Tag Archives: salad

Recipe: Kisir with Tofu

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I found this bulgar wheat salad in a Slimming World Recipe book. Although it was very tasty and satisfying I didn’t hold out much hope for its authenticity. I did some investigating and found that it’s pretty much what you would expect from a traditional kisir. Naturally that’s not enough for me so I added some tofu to it to up the protein content.

Give this one a go. It’s easy to prepare and makes a great mid-week supper meal.

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Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
100g tofu, drained and cut into small cubes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tomatoes, finally chopped
100ml vegetable stock, boiling
150g bulgar wheat
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 spring onions, chopped
2 bottled roasted red peppers, chopped
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
60g pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped

Add a little oil to a small frying pan and put in the onions and tofu. Fry gently until the onions are softened.
Add the tomato puree and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat and let simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Add the stock and the bulgar wheat.
Turn the heat up until the stock is boiling.
Add the lemon juice, spring onions, red peppers, chilli powder, garlic and cumin.
Remove from the heat, stir well, cover and leave to stand for 15-20 minutes.
Once the bulgar wheat has absorbed the stock and plumped up, stir well.
Season with salt and pepper.
Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and mint.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 2

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Greek Salad with Marinated Tofu

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Greek salad is one of my favourite light dishes. It’s simplicity, of course, is dependent on great quality ingredients and one of the benefits of making it yourself is that you can make sure they are up to standard. Alongside the vegetable and olives, is the feta cheese, it’s salty creaminess offset the sweetness of the tomatoes and the crunch of the cucumber. Of course, if you’re keeping away from dairy you have to find a substitute.

I thought of tofu, marinaded and then griddled to take the place of the feta and it has worked well beyond my expectations. It is, I think, down to the amount of salt I use in the marinade. 1/2 tsp is a lot, but most of it stays in the marinade and feta is salty. As ever with marinades, the more time you can leave your ingredients in them, the better. For this dish I’d leave it at least a couple of hours, so if you’re making it for lunch, I’d start things straight after breakfast.

Don’t try and pretty this salad up. It should be made by Greek grandmothers, cutting the vegetables straight into the dish without benefit of chopping boards, so keep things chunky.

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Ingredients

For the tofu and marinade
200g tofu, drained and pressed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt

For the salad
1/2 onion, sliced
wine vinegar
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1/2 onion, sliced
wine vinegar
12 black olives
olive oil
dried oregano

Slice the tofu in half, widthways and put in a sealable plastic bag.
Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour over the tofu in the bag.
Seal or tie the bag and leave in a cool place to marinade for a couple of hours.
About half an hour before you want to prepare the salad, put the onion slices in a small bowl and pour over a splash of vinegar, set aside. This will soften the flavour of the raw onion.
When you’re ready to prepare the salad, put a griddle or frying pan on high heat and leave to get hot.
Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into bite-sized chunks.
Put in a serving bowl and scatter over the olives and drained onion slices.
When the griddle is hot, take the tofu out of the marinade and put on the griddle to sear.
Turn the heat down to medium and cook for five minutes or so, turning the tofu over so that it colours on both sides.
When cooked, remove from the pan and cut into chunks.
Scatter the tofu on the salad.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Drizzle over some olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of dried oregano.

Serves 2 as a light lunch with some crusty bread to mop up the juices

Recipe: Carrot & Ginger Salad

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This is inspired by a recipe on one of Jamie Oliver’s quick-cook shows – I’m not sure if it was 30 minutes or 15 minutes. Either way, this is lightening quick to make and a great addition to a curry or chinese meal. The ginger and lemon combine to add an almost lemon-sherbet background and then the mint lifts it into cooling territory. I can recommend it as a side dish with a dal or pulse-based stew. It’s well worth having in your repertoire.

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Ingredients
2 medium carrots
5cm length of fresh ginger, peeled
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 tsp fresh mint, chopped

Grate the carrots and the ginger into a bowl.
Stir in the lemon juice, coriander and mint.
Season with salt and mix thoroughly.
Leave to stand for 10-15 minutes for the flavours to mix.
Stir again and serve.

Serves 2 as a side dish

Recipe: Griddled Courgettes with Walnuts and Mint

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One of the results of moving is that I have been reacquainted with some of my old kitchen equipment. I now have four frying pans. I also have my old griddle pan again. I’ve been dying to use it all week.

This is a lovely salad/side dish for summer days. I made it inside on the griddle pan, but it would also work on the barbecue. Don’t slice the courgette too thin, though or the slices will disintegrate.

Mint and lemon always work well with courgette, but here the walnuts add a touch of bitterness to work against the sweetness as well as the textural crunch.

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Ingredients
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 tbsp olive oil
1 twig of mint, chopped
1 tbsp walnuts, chopped
1 courgette, sliced lengthwise into strips

Make the dressing by combining the lemon juice, olive oil, mint and walnuts in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Brush the courgette slices with oil and place on a hot griddle pan.
After a minute, turn them over and cook for another minute.
Repeat until all the courgette slices are cooked.
Arrange the courgette slices on a plate and drizzle the dressing over them.
Serve immediately.

Serves 2 as a side salad

Recipe: Potato, avocado and dill salad

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I love potato salads, but I don’t always want the creamy or mayonnaise dressing that frequently goes with them. This one uses creamy avocado instead. The lemon cuts through the richness with just the right amount of acidity and the dill adds it’s fragrant mellowness as a high note.

A handful of ingredients, very little prep and a great taste at the end of it. This is my kind of cooking.

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Ingredients
250g new potatoes, cooked and chopped into bitesize pieces
1 avocado, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Mix together thoroughly until the avocado starts to break down and little and coat the potatoes.

Serves 2 as a side salad

Recipe: Courgette Salad with Thai Dressing

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This is a lightning quick salad to produce, even quicker if you don’t skin the broad beans.

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Ingredients
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

Recipe: Pear, Orange and Rocket Salad

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The pears in my fruit bowl were getting past the ripe and juicy stage and arriving at the bruised and woolly stage. I had to throw a couple out but, luckily, some were salvageable. I didn’t want to use them in a sweet recipe, and decided to try them in a salad instead. The result is this bright, fresh side-salad.

The trick with this salad is to balance the flavours so it’s neither too sweet, or too sour. That’s why I only give a guideline as to how much vinegar to put in the dressing, it really depends on how ripe your orange is. Taste as you mix it. And be careful with the mint – you just want a hint of coolness, not toothpaste!

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Ingredients
2 smallish pears
1 orange
1 bag rocket (70-100g)
3 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tsp cider or white wine vinegar
4 mint leaves, shredded
4 olives (black or green), sliced

Top and tail the pears.
Cut them in half and scoop out the core.
Slice them thinly.
Segment the orange and squeeze the juice from the remains into a bowl.
Add the rocket, orange segments and pears into a salad bowl.
Mix the olive oil into the orange juice.
Add the vinegar a teaspoon at a time until you have got the right balance.
Season it with salt and pepper.
Stir in the mint leaves.
Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss thoroughly.
Serve with the olive slices scattered over the top.

Serves 2 as a side salad