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Posts Tagged ‘Salad’

Crispy Parma ham w avocado and hot tomato dressing

A really nice dish to serve as a starter in late summer when the tomatoes are at their best.

Wine Suggestion: We love serving slightly-chilled, young, light reds with salads like this. Given the Parma ham we chose the Colterenzio Pinot Nero from the Alto Adige, but it could have easily been a Joven Tempranillo, Beaujolais or Cheverny rouge. Young, lighter bodied, fruity and with a fresh acidity; perfect.

Crispy Parma Ham with Avocado & Hot Tomato Dressing – serves 4

  • 5 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit extra
  • 85g Parma ham, roughly torn
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, quartered, seeded and cut into thin slivers
  • 15g basil, roughly chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 100-120g mixed salad leaves
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and sliced

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add half the Parma ham pieces, add some freshly ground black pepper and fry for one minute per side until crisp. Transfer to a plate and keep warm while you repeat with the rest of the ham.

Wipe any excess fat out of the pan and return to a low heat. Heat 4 tbsp of olive oil, then add the tomatoes, basil and lemon juice. Season with freshly ground black pepper and gently heat through for about 30 seconds.

Arrange the salad leaves on 4 plates. Top with the avocado slices, then pile on the crispy ham and spoon over the hot dressing. Serve immediately with a little extra salt if needed and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe by Lesley Waters in BBC Good Food Magazine, September 2001)

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Couscous and mograbiah with oven-dried tomatoes

Mograbiah is a large variety of couscous that we were unable to find for this recipe but Italian fregola worked well. We also started this too late to make our own labneh but a soft goat’s cheese log rolled in dried mint and black pepper made a good substitute. We hope the guys at Ottolenghi wouldn’t be too horrified. Serve this for lunch or as a side dish for roast or barbecued meat.

Couscous and mograbiah with oven-dried tomatoes – serves 6 to 8

  • 16 large, ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthways
  • 2 tbsp muscovado sugar
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 250g mograbiah (or fregola)
  • 400ml chicken stock/veg stock
  • a pinch of saffron strands
  • 250g couscous
  • 1 tbsp picked tarragon leaves
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • 100g labneh (we used a soft goat’s cheese log rolled in dried mint and freshly ground black pepper)

Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas 2.

Put the halved tomatoes on a baking tray, with skins down, and sprinkle with the sugar, 2 tbsp of the olive oil, plus the balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper. Bake for 2 hours or until the tomatoes have lost their moisture.

Meanwhile, sauté the onions in 4 tbsp of the olive oil over a high heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until dark golden.

Cook the mograbiah or fregola in a large pan of salted boiling water (follow the instructions on the pack but cook until soft but with a little bite). Drain well and rinse under cold water.

Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan with the saffron threads and a pinch of salt. Put the couscous into a large bowl and add 3 tbsp  of the olive oil  and the boiling stock. Cover with cling film and leave for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes, fork the couscous to get rid of any lumps. Add the cooked mograbiah, the tomatoes and any juice, the onions and their oil, plus the tarragon and nigella seeds. Taste and adjust the seasoning and oil if needed – it will likely require a good dose of salt.

Serve the dish at room temperature with the labneh (or goat’s cheese) on top, drizzle with the rest of the oil and finish with the remaining nigella seeds.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi: the cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamami, Ebury Press, 2008.)

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Tomato & Olive Salad

Fabulous flavours in this easy summer salad by Sabrina Ghayour. Great with barbecues – there’s still time before the cold evenings arrive.

Tomato & Olive Salad with Za’atar &  Buttermilk Dressing – serves 6 to 8

  • 800g mixed tomatoes
  • 250g pitted mixed olives
  • 15g chives, snipped
  • 200ml buttermilk
  • olive oil (Sabrina suggests a flavoured one like garlic or lemon)
  • 2 tbsp za’atar

Slice the tomatoes horizontally into 1cm-thick slices and arrange on a large platter. Spread the olives around the plate and scatter over half of the chives. Season generously with good sea salt and black pepper.

Season the buttermilk well with salt and a good slug of olive oil, the drizzle this over the salad. Scatter over the remaining chives and sprinkle over the za’atar. Serve right away.

(Original recipe from ‘Feasts’ by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

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Orzo & tomato salad

A characterful and bright salad that tastes great with barbecued lamb. Easily halved.

Orzo & Tomato Salad with Capers & Kalamata Olives – serves 6 to 8

  • 350g orzo pasta
  • 2 x 290g deli packs of sunblush tomatoes, drained & cut into strips – reserve the oil
  • 400g green beans, trimmed & halved
  • 200g pitted Kalamata olives, roughly halved
  • 50g flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems finely chopped
  • 400g feta cheese, crumbled into small chunks
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 240g capers in brine, drained

Cook the orzo according to the pack. Rinse well in cold water and leave to drain in a sieve for 10 minutes.

Put the drained orzo into a large mixing bowl. Add 2 tbsp of oil from the tomatoes and mix well.

Cook the green beans in boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender, then drain and put into a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking. Drain well.

Add the green beans to the orzo along with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Add some more of the tomato oil and season generously with salt and black pepper.

(Original recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

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Cherry tomato salad with wholegrain mustardSuch a nice tomato salad with lots of delicious dressing for which you will require some crusty bread. You do need to skin the tomatoes but it actually takes no time at all if you follow the instructions below and it allows them to soak up the dressing so don’t be tempted to leave that step out.

Cherry tomato salad with wholegrain mustard – serves 4 to 6

  • 900g cherry tomatoes
  • 50g walnuts, coarsely chopped

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • small bunch of tarragon
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaped tbsp wholegrain Dijon mustard
  • 125ml walnut oil or olive oil

Peel the tomatoes by cutting a slit in the base of each then putting them into a large bowl. Pour over some boiling water from the kettle and immediately drain – the skins should peel of easily.

Keep a sprig of tarragon to garnish and remove the rest of the leaves from the stalks. Coarsely chop the leaves and discard the stalks. Whisk the vinegar and mustard together with some salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil so the dressing thickens slightly, then whisk in the chopped tarragon.

Pour the dressing over the tomatoes,  mix gently and taste for seasoning. You can leave at room temperature for a couple of hours at this point. Pile into a salad bowl and sprinkle with the walnuts and the reserved tarragon just before serving.

(Original recipe by Anne Willan IN: BBC Good Food Magazine, April 2002)

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Shirazi salad

This Iranian salad works really well with rich, spicy stews and middle eastern dishes. Try and cut everything the same size so that you get a bit of everything in each bite.

Salad Shirazi – serves 4 as a side dish

  • 300g Middle Eastern or regular cucumber
  • 300g tomatoes, halved and seeds removed
  • ½ red onion
  • 4 radishes

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

If you are using small Middle Eastern (Lebanese) cucumbers, then half them lengthways. If using a regular cucumber, peel, half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon.

Finely dice the cucumber and tomato into ½ cm cubes. Cut the red onion and radishes into similar sized pieces and tip everything into a large salad bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together, then pour over the salad and mix well. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

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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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