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Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

I forgot about this recipe for years but it has become a new favourite. I’m not a big fan of raw mushrooms, which might be the reason I haven’t made this salad in ages, but believe it or not, it doesn’t taste like mushrooms! It is still great if you don’t have time to let it sit for 2 to 3 hours, but it definitely becomes better with a bit of time for the mushrooms to fully absorb the dressing. Fresh and zingy, I think this salad is perfect for summer BBQs or enjoying on the patio.

Fast + impressive + different + doesn’t taste like mushrooms! Have with an omelette or quiche for lunch or supper.


Mushroom Salad

Make 2-3 hours before serving.

1/2 lb mushrooms (any edible variety)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 – 3/4 C olive oil (a lot!)
Salt
Fresh herbs, especially parsley, basil, marjoram, thyme, sage

1. Wash mushrooms gently. Trim stalks and cut in thin slices up and down, through stalk and cap. Put them in a medium to large non-metallic bowl.

2. Squeeze a lemon over them. Stir in minced garlic. Grind lots of pepper on them. Mix. Pour olive oil over
all.

3. Let sit 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally if you’re home.

4. Just before serving, add a little more olive oil if mushrooms are dry. Add salt to taste (up to 1 tsp). Add chopped herbs and mix again.

Mushroom Salad

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This is another great recipe from delicious magazine (July 2007). I have made it four times and it is always a crowd pleaser. Usually I stick to the recipe below, but when I was staying at my dad’s we didn’t have Thai fish sauce, baby spinach or a red chilli that was big enough. For the fish sauce I substituted anchovy paste and we used salad greens in place of the spinach. I think the fish sauce tasted better than the anchovy paste, but it will do in a pinch. We only had a small bit of red chilli so I cut up some jalapeno peppers as well. They weren’t overly hot but they added a bit of crunch and I thought they were a nice addition. If you don’t want chilli on your hands for days, use a glove or small plastic bag to hold the chilli while you cut it up.

Since there are not many calories or carbs in this dish, I serve it with brown rice on the side so people who aren’t watching their carb intake can make it a larger meal.

Make sure you buy good steak and don’t overcook it. If it is juicy and tender it will melt in the mouth.


Thai-style Beef with Spinach

Serves 4.
Ready in 20 minutes.

Thai-style Beef with Spinach

400g fillet or sirloin steak, sinew and excess fat removed
4 tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce
1 tsp groundnut or vegetable oil
100g beansprouts
1 large shallot or 3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
175g baby leaf spinach
Handful fresh coriander leaves

For the dressing:

1 small red chili, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp caster sugar

1. Cut the steak into 2 long strips and put into a bowl. Add the soy sauce, season with freshly ground pepper, toss to coat evenly and set aside for 5 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the steak and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until charred and and cooked medium-rare (cook for longer if you like). Transfer to a plate to rest for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl.

4. Add the beansprouts, shallot or spring onions, spinach and coriander leaves. Thinly slice the beef, add to the salad and gently toss together.

Serve immediately.

Per Serving: 222 kcals, 11.2g fat(3.8g saturated), 24.7g protein, 8.1g carbs, 7.2g sugar, 1.7g salt.

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I found this recipe in a delicious magazine (July 2007) that my friend Anika gave me when she moved away. I was reading the magazine in bed one night and oohhing and ahhing over lots of great looking recipes, but so far have only made this one. I even made it twice in one week.. partly because the first time I only made half a batch and had chicory leftover, but mostly because it was good!

The chicory used in the recipe is not the kind that has blue flowers and grows along roadsides that I remember from my childhood, but what I more commonly know as endive, or Belgian endive. According to Wikipedia, “Endive (Cichorium endivia) is a variation of the winter leaf vegetable chicory which can be cooked or used in salads, created by growing chicory (or certain similar breeds) until its foliage sprouts, then cutting off the leaves and placing the still-living stem and root in a dark place. They grow a second bud, but without the sunlight it is white and lacks the bitterness of the normal chicory bud.”

Although I found this recipe in a magazine, it is actually Angela Hartnett’s recipe from her new cookbook, Angela Hartnett’s Cucina: Three Generations of Italian Family Cooking.

Notes: I couldn’t find golden raisins in the shops, so I used sultanas instead. I also substituted curly parsley because that’s what I had on hand.


Chicory, Golden Raisin and Green Bean Salad

Serves 4 as a starter.
Ready in 25 minutes.

Adding nuts and dried fruit to salads makes them more interesting and, here, the sweetness of the raisins offsets the bitter chicory. Dress the beans while they’re warm so they take on the flavours of the dressing.

150g golden raisins
300g green beans
4 small chicory heads
Handful fresh flatleaf parsley leaves
120ml red wine vinagrette (see below)
1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1. Soak the raisins in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Add the beans and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and plunge immediately into iced water. Drain and set aside.

3. Halve the chicory lengthways and separate the leaves. Toss in a bowl with the raisins, beans and parsley.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the vinagrette with the mustard. Add just enough to the salad to coat. Season and serve immediately as it won’t keep in the fridge.

Per Serving: 295 kcals, 19.3g fat(2.8g saturated), 2.8g protein, 30g carbs, 26.9g sugar, 0.2g salt.


Red Wine Vinagrette

Makes 120ml.

1. Put 20ml red wine vinegar in a bowl, season well with Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix until the sea salt has completely dissolved. Add 100ml extra-virgin olive oil and whisk together.

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Tabouli

Another one of my favourites from my mom’s cookbook. I often put in more garlic and add about a third of an English cucumber. Great to take to a BBQ or picnic. I almost always get asked for the recipe when I bring it to a pot-luck. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

A salad with grain. Can be a meal in itself. Take your time. Chew slowly while reading a magazine if eating solo.


Tabouli

Serves 4.
Make at least 3 hours before serving.

Bulgur are wheat kernels that have been steamed, dried, and crushed. So, it is pre-cooked and easy to prepare, but also perishable. Store in fridge for months or freeze for up to a year.

1 C bulgur, medium grind
1 1/2 C boiling water
1 tsp salt
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 tsp dried or 1 TB fresh mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced 2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 C fresh parsley, chopped (packed)
1/3 English cucumber, sliced and cut in half

1. Combine bulgur, water, and salt in a medium glass or pottery bowl. Cover and let stand 1/2 hour. Liquid should all be absorbed. If not, drain it and put it back in the bowl.

2. Add lemon juice, garlic, mint and oil. Mix thoroughly (even with your hands). Refrigerate 2 hours.

3. When serving, add vegetables. Toss together gently. Taste for seasoning. Fresh ground pepper and/or crumbled feta cheese can be sprinkled on top.

Keeps for a few days in the fridge.

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