Again with Ottlenghi Simple, I’ve made a “lovely veggie main” (his words) that features a “piquant sauce from Libya.”

Tofu and Haricots Verts with Chraimeh Sauce
Ottolenghi Simple
Serves 4

1 lb. haricots verts, trimmed
1 Tbsp. sunflower oil
14 oz. firm tofu, cut into 1-in. cubes and patted dry
salt
¾ cup cilantro

Chraimeh Sauce
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp. hot paprika
1 Tbsp. caraway seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
2 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. sunflower oil
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. sugar
2 limes (juice one, quarter the order to serve)
salt
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. water

Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and place over high heat. Once boiling, add the green beans and boil 5-6 minutes, until they are cooked but still retain a slight bite. Drain, refresh with cold water, drain again, and set aside.

Put the oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tofu and ¼ tsp. salt and fry for 4-5 minutes, turning throughout so that all sides are brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

To make the chraimeh sauce, mix the garlic, paprika, caraway, cumin, cinnamon, and oil in a small bowl. Return the large sauté pan to medium-high heat and, once hot, add the garlic and spice mix. Fry for about 1 minute, then add the tomato paste, sugar, lime juice, and ¾ tsp. salt. Stir to combine, then pour in the water to make a thin sauce. Once bubbling, stir frequently for about 2 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken. Return the green beans to the pan and continue to cook for another 1 minute, until the sauce is thick and the beans are hot.

Remove from the heat and gently stir in the tofu and cilantro. Divide among four shallow bowls and serve, with a wedge of lime alongside.

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The piquant chraimeh sauce is, simply, spicy/tangy/peppery/hot. Grind your caraway seeds in a spice grinder and enjoy that warm scent.

String beans and tofu are always great bedfellows. Here, they are richly colored by the balanced sauce. Not too spicy, but fragrant and layered. Lime juice lends a welcome tang, and white jasmine rice sets the stage.

Next time, I want to make the “Nutella, Sesame, and Hazelnut Rolls,” from the same Ottolenghi Simple. I hope for a gorgeous yeasted pastry. Come back to my site next week, to see this one.

Nutella, Sesame, and Hazelnut Rolls
Ottolenghi Simple
Makes 10 rolls

1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. bread flour, plus a little extra for dusting
¾ tsp fast-acting instant dried yeast
1½ tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus a little extra for greasing
¼ tsp. salt
brimming ¼ cup lukewarm water
mounded ¼ cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1/3 cup Nutella, softened (gently on the stove, until easily spreadable)
1 tsp. orange zest
2 tsp. confectioners’ sugar

Put the flour, yeast, sugar, 2 Tbsp. of oil and the salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. Gently pour in the water, then, using a spatula, bring the mixture together until combined into a dough. Transfer to a lightly oiled surface and, with lightly oiled hands, knead the dough for 3 minutes, until soft and elastic. (You may need to add a little more oil if it starts to stick to the surface or your hands.) Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 40 minutes, until nearly doubled in size.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine the hazelnuts and sesame seeds in a small bowl and set aside 1 Tbsp.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12 x 16-inch rectangle, so that the longest side is towards you and parallel to the work surface. Using a spatula, spread the dough with the Nutella, leaving a ¾-inch border clear on the top edge. Sprinkle the orange zest evenly over the Nutella, then scatter over the sesame and hazelnut mix. With the longest side still toward you, roll the dough into a log. Brush with the remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbsp. of sesame seed and hazelnuts (gently press these into the dough, so they stick). Trim the ends, cut the roll into 10 segments, each 1¼ inches long, and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, seam side down.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Dust with the confectioners’ sugar and let cool slightly. Serve.