Lady Marmalade Salad

I made this salad as an accompaniment to my anchovy and olive pissasladiere. I wasn’t 100% happy with that so I won’t post about it this time but this salad from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’ was really something special even though I couldn’t get the chicory that’s meant to be in it and subbed with Romaine lettuce. You cook down some orange juice then add some honey and vinegar so it’s spicy and sweet and honestly I think I could drink the stuff. Jamie recommends to serve with goat cheese on toast. I remember a few years ago there seemed to be a trend of pairing orange and coffee flavour which sounds intriguing but I never got round to trying it out, probably in cake form.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons pistachios
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon runny honey
  • 2 romaine lettuces

Method

1.) Shell the pistachios then toast lightly in a frying pan.

2.) Bash them up in a pestle and mortar and set aside.

3.) Chop the oranges in half and squeeze the juice out into a small saucepan. Remove any pips.

4.) Simmer until syrupy then take off the heat.

5.) Add the vinegar, olive oil and honey and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything.

6.) Wash and chop up the lettuce and place in a salad bowl. Mix with the dressing. Serve and sprinkle with the pistachios.

Spiced Carrot Fritters

As may have been clear from this blog I’m a huge fan of Jamie Oliver’s cookbook ‘Veg’ and this might well be my favourite recipe from it so far. I was extra impressed that I’d managed to get it on the table as I’d finally had my first confirmed COVID infection after attending our yearly company conference held in the south of the country this time. Monday to Wednesday was grim living with COVID and the lasting effects of the HIIT class I’d signed up for at the work event but after struggling to work through those days to get all the month-end journals in I decided I couldn’t go on any longer. I signed off work in the morning, had a three hour nap and got woken up by my cat pawing me in the face. When I was a bit better I found the time to watch Taxi Driver which I’ve always wanted to watch so at least my week wasn’t completely wasted.

These delicious pancakes are spiced with cumin, fennel seeds, chilli and coriander but to divert from the topic once again just because I found it quite interesting – I was watching Rick Stein’s India and he was talking about how when the spices started first travelling from India to England, the first one that was really desired was pepper. People really hadn’t had anything like it before with it’s slight kick. It’s so funny as it’s just a table condiment now and not at all seen as exotic!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 150g carrots (I think around 2 medium)
  • 1 green chilli
  • 15g coriander leaves
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 /2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cup self raising flour (I used a measuring jug and filled to one cup level)
  • 1 cup milk (as above)
  • 1 egg
  • oil
  • 100g crunchy veg (radishes/cucumber/carrots)
  • rose harissa
  • 1 bag watercress
  • 40g feta
  • hummus

Method

1.) Make up the salad by chopping up/peeling the veg you’ve chosen. If you’re using cucumber it’s best to cut out the seeds as they will make everything watery. Put these in a salad bowl with the watercress. Crumble in the feta.

2,) Peel and grate the 150g carrots. Add to another large bowl. Finely chop the chilli and coriander leaves and add to the bowl. Chuck in the fennel and cumin. Peel and slice the onion and add to the bowl.

3.) In a measuring jug, add the flour and milk and mix well with a fork. Crack in the egg and mix that in too. Pour the batter in with the carrots and give everything a stir.

4.) In a frying pan, heat up some oil and add about 1/2 a ladleful of the mixture. Cook until browning then flip over and brown the other side.

5.) Repeat until you get through all of the mixture.

6.) Serve the pancakes with some salad, a dollop of the hummus and a teaspoon or two of the rose harissa.

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.

Superfood Salad

Superfoods may be seen as a bit of a fad but the thing is, most of them are really delicious. This salad may be made up of some slightly different superfoods from Jamie Oliver’s original recipe from his website but I’m going to blame that on the train service in this country, resulting in me having to do a rush job lunch-time shopping trip to an M&S express. Nonetheless, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, parsnips and nuts contribute to making this delicious.

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • tsp olive oil
  • 200g bulgur wheat
  • 1 broccoli
  • 35g mixed nuts (I used a mix of pine nuts and sunflower seeds)
  • 1 small tub pomegranate seeds
  • 2 limes
  • 1 pack beansprouts
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves
  • 1 pack feta cheese
  • salt

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Peel and cube the parsnips and potatoes

3.) Line a baking tray

4.) Add the cubed vegetables to a mixing bowl, add half a tbsp oil then add the chilli flakes, a sprinkle of salt, the ground coriander and the cinnamon. Turn around with your hands until everything is coated with the spices then pour into the baking tray.

5.) Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until soft.

6.) While this is baking, peel and dice the onion.

7.) Heat some more oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for a couple of minutes. Then add the beansprouts. Fry until everything is soft then turn off the heat.

8.) In another pan, add the bulgur wheat with enough water to cover and bring to the boil.

9.) Chop up the broccoli and add in the pan with the bulgur wheat.

10.) Cook for about 10 minutes until the broccoli and bulgur wheat is soft. Turn off the heat, drain off the water and set aside to cool.

12.) In another small pan, toast the nuts until they’re starting to give off a nutty fragrance then remove them from the heat.

13.) Chop the feta cheese into cubes and add to the mixing bowl. Slice the limes and add the juice into the bowl. Chop up the coriander leaves and add them to the bowl.

14.) Once the broccoli and bulgur wheat, potatoes and parsnip, onions and beansprouts have cooled to lukewarm, combine them with the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Give everything a good stir.