Three non-boring recipes to brighten up your week

Three non-boring recipes to brighten up your week

paired with bulgur, soft cheese, and hazelnuts, this pumpkin dish is tangy, crunchy, sweet, creamy — and absolutely delicious.

“The pumpkin puree adds sweetness and moisture, but you can omit it if you want to save time or effort,” says Josh Katz. “Mizithra cheese is a soft Greek whey cheese that is hard to come by. Or use a soft, crumbly goat cheese or ricotta.”

Chili roasted pumpkin

Serves: 4-6


For the pumpkin puree

¼ small pumpkin (about 300 g), peeled and diced

75 g brown sugar

juice of 1 lemon

Flakes of sea salt and ground black pepper

For the lemon dressing

1 garlic clove, minced or grated

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

90 ml extra virgin olive oil

1½ tbsp canola oil

Flakes of sea salt and ground black pepper

For the chili roasted pumpkin bulgar

¾ small pumpkin (about 900 g), cut into 1 cm slices

60 ml olive oil

30 g light brown sugar

2 tbsp Aleppo chili flakes (pul biber)

2 tbsp lemon thyme leaves

120 g bulgur

Handful of dill and flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

40 g hazelnuts, toasted

40 g capers, drained and rinsed

100 g Mizithra or soft, fresh whey cheese


1. For the pumpkin puree: place the pumpkin in a steamer over boiling water and steam for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through. Transfer to a food processor, add the sugar and lemon juice and blend until smooth.

2. Transfer the purees to a saucepan and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes, until thickened and concentrated in flavor. Remove from heat and set aside to cool until needed.

3. For the lemon dressing: Combine the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar and oil in a small bowl, season generously with salt and black pepper and whisk to combine.

4. For the Chilli Roasted Pumpkin Bulgar: Preheat oven to 220C (400F)/200C Fan/Gas Mark 7.

5. Roll the squash in the olive oil, sprinkle with sugar and chili flakes and season generously with salt and black pepper. Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with the lemon thyme and roast for 20-25 minutes until soft and slightly charred.

6. Meanwhile, prepare the bulgur by covering it in a small bowl with boiling water and letting it steep for about five minutes. Drain, run a fork lightly through the grain to fluff it so it doesn’t get lumpy, and set aside to cool.

7. Combine the bulgur with the chopped herbs, hazelnuts and capers and stir in 60 ml lemon dressing. The tabbouleh should be light and crisp, not soggy and heavy. Check for spices and adjust accordingly.

8. Place the pumpkin puree in the bottom of a plate, divide the pumpkin and bulgur mixture over it, sprinkle over the cheese and serve.

Zucchini galette

This galette is perfect for a summer lunch

(James Murphy/PA)

Katz calls this a “simple, light galette that’s perfect for a summer lunch or as part of a spread at your next garden party.

“Serve with a fresh, tangy mixed leaf salad and you’re done.”

Serves: 4


For the chili honey dressing

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 red chilli, blackened, peeled and finely chopped

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Flakes of sea salt and ground black pepper

For the galette

200 g mascarpone

100 grams of crème frache

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, grated

250g store-bought puff pastry with butter, cut and rolled up to make two 12 x 20 cm rectangles, 3mm thick, each cut in half to make 4 smaller rectangles

1 egg yolk

100 grams manouri cheese

1-2 large courgettes, sliced ​​very thin

2 tsp thyme leaves

2 tbsp olive oil


1. For the chilli-honey dressing: Place the honey, lemon juice and chilli in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper.

2. For the galette: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

3. Combine the mascarpone, crème frache, lemon zest and garlic in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper.

4. Place the dough rectangles on the parchment-lined baking sheet and brush the egg yolk along the edge of the dough, about two inches from the edge. Carefully pierce the center with a fork, five or six times for each square.

4. Spread the mascarpone mixture in the center of each, crumble the manouri cheese on top and arrange the zucchini slices on top, overlapping. Sprinkle a little thyme, salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Slide into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown, puffed around the edges and the bottom is crispy.

5. Slide the galettes onto plates and drizzle liberally with the chilli-honey dressing. Serve immediately while still warm.

jewelry tahdig

You need patience and perseverance for this tahdig

(James Murphy/PA)

“Tahdig (pronounced tah dough) is a Persian dish that translates to ‘bottom of the pot,’ a reference to the crispy golden brown rice layer that forms at the bottom of the pan,” explains Katz.

“Perfecting the technique takes practice, patience and perseverance.”

Serves: 4-6


300 ml fresh juice

100 g caster sugar

80 g currants

60 g barberry

80 g pumpkin seeds

40 g pistachios

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp shaved sea salt

360 g basmati rice

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp fennel seed

75g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

1½ tbsp natural yogurt

20 g rice flour, mixed with cold water to form a paste

2 egg yolks


1. Bring the verjuice and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the currants and barberry. Remove from heat and set aside, let the fruit soak in the juices for 30 minutes – they will soften and swell. Drain and set aside until needed.

2. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Roll the pumpkin seeds and pistachios in the olive oil and season with salt. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Set aside to cool.

There is a mix of cuisines in the book, from the Middle East to North Africa

(Kyle Books/PA)

3. Rinse the rice in a bowl filled with cold water and twist your fingers several times to release the starch. Repeat the process two or three times until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside. Place the bay leaf and fennel seeds on a muslin and tie a knot to form a bouquet garni. Fill a 20 cm pan halfway with water, add the bouquet garni and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the rice, stir several times, bring back to a boil and cook over medium heat for five minutes until rice is slightly tender but still firm. Drain the rice and run under cold water briefly to prevent it from cooking further, then let it sit in the colander for a few minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet, spread into a thin layer and set aside until completely cooled.

4. Butter a non-stick frying pan. Take one third of the parboiled rice and put it in a large bowl with the yogurt, one third of the melted butter and the rice flour slurry. Stir to combine. Spread this rice evenly in a thin layer over the bottom of the prepared skillet. This will form the tahdig. Top with the remaining parboiled rice intermittently with three quarters of the currants, barberry, pumpkin seeds and pistachios (save the rest for garnish), working up in layers to form a mound shape. Do not pack the rice. It should be lightly layered to leave room for the rice to expand. Wrap the lid of the pan tightly with a clean tea towel and place it on top so that it fits snugly. Place the pan over medium heat and cook for 12-15 minutes. Towards the end of cooking, drizzle the rest of the butter around the edges.

5. Just before serving, dig a well in the top of the rice and carefully add the egg yolks. Cover the yolks with the rice and carefully invert the rice onto a plate with a plate where the lid used to be. Serve immediately with the rest of the pumpkin seeds, pistachios, raisins and barberry on top.

‘Berber&Q: On Vegetables’ by Josh Katz (published by Kyle Books, £25; photography by James Murphy), out now.