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Posts Tagged ‘Salad’

Spiced Sweet Potato, Puy Lentils and Rocket with Honey-roasted Walnuts

We picked up an amazing salad book, called Community, on our last trip to Australia which really pushes salad to centre stage. The recipes can all be served as a main course or as a side and they portions are accordingly generous. This one is good but the predominant flavour is honey so if that’s not your thing then perhaps give it a miss. We thought it might be nice with some roast pork.

The honey-roasted walnuts are a nice snack on their own too, so don’t be afraid of making too many.

Wine Suggestion: We went a little left-field for this and opened a Colterenzio Lagrein, a spicy, earthy red from Alto Adige – Südtirol; choose something a little earthy with a little spice and good fruit.

Spiced sweet potato, puy lentils and rocket with honey-roasted walnuts – serves 4 to 6

  • 2 kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 250g Puy lentils, rinsed
  • 1 x 250 ml cup of soft herbs e.g. mint, parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives, dill or coriander – finely chopped
  • 2 x 250ml cups of  baby rocket leaves
  • 50g Parmesan, shaved

SWEET VINAIGRETTE:

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

HONEY-ROASTED WALNUTS:

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 x 250ml cups walnuts

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Combine the sweet potato, olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin and allspice in a large bowl with some salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender and turning golden.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, then simmer the lentils for about 20 minutes or until tender but still with a little bite. Drain.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the sweet vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Stir the vinaigrette through the lentils while they’re still warm.

To prepare the honey-roasted walnuts, combine the honey with the chilli flakes, turmeric, salt and just enough water to make a thick paste. Toss the walnuts in the paste and spread over a baking tray. Roast for 15 minutes or until they are crunchy. They will still be a bit sticky. Watch very carefully after the first 10 minute as they can go from toasted to burnt in seconds.

Combine half the chopped herbs with the rocket, sweet potato and lentils and season well. Scatter over the walnuts, the remaining herbs and the Parmesan before serving.

(Original recipe from Community: Salad recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen by Hetty McKinnon, Pan Macmillan Australia, 2014.)

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Beetroot & Dill with Crème Fraîche & Walnuts

This is a great winter salad that feeds a crowd and goes really well with lamb. You could also serve on it’s own or with some baked potatoes and leftovers make good lunchboxes. Roast the beetroots earlier in the day so you have very little to do to assemble at the end.

Wine Suggestion: An earthy, lighter bodied red works here and a good Beaujolais, Burgundy/Pinot Noir or Northern Rhône Syrah would be a nice choice. We opened a Loire red made from Cabernet Franc, a Chinon, as we were also barbecuing some lamb to accompany it.

Beetroot & dill with crème fraîche and walnuts – serves 4 to 6

  • 12 beetroots (about 1.5kg), peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 3 scallions, finely sliced
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • 150g walnuts, toasted in a dry pan, then crumbled
  • a large handful of dill fronds, finely chopped

FOR THE DILL CRÈME FRAÎCHE

  • 250g crème fraîche
  • a large handful of dill fronds, finely chopped
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Tip the beetroot into a large roasting tin and drizzle over the balsamic vinegar & olive oil. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Roast until tender. Start checking at about 45 minutes but it could take up to 90 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

For the dill crème fraîche, whisk the crème fraîche with the dill, lemon juice and olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and some black pepper.

Mix the beetroot with the scallions and baby spinach in a large bowl, then add a good drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Fold the dill crème fraîche through the beetroots – a kind of marble effect looks good so toss gently. Top with the roasted walnuts and sprinkle with more dill to serve.

(Original recipe from Commmunity: Salad Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen by Hetty McKinnon, Pan MacMillan Australia, 2014.)

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Pears poached in bay and balsamic

The classic combination of sweet pears and salty ham. This makes a nice winter starter for entertaining guests and you can poach the pears in advance so there’s not too much to do when they arrive.

Wine Suggestion: with the combination of fruity/sweet pear and the salty ham this choice wasn’t immediately obvious, but an inspired guess lead us to Sparkling Moscato. We had a bottle of the Quady Electra, a Moscato from California that danced with this dish but you may find it easier to get a Moscato d’Asti (the most famous region for this style) or a local equivalent. The Moscato is low alcohol, and refreshingly fruity so perfect to start off a lengthy meal.

Pears poached in bay & balsamic with serrano ham – serves 4 as a starter

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 80ml balsamic vinegar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 pears
  • 4 large slices of Serrano ham
  • 2 large handfuls of salad leaves
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Put 600ml of water into a saucepan over a medium heat with the sugar, vinegar and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the sugar has dissolved.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan but keep a careful eye on them as they turn from golden to blackened in the blink of an eye.

Peel the pears and try to leave the stalks intact. Trim the bases a little so they stand up nicely. Add the pears to the liquid and simmer until tender, turning them over in the liquid now and then. This can take anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes (depending on the size and ripeness of your pears) so you will need to keep a watchful eye. Remove from the liquid and allow to cool, then wrap each one in a slice of ham.

Season the liquid with salt and plenty of black pepper, then boil until it becomes a thick syrup.

Arrange the salad leaves on 4 serving plates. Put a pear on top of each and scatter over the toasted pine nuts. Mix the balsamic syrup with the tablespoon of olive oil and drizzle over the top.

(Original recipe from Herbs by Judith Hann, Watkins Media Ltd., 2017.)

 

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Watercress, cucumber & radish salad A lovely later summer salad. We used mixed radishes from our garden – red, white and everything in between. Freshly picked they had a wonderful peppery kick that we never seem to get from shop bought radishes.

Watercress, cucumber & radish salad – serves 8

  • 1 cucumber
  • 200g watercress
  • 300g baby radishes, halved if large

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 6 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 sprig of dill, leaves only, chopped

Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a bowl, then season.

Peel the cucumber into long, thin strips using a vegetable peeler. Discard the seedy part.

Toss the watercress, cucumber and radishes together in a serving bowl and toss with the dressing.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food.)

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Skirt steak salad w. tomatoes & chipotle

A warm main course salad for two with a very spicy dressing. Season the steak well before cooking and serve with some crusty bread.

Wine Suggestion: this dish has a bite with the chipotle so tread carefully and don’t pick a wine that is too dry (white) or tannic (red). A medium bodied, juicy red was our pick with the Giulio Straccali “Galileo” Vino Rosso d’Italia, a multi region blend of Sangiovese, Syrah and Primitivo. This is really clever by playing of the strengths of each grape and is really more than just the sum of its parts. Fresh, juicy, long and complex, especially considering its inexpensive price.

Warm skirt steak salad with tomatoes & chipotle dressing – serves 2 as a main course

  • 400g skirt steak
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 60ml beef stock/water
  • 120g tinned chipotle chillies in adobo sauce
  • 60ml lime juice
  • half a small frisée lettuce/other lettuce variety
  • 30g baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • a small handful of coriander leaves
  • 30g pecorino cheese

Warm 1 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy frying man over a medium-high heat. Season the steak generously with salt and black pepper. Fry the steak in the oil, turning once, until both sides are well browned and it is cooked how you like it – we cooked ours for 3 minutes on each side. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside to rest.

Reduce the heat under the frying pan and sauté the garlic for a few minutes. Pour in the beef stock or water and use to deglaze the pan, scraping any sticky bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat off completely and add the chipotle chillies, lime juice and enough olive oil to make a dressing (a few tablespoons). Season to taste.

Cut the steak across the grain into ½ cm thick strips.

Shred the lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces and tip into a bowl with the spinach, tomatoes, radishes, onion, avocado & coriander. Add the steak and the chipotle dressing. Divide between 2 plates and grate some pecorino cheese over the top.

(Original recipe from Good Cooking by Neil Perry, Murdoch Books, 2016.)

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Tomato and sugar snap pea pasta salad

We’ve really embraced salads recently, especially as this Irish summer has been quite nice and sunny. This works as a main dish or as a side and will feed a large crowd. It’s nice to find a pasta salad that doesn’t rely on heaps of mayonnaise!

Tomato & Sugar Snap Pea Pasta Salad – serves 6

  • 9 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 x 5 cm strips of orange zest
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and cut into tiny matchsticks
  • 600 g cherry tomatoes
  • 6 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 60 ml olive oil plus 2 tbsp (and a bit extra for drizzling at the end)
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt plus extra
  • 200 g scallions
  • 200 g sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved
  • 350 g pasta e.g. penne, casarecche or fusilli
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • a large bunch of basil, leaves picked and shredded
  • a large bunch of mint, leaves picked and shredded

Preheat the oven to 160ºC.

Put the garlic, thyme, orange zest, ginger, tomatoes, orange juice, 60 ml olive oil, brown sugar, salt and a pinch of black pepper into baking dish and toss with your hands. Place in the oven to roast for 50-60 minutes, tossing every 20 minutes or so. Discard the thyme and orange zest when the cooking time is up.

Separate the green and white parts of the scallions. Cut the green parts in half lengthwise and then across into 5 cm lengths. Slice the white parts into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add the sugar snap peas and spread out into a single slayer. Cook, turning once, until charred on both sides, about 4 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl.

Heat another 1 tbsp of oil in the same pan. Add the green and white parts of the scallions and spread out in a single layer. Cook these in the same way as the peas, until charred. Transfer to the bowl with the sugar snap peas and season with salt.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain and transfer to a large bowl to cool. Toss it occasionally to prevent it sticking together.

Add the tomato mixture, the sugar snap peas and onion, the lemon juice, most of the basil and most of the mint, to the pasta. Toss gently with your hands to combine without breaking up the tomatoes too much. Season with salt and pepper and a bit more lemon juice if necessary.

Serve with the remaining herbs scattered over the top and drizzle with olive oil.

(Original recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi on bon appétit.)

 

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Haloumi, courgette, chickpea and tomato couscous

Really summery, colourful, and quick to throw together.

Wine Suggestion: the vibrancy of flavours demanded an equally vivacious wine; we chose the Kilikanoon Morts’ Block Riesling from the Clare Valley in Australia. It was dry and driven by a limey, textured presence that sang alongside this dish.

Warm Couscous Salad with Halloumi, Courgette, Chickpeas & Tomatoes – serves 4

  • 250g couscous
  • 250ml boiling vegetable stock
  • 400g tin of chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g courgettes, sliced
  • 300g cherry tomatoes on the vine, halved
  • 250g pack of halloumi cheese, sliced thickly, then halved lengthways
  • 125ml olive oil (nothing too big flavoured)
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • ½ tsp sugar

Tip the couscous into a bowl and pour over the vegetable stock. Cover with some cling film and leave for 5 minutes.

Mix the 125ml olive oil, the lime juice, garlic, mint & sugar together in a bowl to make a dressing.

Fluff the couscous with a fork, stir in the chickpeas, then pour over half of the dressing. Mix well together and pile onto a serving plate.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and fry the courgette slices for 2-3 minutes or until well browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper. Put the tomatoes into the pan, cut side down, for a couple of minutes until tinged brown on the cut side. Scatter the courgettes over the couscous, followed by the tomatoes.

Heat a little more oil, then add the halloumi strips and fry for a couple of minutes or until brown on all sides. Pile the halloumi on top of the salad and pour over the remaining dressing.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food.)

 

 

 

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