Easy Ottolenghi: vegetable recipes

• Roast cauliflower with chorizo and green olives
• Shallow-fried new potatoes with rosemary and sumac
• Carrot and pomelo salad
• Rainbow chard with orange, garlic and caraway
• Spring greens soup with wild garlic pesto
• Roast sweet potatoes with miso glaze
• Fried broccoli and kale with garlic, cumin and lime
• Roast leeks and soya beans with buffalo mozzarella

When I was first approached to come up with this special collection of recipes, I could pretty much hear the readers’ letters writing themselves. “Easy Ottolenghi?” the cry would go. “Isn’t that some sort of culinary oxymoron, like jumbo shrimps and paper tablecloths?” But a story always has two sides. While I’ve never felt the need to defend, or dumb down, the ingredients in my kitchen cupboards, it can be tough to break free from the mould once it has been cast. People approach different food writers with different expectations, and in my case, whenever I produce something that’s super-straightforward and twist-free, I often feel I’m somehow letting my readers down.

I’m neither making the case for sympathy nor mounting any sort of defence. Instead, I’m just offering my own take on quick and easy dishes. Sure, they still feature a few ingredients that may cause some eyes to roll, but I’ve suggested substitutes for all of them. And anyway, there’s more than enough here, I hope, to keep things simple. Fish suppers that are on the table inside 15 minutes, plus a host of vegetable dishes that are ready in 10. A pie that can be put together well in advance, ready to be baked when needed. A tart that uses tinned fruit (yes, really). Recipes where, beyond the chopping and basic prep, the oven does all the work. This is the kind of food I make to put a spring in my step – my own simple twists on everyday winners.

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