If you follow me on facebook or twitter or google+ or even instagram you might have noticed a couple of weeks ago I posted about a really good bargain I found on red peppers. 10 Euro for 10 kilo! I couldn’t resist. So off I trotted home with my peppers under my arm and a head full of ideas on how to use them. This was my first recipe – I think because I’m always looking for these kind of salads. I like to combine my vegetables and carbs in the one dish. Saves on time (and dishes, and pans), but it also means that I can cut down on the carb element without it being too noticeable (for me, anyway). Not that I’m particularly worried about carbs, I’m not one of those cooks, not at all, but every little helps, right?
Serves 4 to 6 The Salad 700gr / 1.5lb. potatoes, boiled in their skins and cut into bite sized cubes (use new potatoes when in season).
200gr / 7oz. green beans, cooked and chopped roughly
150gr / 5oz. cooked chorizo, sliced thinly.
1 x tbsp olive oil
2 x medium tomatoes, sliced thinly
5 x spring onions cut into 5cm / 2in. lengths
3 x red peppers de-seeded and chopped roughly
A large handful of fresh flat parsley leaves chopped finely
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
The Dressing 1 x tbsp olive oil
Juice of a lemon
2 x tsps honey
Set your oven to heat to 200°C/400°F.
Lay the tomatoes in the bottom of a roasting tray evenly, then the chorizo, the peppers and the spring onions. Drizzle over the oil and place in the oven for up to 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened and browned.
Whilst the vegetables are roasting, mix the dressing ingredients together, set aside and place the potatoes, beans and parsley into your serving bowl.
When the vegetables are ready empty them into your serving bowl (still warm or you can cool them first, whatever suits best), pour over the dressing, toss through until everything is evenly combined, check for seasoning and serve.
Tips and Variations
This is a great salad to serve with roast chicken or lamb.
I often use leftover potatoes and beans or other vegetables, but if you need to cook them especially for this recipe, just boil the beans in the same pan as the potatoes – they will only need a few minutes.
Instead of potatoes, rice or chickpeas work well too.
Chicken in Preserved Lemon Marinade with Spinach Salad
I always seem to have some kind of version of this meal in my recipe rotation. This is the latest. Inspired this time by preserved lemons. One of those ingredients that I became aware of a few years ago, but didn’t know how to work with them. This was my first attempt – seems like my strategy is to stay in my comfort zone of chicken and salad and to experiment from there. I’m pleased to say that this recipe is definitely a keeper.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes plus up to 2 hours to marinate the chicken. Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 Ingredients
For the Chicken The meat from 2 to 3 boned, skinned chicken thighs per person
2 x preserved lemons chopped finely
2 x tbsp olive oil
Juice of one lemon
4 x tbsp honey
3 x tsps coriander
1 x tsp cinnamon
2 x large garlic cloves, crushed
Salt to taste (I always taste this marinade before I add salt because the preserved lemons can be salty enough)
Optional: Some dried chili
Optional: Some toasted almonds to dress
The Spinach and Rice Salad 1 x large red onion chopped finely
100gr / 3.5oz. baby spinach
300gr / 10.5oz. rice, cooked and cooled
4 x tomatoes with their seeds removed and chopped finely
A handful of fresh coriander leaves chopped roughly
Salad Dressing 3 x tbsp olive oil
Juice of one Lemon
2 x tbsp honey
2 x tsp coriander
1 x tsp cumin
Salt to taste
Bring the ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl, add your chicken and cover it in the lemon marinade. Cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours if you can.
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C / 400°F, place the chicken in a roasting tray lined with aluminium foil and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken has browned a little and is cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking, you can make the salad. Stir the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl and mix them evenly. Only pour over the dressing when you are ready to serve otherwise it will wilt your leaves and the salad will become limp. Toss the dressing through the salad gently with two large metal spoons.
Check your salad for seasoning and serve the chicken on top with some toasted almonds sprinkled over the dish.
Tips and Variations
If you are making this marinade for a lesser quantity of chicken I keep the measurements the same.
Once cooked, the chicken can keep for a couple of days in the fridge – great with all kinds of salads or in a sandwich.
The cooking time on your chicken may vary based on the thickness of the meat. If you feel the top is colouring too much before the meat is cooked you can place some aluminium foil over it for part of the cooking time to protect it as well as the chicken from drying out.
If there are nice juices in the bottom of your roasting tray, add them to the salad dressing.
Recipe for Roast Butternut Squash Salad with Goat’s Cheese
Phew! After all that delicious (but a little bit full on) food in France, it’s great to get back home and back into the kitchen to make something that I really love.
This recipe for roast butternut squash salad with goat’s cheese has some classic combinations. It’s not revolutionary, I’m not re-inventing the wheel here, just getting back to some basics.
You’ll have to forgive me for showing off the herbs I’ve been growing on my balcony – I’ve put loads of them into this recipe.
Preparation Time: Under 10 minutes Cooking Time: About 15 to 20 minutes to roast the squash
For the Salad 4 x baby gem lettuce shredded or chopped finely
50gr / 1.7 oz. toasted pumpkin seeds
50gr / 1.7 oz. toasted pine nuts
100gr / 3.5 oz. mange tout, chopped finely
250gr / 8.8 oz. soft goat’s cheese
To Roast the Butternut Squash 1 x medium butternut squash with the seeds removed and cut into roughly thumb sized pieces (keep the skin on).
2 x tbsps of olive oil
1 x tbsp of honey
2 x tsps of fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Dressing 4 x tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of a lemon
1 x tbsp honey
8 to 10 basil leaves chopped finely
1 x tbsp finely chopped chives
1 x tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
To roast the squash, pre-heat your oven to 200°C / 400°C. Place the squash in a roasting tin, drizzle over the honey and oil, sprinkle over the thyme and a few grinds of black pepper and mix everything through until covered. Roast in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until it has softened and taken on some colour. When cooked, add a little salt.
Whilst the squash is roasting (or you can roast it in advance), prepare the dressing by whisking the oil, lemon juice and honey in a bowl, then stir through the herbs. Add seasoning, tasting as you go.
Place the ingredients for the salad in your serving bowl, keeping back a little of the squash, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts and cheese to dress.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss it through until everything is covered evenly. Place some of the squash, nuts and seeds and cheese over the top decoratively and drizzle with a little extra oil if you wish.
Recipe for Asian Coleslaw with Baked Salmon : Quick and Easy, Great for Brunch or Lunch.
Eating out is my favourite thing. My second favourite thing is eating in. This is kind of how this recipe for Asian Coleslaw with Baked Salmon Came about. I was having lunch a couple of weeks ago in Riva, Amsterdam (I’m so lucky that they are like literally 100 paces from my front door), and my meal was distracting me from the company. It was one of those perfect food moments, you know when what you are eating is exactly what you needed at that time. Anyway, I just knew that I had to re-create this at home, but it wasn’t a standard ingredient combination. With every mouthful I tried to dissect the flavours down to ingredient and proportion of ingredient. It didn’t work there and then. Took me a couple of days of daydreaming about the taste to deconstruct and reconstruct it. This is the result, I think I hit the spot.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: About 10 minutes to bake the salmon
Ingredients for 4 Servings
For the Salmon 4 x salmon filets of about 150gr / 5 oz. each
Juice of one lemon
1 x tbsp of olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the Coleslaw 6 to 8 leaves of Chinese lettuce leaf, shredded
200gr / 7 oz. sweet corn
200gr / 7 oz. beansprouts
1 x courgette (zucchini), shredded or cut julienne
200gr / 7 oz. grated carrot For the Dressing 2 x tbsp good quality mayonnaise (or 2 x tbsp mayonnaise and 2 x tbsp natural yogurt – this will give a sharper result)
4 x tbsp Japanese Mirin
3 x tsp wasabi paste (more if you want more of a kick)
Juice of one lime (About 2 x tbsps.)
4 x tbsp finely chopped chives To Finish An avocado, sliced and served on the side.
A tbsp per person of wakame (Japanese Seaweed Salad)
2 x limes quartered.
Method To Bake the Salmon
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C / 400°F.
Place aluminium foil in a roasting tray. Use enough foil so that you can wrap the fish in it loosely. Place the fish on the foil. Drizzle over the oil and the lemon juice. Sprinkle over the salt and the pepper.
Cover your fish with the foil, making a loose parcel.
Place the tray in the oven and allow to bake for 7 to 12 minutes. The cooking time will not only depend on your oven, but also on how thick the salmon filets are. You can bake the salmon in advance as it should be served at room temperature.
To Make the Coleslaw and Dressing
Mix the dressing ingredients, except for the chives, together in a bowl. I find the best way to do this is with a metal whisk. Then stir in the chives. Check for flavouring and adjust if you wish. Set aside.
Place the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.
When you are ready to serve pour over the dressing and toss through until evenly mixed.
Serve with the salmon on the top of your salad and the spoonful of wakame on top of the salmon and a few slices of avocado and a wedge of lime on the side.
Tips and Variations
I often use a mandolin to slice the courgette (zucchini), and carrot, but you can also use a vegetable peeler or just slice with a knife into long matchsticks – if you have the patience.
You can make wakame yourself, but I buy it ready made.
Remember, if you are using the avocado, open it at the last minute or it will become brown.
There’s nothing complicated about this recipe for spicy cucumber side salad. It is my absolute favourite go to recipe to accompany spicy dishes.
Preparation Time: Less than 10 minutes
Ingredients for 4 servings a side salad For the Salad One medium cucumber sliced very thinly
300gr / 10.5 oz. of radishes, washed, topped and tailed, and sliced thinly
For the Dressing 2 x shallots sliced very finely
1 x red chili de-seeded and sliced very finely
Juice of 2 limes (about 2 x tbsp.)
Zest of 2 limes
3 x tbsp of honey
2 x tbsp of Thai fish sauce
1 x tbsp of sesame oil
Optional – some mint and toasted chopped peanuts (or sesame seeds) to dress
Mix the Dressing ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved – adjust to your taste if you wish
Mix the Cucumber and Radishes together in a bowl, add the dressing and mix through.
Tips and Variations
Best Served immediately, although you can make the dressing in advance (just don’t add mint in advance as it may discolour)
To get those super thin sliced vegetables I like to use a cheese slice, vegetable peeler or mandolin
Adjust the vegetables, bean sprouts and mange tout work really well also, as well as some spring onions.