Side dishes

Israeli Chopped Salad

IMG_0163

This is barely a recipe, more a suggestion of an easy and flavorful summer side dish that will works well with any Middle Eastern or Mediterranean main course, or even on its own with a dollop of hummus.

IMG_0161

This chopped salad is very popular not just in Israel but all over the Middle East. It comes together in just a few minutes but will also benefit from resting in the fridge for an hour or two.

Israeli Chopped Salad

250 g ripe cherry tomatoes

1 large cucumber (approx 450 g)

1/2 red onion

juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

optional extra toppings: chopped parsley, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, sumac

Serves 4 as a side dish

Slice the onion, then soak in cold water for 15 minutes to reduce the bite (skip this if you like some bite to your salad). Pat dry, then chop into fine dice.

Quarter the cherry tomatoes.

Peel the cucumber and quarter lengthwise. Scoop out any excess seeds if necessary, then dice.

Place the onion, tomatoes and cucumber in a bowl and add the lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning. Toss well, and serve immediately or chill for a few hours.

IMG_1040photos and food styling by Yaelle

Side dishes

Kimchi – Cauliflower “Fried Rice”

kimchi cauliflower rice

Last week I had a great time co-hosting a fermentation workshop with Katharine Locke. After a busy morning of chopping vegetables and filling jars, we all sat down to a lunch featuring a fermented food tasting along with my new favorite lunch dish, this kimchi-cauliflower “fried rice” adapted from a recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s new book, It’s All Easy.

Although it is not difficult to make kimchi at home (try this recipe if you want to give it a go), because I live near an excellent Korean supermarket I tend to buy kimchi in pouches rather than make my own. I do now know that the kimchi sold in pouches is well fermented, having lived through The Night Of The Exploding Kimchi.  But that’s a story for another time, maybe when I finish deep-cleaning my fridge.

And if you have never made cauliflower couscous (or rice), I would highly recommend that you try it. It is really tasty but low-carb and perfect for anyone on a grain-free diet.

Kimchi-Cauliflower “Fried Rice” (adapted from It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow)

1 small head of cauliflower, broken into small florets

100 g curly kale, cut or torn into small pieces and stems removed

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

3 tablespoons coconut aminos (or tamari soy sauce)

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

200 g chopped kimchi

1 small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Serves 4 as a main course (lovely with a fried egg on top!) or 6-8 as a side.

Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor until they are broken down to the size of couscous.

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the kale and saute for for 2 minutes, until it is starting to wilt. Add the cauliflower and the water and continue to saute for 5 minutes. Then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add the cooled cauliflower-kale mixture and mix well. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Side dishes

Autumn Slaw with Honey-Ginger Dressing

slaw

The children have only just gone back to school but already it feels like winter is on its way. It has been rainy with grey skies these past few days, and there are already flus and coughs and colds going around. This crunchy Asian-inspired slaw is a wonderful source of immune-boosting antioxidants and vitamin C, but is also a riot of bright and zingy flavors and colors – just the thing to ward away the germs and cheer up a dreary evening.

We had this slaw last night with pulled pork wraps, a family favorite. But just add some leftover roast chicken or poached salmon, and you have a main course salad. It is also a great lunchbox option, as the flavors actually improve from resting for a couple of hours (but check whether your school’s allergy policy allows sesame seeds).

The inspiration for this recipe came from Jenny Rosentrach’s Dinner: The Playbook. In her “30 day plan for mastering the art of the family meal”, Jenny sets out a foolproof plan for getting family dinners on the table every night. Although not that many recipes in the book are allergy-friendly, it’s a good read if you struggle to get organized at dinner-time or just need to shake things up in your dinner rotation. Jenny also blogs at Dinner: A Love Story.

Autumn Slaw with Honey-Ginger Dressing

For the dressing:

1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or rice vinegar if you are not on GAPS)

1 tablespoon fish sauce (look for a sugar-free version if you are on GAPS, such as Vietnamese Phu Quoc Fish Sauce)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons honey

For the salad:

1/2 head of red cabbage, finely shedded (I use my Oxo Mandoline slicer for this)

3 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks

25 g baby spinach (a small handful), stems removed and finely shredded

10 snow peas, strings removed and sliced on the diagonal

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped

Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a large salad bowl and whisk well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I find I don’t usually need to add salt as the fish sauce is salty).

Add the salad ingredients and toss. Serve immediately or chill for up to 6 hours.

Jenny Rosenstrach’s tip: “If you are afraid your kids won’t touch it, separate out the elements you are sure they will like and reserve some dressing for them as a dip”. Sounds sensible to me!

Side dishes

Quinoa salad with broad beans, avocado and cucumber

quinoasalad

I absolutely love broad beans (favas), and get very excited when they are in season. The other day I picked up some young fresh broad beans from Natoora that were absolutely tiny and tender, and made this quinoa salad, which pairs well with grilled lamb or poached salmon.

Although I have been making quinoa for years, this time I tried Gwyneth Paltrow‘s technique for perfectly cooked quinoa – the trick is to use a paper towel to catch excess moisture – and it did come out perfectly cooked. Thanks Gwyneth!

Quinoa salad with broad beans, avocado and cucumber

175 g uncooked quinoa

400 ml water

750 g broad beans in the pod

1 ripe avocado

1/2 cucumber

a small handful of chives

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Serves 6 as a side dish.

Start by preparing the quinoa as it will need time to cool. Rinse the quinoa, then place in a pan with the water and a pinch of salt, and bring to the boil on the hob. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes – until all of the water has been absorbed by the quinoa. Take the pan off the heat, and place a paper towel between the pan and the lid. Leave this for 5 minutes to absorb any excess moisture, then fluff with a fork. Tip the cooked quinoa onto a large plate and spread out as thinly as possible, then leave it to cool to room temperature.

To prepare the broad beans, begin by opening each pod and removing the beans. Toss the beans into a pan of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, then plunge the cooked beans into a bowl of cold water. Pop each bean out of its outer skin, and they are ready to eat.

Peel and dice the avocado and cucumber, and combine in a bowl with the broad beans and quinoa. Whisk together the oil and vinegar with a bit of salt and add to the salad. Sprinkle chopped chives on top and serve.

Side dishes

Hemsley + Hemsley’s “Quicker Than Toast” Courgette (Zucchini) and Pumpkin Seed Salad

courgette

One of the great perks of (mostly) working from home is … lunch! My favorite lunch is leftovers, and I often cook extra in order to have some tempting leftover food in my fridge. But I am also partial to a quick and healthy recipe I can throw together if the mood strikes me. And this courgette (zucchini) and pumpkin seed salad recipe ticks all of the boxes for me. Made with ingredients I usually have to hand, it takes barely five minutes to put together – yes, “quicker than toast”.

This is my favorite recipe from Hemsley + Hemsley’s stylish and appealing “The Art of Eating Well” cookbook Do try it next time you are about to have toast for lunch. It is one of those simple recipes where the result is more than the sum of its parts.

courgette2

“Quicker than Toast” Courgette (Zucchini) and Pumpkin Seed Salad (adapted from a Hemsley + Hemsley recipe)

1 medium courgette, rinsed and wiped dry

1 small handful of pumpkin seeds, about 25 g

a few drops of balsamic vinegar

about 1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Serves one lucky person

Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan on the hob, giving the pan a shake from time to time, until the seeds are golden and crackling (about five minutes).

While the seeds are toasting, grate the courgette onto a plate. I use the coarse side of a box grater for this.

When the seeds are ready, tip them onto the courgette immediately – the heat from the seeds will soften the courgette slightly.

Toss with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Eat right away.

Side dishes

Guest post: Quinoa, Cauliflower and Asparagus Salad

cauliflowerquinoa

Today I have a very special treat for you, a guest post from my dear friend Stephanie who is a great cook. I can’t wait to make her delicious-looking salad. Over to Stephanie…

We are always looking for new ways to increase our intake of vegetables, and salads can be a great way of achieving this. My daughter especially can be a little leery of your bog-standard green salad, so here is a delicious recipe I adapted from something I found on the Internet. The original is a Sicilian recipe made with farro, which contains gluten. I swap out farro for quinoa, and instead of raisins I use dried goji berries, as they are packed with nutrients and a bit less sweet!

Quinoa, Cauliflower and Asparagus Salad

Ingredients

200g cooked and cooled quinoa

1 cauliflower, cut into florets

250g asparagus, woody ends trimmed

Olive oil

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

40g dried goji berries

Handful of baby salad leaves

4 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and halved

For the dressing

1 tablespoon each of chopped dill, parsley and chives, or to taste

80ml olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Cook cauliflower in pan of boiling salted water for about 6 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool.

2. Heat a pan until quite hot, add a tiny amount of oil and lightly char the asparagus for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the asparagus to a plate and allow to cool.

3. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and test the seasoning.

4. In a serving bowl, combine quinoa, cauliflower, asparagus, pine nuts, goji berries and baby leaves with the dressing. Serve eggs as a side to the salad, or omit entirely if you are serving as a side dish to a meat-based meal.

Enjoy!

Dips and spreads, Side dishes

Cranberry-apple chutney

chutney

This cranberry-apple chutney is one of my holiday staples. Every year I like to make a big batch just before Thanksgiving and pack it into jars, either to serve with festive meals at home or to bring to our hosts as an edible gift. I’ll be testing it out on Thanksgivukkah this year and I think it will go down a treat.

apples

The chutney is lovely with turkey, slow-roasted duck legs or really any roasted bird – and wonderful with leftovers.

chutneyjar

Cranberry-Apple Chutney (adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe)

700g Granny Smith apples (about 5 medium or 7 small), peeled, cored and sliced into bite-sized pieces

250g dried cranberries

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

a thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

350 ml apple cider vinegar

200g caster sugar

1 teaspoon tumeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons salt

Makes about 3 jam jars of chutney

Place all of the ingredients into a saucepan or dutch oven and place over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a rapid simmer, stirring regularly, then lower the heat to a slow simmer.

Cook for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the apples have become soft and the mixture appears thick and jammy.

Transfer the chutney into clean jam jars and close the lids tightly. Once cool, store the chutney in the refrigerator until the holidays are over.