Category

Salad

Cooking and preparing meals is about simplicity. I really believe that Australia’s long-running obsession with cooking shows is because we know we’ll never make what they make on the telly. We get to watch our gourmet chef fantasy played out by others, saving us the trouble to actually do it. Most of us make meals that we know the family will eat, that we can make in our sleep and are easy. Or is it just me? Maybe I’ve said too much.

Point is, simple doesn’t have to be repetitive or boring. What I’ve learned from my friends who are accomplished home cooks is that it only takes a small twist in a recipe to make a new meal.

Take coleslaw. Cabbage, carrot, parsley in a mayonnaise dressing. So familiar, it’s unremarkable. But change the dressing and suddenly I feel like making coleslaw. Kat said that her dressing could have been more mayo-like if I had a better food processor, so it looks a bit chunky in the photo, but I can tell you it tasted great and I don’t care about the creaminess.

The kids still ate it. Bonus.

Coleslaw with cashew dressing

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Serves: 4 Prep Time:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cabbage, shredded
  • 3 carrots, scrubbed and grated
  • 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (or soaked in hot water for an hour)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine cabbage, carrot and parsley in a large bowl.
  2. Drain and rinse soaked cashews. Place cashews in a food processor with apple cider vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper and 1/4 cup of water. Blend on high speed until creamy. Add more water to reach desired consistency.
  3. Pour over the salad and mix well.
6 December, 2018 0 comment
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I’ve always liked beetroot, but beetroot for me growing up was out of a tin. I think beetroot is one of the few vegetables that is actually not too bad out of a tin. It’s pretty close to homecooked beetroot (unlike, say, tinned asparagus, which bears no relation to homecooked asparagus whatsoever). But I’ve been slow to get more fresh beetroot into my cooking and I’m not sure why that is.

Because of that, a bunch of beetroot can last me ages — lucky it stores so well — but now that I’m eating more seasonally, I find that at this time of year, beetroot is one of the main vegetables available so I’m cooking and eating it a lot more. Maybe I’ve hesitated because of the time it takes to cook, but that’s a bit silly now I think about it. All I’ve had to do is plan a tiny bit more and throw some in the oven about an hour before I start to make dinner. As someone who isn’t particularly into cooking, this simple change in thinking has been a small epiphany for me. If I couldn’t be home early enough to get it into the oven in time, I’ve cooked it in the morning, or the day before. It’s revelational, I tell you!

This is one small example of how eating locally grown food can influence how you cook and eat. I don’t think I’ll ever be super into cooking, but just by making this small change, I’ve increased the repertoire of flavours on my family’s plates, I’m exposing my kids to new meals and I’ve supported the local food system by eating what it’s producing.

So, eat more beetroot!

Also: juicing raw beetroot with some other veg and an apple is amazing.

Chard & roasted beetroot salad

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Serves: 2 Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 beetroots, peeled, cut into sizeable chunks (not too small)
  • 1/2 bunch chard, shredded, no stems
  • roughly same amount of mixed salad leaves
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1/2 cup seed mix (we used sunflower, pumpkin and linseed)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (spend the money to get the real stuff)
  • juice of half an orange
  • 1/2 punnet microgreens

Instructions

Start with the beetroot (this can be done well ahead, if preferred)

  1. Preheat oven to about 170deg.
  2. Place in a shallow baking tray and liberally douse with olive oil. Make sure the pieces are fully covered with oil and not touching each other.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, if you like.
  4. Roast for about 30 minutes, but use your own judgement. Check from time to time until they are as firm or soft as you like.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  6. While the beetroot is in the oven, lightly toast the pistachios and seed mix in a dry frying pan (no oil) over a low heat.
  7. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, pour over the vinegar and juice, toss and serve.
  8. Sprinkle with microgreens.

Notes

This recipe will make enough for 2 if eating it as a meal, or 4 if as a side dish.

1 November, 2018 0 comment
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We should give this salad a name, because that description is a bit unwieldy. I might ask Kat to do that the next time she invents a recipe.

It’s still spring, it’s still the hungry gap, so this week it’s another salad. And I’m betting subscribers have still got beetroot from last week’s box loitering in the fridge, so we’ve thrown some of that in, roasted. The challenge ingredient this week is the grapefruit and I have to say, I think Kat has nailed it with this recipe.

My grandmother used to share a grapefruit with my grandfather every morning. Plucked off their e-n-o-r-m-o-u-s tree in the backyard. They halved it, smothered it with sugar and honey, extracted it with a weird little serrated, curved knife and ate it as is. I was not a fan. But this… this more like it.

Some people find grapefruit quite strong. If that’s you, then dial down the amounts suggested in the recipe. We’ve used 2 grapefruits in this recipe, so small box subscribers will need to halve everything.

There will be leftover vinaigrette. Just keep it in the fridge and use it for your next salad.

Quinoa salad with beetroot, microgreens and grapefruit vinaigrette

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Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups quinoa (1 cup = 3 cups cooked), well rinsed and drained (removes any bitterness)
  • 1 grapefruit, cut into small wedges, skin removed
  • sprinkle of rapadura (brown) sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 bag of mixed salad leaves, lightly chopped
  • small bunch coriander, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 4 small whole beetroots, scrubbed
  • 1/2 to 1 punnet microgreens
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 grapefruit
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper to season

Instructions

Start with the beetroot (this can be done well ahead, if preferred)

  1. Preheat oven to about 170deg.
  2. Don’t top and tail them, just trim the leaves and stems leaving a stubby bit and pull all the hairy bits off the bottom.
  3. Rub with olive oil.
  4. Place upside down (using the stubby bit like a plinth) on a baking tray.
  5. Cook for about an hour, but this will depend on the size of the beetroot. These were fairly small.
  6. When cooked to soft but still firm, let cool, then remove skins, top and tail, and slice into strips.

While the beetroot is in the oven, cook the quinoa:

  1. Put the rinsed and drained quinoa into a saucepan with twice the quantity of water.
  2. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, then with the saucepan lid off, reduce to a gentle simmer.
  3. Once the water has been absorbed by the quinoa (keep an eye on it), remove the pan from the stove, cover and let it steam for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and let it cool.

While the beetroot and quinoa are cooking, make the vinaigrette:

  1. Combine the garlic, olive oil, grapefruit juice, mustard, vinegar and honey in a jar and shake well. The trick is to find the right balance between the grapefruit and the vinegar, so try adding them incrementally to suit your taste.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When you’ve done that, grill the grapefruit:

  1. Heat a griddle or frying pan to a medium heat and add a small amount of olive oil. Don’t let the oil smoke. If it smokes, it’s too hot. Turn it down, wipe the pan and start again.
  2. Grill the grapefruit wedges until they’re soft, but not shrivelling.
  3. Take them off the heat and sprinkle with the sugar, then let them cool.

Put it all together:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, grilled grapefruit, mixed salad leaves, coriander and green onions. Before adding the beetroot, pour over some vinaigrette and gently toss. Start with a small amount and keep adding as you toss until you get it to your taste.
  2. Then add the beetroot, to avoid turning everything pink.
  3. Liberally sprinkle with microgreens, gently toss again and serve
11 October, 2018 0 comment
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