21 July 2012

Bookshelf: Ottolenghi's Plenty & a Sweet Winter Slaw

I have a few cookboooks, well more than a few.  Amongst them are a handful, quite a large handful, that I return to again and again.  They are like good friends; inspiring, comforting, nourishing, satisfying always on hand to brighten ones day.
Plenty by Ottolenghi is one of those books.  He is an alchemist with flavours and seems able to continuously come up with new flavour combinations that never cease to amaze and tantalise the taste buds. I have yet to come across an Ottolenghi recipe that doesn’t delight. Plenty is bursting with innovative, flavourful vegetarian recipes from each and every season.

This sweet winter slaw is the perfect antidote to a cold, grey winter’s day, not to mention the excess of sausage rolls and chocolate consumed this week.  Vibrant colours, bright flavours; it can only brighten your day and wake up your taste buds.  You could leave  out the macadamias, but that would be bordering on sacrilegious.  They are crunchy, sweet, spicy, quite delectable and terribly moreish.  My recommendation would be to make a double batch of these and have them on hand as a snack to munch on.  I promise you wont be disappointed.
Sweet Winter Slaw, from Ottolenghi’s Plenty
Serves six.
For the dressing
100ml lime juice
1 lemon grass, chopped into small pieces
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp chilli flakes
4 tbsp light olive oil
For the salad
150g macadamia nuts
10g butter
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp chilli flakes
7 inner leaves Savoy cabbage (170g), shredded
½ red cabbage (270g), shredded
1 mango, peeled, stoned and cut into thin strips
1 papaya, peeled, deseeded and cut into strips
1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into thin slices
15g fresh mint leaves
20g fresh coriander leaves

For the dressing: place all the ingredients except the olive oil into a small saucepan over a medium low heat.  Cook and reduce for 5 to 10 minutes, until the dressing is thick and syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. When cooled strain in to a bowl.  Add the olive oil and stir to combine.
For the macadamias: heat a frying pan over medium high heat and add the macadamias.  Dry roast for just a few moments, moving around the pan until lightly coloured on all sides.  Keep an eye on them to make sure that they don’t catch.  Add the butter allow it to melt before adding the sugar, salt and chilli. With a wooden spoon stir constantly, to keep the nuts coated in the sugar as it caramelises. It will just take a moment or 2.  Again be careful as they will burn easily.  Remove the nuts from the pan to a sheet of greaseproof paper. Allow them to cool and then roughly chop them.
For the salad: place the shredded cabbage in to a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the salad ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing and toss it all together to coat the salad.  Taste and season to taste.  Serve immediately.
Love!  As is pretty much standard for anything Ottolenghi. He make it very hard not to wax lyrical.  The dressing is the perfect mix of spicy, sweet and sour and the salad bright and full of crunch with a burst of fruity sweetness from the mango and papaya.  The herbs add a freshness and the chillies a little heat.  And then there are those macadamias.  Sweet, toasty, crunchy and spiked with chilli they make this quite a special salad and on their own an addictive snack.

If you like this you might like this Herb Soup


  1. Plenty is the BEST! It has become a dear friend indeed. I haven't tried this slaw yet and even though it's summer here I think I need to soon. Your photos are stunning. Thanks for the inspiration, Mairi!

    1. Thanks Hannah, I think this slaw would work for all seasons :)

  2. Plenty is one of my absolute favourite cookbooks too, and funnily enough I made this slaw this week too - was the perfect accompaniment to an Asian take on "spag bol" that I made with pork mince and udon noodles.

    1. Thanks Sue, it so good right? Udon with pork mince sound great & wonderful with the slaw :

  3. Sounds delicious for this recipe! Yummy Yummy!

  4. Wow, EVERYONE loves that book. I should think about getting a copy. I love this slaw - so refreshing to see vibrant colours at this time of year!

    1. Oh you should! It is such a great cookbook...so inspiring, one of my all time favourites.

  5. This is my first time seeing this food. Very colorful food and look so delicious. wedding venue with accomodation


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