Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Beetroot Salad

Beetroot salad I’ve had before, but until I went to the thermonix demo, I’d never had it raw. I liked it then, but wanted it less minced.

A few weeks after I derived this salad, I ate a similar version at Saveur Restaurant, Roseville.

That one used cabbage and celery and described it as a ‘spring salad’.

In some variations, I have even used a tiny bit of parsnip, dug fresh from the garden.

Equal parts:

Dice finely, then add some fresh herbs. I used spring onions (scallions), coriander, parsley, mint, even perilla. Whatever you have to hand.

Beetroot salad

Mix in some vinegar and olive oil.



Buy nothing new month: day twenty one life, the universe & everything

Day twenty one. Half of the answer to all questions in the Universe.

White shirt from Esprit.
As you can tell, I hadn’t put my laundry away, so I just grabbed this shirt off the clean laundry pile.

Pinstripe pants from Jigsaw.

Red leather double sided belt from ammo designs, a shop which has now sadly closed.

I remember hopping off the 86 tram at 6pm on a last day in Melbourne shopping trip and discovering that the shop had just shut. Darn it! Luckily, because it is a small business, the assistant opened the doors to let us in and have a quick look. I tried in a kind of reverse sided dress, but ended up with a red leather belt. A few years later, I almost bought the exact same belt again – I had squirreled this one away and forgotten that I had it.

Buy nothing new month: day twenty is twice two plus a refreshing salad

Gee, this outfit looks terribly familiar. For details, see day two.

Buy nothing new month day twenty: um de dum

So instead, lets talk food. More specifically, Fennel Salad.

I grabbed this out of my friend H’s book Chef at Home, by chef Michael Smith from Prince Edward Island. Well, whilst waiting for someone to get ready, what else do you do but browse their recipe books?

His version just has the sliced fennel and the lemon dressing.

1 bulb fennel, tops & woody core removed and sliced very thinly
1 avocado, cut into chunks
2 ripe tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
Various lettuce leaves

Lemon salad dressing
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon honey
Splash of good olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
(my addition) 1-2 teaspoons hot water

Slice the fennel really thinly (or coarsely grate it). After peeling each ‘leaf’ off the core, I used my bread knife to get the thin slices because the knife stays sharp. The leftovers went into a freezer ziplock bag for future stock.

I thought I would get bored with just the fennel taste, so I added fresh picked silverbeet leaves, avocado, and tomato.

With the dressing, I would suggest adding 1-2 teaspoons of hot water to help the honey loosen up.

Fennel salad

Delicious! I’m glad I added the extra salad ingredients, it all worked very well together. Aniseed-like flavour of the fennel would have been too much on its own, and was well set off by the creaminess of the avocado, and the slight bitterness of the silverbeet.
I actually found the dressing a bit too sweet for me; and it was interesting how my tastebuds found the sweet, salty and zest flavours, and totally ignored the sour! The dressing reminds me a lot of panfried goats cheese salad, also obtained from H. Not surprising since there is honey in both!

Smashed Cucumber Salad

I discovered this salad at Sang Chong hotpot restaurant. L had read about this salad in his Chinese textbook, so we wanted to try it.

I enjoyed it at the time, it was very moreish and I wanted to keep eating. But I got a msg hangover afterwards, so was a bit wary of ordering it again.

I thought the ingredient that made it so delicious was sesame oil, but upon finding a recipe at
Jonathan in China’s blog, it seems to be salt, plain and simple!

Smashed Cucumber Salad (serves one)
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chiles
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pinch sugar
About one tablespoon of red wine vinegar
Peanut oil
Heavy knife – Chinese cleaver or Cook’s Knife

Wash the cucumber and top and tail it. Chop into bite size chunks, approx 3cm each. Using the flat side of your chef’s knife lean upon each chunky piece on the green side and ‘smash’ it into irregular bits. I found this easier than ‘smashing’ the whole cucumber, and chopping afterwards. This step gives the dish its name, but also lets the flavours penetrate the cucumber.

Put the chunky bits in a bowl, and scatter with salt. Mix and let it absorb and rest for 10 minutes.

Rinse the salt off the cucumber and pat the cucumbers dry.

Add the dried chili flakes, garlic, diced fresh chillies, and sugar. Taste, and add a very small amount of salt if required.

Heat a couple tablespoons of peanut oil (depends how many cucumber chunks you have) in your frypan until it smokes.

Pour the hot oil over the cucumbers, it should sizzle upon contact.

Mix it all together with a small splash of of the red wine vinegar.

Smashed cucumber salad, a photo by A Sydney Foodie on Flickr.

Serve as a side. Yummo! I know I’ll be doing with that other cucumber that I bought!

Recipe: Warm goat cheese salad

My friend H told me about this salad as we were browsing the Hawksbury Harvest markets at Castle Hill. She got super duper excited when she saw that Willowbrae Goats cheesestock “st albans”, a two week ripened white rind cheese similar to a Brie.

The story goes that it was her first night in Belgium for her first trip to Europe and they ordered this salad which was so delicious, it had her swooning all over her plate and all over her husband. He made her promise that if she saw that cheese for sale, she would have to make the salad.

I was a bit dubious, since I’m not particularly a fan of fruit in a savoury salad, but since I had a wedge of rapidly diminishing st albans cheese, I gave it a go.

Warm goat cheese salad

Pan fry 4 slice slices of goats cheese just to the point of softening
Put in a ramiken and place in the middle of a plate

On the plate, drizzle honey and olive oil
Plate fancy lettuce leaves* sparsely
Thin slices of apple^
Grated carrot~
Tomato wedges

Eat the goats cheese with the salad.

Doesn’t it look pretty?

It was, to my surprise, *fantastic*. Pan frying the cheese mellowed the chalky flavour that it had developed, and crunched up nicely the cut surface of the cheese. I only had two chunky slices left, so I also used some Danish fetta. The cheese helped balance the sweetness of the honey. It’s important to have only minimal ingredients on the plate, that way everything gets to touch a little of the dressing.
* for my fancy lettuce leaves I used Darling Mills “saltini” micro salad mix. This worked very well and added some lovely colour to the plate.
^I used 1/4 gala apple, scattered haphazardly.
~ for the carrot, I had 1/2 small carrot grated with a potato peeler.
I also used heirloom cherry tomatoes, picked fresh from my garden.
I did not have any raisins. To add them would’ve been strange and I don’t think the salad needed them.

This would serve one person as an entree or side salad. Delicious, and I’ll be making it again!