Tag Archives: salad

Tahini


2008_11_4-tahiniTahini is an essential for the fridge. It lifts the most basic of foods into a rich meal whilst retaining healthy qualities. Tahini is a paste made from grinding sesame seeds and has a high protein content. A  little tweaking turns it into a stunning dressing for steamed vegetables, brown rice and salads. It comes in a light and dark version. Both of which have an amazing depth of flavour.  To learn how to make this sauce see Tahini Dressing.

From the web

“Sesame seeds are very beneficial for you because they are rich in quality vitamins and minerals. They are very good sources of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and riboflavin”.

Also see Hummus.

Griddled Cauliflower with Hazelnuts and Pickled Red Onions

Cauliflower 4This is another ‘centre of the table’ or ‘mezze’ style dish made for sharing. Seasonally this is a winter salad which can be served warm or at room temperature. You can  prepare this well in advance, just put all the elements together before serving. Cooking cauliflower on the fire with oil gives it a really unique flavour. I also roast off cauliflower in the oven which has the same nuances. This combination is really different and is always well received.  It  works well with any other dish on the table, fish, meat, or as a vegetarian/vegan dish.

Ingredients (serves 4 or 6 if part of a mezze meal)

1 small, or half a large cauliflower
20g roasted hazelnuts
10g parsley
1 small red onion
25ml red wine vinegar
Honey
1 tbsp capers
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Prep List

Cut the onion in half and slice it thinly. Mix the vinegar and the honey (or sugar) together. Put the cut onions into the same bowl and push the onions down with your fingers so they are covered with the vinegar.

CauliflowerCut the cauliflower across the body of it as oppose to florets as seen in the photo. Half of it will hold together, the other half will break into small pieces, but it doesn’t matter.

Make sure the hazelnuts are roasted, quite often they are already roasted, if they have no crunch then pop them in a hot oven for 5-8 mins, don’t forget about them.

Chop the parsley.

Measure out the capers.

Method

Cauliflower 2Put your griddle pan or frying pan on a high heat, or fire up the gas bbq. When hot turn down to medium heat. Toss the cauliflower in olive oil and put each large piece on the pan first, then after do whats left of the smaller pieces. Cook it well, you want some bite left in it but not too much. The cauliflower needs to almost burn a bit, crispy caramelized cauliflower is what you want. When it as all done cut the bigger pieces into bite size bits. Put into a mixing bowl with the capers, half the onion, salt and pepper and half the parsley.

Mix the ingredients in a bowl, taste, always taste everything, for seasoning. Lay onto a plate, then finish off the garnish with the rest of the onions and parsley.

Warm Roasted Vegetable, Smoked Tofu & Herb Salad

Inspired by the one-dish dinners from Morocco this delicious hearty dish
is perfect as the nights draw in

Ingredients for 6 people

250g smoked tofu
200g quinoa
75g whole peeled almonds (flaked will do)
10g mint
20g coriander
2 kilos mixed root vegetables eg.beetroot, carrots, sweet potato, onions
1 red pepper
1 whole bulb of garlic
150g goats cheese
1 lemon
125ml greek yoghurt
Maldon sea salt and black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/gas mark 7.

Cook the quinoa in a pan of rolling boiling water for about 12 minutes. It is cooked when it still retains a bit of bite. Strain into a seive and run under cold water. Leave to drain. Roast the almonds in the oven until browned.

Take the largest baking tray you have, you might need two. Peel the root vegetables and cut into 4cm chunky pieces. De-seed the pepper and cut into similar size pieces. Break up the garlic bulb loose the flaky outer but don’t peel. Toss the vegetables in oil, season with salt and pepper then lay into the tray on baking paper. Make sure the vegetables are in a single layer – not piled on top of each other – this will allow them to roast not steam. Cut the tofu into similar size pieces and keep it apart for now.

Put the trays of vegetables into the oven for about 20 minutes. After ten minutes take out of the oven and gently turn the vegetables over with a fish slice. Then distribute the tofu onto the vegetables, and cook for a further 8 minutes. Use your own judgement to decide when the vegetables are ready, optimal is soft and golden slightly burnt. Take the roast vegetables out and add the tofu and crumble the goats cheese over the top. Put back in the oven for a further 5-8 minutes until the goats cheese has melted.

Meanwhile, zest the lemon and chop the herbs, do not over chop them as it will make them watery. Mix together the yoghurt with lemon juice and season. The yoghurt sauce should be pouring consistency, if not add some water.

To assemble the dish put the vegetables and tofu mix and quinoa into a large mixing bowl (preferably in one layer at a time) and then gently turn it over – everything should be evenly mixed. Season with salt and pepper, careful not to over salt.

Swirl the yoghurt from a spoon onto the vegetables etc. Hold the almonds in your hand and let them fall from the centre and to finish sprinkle the herbs and lemon zest over the top.