Tag: Ottolenghi

Pistachio Rosewater Tea Cakes

Pistachio Rosewater Tea Cakes // Serious Crust

Pistachio Rosewater Tea Cakes // Serious Crust
Pistachio Rosewater Tea Cakes // Serious Crust

During the holiday season, all I want to do is make cookies. All of the cookie recipes I’ve been eyeing throughout the year, this seems like the time to make them. I want chocolate cookies, I want mint crinkles, I want pecan shortbreads, I want soft sugar cookies decorated with frosting designs, I want ginger snaps. Maybe this is why I always add a layer this time of year? Maybe.

I recently bought a bottle of rosewater (mostly because there’s this dish in Jerusalem (the cookbook)- swordfish with harissa and rose – that I had once and I’ve been wanting to make it again), and it had been sitting on my pantry shelf, looking pretty but also lonely. And then I came across this recipe for “Pistachio Rosewater Snowball Cookies” in the latest issue of Kinfolk Magazine. They sounded like a beautiful twist on what some people call Mexican wedding cookies or Russian Tea Cakes or any other number of cookies: nutty with pistachio, and aromatic and floral from the cardamom and rose.

After making the recipe from Kinfolk, I made a few small changes to the recipe, and I wanted to share them with you. I thought the original was a little heavy on the rosewater, and a little light on the cardamom (though my roommates and Jonah really enjoyed them as they were). They’re buttery and crumbly. They’re sweet but with a unique flavor with them. And they smell beautiful.

Pistachio Rosewater Tea Cakes

Note: I found rosewater with the cocktail mixers at my local grocery store. It might also be in with the extracts in the baking aisle. If not, you can find it online.

Second note: Before you invest in making this recipe, you should definitely read through this recipe, and know that 1) pistachios are pricey, especially if you buy them already shelled and 2) there is a lot of kind of annoying pistachio prep. You’ve been warned.


1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
2 cups plus 2 Tbl all purpose flour
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 cup (2 sticks) butter unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 tsp rosewater


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment, or butter them.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and blanch the pistachios for 1 minute. Drain them, and place them on a clean dish towel. Fold the dish towel over the pistachios and rub off the skins. (There may be some stubborn ones that you need to peel off.) Spread them in a small baking dish and roast them in the oven until they’re just dry, about 8 minutes. Set them aside and allow them to cool. When they are cool, pulse in a food processor or blender until they’re finely ground, but definitely not a paste. Transfer them to a small mixing bowl and whisk together with the flour, cardamom, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 1 cup of the powdered sugar and the butter until pale and fluffy. Add the rosewater, and mix it in. With the mixer on low, add in the pistachio flour mixture and mix just until a dough forms, scarping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Roll the dough into 1-1.5 inch balls. Arrange at least 1 inch apart on the pan, and bake until they’re just golden on the bottom, ~20 minutes (mine took a little less). While the cookies are baking, pour the remaining cup of powdered sugar into a wide bowl. Remove the cookies from the oven, allow them to cool from a minute or two, and when they’re cool enough to handle, roll them in the powdered sugar. Allow to cool the rest of the way on a wire race.

Weekend Finds 10:18:14

It’s been a little while since I did any weekend finds, hasn’t it? I figured I’d give you some posts you could sink your teeth into. But hey, sometimes you can sink your teeth into a list of cool stuff I found, right? Right. Halloween is around the corner (like, wow, two weeks away already). And that, to me, means that we are in the thick of fall, which in turn means we should be making all things squash. I have my old go to’s (like tofu and delicata with miso and molasses, root veggies with miso and harissa) but it’s always fun discovering new ones. Here are some I’m itching to try.

1. Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffin // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Pumpkin muffins topped with whipped cream cheese on Food52

I’m not sure what about these pumpkin muffins makes me feel like they’ll be different from pumpkin muffins I’ve made in the past – maybe it’s the face that they’re topped with whipped cream cheese? Yeah, that could be it.

2. Butternut Squash Pie

Butternut Squash Pie // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
This Italian butternut squash dessert looks so good.

This Italian dessert sounds beautiful – somewhere between a custard and a pie and sprinkled with almonds.

3. Squash with Dates and Thyme

Squash with Dates and Thyme // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Caramelized squash, warm soft dates, and aromatic thyme.

I love me some roasted squash, and acorn has become a recent favorite of mine. This acorn squash tossed with coconut oil and roasted with dates sounds perfect – I love the thought of the sweetness from the dates. I would throw the thyme in to roast with the squash, and maybe add a sprinkle of cayenne.

4. Potato Miso Tart and Braised Cabbage

Ottolenghi's Potato Miso Tart and Braised Cabbage // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Has Ottolenghi ever led you astray? I thought not.

Ok, neither of these are squash. But both of these recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi seem like beautiful fall dishes. The braised cabbage seems like it would make a particularly wonderful Thanksgiving side dish.

5. Pumpkin Tres Leches Cake

Pumpkin Tres Leches Cake // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Perhaps my favorite Mexican dessert, but with a fall spin.

And for dessert, this spin on a classic Mexican tres leches cake – with pumpkin! It’s a rich, fun dessert, especially for perhaps a Halloween/Day of the Dead party.

Weekend Finds 4:27:14

It has been a delicious week. I cooked some awesome food, some of which I’ve shared, and some of which will be coming up shortly. Spring is upon us, and I’m starting to see it creep into the grocery stores and some of my favorite recipe resources. Something I’m particularly looking forward to? Trying some new savory rhubarb recipes, and the weather slowly getting warm enough to crank out some ice cream again. In this weekend finds, I’ll show you what I’m talking about.

1. Toasted Sesame Seed Ice Cream

Toasted Sesame Ice Cream on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
I can’t wait to try this toasted sesame ice cream from Milk and Honey.

I feel like there were certainly a few recipes that I found this week that left me feeling like I wasn’t sure if it would be delicious or totally weird. This recipe from Milk and Honey may be one of them. The toasted sesame part sounds good, but then when I think about adding tahini, my brain and tastebuds get all confused. I guess I’ll just have to try it.

2. Rhubarb Baked Beans

Rhubarb Baked Beans on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Feeling uncertain about these rhubarb baked beans, but I’m going to give them a shot.

There are some great looking savory rhubarb recipes out there – specifically those that involve roasting meats or sauces. On the other hand, there are these rhubarb baked beans, which, I admit, sound weird. I have purchased the ingredients to make these curious (and, admittedly, unappetizing-looking) beans. I’ll let you know how it goes, I guess…

3. Thai Salad

Thai Salad from The Roasted Root on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
This bright, delicious salad made for a scrumptious lunch.

Today, after going climbing (for the first time in… over a year), my roommates and I were STARVING. So we made some Thai laarb and this salad from The Roasted Root. Both were a big hit, and I will definitely be using this salad again in the future. It’s beautifully colorful and I love the varied flavors, and it’s filling but also still healthy.

4. Mango, Yogurt, and Cardamom Ice Cream

Mango, Yogurt, Cardamom Ice Cream on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
I love the mango-lassi like color of this ice cream.

Sorry, I got distracted for a moment by things that aren’t ice cream. Back in the sweet lane, this ice cream from Yotam Ottolenghi (genius, duh) had three things I really truly love: mango. greek yogurt. cardamom. Can’t wait to make this. I am thinking I need to have an ice cream party in order to make all the bizarre flavors I’m itching to make. Pretty sure my friends would be into that.

5. Eating Alone

Dining Alone at Eenmaal in Amsterdam on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Maybe dining solo will be a new trend?

So there’s now a restaurant, Eenmall, where there are only 1 person tables. That’s it. No Wi-Fi either. Great? I think so. Do you ever eat out by yourself? While I always have to take a deep breath before I do it (yeah, sometimes it’s a little scary to just be with yourself for an hour without a computer or phone or book in front of you), I always feel like my mind has cleared after the fact. So while only having a table-for-one option is a little different, I think eating alone is something we could all benefit from every once in a while.

Soba Noodles with Mango and Eggplant

Soba noodles, eggplant, onion, mango, cilantro, basil, and dressing all tossed into a bowl.

Jonah slices and dices all the colorful ingredients for the soba noodles.
It feels very weird to spread a pile of noodles on a dish towel to dry... But I'll do pretty much anything Ottolenghi tell me to.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Jonah and I made dinner for my mom and her boyfriend back in December. Now I believe I have told you of my love for Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook “Plenty,” yes? This meal was no exception. The meal was all vegetarian, and 2/3 dishes were from that cookbook. The meal was light, refreshing, and packed with flavor. Not to mention the great company.

I fear that I am reaching a point where I cannot keep posting variations of these recipes, I just need to tell you to please, please, please go buy this cookbook. Even if vegetarian food isn’t your thing, even if the photos don’t make your stomach growl, even if the lists of ingredients leave you with questions swirling around in your hear. I beg you. Just go buy it. And then, please proceed to make everything in it, even if it doesn’t jump off the page. Every single dish I have made from this book (as well as his other book, “Jerusalem”) has been so lovely and flavorful that I wish I had tripled them all so I could enjoy the leftovers or share with a bunch of my friends.

Back to the dinner. These room temperature soba noodles are one of the few recipes in the book that did jump off the page for me. But somehow, I still hadn’t made it. While it’s a little prep-heavy, trust me, it’s worth it. Packing a lot of flavor and lots of little bites with different tastes (onion, eggplant, peppers, mango, the list goes on…), this recipe is bound to be a crowd pleaser. I can see it being especially good for kids. What kids don’t love noodles and mango? That’s what I thought: none.

Soba Noodles with Mango and Eggplant


1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 of a red chile, finely chopped
1 tsp sesame oil
zest and juice of a lime
1 cup sunflower oil (we used canola)
2 eggplants, cut into ~1 inch cubes
a bag of soba noodles
1 large ripe mango (let’s be honest, more than one probably couldn’t hurt…), cut into ~3/4 inch cubes or thin strips
1 2/3 cups fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (think paper thin, if you can)


In small pot, warm the vinegar, sugar, and salt until the sugar just dissolves. Remove from heat, then add the garlic, chile, and sesame oil, and, once it’s cool, the lime zest and juice.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil and fry up the eggplant. You’ll probably need to do this in a few batches. But you want the eggplant to be nice and golden brown. After all the eggplant is cooked, put it in a colander in the sink, sprinkle (“liberally”) with salt, and leave to drain.

While cooking the eggplant, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the soba noodles in the boiling water – you want them to be soft, but still a little al dente. Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water to stop them cooking. Spread them on a dish towel to dry.

Now the fun part: throw the noodles, dressing, mango, eggplant, onion, and half the basil and cilantro in a bowl and toss to coat/combine everything. You can make this a couple hours ahead of serving, and stop here, letting it sit to absorb flavors and come to room temperature. When you’re ready to serve it, add the rest of the herbs. Enjoy!

Mom's dinner prep activities: playing tug-of-war with Lulu while Jonah and I chopped and sauteed in the kitchen a few feet away.