Posts Tagged With: salads

Insalata Caprese

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This famous salad from Italy is beautiful in its simplicity, using up all the last of the lovely summer tomatoes and juicy basil and nasturtium leaves.

Fresh from the garden: rocket, baby spinach, young nasturtium leaves, tomatoes, basil
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 4 or 28 tastes

Equipment:

  • Mixing bowls – large, med, small
  • Salad spinner
  • Chopping board & knives
  • Paper towel
  • Tea towel
  • Fork or whisk
  • Tongs
  • Serving bowls

 

Ingredients:

  • A large handful small rocket leaves
  • Some young nasturtium leaves
  • A handful of basil leaves
  • A few handfuls little tomatoes
  • 1 tub bocconcini
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Flaked salt and pepper

What to do:

  1. Wash the leaves very well in a large bowl and several changes of cold water. Dry the leaves very gently in the salad spinner. Repeat this process, working in small batches, until all the leaves and basil (kept separate) have been dried.
  2. Lay out a tea towel and line it with paper towel. Spread the dried leaves over the paper and roll the whole lot up like a log. Keep the rolled parcel of leaves in the refrigerator until needed. Rinse and dry the bowl well.
  3. Peel the garlic and slice in two squashing one half slightly. Into one bowl put this half, tear the basil and drop in, pour in a glug of olive oil and sprinkle some salt. Tear each bocconcini into two and add, then chop each tomato into two – or chunks if larger – and also place these in, turning a few times.
  4. To make the dressing, rub the other garlic half over the inside of the bowl and drizzle ½ cup olive oil and a little stream of balsamic vinegar over. Lightly whisk dressing.
  5. Unwrap the parcel of salad leaves & tip them into the bowl. Gently turn the leaves in the dressing using your hands or tongs
  6. Use the salad servers to transfer the dressed leaves to the serving bowls, then scoop up tomato/ basil/ bocconcini mixture (discarding garlic half) and pop on top of each, making sure to toss well before serving immediately. 

Notes: What is bocconcini and what does it mean?

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Spiced grains, almonds, labne and currants

Our friend Caroline had been to Drake Eatery in Bondi and said you MUST go there and have the grain and seed side dish. She said you probably wouldn’t order it if you didn’t know about it, so please order it and tell me what you think… So of course we did, and we loved it, and now order it every time we go there because it’s such a great place, and the salad is a total winner.

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So I’ve been wondering for ages how to replicate it.

We were invited to a friend’s birthday at his home two days ago on the 1st January (HB PH!) and I suggested I would bring a salad. What a perfect salad to bring, I thought, if I could find out what they put in it? So I consulted the oracle and found, several pages in, a salad recipe that sounded EXACTLY like the one I was looking for! So there it was, on the Food To Love website, brought to you by the Australian Women’s Weekly! So no disrespect to Drake, but I reckon this is where they got their idea…

Mediterranean Grain Salad aka Drake’s spiced grains, almonds, labne and currants

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup french-style small green lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 cup (280g) labne
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon honey

Steps

  1. Wash the rice and lentils, separately, drain and then cook in large saucepans of boiling salted water for 20 minutes or until tender, then drain and rinse well in cold water.
  2. Wash the quinoa and drain, and then tip in to a small saucepan with the cup of water and a sprinkle of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cover for 10 minutes until tender. Drain.
  3. Roast pepitas, sunflower seeds and pinenuts together on an oven tray (keep the cumin seeds and flaked almonds all separate on separate pieces of foil), in a 180°C oven for 8 minutes, stirring half way through.
  4. Peel the onion and finely chop. Squeeze lemon juice. Wash the herbs, dry them and chop the leaves.
  5. Combine the cooked rice, lentils and quinoa in a large bowl. Add the chopped onion, pepitas, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, currants, herbs, juice and the olive oil and stir well.
  6. Stir the cumin seeds into labne in a small bowl.
  7. To serve, top salad with spoonfuls of labne, drizzle with honey and scatter with the flaked almonds. (At school we would omit the almonds).

Tips

Labne is drained yoghurt. You can make it at home, straining Greek yoghurt through cheesecloth in the fridge for 3 days, or you can buy it at Kemeny’s or Harris Farm like I do!

 

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Lettuces, rocket and radish salad with poached eggs and tarragon mayo

The list of ingredients we can add to a salad is endless… here we base our salads on salad leaves, fresh herbs and then seasonal additions. This one is a favourite with just-poached eggs and a wonderfully creamy dressing. We always try to have a salad on the table for every meal – I find at the beginning of new year the children are reluctant to eat lettuce leaves or radishes, but that changes as they become used to seeing the bowls on the table, and the difference of ingredients according to the seasons…

ourkitchengarden.net

Perfect yolky salad!

Fresh from the garden: Lettuces leaves, rocket, eggs, cucumber, radishes, tarragon, chives, oregano, thyme, marjoram, parsley
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes

Equipment:
  • Bowls – 2 large, 1 medium, 2 small
  • A salad spinner
  • Tea towel, kitchen paper
  • Chopping boards & knives
  • Peelers
  • Mandoline
  • Non-stick frying pan
  • Slotted spoon
  • Stick blender & cup
  • Measuring: jug, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon
  • Scales
  • Mezzaluna
  • Citrus juicer
  • Serving bowls

Ingredients:

  • 4 freshest free-range eggs
  • A bunch of salad & rocket leaves
  • A handful of herbs
  • A few garnishing flowers
  • A cucumber
  • Some radishes

For the tarragon mayonnaise:

  • 50g landcress
  • 1 large sprig tarragon
  • 1 extra egg
  • ½ teaspoon flaked salt
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 level teaspoon mustard powder
  • 120ml rice bran or veg oil
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ a lemon
  • Freshly milled black pepper

What to do:

For the salad:

  • Fill up the 2 big bowls with cold water & wash the salad leaves in several changes of water. Spin dry and wipe the bowls dry.
  • Lay out the tea towel and line it with kitchen paper. Spread the salad leaves over the paper and roll the whole lot up like a log. Keep the rolled parcel of leaves in the fridge until needed.
  • Fill up another bowl with water and wash the herbs and small garnishing leaves. Spin dry and  pick leaves, discarding stalks into compost.
  • Pick the petals from the flowers and reserve in a small bowl with the garnishing leaves.
  • Chop the herbs and keep separate in their own small bowl.
  • Wash the cucumber and peel if spiky. Slice into mouth-sized pieces.
  • Wash the radishes and trim any roots and stalk. Slice into smaller pieces or chunks – or even better, use the mandoline to carefully slice super-thin discs.

To poach the eggs:

  • Fill a medium-sized frying pan with water to a depth of approximately 4cm, then heat it to a temperature just sufficient to keep the water at a bare simmer.
  • Then break the eggs into the simmering water, one at a time until they’re all in, and let them cook, uncovered, for 2 or 3 minutes. Fill a large bowl with cold water.
  • The eggs are done when the white is no longer wobbly, then use a draining spoon to lift them from the water and transfer them to the bowl of cold water until you are ready to use them.

For the sauce:

  • Wash, spin dry and separate off the landcress leaves and discard any tough stalks into the compost.  Wash & spin dry the tarragon. Pick the tarragon to yield about 1 tablespoon leaves.
  • Squeeze the lemon half to yield ½ teaspoon lemon juice. Peel the garlic clove & finely chop. Wash & dry the chives and snip finely.
  • Now break the extra egg into the cup of the stock blender, add the salt, garlic, mustard powder and a few twists of freshly milled black pepper, then blitz to blend these together.
  • Now mix the oils in the jug and ask a helper to pour it in a thin trickle into the cup whilst it’s blending. When all the oil is in, add the vinegar, lemon juice, watercress and tarragon leaves, then blend again until the leaves are quite finely chopped.

 To serve:

  • Take the lettuce from the fridge and chop or tear into mouth-sized strips. Pop them into a big bowl, then add the spring onions and herbs & drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of white wine vinegar  & a sprinkle of flaked salt over the whole lot.
  • Using your hands, turn the leaves to coat in the dressing and then divide the lot among your serving bowls.
  • Spoon an egg at a time out of the water and dry off with some paper towel or a tea towel, and then carefully arrange one egg on each salad.
  • Drizzle the mayo over the top of each salad, followed by a sprinkle of a few of the snipped chives and the flowers and serve immediately with tongs or service cutlery.

Notes: What is mayo short for? What other salad dressings could you use? Why do we need to wash the leaves so well? Why do we roll the leaves up to put them in the fridge? When would you need to use vinegar to poach the eggs? Why do we reserve the cooked eggs in cold water?

ourkitchengarden.net

Eggcellent salads!

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Kylie Kwong’s chilled cucumber salad

Kylie describes this dish as taking on whole different tones, being slippery, silky, yet still crunchy. It is very refreshing, and wonderfully easy to make.

ourkitchengarden.net
Fresh from the garden: cucumbers, ginger, garlic
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Kylie Kwong in Simple Chinese Cooking
Serves: 6 as a side dish or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Peelers
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Teaspoons
  • Measures – tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon
  • Bowls – large, small
  • Teaspoon
  • Serving bowls

 

Ingredients:For the salad

  • 5 small or 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pinch of ground black pepper

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small knob ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil

 What to do:

  • Wash the cucumber, then peel and cut in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon. Place cut-side down on a chopping board and cut on the diagonal into 1.5cm pieces.
  • Place cucumber in a bowl, sprinkle with sugar and salt and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile to make the dressing, peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Peel and finely dice the ginger to yield 1 tablespoon. Place the garlic, ginger and the rest of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  • When the time is up, drain the cucumbers, and using your hands, gently squeeze out excess liquid.
  • Place back into the bowl, combine the chilled cucumber with the dressing and toss to incorporate.
  • Divide among serving bowls and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes: What does the sugar and salt do to the cucumber? Why do we scrape the seeds out? How does it feel the squeeze the cucumber pieces with your hands?

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Fish-free salad Nicoise

Hugh says, ‘Without any tuna or anchovies, I guess you might upset the good people of Nice a bit with this one, but it is an exceptionally delicious and substantial salad – with plenty going on.’

ourkitchengarden.net

Fresh from the garden: new potatoes, green beans, eggs, small lettuce leaves, olives, basil, garlic
Recipe source: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Veg Every Day
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes

Equipment:

  • Scales
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Saucepans – med, small
  • Colander
  • Small jar & lid
  • Measures: tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Salad spinner
  • Serving plates
Ingredients:

  • 500g new (baby) potatoes
  • 200g green beans
  • 8 large eggs at room temperature
  • A small handful baby lettuce leaves
  • A handful small black olives
  • About 12 basil leaves
  • Flaked salt and black pepper

For the dressing:

  • ½ small garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • A pinch of sugar

 What to do:

  • Wash the beans and potatoes – do not peel them! Tail the beans & chop into 3cm lengths.
  • You can cook small new potatoes whole, but cut any larger ones in half or smaller, so they’re all roughly the same size. Cover with cold water in the medium saucepan, add salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8-12 minutes until tender, adding the beans for the last 4 minutes. Drain, tip into a bowl and leave to cool.
  • To cook the eggs, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add the eggs, return to a simmer, then cook for 7 minutes. Lightly crack the shells and run the eggs under cold water for a minute or two to stop the cooking, then leave to cool. Peel and quarter the eggs.
  • To make the dressing, put all the ingredients into a screw-topped jar, seasoning with salt and pepper, and shake until emulsified.
  • Halve, quarter or thickly slice the cooked potatoes. Put them back with the beans, add some of the dressing and toss gently together.
  • Wash the lettuce & basil leaves in several changes of water. Spin-dry and then gently toss in a bowl with a little of the dressing.
  • Arrange the lettuce, potatoes, and beans on your serving plates and distribute the olives and eggs over the salad. Scatter with torn basil leaves, trickle over the remainingdressing and grind over some pepper. Serve straight away.

Notes: What does emulsified mean? What does the adjective Niçoise mean?

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