Blood Orange and Sesame Salad

Blood orange salad 2

 

After what felt like an endless winter, where the only things that could comfort me on a freezing cold Sunday were mashed potatoes and custard (clearly not together), the sun has finally started to come out from behind the clouds and I’m in the mood for some fresh flavours.

Blood orange salad 3

Basically I need salad. Cool, fresh and crunchy salad, with a gorgeous asian inspired dressing, a little toasted nuttiness and some tangy citrus. Chuck in a few avocado chunks and I’ve found my salad heaven. Plus its another awesome way to make the most of blood orange season, just like this amazing blood orange and campari cake, go on you know you want to!

Blood orange salad 5

I could eat this salad until the cows come home and this weekend I definitely ate more than my fair share. It makes a perfect light lunch and would be an ideal dinner party starter or barbecue side. I think I might throw a chicken breast on the griddle next time I make it, although my brain keeps steering me towards burgers…naughty brain. (continue reading…)

Advertisements

Spring Vegetable Quinoa with Feta & Mint

Spring Veg Quinoa 1

Spring is indisputably here, and one of the best thing about it, apart from sunshine, lighter evenings and Game of Thrones, has to be the arrival of spring vegetables and the queen of them all, asparagus. (Yes, asparagus is a girl, and I may have been carried away by the Game of Thrones thing)

Spring Veg Quinoa 2

For me a quinoa salad is just a way of getting as many different vegetables, and usually some feta, onto my plate at the same time as possible, (see also roasted vegetable & feta quinoa) so it’s the obvious accompaniment to the glorious new selection of vegetables. It’s also insanely easy to throw together.

Spring Veg Quinoa 3

Crunchy and spicy radishes, freshly shelled broad beans (do you call these fava beans in the US? My spell check really doesn’t like it!) and chargrilled asparagus mixed through some quinoa and topped with crumbled feta and finely sliced mint leaves. It’s fresh, light and the perfect spring lunch, even better served with a side of mustardy watercress leaves. (continue reading…)

Simple Carrot & Coriander Salad

Carrot coriander salad 1

 

Today’s post is all about simplicity. Sometimes simplicity is the key when it comes to good, wholesome food. Today, with a flight to New York looming in the very near future, I feel the need for something simple and comforting. The combination of carrot and coriander seems like it fits the bill.

Carrot coriander salad 3

 

Crunchy, tangy and refreshing, I scoffed this salad alongside a left over KaleĀ Pesto, Olive and Mozzarella Pizza Roll. The flavours weren’t the best match in the world, but I threw caution to the wind and didn’t regret it. (continue reading…)

Spiced Duck, Mango & Pomegranate Salad

Duck salad 1

Oh my goodness, spring has, for once, arrived early here in the UK! In celebration of the sunshine I officially declare the commencement of salad season!

Duck salad 2

What better way to kick things off than with this gorgeously spicy and fruity duck salad. To my mind, there are few better combinations in the world than meat and fruit, except perhaps fragrant spices and fruit and this salad provides the very best of both of those combinations.

Duck salad 3

Spicy, crispy skinned duck, cool, juicy mango and crunchy, sweet pomegranate seeds are the main protagonists, accompanied by soft, baby leaf salad, radishes, avocado and the occasional hit of fresh coriander. It’s basically all of my favourite things on one plate and I just can’t get enough of it. (continue reading…)

Smoked Mackerel and Celeriac Coleslaw

Mackerel Coleslaw 1

It’s been an exhausting week, one of those weeks when your social calendar goes unusually crazy and on top of that you’ve got a holiday to prepare for and presents to buy for your 3 year old niece. A perfect storm of craziness that leaves you feeling lost at sea and fuzzy headed (and no the red wine had nothing to do with it, promise)

Mackerel Coleslaw 2

So today I felt the need for healthiness and simplicity and when this happens there’s only one way to turn and that is to my food hero, the marvellous Mr Nigel Slater.

Mackerel Coleslaw 3

This coleslaw was exactly what I needed. Chunky flakes of smoked mackerel (my skin was crying out for a bit of oily fish), cool celeriac shreds and little bursts of mustard seeds, finished off with some smooth sour cream. A squeeze of lemon juice isn’t just perfect for cutting through the oiliness of the smoked fish, it also keeps the celeriac brilliantly white. (continue reading…)

Roasted Vegetable & Feta Quinoa

Veg Quinoa

Oh quinoa, how I love you! Quinoa is always the answer when you’re after an easy to make, healthy dinner after a hard day’s work. In fact, for me, it’s always the answer even when I’ve had a lazy day. It’s the perfect base to salads or side dishes and barely a week goes by without me boiling up a batch.

Veg Quinoa

For the uninitiated, quinoa is kind of like couscous, but it’s much more nutritious, gluten free and its texture is much less dry and sandy. (Can you tell I’m not a couscous fan?) It’ll soak up the flavour of your dressing and sits happily with almost any flavour. Apparently you can even use it in baking, although I haven’t tested this theory yet! If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you really have to! Promise me you will, okay? (Pushy? Me? Never)

Veg Quinoa

Now that autumn has enveloped us, it’s time to fall back on some trusty and comforting roasted veg. It’s squash season right now and I beg you to make the most of it. Sure you can go with a boring old butternut squash, but why not hunt out something a little more exciting. Crown Prince, or in this case Onion squashes are simply incredible and a decent sized supermarket should stock them or something similar. They both have a slight hint of chestnut to their flavour and are frankly gorgeous simply sprinkled with dried thyme and rapeseed oil and roasted as a side dish, but here they work wonderfully in an autumnal salad. (continue reading…)

Charred Sweetcorn Salad

Corn salad 2

I’m not designed for this weather, London is scorching and I am melting. I don’t even have a week’s worth of summer clothes and my salad repertoire is sorely lacking. This has been exacerbated by the fact that I can’t bear to turn on the oven, as my flat is already hotter than the fires of hell.

Corn on the cob 1

Fortunately, I do have one go-to salad that I can’t get enough of. (Pardon my grammar, but I just couldn’t make that sentence sound right!) On the downside it does involve turning on a grill, but if you’re one of those lucky people with some outside space, a BBQ and someone who actually has a clue how to light it, you can get around that.

Corn on the cob 2

Alternatively, get a trusty tin of sweetcorn, I’m sure it would work here, but you’ll miss out on the charred flavour and the salad might lose some of its fresh vibrancy. If you can persuade yourself to put the grill on, I promise it’ll be worth your while!

Corn salad 1

The dressing is what really makes this salad. It’s packed full of amazing flavours, fresh ginger, honey and lime. It’s also fantastic with a bit of crushed garlic, but I find the flavour lingers a little too long for me and I’m always a little paranoid that I’ll still be stinky the following morning at work, despite excessive use of mouthwash.

Corn salad 3

As my recipes always seem to be, this is a hugely flexible dish. Avocado is utterly awesome here and if my local supermarket wasn’t so unreliable it definitely would have been present. You can also substitute the coriander for parsley or any other fresh herb that takes your fancy. Basically add in or take out whatever you like but please, please, please try the dressing!

Corn salad 4

Charred Sweetcorn Salad
Adapted from Shutterbean
2-4 servings

Ingredients:

2 cobs of sweetcorn
4 spring onions
1 yellow pepper
A handful of cherry tomatoes
A handful of coriander
1/2 a red chilli

For the dressing:
1-2cm of grated root ginger
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp rapeseed oil (or olive oil)
1 clove crushed garlic (optional)
Salt & pepper

Put the grill on medium, grill the sweetcorn on all sides until golden and then put it to one side to cool until easy to handle.

In the meantime, make the dressing. Pop all of the dressing ingredients into a jam jar and shake until fully combined, easy!

Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the corn cobs. I tend to do this over a shallow bowl as it seems to minimise the mess. I’m all about minimising mess.

Put the sweetcorn into a large salad bowl with the dressing and give it a good mix. Now finely chop the pepper, spring onions and chilli and add them to the bowl. Halve the tomatoes and finely chop the coriander, chuck them in, stir it up and you’re done!

Enjoy, but don’t make my mistake of roasting new potatoes in this weather!

Corn salad 5