a long cut through each warm aubergine. Scoop out the soft flesh while avoiding most of the burnt skin on the outside. Leave the flesh to drain in a colander for at least one hour, or overnight.
3. Chop the aubergine flesh roughly. Mix all the ingredients together, then taste and adjust the seasoning. It should be robust and pungent. Serve within 24 hours.

Chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic

from Ottolenghi the Cookbook

Serves 2-42 heads of broccoli (about 500g)
115 mL olive oil
4 garlic cloves
2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
coarse sea salt and black pepper
optional - toasted flaked almonds or very thin slices of lemon (with skin) to garnish

1. Separate broccoli florets, leaving individual small stems. Fill a large saucepan with plenty of water and bring to the boil. Blanch broccoli for 2 minutes only. Quickly transfer the broccoli to a bowl full of ice-cold water to stop the cooking at once. Drain and dry completely. Toss the broccoli in 45 mL olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Place a griddled pan on high heat for five minutes, and grill the broccoli in small batches. Turn and char broccoli on each side. Transfer to heatproof bowl and continue.
3. Place the rest of the oil in a saucepan with the garlic and chillies. Cook them over a medium heat until the garlic just begins to turn golden brown. Be careful not to let the garlic or chilli burn - remember, they will keep cooking off the heat. Pour the oil, garlic and chilli over the hot broccoli an toss together well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
4. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with almonds or lemon slices before serving if you wish.


  1. That eggplant salad looks like my type of salad. Served with some lamb cutlets would be delicious!

  2. Hello mates! I want to start a new discussion about the influences teflon has on our health.
    We all know that teflon makes our pans easier to clean, as nothing sticks to them.
    We might even consider this as an advantage, as we require no oil so that food doesn't become stuck on the pans, and less oil means a healthier diet.
    For all those that don't know, teflon consists of carbon and fluorine molecules that bond so strongly, food can't get a hold and just slips straight of a teflon coated pan.
    But few of you may know of the risks involved using teflon coated pans.
    Teflon contains a chemical called per-flouro-octanoid-acid also known as PFOA, which can cause cancer.
    If you over heat teflon coated pans, to 260 degrees Celsius, you get the risk of releasing that chemical...and this is a risk not worth taking.
    So although teflon coated pans are easier to use, they imply high risks on our it is advised that they be used properly.
    The alternative to these pans is using copper pans, as they conduct heat quickly.
    I hope you found my topic interesting!

  3. First I will like to say that a good salad is a must in any meal. we have 3 kids and they have a salad every day, so thanks you for the great salad ideas.

    Alex regarding the teflon, I was reading a little about it and it sound like a crime that they allow it to be sold. it is so tocsic at such a low temputure that its not even worth using it.

    Thanks alex


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