Recipe: Meera Sodha’s Caramelised fennel and carrot salad with mung beans and herbs

The dressing for this first course or light lunch is a salsa verde, a piquant herb and citrus sauce that works well with the sweet caramelised vegetables.

Prep 10 min
Cook 30 min
Serves 4

2 large carrots (400g), peeled and cut into thin batons
2 fennel bulbs (500g), thinly sliced and fronds reserved
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Olive oil
Salt
1 tsp chilli flakes
125g mung beans
125g giant couscous

For the dressing
10g dill leaves
30g parsley leaves
10g fresh mint leaves
1½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard

Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas 6 and line two baking trays with foil.

Lay the carrots, fennel and garlic cloves in a single layer across the two trays. Mix four tablespoons of oil, half a teaspoon of salt and the chilli flakes in a small bowl, spoon over the vegetables, then toss with your hands to make sure everything is well coated. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing the vegetables halfway through to ensure they cook evenly.

In the meantime, put the mung beans in a pan, cover with plenty of cold water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Add the couscous to the pot, turn up the heat and boil for six to eight minutes, until tender, then drain.

To make the dressing, finely chop the herbs and fennel tops, put in a bowl and add the chopped flesh of the roast garlic, the lemon juice, capers, mustard and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Add enough olive oil to make a dressing (roughly three to five tablespoons), mix very well, then taste and adjust as you see fit.

To assemble the salad, spoon the mung beans and couscous on to a serving plate, lay the vegetables on top, then mix in the green herb dressing to taste and serve.

 

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jul/07/meera-sodha-recipe-caramelised-fennel-carrot-mung-bean-salad

 

Recipe: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Courgette, thyme and walnut salad

This needs to be dished up the moment its made, before the courgettes start ‘weeping’ and losing their freshness, so don’t let it sit around for too long. It goes well with hot food fresh from the grill or alongside a bunch of meze.

Prep 10 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
10g thyme sprigs
1 lemon – peel finely shaved into 6 strips (avoid the bitter white pith), then juiced, to get 2 tbsp
1 garlic clove, smashed with the flat side of a knife
600g courgettes (a mix of green and yellow looks great, if you can find both), trimmed and shaved into long, thin ribbons with a potato peeler or mandoline
60g walnut halves, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper
15g basil, roughly shredded

Put the oil, thyme, lemon peel and garlic in a small saucepan on a low heat and leave to infuse for eight minutes, until the oil becomes aromatic and the garlic, lemon and thyme start to colour. Take off the heat, leave to cool, then strain the oil into a large bowl. Pick the leaves off the sprigs and add to the oil; discard the sprigs, lemon and garlic.

Put the courgettes, walnuts, lemon juice, a third of a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper into the oil, then massage the courgettes for a minute or so – they will break up a little – then stir in the basil and serve at once.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/23/yotam-ottolenghi-courgette-recipes

Recipe: Anna Jones’ Spiced and herbed puy lentil salad


A salad that travels well and is more than a sum of its parts. Rice, quinoa or normal couscous can be used in place of the giant couscous if you like.

Prep 20 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 4

100g raisins or currants
4 tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 x 400g tin cooked puy lentils, drained, or 250g home-cooked
150g wholemeal giant couscous
Olive oil
4 sticks celery, finely chopped, any leaves reserved
1 large bunch each parsley and coriander, leaves picked

For the dressing
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
Seeds from 4 cardamom pods or ¼ tsp ground cardamom
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
Zest and juice of 2 unwaxed limes
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp dijon mustard

Soak the raisins in the vinegar and leave to one side.

If you are cooking your lentils yourself, then cook in boiling water for 20-30 minutes until soft but still holding their shape. Cook the giant couscous in boiling salted water according to packet instructions, then drain well.

Make the dressing. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan for a couple of minutes, until they smell fragrant. Add the ground spices, stir quickly, then take the pan off the heat and tip the lot into a mortar. Bash with the pestle until they are broken down a bit. Tip into a jam jar, add all the rest of the dressing ingredients and shake to mix well.

Drain the lentils and put in a large bowl with the couscous, chopped celery and dressing. Roughly chop most of the herbs on a board, drain the raisins and add to the pile of herbs, chop the lot together, then add to the lentils. Season with salt and pepper, mix well and taste, adding more salt, pepper, lime and oil as needed. Remember, it will mellow a little as it sits. When you are ready to eat, scatter over the rest of the herbs and any celery leaves, and pile into bowls.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/18/anna-jones-recipes-puy-lentil-picnic-salad-dips#img-1

Recipe: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Grilled and marinated sandwich vegetables

Great on a sandwich and also work in a salad or as antipasti. If you have any of the aromatic oil left over, it’s great on pasta and salad.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 4

1 medium fennel bulb
200ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
240g baby aubergines, trimmed and quartered (or 1 regular aubergine, cut into 10cm x 2cm wedges)
5 multicoloured Romano peppers
2 large mild red chillies
1 garlic bulb, top fifth trimmed to expose the bulbs
1 lemon – skin finely shaved of in 6 strips, then juiced, to get 2 tbsp
10g oregano
2-3 spring onions, finely sliced
5g dill, roughly chopped
½ tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
½ tbsp pink peppercorns, toasted and crushed

Heat the grill to its highest setting and put a rack at the top of the oven. Cut the fennel in half lengthways and then into 1.5cm-thick batons, keeping some base attached, so the pieces hold together. Gently toss the fennel in a teaspoon of oil and a good pinch of salt, then lay out on a large oven tray.

Toss the aubergines in a teaspoon of oil and a good pinch of salt, and lay cut side up on the same tray. Grill for 12 minutes, until well charred, then transfer the aubergines to a large bowl. Turn over the fennel pieces, grill for another six minutes, then add to the aubergine bowl.

Turn off the grill and set the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. Put the peppers and chillies on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle a little oil over the garlic bulb, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then wrap tightly in foil and add to the pepper tray. Roast for 25 minutes, turning halfway, until the peppers are blackening on both sides. Remove the peppers and chillies, and roast the garlic for 10 minutes more.

Put the peppers and chillies in a bowl, cover tightly with clingfilm, leave for 30 minutes, then peel off the skin, discarding the seeds, stalks and any liquid. Tear the peppers into 8cm strips, roughly chop the chillies and put both in the fennel bowl.

When cool enough to handle, unwrap the garlic and squeeze out the flesh into the fennel bowl. Add the remaining oil, the last six ingredients, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and mix gently to coat. Ideally, leave .

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/16/yotam-ottolenghi-picnic-recipes

Recipe: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Giant couscous with golden raisins, lemon and almonds

This is just as good eaten at room temperature as it is warm. It’s an ideal portable meal, because it can be made well in advance, it’s easy to transport and it will keep for hours.

Prep 10 min
Cook 25 min
Serves 4

250g giant couscous
500ml vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper
1 lemon
½ tbsp olive oil
50g golden (or normal) raisins (or replace with chopped dates)
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground in a mortar
60g flaked almonds, toasted
10g dill leaves, roughly chopped
10g basil leaves, roughly torn

For the parsley oil
30g parsley leaves
120ml olive oil
1 small garlic clove, peeled

Put the couscous in a medium saucepan for which you have a lid, and dry toast, stirring occasionally, over a medium-high heat until some of the pearls begin to colour – about four minutes. Add the stock and a half-teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed, then turn off the heat and leave the couscous to sit, covered, for 10 minutes more.

Meanwhile, finely grate the lemon peel into a small bowl – you should have two teaspoons of zest. Using a small, sharp knife, trim the top and tail off the zested lemon, then cut away the skin and pith. Release the lemon segments by cutting between the membranes, then cut each segment into rough chunks and add to the zest bowl with any remaining juice squeezed from what’s left of the lemon – you need about a teaspoon. After the couscous has rested, stir in the lemon mix and the oil.

Put the raisins in a bowl, cover with about 100ml boiling water, leave to soak for five minutes, then drain. Mix the raisins, cumin, almonds, herbs, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper into the couscous.

Put all the ingredients for the parsley oil in a blender with an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and blitz until smooth.

Pack the couscous into a portable container and spoon the oil on top (though, if you’re serving this at the table, spoon on the oil just before you eat).

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/16/yotam-ottolenghi-picnic-recipes

 

Meera Sodha’s Wild rice, chickpea and aubergine salad with a tamarind and yoghurt dressing

Prep 20 min
Cook 50 min
Rest 10 min
Serves 4

For the rice
1 red onion, peeled
½ large cauliflower (about 600g)
350g baby aubergines (ie, about 4 slim ones)
300g vine tomatoes, halved
Rapeseed oil
1 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
250g basmati and wild rice
400g tin chickpeas
15g fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

For the tamarind dressing
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 ½ tbsp date syrup
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
¼ tsp ground red chilli
½ tsp ground cumin
Salt

For the ‘yoghurt’ dressing
100ml non-dairy yoghurt
Salt

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4 and line two large oven trays with foil. Chop the onion from above into wedges, separate into “petals”, then arrange on one half of one tray. Break down the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and put these on the other half of the tray.

Cut the aubergines lengthways into quarters, and put them on one half of the second tray; lay the tomatoes on the other half.

Whisk four tablespoons of oil with a teaspoon of salt, pour this over all the vegetables, then toss with your hands to coat all the surfaces and get into the nooks and crannies. Bash the garlic cloves with the back of a knife and put on the aubergine tray, then roast the onion and cauliflower for 20-25 minutes and the aubergine, tomatoes and garlic for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash the rice in a sieve under the cold tap until the water runs clear, then tip into a large saucepan. Drain the chickpeas, add to the rice, then cover with plenty of cold water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 18 minutes, or until tender. Drain into a sieve, then cover with a clean tea towel and leave for 10 minutes.

Now make the dressings. In a small bowl, mix the tamarind paste, date syrup and oil with a tablespoon of water. Add the chilli, cumin and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and mix again.

Put the yoghurt in a second small bowl. Squeeze the flesh from the roast garlic on to a board and finely chop, then stir into the yoghurt with a quarter-teaspoon of salt.

To bring the salad together, in a bowl mix the rice and chickpeas with the baked vegetables, toss with the tamarind dressing and transfer to a portable container. Serve drizzled with the yoghurt dressing and scattered with coriander.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/16/meera-sodha-recipe-wild-rice-chickpea-aubergine-salad-tamarind-dressing

 

Roast Cauliflower Salad

Family get togethers always tend to get the creative spark firing – not least because there are at least two other Kitchen Stars in SheWhoMustBeFed’s extended family. It just isn’t on to be bringing out the same ol’ dish all the time, though it must be said that The Plumber is rather fond of Soccattata  – especially as it is gluten free. When he is left near a plate of Socha’ you only have to blink twice and half of it is gone. Woosh!

A food processor is handy for making this salad, though not mandatory. Grating the cauliflower could be done with a hand grater over a large bowl, though it would of course be far more work than whizzing it down the chute of the processor and I suspect generate a lot more mess. Cauliflower does tend to fly around the place when grating!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large cauliflower
  • 1 bag of baby spinach leaves or mixed salad greens
  • 1 standard punnet of cherry tomatoes, all halved
  • Olive oil
  • Tamari

Method:

  • Grate the cauliflower using the “coarse” holes in your hand grater / or food processor attachment
  • Spread out the grated cauliflower on one or two baking trays (best to not have it too deeply piled)
  • Thoroughly coat with olive oil and a few dashes of tamari. It is best to roll up the sleeves and use your hands to help evenly coat everything.
  • Bake at 180-200c for about 20 minutes. Give the baking cauliflower a mix and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. You’re aiming for a slightly crisped, but not burned result.
  • Allow the baked cauliflower to cool to room temperature (consider preparing the cauliflower a day before you need the salad and refrigerate overnight)
  • Just before serving, mix the cauliflower with the greens and the halved tomatoes

 

Quinoa and pecan salad

When SheWhoMustBeFed and I first started eating quinoa, many moons ago, we had never heard it pronounced, only read it. So for an embarrassingly long period of time we pronounced it “kwin-oh-a”. I can’t recall whether our verbal fumblings were ever met with a knowingly condescending smile; probably not as it wasn’t anywhere near as popular as it is now, so in all likelihood we never came across anyone who knew any better than we did. At some point we learned of our mistake and in a scene earily prescient of this we said to each other “Oh, it’s kinwah, not kwin-oh-a. Honestly being vegan is a nightmare. It’s no wonder we don’t have any friends.”

Now of course we are infinitely cleverer and wiser than before, because not only do we know how to pronounce quinoa, we also know that cranberries aren’t meant to be sweet. For a time we lived in that wide, wild and wacky land The Yoonited States of A-merica where cranberries are always sweet, and cranberry juice tastes like a large bottle of deeply purple sugar. In actual fact drinking a glass of natural, unadulterated cranberry juice has an affect something like sticking the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner into your mouth. All the spit in your mouth will instantly disappear, your cheeks will suck in tight, and once you’ve managed again to draw breath you will say “Well, that was a little sourer than I expected.” In this recipe, try to use dried unsweetened cranberries if you can get them. Sweetened works OK, but in our humble (cleverer and wiser) opinion, the tartness of dried, unsweetened cranberries will do it more justice.

Credit: This recipe came from elsewhere. I’d like to say where, but all I can tell you is that it has been cut out of a magazine and stuck into SheWhoMustBeFed’s recipe scrapbook. It was probably an American magazine, as the recipe called for “cilantro” as opposed to “coriander”. So, credit to the original creator and also the publisher of the magazine which printed it on a green page sometime.

Ingredients ((ɪnˈɡriːdɪənts):

  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of quinoa
  • 1 bunch shallots, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup of coriander
  • 3/4 cup of finely sliced celery
  • 3/4 cup of coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
  • pinch cayenne pepper

Method (meTHəd):

  • Boil the water, add the quinoa, stir and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft (approx. 25 minutes, but keep an eye on it)
  • Lightly toast the pecans
  • Once the quinoa is cooked, allow to cool to room temperature, then combine everything except for the pecans in a large serving bowl.
  • Ideally, allow to sit and stew for an hour before serving at room temperature. Stir the pecans through just before serving so they are still a bit crunchy.

 

Bevski beetroot

This’ll bring a lively dash of colour to the table, and elsewhere too the next day. The Bevski made it for us on Christmas Day, so it probably won’t taste nice, even though it does. Tinned beetroot just ain’t gonna do here, as they will already have been preserved in salt and vinegar. If you have a pressure cooker use that for the beets, as cooking them in a normal pot takes a tedious spell of time.

You’ll need:

  • 500g beetroot (weight not including the stalks)
  • 500g punkyin (or use pumpkin if you like)
  • 250g green beans
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup of pine nuts
  • caramelized or otherwise very thick and yummy blasamic vinegar (or use balsamic vinegar instead)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the making:

  • Pressure cook/boil the beetroot until just soft, and slip off the skins under cold water. Discard the cooking water;  The Bevski say’s it is very good for the vegie garden once cool.
  • Chop the cooked beets into large wedges
  • Meanwhile chop the punkyin into large chunks, brush with oil and roast
  • Halve the peeled onion at the ‘equator’, then slice each half into four even chunks. Along with the crushed garlic (and optional salt and pepper) saute until onion is clear.
  • Blanch the trimmed beans; aiming to have them still crispy. Flush thoroughly with cold water after removing them from the heat to stop them from continuing to cook.
  • Combine everything into a large bowl, drizzle with the blasamic vinegar and sprinkle it all with the pine nuts.
  • Serve, ensuring you tell everyone “This won’t taste nice” (don’t worry – it will)

Balsamic Butter Bean Salad

It can’t be summer….not where The VegHead is anyway. The give away is the fact that its very white outside, and more white stuff is falling from the sky. So it must be either snowing, or a CIA aeroplane carrying a cocaine shipment has exploded in mid-air overhead. As Kate Moss is absent from the scene…it’s probably snow.

If it was summer then perhaps this salad would perhaps be being served to guests as we sipped Pimms into the long English evenings. It is very nice either warm, or “room temperature” (have you ever wondered “Which room?”).

Anyway…this ended up being the basis for a pasta dish for dinner last Thursday. I was going to write up the recipe for that, until as she was eating dinner SheWhoMustBeFed exclaimed “Hey…isn’t this the butter bean salad thing with balsamic vinegar?”. Clever thing she is…

So instead of writing up that dish in full, it seemed more sensible to write up this dish, and then in the recipe for the pasta dish just refer back to this. Are you following?

Needing:

  • 1 cup of cooked butter beans
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 cup of small fresh button mushrooms
  • thick, gorgeous, sweet balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • tamari

Do it to me baby:

  • Peel the onion and top and tail it. Halve it “across”. Then quarter each of those halves. Then peel apart the layers, making little “cups” of onion.
  • Very lightly saute the onion in a little olive oil
  • Add the mushrooms, beans, pepper and tamari. Continue over a low heat for a few minutes.
  • Heavily drizzle with balsamic vinegar
  • Stir and serve