Yotam Ottolenghi's 10 recipes perfect for an Australian autumn | Australian lifestyle (2024)

Yotam Ottolenghi recipes

As the weather cools, leafy greens, pumpkins and figs come into season – use them in recipes that are a little warming but light enough for temperate days

Yotam Ottolenghi

Sat 29 Feb 2020 14.00 EST

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4 years old

Spicy mushroom lasagne

Four types of mushroom and two types of cheese give this lasagne the most satisfying, savoury intensity that, to my mind, makes it the most glorious meat-free lasagne you’ll ever have. There’s a fair amount of heat here, so to make it child-friendly, reduce the amount of pepper and omit the chilli altogether. If you don’t have a round, 28cm baking dish, use a 30cm x 20cm rectangular one. To get ahead, build the lasagne one day, chill, then bake the next.

750g chestnut mushrooms, halved
500g oyster mushrooms
135ml olive oil, plus a little extra for greasing
Salt and black pepper
60g dried porcini
30g dried wild mushrooms
2 dried red chillies, roughly chopped
500ml hot vegetable stock
1 onion, peeled and quartered
5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and quartered
2 plum tomatoes, quartered
75g tomato puree

130ml double cream
60g pecorino romano, finely grated
60g parmesan, finely grated
5g basil leaves, finely chopped
3 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves, plus 1 tsp extra, to serve
240g dried lasagne (ie, about 14 sheets)

Heat the oven to its highest setting (or 230C fan). In four or five batches, finely chop the fresh mushrooms in a food processor on the pulse setting, then tip into a large bowl and toss with three tablespoons of oil and a teaspoon of salt. Spread out on a large, 40cm x 35cm oven tray lined with baking paper, and roast for 20 minutes in the top third of the oven, stirring once halfway, until the mushrooms are golden brown. Remove and turn down the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7.

Meanwhile, put the dried mushrooms, chillies and hot stock in a large bowl and leave to soak for half an hour. Strain into a second bowl, squeezing as much liquid out of the mushrooms as possible; you should get about 340ml liquid in total, so top up with water, if need be. Very roughly chop the rehydrated chillies and mushrooms. Put the onion, garlic and carrot in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Heat 60ml oil in a large pan on a medium-high heat, then fry the onion mix for eight minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. Pulse the tomatoes in the food processor until finely chopped, then add to the pan with the tomato puree and a teaspoon and a half each of salt and finely cracked black pepper. Cook for seven minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the rehydrated mushroom mix and the roast mushrooms, and cook for seven minutes more, resisting the urge to stir too much – you want them to go slightly crisp and brown on the bottom. Stir in the reserved mushroom liquid and 800ml water and, once it comes up to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mix reduces to a ragu consistency. Stir in 100ml of the cream, simmer for two minutes, then turn off the heat.

Mix both cheeses and both herbs in a small bowl. To assemble the lasagne, spread a fifth of the sauce in the base of a round, 28cm baking dish, top with a fifth of the cheese, followed by a layer of lasagne sheets, broken to fit as necessary. Repeat these layers three more times, then finish with a final layer of sauce and top with the last of the cheese.

Drizzle a tablespoon of cream and a tablespoon of oil over the top, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, turn up the oven to 240C (220C fan)/465F/gas 9 and bake for 10 minutes more, turning the dish halfway, until the edges are brown and crisp. Leave to rest for five or so minutes, then drizzle over the remaining tablespoon each of cream and oil, sprinkle with the extra parsley and serve hot.

Fennel and apple gratin with parmesan crust

This gratin is indulgent enough to stand on its own as a main course, served with a light green salad to cut through the creaminess. Sweet vermouth adds an extra dimension, but can easily be replaced by another sweet white wine.

3 fennel bulbs (about 1.2kg), fronds intact
Salt and black pepper
2 granny smith apples
100ml sweet white vermouth, or other sweet white wine
100ml double cream

For the crust
50g panko breadcrumbs
50g parmesan, grated
10g fresh dill, chopped
10g tarragon leaves, chopped
1½ tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed in a mortar
1½ tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp olive oil

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Remove the fronds from the fennel bulbs and set aside, then cut each bulb lengthways into eight wedges. Fill a large saucepan with a litre of water, bring to a boil on a high heat and add a teaspoon of salt. Blanch the fennel wedges for 10 minutes, then drain into a sieve placed over a heatproof bowl, to reserve the cooking water.

Meanwhile, peel and core the apples, then slice them thinly (use a mandoline, if you have one), about 2mm thick. Put the apples in a 30cm x 20cm baking dish, along with the fennel, vermouth, cream and 100ml reserved cooking liquid. Season with a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper, and toss everything together until well combined. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes, until completely softened.

Meanwhile, prepare the panko crust by combining all the ingredients with a quarter-teaspoon of salt, a generous grind of black pepper and the reserved fennel fronds.

After 45 minutes, take the dish from the oven and remove the foil. Top with the panko mixture and bake, uncovered, for another 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then serve.

Leeks with miso and chives

The punchy dressing is the star here, and it pairs brilliantly with the mild sweetness of the leeks. It’s also great tossed with new potatoes or drizzled over fish, chicken or tofu. The fried leek tops and garlic add aroma and crunch, but if you want to save yourself from deep-frying and/or time, leave them out and serve the leeks with the dressing alone.

12 medium leeks, trimmed – leave some of the green tops intact
300ml vegetable oil
1¼ tsp cornflour
4 garlic cloves
, peeled and finely sliced

For the miso and chive dressing
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
Flaked sea salt
1½ tbsp mixed black and white sesame seeds, well toasted
5 tbsp chives, finely chopped, plus 1 tsp extra to serve
1½ tbsp white miso
60ml mirin
¾ tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil

Remove the tough outer layers of the leeks and wash them well to remove any grit. Cut off and reserve the green tops so each leek is about 22cm long. Finely slice 60g of the reserved tops into thin, 8cm-long strips. Rinse the leek greens again, to ensure you’ve removed any grit, then drain and dry thoroughly with kitchen towel.

For the miso and chive dressing, pound the ginger and a quarter-teaspoon of flaked salt in a mortar (or with the flat of a knife). Put in a small bowl with all the remaining dressing ingredients except the oil, stir well to combine and set aside.

Take a pot that’s wide enough to hold the leeks lengthways, half-fill it with lightly salted water, then put on a medium-high heat. Once the water is simmering, add the leeks and turn down the heat to medium. Put a lid that’s smaller than the pan on top of the leeks to weigh them down and keep them under the water’s surface, then simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until a knife goes through easily but they are still holding their shape. Transfer the leeks to a colander and stand them up vertically so they drain thoroughly.

Put the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan on a medium-high heat and line a plate with kitchen paper. Toss the dried, sliced leek tops in a teaspoon of cornflour. Once the oil is hot (170C on a thermometer), fry the leek tops for about two minutes, stirring with a fork, until golden and crisp. Transfer to the lined plate with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with flaked salt.

Toss the sliced garlic in the remaining quarter-teaspoon of cornflour and fry for about a minute, stirring regularly to keep the garlic slices separate, until crisp and golden brown. Add to the plate of fried leeks and sprinkle with more flaked salt.

Arrange the braised leeks on a platter and spoon over the dressing. Drizzle with the olive oil and top with the fried leeks and garlic. Sprinkle with the extra chives and serve.

Coconut curry chicken with oat and peanut crumble

Though not strictly a crumble, in that the crumble bit is cooked separately, the combination of oats and peanuts makes a great, crisp topping; it works on roast veg or spicy seafood, too. Serve with steamed greens.

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
40g piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 red chillies, 1 deseeded and roughly chopped, the other thinly sliced, seeds and all
40g bunch fresh coriander, stems and leaves separated and roughly chopped, plus 1 tbsp extra leaves to serve
2 tbsp sunflower oil
½ tsp ground turmeric
3 stems fresh curry leaves (ie, about 30 leaves)
1kg boneless and skinless chicken thighs
Salt and black pepper
4 tsp caster sugar
200ml full-fat coconut milk
2-3 limes, zest finely grated, to get 1½ tsp, and juiced, to get 3 tbsp

For the crumble
75ml sunflower oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
100g instant porridge oats, lightly toasted
80g roasted and salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Put the onion, ginger, garlic, chopped chilli and coriander stems in a food processor and blitz to a coarse paste.

On a medium-high flame, heat the oil in a large saute pan for which you have a lid, then add the onion mix, turmeric and two-thirds of the curry leaves and cook, stirring, for three minutes, until fragrant. Add the chicken, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about eight minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside. Add a teaspoon of the sugar, the coconut milk and 100ml water, bring to a boil, then cover, turn the heat to medium-low, and leave to cook for about 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

Use tongs to lift out the chicken, turn up the heat to medium-high and cook the sauce for five minutes, until reduced by a third. While it’s reducing, roughly shred the chicken with two forks into bite-sized pieces. Off the heat, stir the chicken back into the sauce with the lime juice and coriander leaves, and keep warm.

Meanwhile, make the crumble. Put the oil and sliced chilli in a medium saute pan on a medium-high heat. Cook for five minutes, or until the chilli starts to soften, then add the mustard seeds and remaining curry leaves, and fry for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the oats, peanuts, remaining tablespoon of sugar and a third of a teaspoon of salt and cook for three minutes, stirring often, until lightly coloured and crisp.

To serve, sprinkle the crumble over the chicken, top with the lime zest and extra coriander, and serve straight from the pan.

Braised chickpeas with carrots, dates and feta

Serve with rice or flatbreads for a vegetarian main course; leave out the feta for a vegan version. Soaking the chickpeas is necessary to achieve the right degree of cooking, so don’t be tempted to skip this stage.

300g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large green chilli, roughly chopped, seeds and all
15g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
75ml olive oil
1½ tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 carrots, peeled and each cut at an angle into 2 or 3 large chunks (450g)
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Salt and black pepper
1-2 lemons, zest finely grated, to get 1½ tsp, and juiced, to get 2 tbsp
120g feta, roughly crumbled
1 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and roughly crushed
1-2 tbsp parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Drain the soaked chickpeas and set aside.

Put the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in a food processor, and pulse a few times until very finely chopped but not pureed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add the coriander, and pulse a couple of times more, just to mix through.

On a medium-high flame, heat two tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy-based cast-iron pot with a lid. Add the onion mixture and cook for about four minutes, stirring occasionally, then stir in the cumin, cinnamon, dates and tomato paste, and cook for a minute more, or until fragrant. Add the drained chickpeas, carrots, bay leaves, bicarbonate of soda, 1.2 litres water and a good grind of black pepper, and bring to a boil, skimming off any froth that comes to the surface. Cover and bake for two hours, or until the chickpeas are very soft and the sauce has turned thick and rich. Stir in the lemon juice and two teaspoons of salt, then leave to cool for about 10 minutes.

While the chickpeas are cooking, put the feta in a small bowl with the caraway, lemon zest, parsley and remaining three tablespoons of olive oil, and leave to marinade.

To serve, spoon the feta mixture over the chickpeas and serve directly from the cooking pot.

Adas bil hamoud (aka sour lentil soup)

Versions of this soup, in which lemon is king, are found all over the Arab world. Mine is ever-changing, depending on what kind of stock I have in my freezer, or herbs in my fridge, so feel free to play around with the ingredients as you see fit. I like my soup super lemony, but adjust this to your taste, too. If using vegetable stock, consider adding a couple of teaspoons of miso paste to enrich the broth.

200g brown or green lentils
110ml olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1½ tbsp cumin seeds
3 lemons – finely shave the skin off 1 into 5 wide strips, then juice all 3 to get 75ml
Salt and black pepper
3 firm, waxy potatoes, such as desiree, peeled and cut into 4cm pieces (650g-700g net weight)
400g silverbeet or rainbow chard, leaves and stalks separated, then roughly sliced
1 litre vegetable stock (or chicken or beef, if you prefer)
1½ tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced on an angle

Put the lentils in a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of cold, lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are nearly cooked but still retain a bite, then drain.

While the lentils are cooking, put 80ml oil in a large, heavy-based pot for which you have a lid, and put on a medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, cumin, lemon skin, two-and-a-quarter teaspoons of salt and plenty of pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until very soft and golden. Stir in the potatoes, lentils and chard stalks, pour in the stock and 800ml water, bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes, or until the potato is soft but still holds its shape.

Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and chard leaves, and leave to cook in the residual heat for two or three minutes, until wilted. Divide between four bowls, drizzle over the remaining two tablespoons of oil, garnish with the coriander and spring onion, and serve hot.

Salmon and potato bake with wakame butter

Microwaving the potatoes may be a bit cheeky, but it’s a shortcut I happily admit to when I’m short on time. You could also bake them at 200C (180C fan)/gas 6 for about 45 minutes, until crisp and cooked through, but in the interests of time, we cheated.

7g wakame seaweed
2 medium baking potatoes (500g)
Salt and black pepper
200g frozen baby peas, defrosted and roughly crushed
150g baby spinach, roughly torn
2-3 tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped, plus extra chopped leaves to garnish
1½ tbsp olive oil
90g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 limes, zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp, the rest cut into wedges
40g capers, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4 x 120g sustainably sourced salmon fillets, skinned and boned

Heat the oven to 270C (250C fan)/gas 9+. Put the wakame in a bowl, add boiling water to cover and leave to rehydrate.

Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, then microwave on high for 10 minutes, turning them once halfway, until cooked through. Cut each potato into four wedges, fluffing up the flesh lightly with a fork, and sprinkle each wedge with a pinch of salt and pepper.

While the potatoes are cooking, in a large bowl mix the peas, spinach, coriander, olive oil, a third of a teaspoon of salt and lots of pepper.

Drain and finely chop the wakame, then mix in a bowl with the butter, lime zest and juice, capers, garlic, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper.

Arrange the spinach mixture in a high-sided, 30cm x 20cm baking dish and lay the potato wedges on top. Season the salmon, then nestle the fillets in between the potatoes. Rub the seaweed butter all over the top of the potatoes and salmon, then bake for 12-15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and the dish has taken on some colour. Sprinkle over some extra coriander and serve straight from the pan with the lime wedges alongside, for squeezing over.

Roasted pumpkin soup with harissa and crisp chickpeas

This gorgeous, chunky soup is packed with flavour. Harissa can be quite fiery, so you may not want to use quite as much as I do – just add it to taste.

1 small pumpkin or butternut squash, cut in half, seeds removed, peeled and flesh cut into 2cm dice (600g net weight)
90ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
2-3 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp ground cumin
4 cardamom pods, crushed to release the seeds, outer husks discarded
2½ tbsp harissa paste
½ tsp rose water
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
2 tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
7 dried apricots, thinly sliced
1½ small preserved lemons, cut in half, the flesh discarded and the skin roughly chopped
5g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
240g Greek yoghurt

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Mix the pumpkin with two tablespoons of oil, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking tray and roast for 25 minutes, until golden-brown and cooked through, then set aside.

Put two tablespoons of oil in a large pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, fry the shallots for seven to eight minutes, stirring a few times, until soft and caramelised. Add half the garlic, half the cumin, all the cardamom seeds, a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Fry for two minutes, then stir in the harissa, rose water, stock, half the chickpeas, the apricots and the preserved lemon skin. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pumpkin.

Put two tablespoons of oil in a medium frying pan on a high heat and, once hot, add the remaining chickpeas, garlic and cumin, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and lots of pepper. Fry for seven minutes, stirring occasionally and crushing some of the chickpeas as you go, until browned and crisp.

Warm the soup through and divide between six bowls. Sprinkle with the chickpea mix, scatter over some coriander, spoon over the yoghurt and serve.

Quince cheesecake with amaretti and hazelnut crumble

This is a deconstructed cheesecake, which makes the process from bowl to mouth a lot quicker. All the elements can be made ahead. The cheesecake itself will keep in the fridge for three days, as will the quince and syrup – simply bring the fruit back to room temperature a few hours before serving and gently heat the syrup to loosen it. The crumble will keep for two days in an airtight container at room temperature – bake in a very hot oven for a few minutes to crisp up.

For the poached quince
1 lemon
1 large quince (320g)
70ml red wine
70g caster sugar
¼ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp vanilla paste or extract
1-2 oranges – skin finely shaved, to get 3 strips, then juiced, to get 3 tbsp
145ml pomegranate juice

For the cheesecake
100g goat’s cheese
30g icing sugar, sifted
200ml double cream
¼ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
¼ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp finely grated orange zest

For the crumble
70g unsalted butter
50g amaretti biscuits – the hard ones, not the chewy variety
50g Hobnob biscuits
50g blanched hazelnuts, well toasted and roughly chopped
¼ tsp ground allspice
Flaked sea salt

Heat the oven to 190C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Juice the lemon, reserving the squeezed halves. Set aside one tablespoon of juice, then put the remaining juice and the squeezed halves in a large bowl with plenty of cold water.

Peel the quince, then cut it in half lengthways. Cut each half into eight segments, so you have 16 segments in total, putting them in the lemon water as you go, to prevent them discolouring. Once you have cut all the segments, use a small, sharp knife to remove the core and seeds; the segments will now look like crescent moons.

Whisk the reserved tablespoon of lemon juice with the wine, sugar, allspice, vanilla, orange juice and peel, 100ml pomegranate juice and 120ml water. Tip the wine mixture and drained quince segments into a high-sided baking dish that’s just big enough to hold the segments without them overlapping too much. Cover tightly with foil, bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 35 minutes, basting two or three times, until the quince is soft and has taken on the colour of the wine. Add the remaining three tablespoons of pomegranate juice and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, put the goat’s cheese and icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment in place. Whisk slowly to make the cheese as smooth as possible, then add the cream, vanilla, allspice and orange zest, and whisk again on medium speed until the mixture thickens enough to hold its shape – about one to two minutes – then refrigerate.

For the crumble, gently heat the butter in a small saucepan on a medium heat for about six minutes, swirling the pan from time to time, until the butter begins to foam, turn brown and smell nutty and caramelised. Set aside to cool for a few minutes. Roughly crush the amaretti and Hobnobs, then mix in a bowl with the hazelnuts, allspice, the cooled butter and a generous pinch of flaked salt.

To serve, spoon a large scoop of cheesecake mix into each bowl and top with some crumble. Spoon the quince and syrup on top, and finish with more crumble and a final drizzle of syrup.

Fig and thyme clafoutis

Make sure you use really ripe figs for this. You may be surprised by the size of each portion, but the sponge is so light and fluffy that it’s very easy to eat a lot of it. I like to serve this with vanilla ice-cream or cream. Serves four, generously.

110g caster sugar
2 tbsp red wine
1 tbsp picked thyme leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice, plus 2 tsp finely grated zest
12 ripe black figs, tough stems removed and halved lengthways
2 eggs, separated
50g plain flour
1½ tsp vanilla essence
100ml double cream

Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Spoon 60g sugar into a small, oven-proof, high-sided pan with an 18cm base (if you don’t have one, cook the figs in a regular frying pan and transfer to a square, 22cm baking dish when its’s time to move them to the oven), then put the pan on a medium-high heat for four to five minutes, swirling the pan a few times, until the sugar has melted and turned a dark, caramel colour. Add the wine and thyme – be careful, because it might spit – and stir until combined and thick. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and figs, and set aside to cool. (If you are transferring the figs to a baking dish, do so now.)

Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl with 25g sugar. Whisk until pale and thick – two to three minutes by hand, one minute with an electric whisk – then add the flour, vanilla, cream, lemon zest and a pinch of salt, and whisk until smooth and thick.

In another medium bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 25g sugar (again, two to three minutes by hand, a minute with an electric whisk) until they form stiff peaks. Fold gently into the yolk batter, then pour over the figs in the pan (or baking dish). Bake for about 30 minutes, until the batter has risen, turned golden brown and is cooked through. Remove from the oven, divide between four bowls and serve hot.

  • These recipes have been selected from the Guardian’s recipe archive, based on produce that is currently in season in Australia. Some recipes have been modified to reflect Australian cooking terminology.


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