Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for quick summer cooking | Summer food and drink

Summer is not a time for spending too long in the kitchen. Cook we must, though, as eat we always will, so here are some dishes to make you want to get cooking, quickly, before getting out, just as quickly, eating well and then assuming a horizontal position somewhere under a tree.

Harissa pilchards with zingy herb salsa (pictured top)

Tinned fish makes one of easiest, tastiest, quickest and most cost-effective meals, and I often use it straight from the tin just with whatever delicious oil or sauce it’s been sitting in. In this recipe, I spice up pilchards with some harissa and herbs – all it needs is some toast to soak up all that tomatoey goodness, but, if you like, smother some pasta in it to make a light supper.

Prep 10 min
Cook 30 min
Serves 2-4

1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
50g rose or regular harissa
1 garlic clove
, peeled and crushed
1 x 400g tin pilchards in tomato sauce, drained and liquid reserved – I like the Glenryck brand
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
½ tsp caster sugar
Fine sea salt and black pepper
green beans, fresh or frozen and defrosted, cut in half widthways into 3cm lengths

For the salsa
30g coriander
4 spring onions
, trimmed
1½ tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp caster sugar

Put a large frying pan for which you have a lid on a medium heat, then toast the cumin and coriander seeds for two to three minutes, until fragrant. Tip into a mortar and lightly grind the seeds until just broken.

Add the olive oil, harissa and garlic to the pan and put it on a medium-high heat. Mix well, cook for two minutes, until the mix starts to spit, then add the reserved pilchard liquid, the tomatoes, half the toasted spices, sugar, a teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes, until the mixture thickens.

Pour in 230ml water, bring to a simmer, then add the beans and pilchards. Shake the pan gently to combine everything, then cook for five to seven minutes, until the beans are tender and the sauce has again thickened.

Meanwhile, make the salsa. Finely chop the coriander and spring onions, then put in a small bowl with the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, sugar and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt. Mix well and set aside.

Scatter the remaining spices on top of the pilchard mix and serve with half the salsa spooned over the top and the rest in the bowl on the side.

Garlicky chard with five-spice tomatoes

Yotam Ottolenghi’s garlicky chard with five-spice tomatoes.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s garlicky chard with five-spice tomatoes.

These addictive greens make a very quick and versatile side dish, and the five-spice tomatoes, which are delicious on their own, make them extra-special. The tomatoes also work well with grilled vegetables, on top of labneh for a delicious dip or simply on a thick slice of toast.

Prep 15 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 4 as a side

2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sherry or red-wine vinegar
¼ tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp light brown sugar
, or similar
⅛ tsp Chinese five-spice
6 garlic cloves
, peeled and crushed
2⅔ tbsp (10g) finely chopped fresh coriander
180g datterini or cherry tomatoes
400g swiss chard
, trimmed, leaves stripped off stalks and roughly torn, stalks cut into 6cm lengths (cut thicker stems in half lengthways first)
5 spring onions, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces
Fine sea salt and black pepper
1 green chilli
, stem removed, the rest finely chopped

In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, a tablespoon of vegetable oil, the sugar, five-spice, a clove of crushed garlic and the coriander, then set aside.

Put a large frying pan on a high heat and, once hot, add the tomatoes and place a heavy saucepan on top of them. Leave to cook for two minutes, until charred underneath, then flip over, top with the heavy pan again and char the other side. Tip the tomatoes into the dressing bowl, along with any juices they’ve released during the cooking, stir gently and set aside.

Wipe the pan clean, return it to a medium-high heat and add the remaining two tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add the chard stalks, spring onions and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes, until the veg start to soften and colour lightly.

Add the chilli and all the remaining crushed garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the chard leaves a third at a time, along with a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Cook for another four or five minutes, until the leaves have wilted and most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated.

Transfer the chard mix to a high-sided platter and serve with the tomatoes and their marinade spooned over the top.

Masala omelette with mango pickle and cabbage slaw

Yotam Ottolenghi’s masala omelette with mango pickle and cabbage slaw.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s masala omelette with mango pickle and cabbage slaw.

This works very well as a speedy supper or brunch dish. If you are catering for more than one, make the omelettes in batches, or just make a large one in a big frying pan.

Prep 15 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 1

2 eggs
tsp hot madras curry powder
⅛ tsp ground turmeric
60g Greek yoghurt
, plus 2 tsp extra
3 spring onions (45g), trimmed and finely chopped, with 10g of the green parts set aside
2⅔ tbsp (10g) fresh coriander, leaves picked, stems finely chopped
1½ tsp hot mango pickle, roughly chopped, if need be – I use Patak’s
Salt and black pepper
25ml olive oil
120g white cabbage
, thinly shaved – use a peeler or a mandoline

First make the egg mixture. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl, then whisk in the curry powder, turmeric, the extra two teaspoons of yoghurt, spring onions, coriander stems, half a teaspoon of the mango pickle, an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, then set aside.

Put a medium frying pan on a medium-high heat and, once hot, add two teaspoons of oil, half the cabbage and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring often, for two minutes, until lightly browned. Tip the cooked cabbage into the egg mixture and stir it in well.

Return the pan to a medium-low heat, add two teaspoons of oil, then pour in the egg mixture. Use a spatula to tease it evenly over the pan, so the egg runs all the way to the edges, then cook for six to eight minutes, until set. Using the spatula, fold the omelette in half and, again using the spatula to help you, carefully slide the omelette on to a plate.

Put the remaining cabbage in a bowl with the coriander leaves and the reserved spring onion greens, then add a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Mix well and pile up next to the omelette. Swirl the remaining mango pickle into the remaining yoghurt and serve on the side.

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In this episode, we countdown the top five food and drink manufacturing sustainability trends taken from our analysis of stories published on FoodManufacture.co.uk. We talk deposit return schemes and the challenges in making them viable in the UK, green claims and the threat of greenwashing and the circular economy. No spoilers for the top two trends – you’ll just have to listen and find out for yourself! Good month, bad month This month also sees the return of our now […]
Episode five: Sustainability trends

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