This is a lightning quick salad to produce, even quicker if you don’t skin the broad beans.
For the Dressing
Juice of half a lime
1 small red chilli, chopped
1cm slice of fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
For the Salad
250g broad bean pods
1 Courgette, grated
2 spring onions, chopped
75g mangetout, sliced
1 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp chopped coriander
Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and leave to stand.
Simmer the shelled broad beans for no more than 5 minutes.
Put the beans in cold water and then slip the skins off.
Add the courgette, beans, spring onion, mangetout and herbs into a bowl.
Spoon over the dressing and toss thoroughly.
Serves 2 as a side salad
This is a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe from Everyday Veg. This simple recipe produces a rich, creamy, spicy dip with a complex flavour. This could well be making a permanent addition to my dip repertoire.
The mushrooms should be chopped to a medium-fine texture at first. Not duxelles fine, but not coarse either. They should still retain some texture after cooking.
250g mushrooms, chopped
1/2 birds eye chilli, chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tbsp curry powder or paste
1 tbsp peanut butter
200ml coconut milk
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chopped coriander
Heat a little oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the mushrooms and fry until the liquid has reduced down to very little.
Add the garlic and chilli and fry for a minute.
Stir in the curry powder, peanut butter and then add the coconut milk.
Stir to mix thoroughly.
Lower the heat and simmer slowly for 15-20 minutes until it has reduced to a soft but not soupy consistency.
Add the soy sauce and lime juice.
Serve with the coriander sprinkled over.
I bought a courgette this week because I feel I don’t eat enough of them even though I’m not that keen on them. I have had them before in salads, though and have quite enjoyed them. So I decided to have a try at my own recipe.
Courgette and mint are a classic combination, of course. If you’re adding mint, why not a bit of coriander as well (they go great together – try them on a curry sometime). As we’re heading eastwards, why not some lime and chilli as well? Add some beans to add substance and mangetout to add sweet crunch. And well, you’ve got a zingy, zesty salad!
This will serve 2 people as a light lunch, but I would serve it as a dinner party starter – the lime, chilli and mint will perk up any appetite! It would work well in bulk as a buffet salad, as well.
1 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained
1 courgette, grated
50g mangetout, sliced
2 birdseye chillis, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp mint, chopped
1 tbsp coriander, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Put all the ingredients into a big bowl and mix well together.
Season with salt.
Serves 4 as a starter
There is an apocryphal story about Peter Mandelson, one of Labour’s original spin-doctors, who when going around his constituency of Hartlepool, called into a fish and chip shop. He ordered fish and chips and then pointed to a pot of green stuff on the counter – “And I’ll have some of that guacamole,” he said. The ‘guacamole’ was mushy peas.
That story is almost certainly untrue, but you can make guacamole with peas instead of avocados. It doesn’t taste the same (obviously) but it’s sweet and spicy, cheaper than using avocados, has fewer calories and you can rustle this up in minutes if you have unexpected guests round. It also does well as a side dish to chilli and rice or as a filling in quesadillas.
Mandelson Dip anyone?
200g frozen peas
1/2 red onion
1/2 red chilli
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp fresh coriander
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
sweet chilli sauce (optional)
Cook the frozen peas in boiling water until just tender (about 5 minutes).
Drain the peas and add to a food processor with the onion, chilli, garlic, coriander, lime juice and olive oil.
Blend until it becomes a smooth paste.
Put in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Add more oil if the mixture is too dry.
Serve drizzled with the sweet chilli sauce.
Serves 2 with other dips
In the late 80’s I was living and working in London. It was my first job, I was living alone for the first time as well, cooking what I wanted to eat with no one to please but myself. I have to say, for an apprentice foodie, I did make some grim choices – boil in the bag fish with parsley sauce being one of the worst. But it wasn’t all bad. I came across the New Covent Garden Soup Company, who were one of the first to make ready-made gourmet soups – a world away from the tinned varieties I was used to. I remember their chicken and tarragon soup, but the one that blew me away was the carrot and coriander soup. I don’t think I’d had anything quite that exotic in my own kitchen before.
In fond memory of those times, here’s my take on it. I’ve added some lentils to give it a bit more body for autumn days. I’ve also changed out the normal lemon juice for lime juice, I think it goes better with the coriander and it adds a great lift to the flavours.
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
500g carrots, roughly chopped
150g red lentils
1 tsp ground coriander
750 ml vegetable stock
3tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Juice 1/2 lime
Sweat the onion and garlic in a little oil.
When the onions are translucent add the carrots, lentils, ground coriander and vegetable stock to the saucepan.
Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked.
Add the fresh coriander and blend until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the lime juice just before serving.
It’s apple season. I have a confession to make – I’m not that fond of apples. At least, I’m not fond of apples on their own. I was very pleased, therefore, to find this recipe for a fresh and zingy apple salad. It specifies green apples, but the lime juice in the dressing is sour enough so that sweet, red apples would do just as well. I’ve also made it considerably more substantial with the addition of chinese leaves and carrots (I had purple ones to hand so that’s why they’re a strange colour in the photo!)
This would do well alongside a curry or a tofu stew, but the Thai flavours aren’t so dominant as to rule out some falafel either.
For the garnish:
1 shallot, finely sliced
1 tbsp roasted peanuts, finely chopped
For the salad:
2 medium green apples
1 tbsp lime juice
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 chinese leaf leaves, shredded
1 small carrot, julienned
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
For the dressing:
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Heat some oil in a pan and add the shallots. Fry until golden brown and then put on to kitchen paper to drain.
Finely core and slice the apples and toss in the lime juice to stop them browning.
Add the rest of the salad ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad.
Top with the peanuts and crispy fried shallots.
This soup was a surprise. I was trying to find a way of using up the coconut milk I had left over from the Tofu with Coconut and Lime I’d made earlier in the week. I was expecting something fairly ordinary that would do for a midweek supper or to take to work for lunch.
What I got was a subtly-spiced, rich, creamy soup that I would happily eat at a dinner party. With all the exotic ingredients that go into this dish, the predominant flavour is still that of the lentils, but with hints of lime, coconut and spices lingering around the iron greenness of the spinach.
Stick a fancy garnish on this one and you’ll find it has substance to back up the style.
200g red lentils
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 kaffir lime leaf
100ml coconut milk
75g frozen spinach
1/2 lime, juiced
chopped coriander to garnish
In a large saucepan add all the ingredients except the spinach, lime and coriander and bring up to the simmer.
Add the spinach and let the soup come back up to heat again.
Cover the pan and let it simmer gently for 25-30 minutes for the lentils to be cooked.
Remove the lime leaf and blend the soup until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the lime juice.
Serve with the chopped coriander as a garnish.