salad

All posts tagged salad

Veggie Food With Balls: Cranberry and Za’atar Goats’ Cheese Balls with A Roasted Pepper and Cashew Dip

Published March 3, 2015 by The Feminist

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Some people think vegetarian food is boring.

Some people say it can be dull.

I say: Nonsense!

Vegetarian food can be the boldest, funkiest, most original and creative of all cuisines! The following recipe is the perfect illustration that vegetarian dishes can indeed be quite ballsy, both figuratively and literally in this case. The cute, little beauties you see in this picture are fried goats’ cheese balls in a crunchy almond crust and are flavoured with dried cranberries, za’atar and lemon zest. These gorgous croquettes are already delicious on their own, but combined with a salad of purslane and broccocress (the cress version of broccoli, because why not?!) and dipped in a heavenly dip made with roasted red peppers, garlic, harissa and cashew nuts this dish becomes a true flavour sensation! An explosion of magnificent colours, textures and flavours, all complementing each other beautifully: what better example of delicious veggie food could you possibly wish for?

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Ingredients (serves 1):

For the goats’ cheese balls:

  • 200gr matured, soft goats cheese
  • Handful of dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp of lemon zest
  • ½ tsp crushed pink pepper corns
  • 1 tsp za’atar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • Black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Flaked almonds (approx. 100gr)

For the roasted pepper and cashed dip:

  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of cashew nuts
  • ½ tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp honey

For the salad:

  • 150gr purslane, washed
  • 100gr broccocress (or regular water cress/ garden cress/ mustard cress)
  • A small handful of cranberries
  • Lemon juice
  • Tiniest bit of olive oil

Method:

  1. Put the chunks of red pepper, tomato and garlic on a roasting tray and sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Put in a preheated oven at 250°C for about 10 minutes until the edges of the peppers are starting to char.
  2. Remove from the oven and put the roasted ingredients in a blender together with the cashew nuts, an extra tablespoon of olive oil, the harissa and the honey and mix until you get a lovely dip. Season to taste with salt if necessary. Put aside. (You can either serve this dip warm, cold, or in between. It will always be delicious!)
  3. Mix the goats’ cheese, cranberries, peppercorns, za’atar and lemon zest together in a bowl. Let it infuse for about 10 minutes, while you go on with the other elements of the dish.
  4. Mix the purslane and cress together with cranberries, a squeeze of lemon juice and a tiny bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Scatter the salad on a large plate and put the pepper dip in the middle.
  5. Now you can start rolling your balls! Take a tablespoon of the goats’ cheese filling and roll it into a bowl. This will be a sticky and fumbly process, but it doesn’t have to look perfect. Then roll the ball through the mix of flour, corn flour and pepper and you will see that the drop of cheese will start to look a lot more “ballsy”. Now drop the ball in the whisked egg and finally roll it through the crushed flaked almonds.
  6. Heat a layer of approx. 0,5cm of olive oil (or regular vegetable oil) in a small pan and fry the balls for a minute on every side, so that they look gorgeously golden-brown and are warm in the middle.
  7. Remove from the pan and let them drain on a piece of kitchen paper.
  8. Scatter the balls on top of your salad and dig in!

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Lovely Lunch: Fennel, Red Onion and Pecorino Tart with Fresh Citrus Salad

Published May 1, 2014 by The Feminist

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When I woke up this morning and realized that I had a daunting day ahead of me filled with research conundrums and thesis concoctions, I decided it would be wise to cook something healthy, nutritious and delicious to keep me going.

The brain is probably the most important organ of our body. Without it we would not be able to speak, think or distinguish Ryan Gosling from Ryan Reynolds (image the horror!). It is therefore of vital importance to keep those brain cells alive and kicking, and what better way to give your brain an energy boost than by feeding it with yummy vitamins?

This fennel, red onion and pecorino tart with a super duper fresh citrus and rocket salad ticks all the boxes: tons of fruit, tons of veg and just the right amount of cheese to give your calcium level a good buzz. The aromatic aniseed flavour of the fennel works wonders with the sharp and pungent pecorino cheese and the sweetness of the onion. Join those flavours all together on a crunchy and comforting square of puff pastry pride and your brain will be doing summersaults out of utter bliss. The warm tart is accompanied with a fresh and zingy salad with rocket and juicy grapefruit and orange segments.

Even though I was sitting at home, doing a lot of boring and dreadful stuff, my lunch provided me with an escape route to more pleasant and lovable places. This dish is reminiscent of Parisian art cafés, Roman palazzo grandeur and London modernist cool. It is artsy, hearty and brain-bubblingly delicious.

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It is the best.

Exactly what I want my brain to be.

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the tarts

  • ½ fennel, cut into thin slices (use a mandolin)
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Thin slices of pecorino
  • Puff pastry, cut into approx. 15cm squares

For the salad:

  • 300gr rocket leaves
  • 1 pink grapefruit, cut into segments
  • 2 oranges, cut into segments
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp tarragon vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and put on your puff pastry squares. Prick the dough all over with a fork but leave  a rim of about 0,5cm.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan and quickly sauté the fennel with the cumin for just 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Layer some pecorino slices on the puff pastry, followed by some sautéed fennel and red onion. When you have used up the fennel and onion, just grate on some large flakes of pecorino and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
  5. Meanwhile make your fresh salad. (The salad should be done last minute, otherwise it will get soggy.) Put the grapefruit and orange segments in a bowl with the sliced red onion.
  6. Make a vinaigrette with the tarragon vinegar, honey, olive oil and some juice of the orange and grapefruit. (When you are cutting the fruit, juices will come out, just make sure you catch some of it in a small bowl and use max. 1 tbsp of the juice is this vinaigrette) Season with salt and pepper.
  7. When your tarts come out of the oven, toss the rocket leaves in the citrus salad and finish with the lovely dressing.

Sunny weather, Sunny Food

Published May 9, 2013 by The Feminist

When the sun is shining and temperatures are rising, we often can’t really be bothered to think about cooking. We want something fresh, something vibrant, something tasty, but most of all something easy that can be made in a whim.
Search no more, my fellow foodies!

These dishes will convert even the laziest cook (yeah, you there!) and will inspire him to cook something far more exciting than the typical barbecued sausage and a drab boring salad.

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Oriental Chickpea and carrot patties with cottage cheese tzatziki
These little patties are the cutest and tastiest burgers you’ll have ever eaten, I promise! They are easy and packed full of flavour and are the most wonderful meat-free alternative for the bland greasy sausages most people tend to resort to when they’re holding a barbecue. Serve them with some pita or flat bread, with pasta or the delish couscous salad below.
Ingredients (makes 5 small patties)
For the patties
• 200gr canned chickpeas
• 1 medium size carrot
• 1 spring onion
• 1 egg
• 2 tbsp plain flour
• Fresh parsley
• Zest of half a lime
• ½ tsp cumin
For the cottage cheese tzatziki
• 50gr grated cucumber
• 150gr cottage cheese
• Zest of half a lime
• ½ tsp ground cumin
Method:
1. Put all the ingredients for the patties in a blender and mix until you get a firm paste.
2. Using the palm of your hands, form little patties from the batter (the batter will be a bit sticky and hard to work with but the patties will firm up once they’re being fried )
3. Fry the patties in some olive oil for 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Put the patties in an oven-proof dish and bake in a preheated oven at 220°C for another 5 minutes.
4. Put the ingredients for the tzatziki together in a bowl and stir until combined. Season with salt and lots of black pepper.

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Couscous and carrot salad with honey-harissa dressing
I absolutely love a good couscous salad in the summer, because:
a) It always looks really pretty
b) It is incredibly versatile (basically, you can throw in anything you like and it will always turn out great!)
c) It is -above all- a huge flavour bomb
This couscous salad is healthy and contains lots of vitamins thanks to the carrots, spring onion, raisins, chickpeas, … Moreover, the honey-harissa dressing is a match made in Middle-Eastern Heaven! It is sweet, it is hot, it is everything you’ve ever wanted and more! This couscous salad is ideal for a summer barbecue (again, try to avoid the typical meat overdose and opt for home-made vegetarian burgers or lovely paneer skewers!) or a traditional tagine.
Ingredients:
• 325gr couscous
• 4dl vegetable stock
• 5 medium size carrots, grated
• 5 spring onions, finely chopped
• Handful of raisins
• 200gr canned chickpeas
• 1 tsp dried falafel herbs
For the honey-harissa dressing:
• 2 tbsp runny honey
• Juice of half a lime
• ½ tsp harissa
• ½ tsp sesame oil
Method:
1. Put the couscous in a large dish and pour over 4dl of boiling vegetable stock. Let it sit for a couple of minutes until the couscous has absorbed all the liquid.
2. Add the carrots, spring onions, raisins and chickpeas. Season with salt, pepper and dried falafel herbs.
3. For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients and pour the dressing over the couscous salad and mix well.

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Orzo with a creamy red pepper harissa, feta cheese and chorizo
This orzo pasta recipe was made in under 30 minutes and the flavours blend so beautifully together! The spicy chorizo and the heat of the harissa form an enthralling and breathtaking mix with the sweet grilled peppers and the salty-tangy feta cheese. Top it all off with some Mediterranean vegetables, peppery rocket salad and fragrant falafels, settle in your huge armchair and enjoy that wonderful heat of the sun and the refreshing summer’s breeze…
Ingredients (serves 4-5)

• 500gr orzo pasta
• 1 courgette, cut into large chunks
• 2 red peppers
• 4 celery sticks, cut into 2cm chunks
• 3 shallots
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 1 tsp harissa
• 2tbsp tomato puree
• Fresh thyme
• 1tsp ground cumin
• Pinch of smoked paprika
• ½ tsp ground coriander
• 200gr chorizo, cut into small cubes
• 100ml soy cream
Method:
1. Put the peppers under a hot grill until their skin turns black. Peal of the black skin and put the peppers in a food processor along with 2 shallots, the cloves of garlic, harissa, tomato puree, cumin, smoked paprika, coriander and the soy cream. Mix until you get a lovely paste.
2. Cook the orzo according to the instructions on the package.
3. Fry the remaining shallot, celery and courgette in some olive oil and add the fresh thyme leaves.
4. When the vegetables are al dente, add the chorizo and the cooked orzo. Stir in the red pepper harissa and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Crumble some feta cheese on top of your beautiful orzo dish and finish with some rocket leaves.

From “Meh! Vegetables” to “Yeah! Vegetables”

Published March 26, 2013 by The Feminist

Confession: I am the biggest vegetable lover on this planet.

It’s true! I love every type, shape, size, taste, smell of vegetables. To my mind, vegetables are awesome! For some reason, however, a lot of people (and I mean A LOT of people! ) don’t like their veggies. They think of them as plain and boring.

Let me tell you something: if you are one of those people, you just don’t know how to cook them right. There are so many fun and original things you can do with vegetables! They are the true masters in versatility! So what the f*** is wrong with you people?? Eat your vegetables! They’re not only good for you, they are also one of a kind!

We had a “Hurray, it’s spring!”- brunch a couple of days ago. On the menu: grilled asparagus wrapped in pancetta (heaven!), pecorino, courgette and broccoli quiche( double heaven!) and a Middle Eastern cauliflower salad (triple heaven!). The irony was, however, that exactly on the day of our spring welcoming, it was bloody snowing outside. But hey, when you’ve got so many yummy vegetable dishes in front of you, who cares?

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Pecorino, courgette and broccoli quiche
Ingredients:

• One sheet of shop-bought puff pastry
• 50gr pecorino cheese, grated
• 1 small broccoli, in small florets
• 1 small courgette, diced
• 1tbsp dried oregano
• Bunch of fresh parsley
• 2 eggs
• 200ml single cream
• 50ml whole milk

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 210°C. Grease a 23cm loose-bottomed tart dish with butter and gently line the tin with the sheet of puff pastry . Prick the pastry all over with a fork. Blind-bake the puff pastry case for 8-10 minutes.
2. Blanche the broccoli for a couple of minutes in salted water. Drain and rinse under cold water.
3. Sauté the diced courgette with the dried oregano in a tablespoon of olive oil.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream and milk. Mix through the grated cheese and chopped parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper.
5. Put the vegetables on the bottom of your blind baked pastry and pour over the egg mixture.
6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

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Middle Eastern cauliflower salad

Ingredients:

• ½ large cauliflower, blanched and chopped finely.
• 3 spring unions, chopped
• Handful of raisins
• Bunch of fresh coriander
• Bunch of fresh parsley
• Handful of chopped almonds
• 1tsp cumin
• 4tbsp olive oil
• Juice of half a lemon

Method:

1. Easy! Put all the ingredients in a bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and mix through. Voila!

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Grilled asparagus wrapped in pancetta

Ingredients:

• 250gr thinly sliced pancetta
• 350gr green asparagus, ends trimmed
• Juice of half a lemon

Method:

1. Steam the asparagus al dente.
2. Wrap the asparagus with pancetta in bundles of five.
3. Heat a frying pan with olive oil. Add the bundles and fry to colour for one minute on each sideand sprinkle some lemon juice over the top and season with pepper.
4. Serve!

London Part Two: The Food

Published February 9, 2013 by The Feminist

In my opinion, London is the most exciting place on the planet when you consider yourself a foodie.

Why?
1. It has the best exotic, Asian or Indian restaurants in Europe!
2. Londoners have a sweet tooth and they prefer their cakes BIG and HEAVY instead of dainty and light!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that simply because of these two reasons London is my idea of food heaven!

During those three short days of pure heaven I’ve eaten a ridiculous amount of food ranging from “pretty damn good” to “blooming brilliant”.

Here are the dishes that truly wowed me:

• A raw vegetable, apple, blue cheese and walnut salad: I wasn’t expecting this salad to be this good but I can honestly say that without a doubt this was the BEST SALAD I have ever tasted! EVER! (@ Electric Diner on Portobello Road)

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• A Mediterranean mezze with hummus, tabouleh, tzatziki, falafel, stuffed filo pastry with goat’s cheese and spinach, chicken casserole, lamb casserole, aubergine salsa, Kisir ( a wonderful salad of bulgur wheat, herbs and walnuts!) and many other dishes! (@ Troia near London Eye)

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• Korean BBQ (@ Myung Ga near Regent Street): I normally try not to eat meat but SWEET BABY JESUS this was simply too good to resist! The lovely sweet, marinated chicken, pork and beef were delicious together with the noodles, kimchi and sweet and sour spring onions.

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• Coffee and walnut layer cake @ Selfridge’s: This was a gigantic slice of cake and it was to die for! The tearoom on the ground floor of Selfridge’s is pretty decadent and upper-class , hence the high prices, but it was worth every penny!

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• Amai Udon, duck gyoza and ebi gyoza (@ Wagamama on Earl’s Court): Don’t you just love Wagamama??!! We were in a hurry to catch our train back to Belgium so we didn’t have a lot of time, but that doesn’t mean we ate at KFC or McDonalds! Wagamama, with its very healthy and nutricious fast food, is the best restaurant on the planet if you want to get a quick and super yummy meal!

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• Raspberry Cheesecake brownie (@ Hummingbird Bakery on Old Brompton Road) : I have all the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbooks (which I consider the BEST cookbooks on the planet. And I mean it!) so you can imagine how excited I was to finally taste a cake that was made in the bakery itself! Needless to say it was delicious, just look at the picture below:

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Like Shakespeare’s sonnets, only better: Food Poetry – goats’ cheese, confied peppers and lentil salad

Published December 14, 2012 by The Feminist

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This dish is my idea of vegetarian heaven. It is healthy with loads of vitamins but at the same time so decadently comforting. It truly makes my heart sing with joy. I love the sharpness of the goats’ cheese together with the sweet red pepper and the earthiness of the lentils. The harmonious blend of flavours almost makes me want to write poetry. Food poetry. Like Vivaldi honours the four seasons, I will honour these three ingredients. Consider it an homage to all things veggi!

….

On the other hand, why waste time writing poetry when you can just eat it? 😉

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