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Polish pizza, Brazilian feijoada, Indian aubergine stew: Yotam Ottolenghi's staff meals – recipes | Yotam Ottolenghi recipes | Food


The midday staff meal at Ottolenghi is exciting for two reasons. One is the cross-section of the world – from Brazil to Poland to India and beyond – that comes together before service. Second is the challenge to rustle up a meal with stuff that needs using up. It’s why pickled cucumbers find their way on to pizzas and leftover aubergines become a quick veggie stew.

It’s brilliant to be reminded of the joys of a fridge-raid. These recipes are inspired by my team.

Polish pizza (pictured top)

This is the creation of Robert Czarniak, who’s been one of our bakers for years. Whenever he has dough leftover, he’ll try out a new topping to feed the crew.

Prep 15 min
Prove 50 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 4

2½ tbsp olive oil
140g mature cheddar, roughly grated
60g salami slices
3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced on an angle
120g jarred pickled cucumbers, roughly chopped
Black pepper

For the dough
375g strong white bread flour
1½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
240ml lukewarm water
¾ tsp salt

For the dough, put everything in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, then knead on a medium-high speed for seven minutes, until soft and elastic. Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 50 minutes. It should almost double in size.

Heat the oven to 210C (200C fan)/425F/ gas 7. Liberally grease a 22cm x 30cm baking tin with olive oil, put in the proved dough and use your fingers to spread it out evenly to fill the tin. Brush with two tablespoons of oil, bake for 12 minutes, then remove from the oven and scatter the cheese evenly over the top, pushing it into the dough a little with your fingers.

Return to the oven for five minutes, then remove again and top evenly with the salami, spring onions and pickled cucumbers. Return to the oven for a final five minutes, then transfer to a wooden board and drizzle with the remaining half-tablespoon of oil. Finish with a very generous grind of black pepper, then slice and serve.

Spiced mashed aubergine and peas





Ottolenghi’s team often have this Indian-style spiced mashed aubergine and peas for lunch.



Ottolenghi’s team often have this Indian-style spiced mashed aubergine and peas for lunch. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian

This is a very loose take on baingan bharta, an Indian mashed aubergine dish. We make it to use up roast aubergine from the deli counter. On quieter days, a few treasured staff will whip up some rotis to serve with it, but more often than not we have it with plain rice.

Prep 25 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 4

3 aubergines (about 250g each), stems removed, then cut into roughly 3-4cm cubes
105ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
150g cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (120g net weight)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
30g ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped, seeds and all
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
150g tinned plum tomatoes (about ⅔ tin), roughly crushed by hand
20g coriander leaves, roughly chopped, plus 1 tbsp extra, to serve
200g frozen peas, defrosted
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt
3 spring onions
, trimmed and finely sliced at a slight angle

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/465F/gas 9. Toss the aubergines in a large bowl with four tablespoons of oil, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper and roast for 20 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes to the tray, give everything a stir, and return to the oven for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are blistered and the aubergine is deeply golden.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put two tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan on a medium-high heat. Fry the onion, stirring occasionally, for about seven minutes, until nicely browned, then add the garlic, ginger and chilli, and cook for two minutes more, until browned and fragrant. Add the spices and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds, then tip in the tinned tomatoes, 300ml of water, half a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring every now and then, for 15 minutes, until thick and rich. Stir in the coriander, peas, half the lemon juice and the roast vegetables, and use a fork roughly to mash the mix together.

In a small bowl, mix the yoghurt with an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and the remaining tablespoon each of lemon juice and oil. Transfer the mashed aubergine to a serving plate and top with the spring onion and extra coriander. Drizzle all over with the yoghurt and serve warm.

Feijoada with vinaigrette salsa





A pork and bean stew, Brazil’s national dish: very popular with the many Brazilians in Yotam’s kitchen.



A pork and bean stew, Brazil’s national dish: very popular with the many Brazilians in Yotam’s kitchen.

Over the years, we’ve had many Brazilians working in our kitchens, so this pork and bean stew, the country’s national dish, makes a regular appearance at staff meals. Soak the beans in plenty of cold water the day before. Serve with plain white rice.

Prep 30 min
Cook 1 hr 45 min
Serves 6

15g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 green chillies, deseeded and pith removed, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
450g pork belly slices, cut into 2-3cm pieces
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 bay leaves
2½ tbsp tomato paste
500g black turtle beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
Salt

For the salsa
½ large onion, finely chopped (70g net weight)
3 red or green chillies, deseeded and pith removed, finely chopped
3 vine tomatoes, finely chopped (240g)
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped (40g)
1½ tbsp olive oil
60ml lime juice

Put the first four ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. On a high flame, heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan or stock pot with a lid, then add the pork and fry, stirring a few times, for five minutes, until nicely browned all over.

Add the chopped onion mixture and fry, stirring often, for five minutes more, then add the spices, bay leaves, tomato paste, beans and two teaspoons of salt. Stir well for a minute, add 1.8 litres of water to cover, bring up to a simmer, then turn down the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for an hour, or until the beans are cooked but not falling apart. Remove the lid, turn up the heat to medium and simmer for 25 minutes more, until slightly reduced and thickened.

When the beans are nearly ready, mix all the salsa ingredients in a small bowl with three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt. Divide the feijoada between six bowls and serve with the salsa spooned on top.

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