Savoury cookies with parlsey and tahini spread

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B. was wondering what to do with a bottle of tahini he had sitting on his fridge. “What is this used for?”, he asked. “Oh, well, plenty of stuff like humus… and errrr… humus…. or even maybe carrot hummus, if you will“, I answered a bit mortified by the lack of options. Seriously, is tahini used just  for hummus? After googling for a few minutes, it seems it also very popular in vegan cuisine, including lebanese inspired brownies (add beetroot for extra touch of healthiness), it is fundamental for baba ghanoush and  the hero in all sorts of  yoghurty-garlicky-herb-y dips. Like for example, this one  I found in Jerusalem (but of course…). As a bonus, these savoury biscuits, a favourite of Yotam’s father. Totally addictive…

Savoury cookies with parsley and tahini spread  (adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi‘Jerusalem)

Ingredients 

Cookies

  • 500g of plain flour sifted
  • 100mL of sunflower oil
  • 100 unsalted butter diced and left to soften
  • 1 teaspoon of fast action dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds toasted and very lightly crushed
  • App 100mL of water
  • 1 medium egg, whisked
  • 2 teaspoon white (and black) sesame seeds

Dipping sauce

  • 35g flat leaf parsley (stems and leaves)
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 25g light tahini paste
  • 125g Greek  yoghurt (drained)
  • 25mL lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt

Method

Cookies

Preheat the oven to 200 oC. Place the sifted flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the oil into the well, add the butter, yeast, baking power, sugar, salt and the spices and stir together until the dough is formed. Add the water gradually while stirring until the dough is smooth. Knead for a couple of minutes.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Divide the dough into small bowls, about 25g each. On a clean surface, roll the balls into long snakes, around 1cm thick and 12-15cm long. Make a closed out of each snake dough, and put on the parchment paper leaving a 2 cm distance between each of them. Brush each ring with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds. Leave to prove for 30min.

Bake the biscuits in the oven for 22min, until golden brown. Allow to cool before storing. They will keep for 10days.

Dipping sauce

Blitz all the ingredients together to get a smooth, uniform green sauce you can use to coat the cookies. Add a bit more water if necessary.


Fancy coleslaw

salad

 

And, after #beetrootgate, back to Yotam Ottonlenghi’s alternative Christmas menu… Truth to be said, this was coleslaw was put together by Todpop’s. A lot of shredding, chopping and mincing, but the result was worthwhile. As Yotam promised, the perfect side dish to get a break from Christmas sugary-starchy-deepfried-ish tradition.

Fancy coleslaw (adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s column in The Guardian)

Ingredients 

For the salad

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 medium fennel, trimmed and shredded 3mm thick
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ savoy cabbage, shredded 3mm thick
  • 1 large radicchio, shredded 3mm thick
  • 1 small red pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced

For the dressing

  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 40g mayonnaise
  • 1½ tsp dijon mustard
  • 1½ tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 30g parsley, chopped
  • 20g dill, chopped
  • 10g tarragon, chopped
  • Salt and white pepper

For the spiced cashews

  • 120g cashew nuts, roughly chopped (or other toasted nuts)
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp ground paprika
  • ¾ tsp caster sugar

Method

For the spiced cashews

Heat the oven to 160C/320F/gas mark 2½.

place in a small bowl the cashews, turmeric, cumin, paprika, sugar and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt. Stir through a tablespoon of water so the spices cling to the nuts, place on a baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes, until golden and crunchy. Remove and set aside to cool.

For the salad

In a large bowl, mix the carrots, fennel and two tablespoons of the lemon juice. Set aside for 20 minutes, drain in a sieve over the sink and leave to strain.

Return the strained carrots and fennel to the bowl, add the cabbage, radicchio, red pepper and chilli, and stir well.

 For the dressing

For the dressing, whisk together the yoghurt, mayonnaise, remaining lemon juice, mustard, honey, olive oil, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and an eighth of a teaspoon of white pepper. Pour this over the vegetables and mix well. Add the herbs and spiced nuts, stir to combine and serve