Bhel Puri Salad

It’s a salad but a salad with puffed rice (Rice Krispies), Poppadoms and Bombay Mix. Salad doesn’t get much better than this. You only need 50g of delicious Bombay Mix, a delicious Indian snack with dried noodles and peas, peanuts and spices but unfortunately I could only find it in a big 500g bag and it’s ridiculously moreish and unhealthy. The recipe was in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’ and went down pretty well in my household.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cm ginger
  • 2 tsp tamarind chutney
  • oil
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 lemon
  • 50g peanuts
  • 100g rice krispies
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 10 radishes
  • 1 chilli
  • 15g mint
  • 15g coriander
  • 2 poppadoms
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 50g Bombay Mix

Method

1.) Peel and grate the ginger. add the chutney and 1 tbsp oil. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon and mix. Tip this into a salad bowl.

2.) Toast the peanuts and rice in a frying pan until lightly golden then set aside.

3.) Peel and dice the onion. Chop up the cucumber (I get rid of the seeds as they’re very watery). Quarter the tomatoes and slice up the radishes. Finely chop the chillis and the herbs. Add the vegetables with the salad dressing.

4.) Chop the pomegranate in half and bash out the seeds into the bowl.

5.) Add the garam masala and bombay mix and stir everything together.

6.) Crush up the poppadoms and sprinkle over the top before dishing up.

Double Corn Salad

I was only going to post on the blog until half time was over but as ever, my team are making it a painful experience. Cristiano Ronaldo is the only redeeming feature these days. It’s even dimmed my love of football somewhat though I’m still considering taking a week off work in November to watch some of the World Cup. I have to say I was a little bit sceptical when I saw this recipe for a salad containing popcorn in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’ but he’s been right about everything else in that book and I was very pleasantly surprised. The dressing is also really good. I love a tangy dressing. Only thing is I don’t know if it’s just my English mustard or English mustard in general but its very hot and probably 1 tsp of that stuff is enough. The recipe also makes a lot of dressing so you could make some and have it with a lunch salad all week. You can also serve with some toasted ciabatta croutons.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 50g popping corn (ok Jamie pops his own from kernels which is definitely the cost-effective way but I was lazy so I got the microwave stuff)
  • 2 corn on the cobs
  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  • 4 spring onions
  • 30g mature cheddar
  • 30g blue cheese
  • 6 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp English mustard (or 1 if it’s very hot)
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 10g coriander leaves

Method

1.) Put your popcorn in the microwave or heat in a pan with 1 tbsp oil and a lid until popped.

2.) Cook the corn on the cobs in the pan, turning over with a fork when the side a little charred.

3.) Set the corn to one side. Chop up the lettuce and add to a mixing bowl. Finely chop the spring onions and the coriander leaves and add to the bowl.

4.) Make the dressing by adding the cheeses, yoghurt, garlic, mustard and white wine vinegar into a blender. Blitz until smooth.

5.) Cut the corn from the corn in the cob. Hold in place with a fork if the corn is still hot. Add the corn to the salad bowl.

6.) Mix everything in the salad and divide between the plates. Drizzle over the dressing. Sprinkle over some popcorn. Serve.

Thai Aubergine Fish Salad

I’ve just joined the herd recently and started playing ‘Wordle’. I was convinced that I wouldn’t get addicted to this game. I’m not really sure why when I spent most of my days at my old job playing ‘Words With Friends’. Admittedly some of the draw with that was winding up the less sophisticated versions of the ‘Tindler Swindler’ who seem to think that enjoying a word game is synonymous with being lonely and looking for love. I loved the excuses of why these people who supposedly hailed from the US were online at 2am US time. Makes the Swindler himself look sophisticated.

This ‘salad’ is probably more of a Thai side dish which I’ve served with rice to make it into more of a meal. It’s weird how when you mash up the coriander leaves with a lot of aubergine, it almost has the flavour of avocado. Aubergines travel a lot less than avocados and keep a lot better too. The recipe was in ‘Thailand – The Cookbook’.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 whole sea bream/sea bass
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp rice
  • 4 shallots
  • 4 spring onions
  • 15g coriander leaves (the recipe used some sawtooth coriander which I have no hope of acquiring)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced galangal
  • 2 aubergines
  • 15g mint leaves
  • rice to serve
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

Method

1.) Put some rice on to cook.

Turn on the grill. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place on the aubergines. Prick the aubergines all over with a fork.

2.) Heat under the grill, turning over with a fork until all the skin is charred.

3.) Set aside to cool so you can handle it.

4.) Set the oven to 180 degrees C (or recommended cooking temperature for the fish)

5.) Place the fish on the baking tray and cook for about 25 minutes or per the instructions on the packet.

6.) Check on the rice and once done, drain off the water and stir in the sesame oil and soy sauce.

7.) While the fish is cooking, toast the rice on a low heat until it smells fragrant. Move to a pestle and mortar and pound to a powder.

8.) Peel and finely dice the shallots, add to a large mixing bowl. Finely chop the spring onions and the coriander and mint leaves and add. Spoon in the galangal (this is similar to ginger if you can’t find it).

9.) If the aubergine is cool enough, peel off the skin and blitz in a food processor until pulpy. Add to the bowl with the herbs, add the fish sauce, toasted rice and give it a mix.

10.) When the fish is done, pull it away from the bone and add the boneless chunks to the salad. The edges will be more bony so be extra careful to check those. Gently mix the fish through the salad so it doesn’t disintegrate.

11.) Serve the salad with the seasoned rice.

Herring and Potato Salad Summer Rolls

I guess you’d class these herring and potato summer rolls as fusion food. I’m a big fan of the Summer Roll and have made them a few times now so I was intrigued by this alternative version in Tony Singh’s ‘Tasty’. Actually, they work really well and with the Thai dipping sauce per Tony Singh but I think they would be delicious with some sort of mayonnaise, especially Kewpie mayonnaise. When the herring came, it came with pickled onions and in hindsight I would omit the onion and just use the onions from the herring.

Makes 8 rolls

Ingredients

  • 8 rice paper rolls
  • 120g rocket
  • 150g new potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 16 mint sprigs
  • 16 sprigs coriander
  • 16 sprigs Thai basil (or normal basil)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 150g pickled herrings
  • 1 cos lettuce
  • 4 tbsp peanuts (I used cashews)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 chilli

Method

1.) Put the potatoes on to boil.

2.) While the potatoes are cooking, add the rocket to a large mixing bowl, finely chop the herbs and add them. Peel the carrot and chop into small matchsticks. Chop up the cucumber into matchsticks too. Shred the lettuce, peel and finely chop the onion and add all of that to the salad bowl.

3.) Chop up the drained herring and combine with the salad.

4.) Make the dressing. Peel and finely chop the garlic and finely chop the chilli. Add to a container with the sugar and the fish sauce. Chop the lime in half and add the juice to the dressing. Give it a good mix with a fork.

5.) When the potatoes are done, chop them into small pieces and mix with the salad. Crush the nuts and add those too.

6.) Now, to assemble the spring rolls, get a big bowl and one by one, submerge the rice paper into the water. Pull out and spread out on a plate. It’s best to have another plate ready that you can move the rolls to once they’re assembled.

7.) Grab handfuls of the salad and put in the middle of the roll. Fold up the roll. I find it easiest to do one side length ways, one side width ways, then the other two sides. The rice paper should stick together because of the water. Turn over so the crease is at the bottom and set aside. Repeat until all the salad is used up.

8.) Serve rolls with the dipping sauce on the side.

Thai Papaya & Carrot Salad

Here’s another of Gordon Ramsey’s recipes from ‘Gordon Ramsey’s Ultimate Cookery Course’. I was recently watching Kitchen Nightmares and there’s now a version where it’s basically the same concept: Gordon Ramsey goes to a failing restaurant and shouts at a lot of people and it gets better, except that this time he only has one day to improve it. The show is the same length as the normal one so as a viewer I don’t really see the point of the change. Maybe Gordon just wanted to spend less time at work, I think we can all sympathise with that.

This salad flavour wise is really great but there was a bit too much sauce and next time, I would just mix it in with some rice noodles then I think it would be perfect. Also, it’s more like a starter portion as it is, I think the rice noodles would bulk it out to a light dinner.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 chillies
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 large green papayas
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 carrots
  • 15g coriander
  • 15g Thai basil (or just normal basil)
  • 6 tbsp chopped peanuts

Method

1.) Peel and grate the carrot and shallots. Add them to a large mixing bowl.

2.) Peel the papayas and cut out the seeds. Chop into small chunk and add with the carrots.

3.) Finely chop the herbs and add to the salad.

4.) In a measuring jug, add the sugar, tamarind paste and fish sauce.

5.) Peel and finely chop the garlic and finely slice the chillies. Add them to the measuring jug and give everything a whisk with a fork.

6.) Crush the peanuts and throw in the salad bowl. Pour in the dressing and mix everything. Serve.

Sprout Salad with Roasted Celeriac

I did make this meal just after Christmas where brussels sprouts were still all the rage in the supermarket but I hadn’t got round to posting it. I love sprouts and they’re great in a salad because they don’t go soggy the day after like lettuce. The salad didn’t quite feel like enough on its own despite the richness of the poached egg and manchego cheese deliciousness. I’ve seen whole roasted celeriac around for a while on social media platforms but I’d always been put off making it just because the cooking time is 3 hours. In actuality, it’s a case of bunging it in the oven and really the only problem is making sure you make it on a day you’re in the house and remembering to plan ahead. It’s a nice healthy accompaniment to the salad and also would work pretty well as a jacket potato substitute. Both parts of the recipe come from the ‘Nopi’ cookbook by Yotem Ottolenghi.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large celeriac
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 punnet shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 8 eggs
  • 250g brussels sprouts
  • 20g parsley
  • 60g manchego
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and prepare a roasting tray.

2.) Wash the celeriac and scrub off the hairs.

3.) Rub all over with the olive oil and 2 tsp salt.

4.) Roast in the oven for 3 hours.

5.) About 30 minutes before the celeriac is ready, boil some water, pour in a pan, place in the eggs and cook for 7 minutes. Prepare a mixing bowl with some ice and water. Once the eggs are done, transfer the eggs to the bowl until they’re cool enough to handle.

6.) In the meantime, prepare another baking tray, slice up the mushrooms, spread out on the tray and stick in the oven for 20 minutes.

7.) chop off the bottom of the sprouts, peel off the outer leaves and discard. Finely slice the sprouts and add to a mixing bowl.

8.) Finely chop the parsley and add to the sprouts. Shave the manchego into thin slices with a cheese slice and add to the bowl.

8.) Make the dressing, in a measuring jug, add 60ml olive oil, the juice of half the lemon, the red wine vinegar, the syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper.

9.) Peel and chop the eggs in half.

10.) Take the celeriac and mushrooms out the oven.

11.) Mix the dressing with the sprouts mixture and divide among 4 plates. Divide the mushrooms among the plates and the eggs .

12.) Slice up the celeriac and place on the side.