Archive for the 'Salads' Category

Roast chicken and rice salad

April 14, 2010

This is what you make if you’ve managed not to eat all of your saffron and hazelnut roast chicken in one go. It’s far more interesting than the name suggests, although to be fair the original name was ‘roast chicken and three-rice salad’ – only mine only had two kinds of rice, and I thought ‘two-rice salad’ sounded a bit odd. Also, I don’t think the taste would suffer if you were to use just one bog-standard rice, which is helpful if you have leftover cooked rice as well as leftover cooked chicken, in which case this is really quite quick to make. It would make an enviable packed lunch. Not quite enough to make me stop feeling smug about having finished work, though.

Roast chicken and rice salad  Serves 2

I always get annoyed when people write in to the Guardian to complain about how they can’t make any of Yotam Ottolenghi’s New Vegetarian recipes because the ingredients are all obscure. Generally I think that if I can get these things in Oxford, hardly a buzzing modern metropolis, then it shouldn’t be impossible. But in this case I have to admit that I was a bit stumped on shiso leaves, so I used rocket instead.

Leftover roast chicken meat (use whatever you have – I used a breast and a wing)
150g cooked rice (I used brown rice and camargue red rice, or cook about 75g rice from scratch.)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced
large handful of coriander, chopped
small handful of mint, chopped
10 shiso leaves or a couple of handfuls of rocket, roughly chopped
salt and pepper

For the dressing:
2 tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp olive oil

If you need to cook your rice, start by doing that. Wild rice and brown rice can take about 50 minutes to cook and you’ll need to give it time to cool down before making the salad.

Either carve the meat from the chicken or just tear it off into largish pieces. Put it in a bowl big enough to mix the whole salad. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the chicken.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion with a pinch of salt until crisp and golden. Set aside to cool.

Add the rice, fried onion, spring onion, chilli, chopped herbs and rocket to the chicken. Mix well and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s ‘Ottolenghi’.


Salmon superfood salad

February 17, 2010


You know things are bad when your boyfriend asks you,, “what kind of birthday cake do you want?” and you say, not, “carrot cake please, not too fluffy, heavy on the cinnamon and sultanas” but, “do I have to have a birthday cake?”

Yes, I have a bad case of food fatigue. All of this eating and drinking has left me struggling to muster interest even for one of my most favourite things, cake, in its birthday and pan forms (we decided to have a late pancake day, you see, having missed the official Shrove Tuesday celebrating a friend’s birthday. Happy birthday, Lindsey). After another slightly too late night and weary morning, I got home from work this afternoon and made the most overtly healthy of healthy salads. This is like rubbing virtue directly into your pores. Oily fish, dark green leaves, seeds, sprouts, broccoli, omega 3s, vitamins, minerals, goodness. After this you almost feel obliged to have a pancake.

Samon superfood salad  Serves 2-3

You can buy sprouted seeds in health food shops, or order them from some veg box companies. I sprout my own mung beans (of course I do, I’m a yoga teacher) – you can buy whole mung beans in most Indian grocers. Just soak a handful over night, and the next day drain and rinse them in warm water. Put them in a glass jar and cover the top with a piece of cloth – cheesecloth, muslin, clean bit of tights – secured with an elastic band. Continue to rinse them in a sieve with warm water each morning and evening until they sprout little tails, which will take a couple of days. They never grow quite as long as the ones in shops, but the longer you leave them the more they should grow.

For the dressing here, I used tahini (see this post) to save making the aioli used in the book, but you could use any sort of dressing you like best.

100g quinoa
1/2 large or 1 small head broccoli
2 small salmon fillets
3 big handfuls rocket
2 big handfuls spinach
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
120g frozen peas (I used frozen baby broad beans)
1/2 lemon
a scattering of sprouted seeds
2 tbsp toasted seeds (I used pumpkin)
3 tbsp each chopped parsley and mint
3 tbsp dressing of your choice
salt and pepper

Bring 200ml water to the boil, add the quinoa and boil hard for 5 minutes, then simmer for a further 5. Leave with the lid on to absorb the water, then fluff up the grains.

Put your griddle pan on to heat, or turn on the grill.

Chop the broccoli into small florets and slice the stalk thinly. Cut the stalk pieces in half if the stalk is particularly thick. Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes, dropping in the frozen vegetables at the last minute to thaw, then take the pan off the heat and run cold water over the veg to stop them cooking any further.

Season the salmon and griddle for about 4 minutes on each side, depending on how thick the pieces are.

Toss the leaves, tomatoes, broccoli and peas/beans in the lemon juice and pile into bowls. Scatter over the quinoa and sprouts. Top with salmon, then dressing, seeds and herbs.

Adapted from Allegra McEvedy’s ‘Leon’.

Salade frisee aux lardons

November 17, 2009

And our featured book this week is: Roast Chicken and Other Stories, by Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham, which, according to my Oxfam copy, was voted ‘the most useful cookbook of all time’ by Waitrose Food Illustrated. And that’s a publication I respect. Roast Chicken etc. is built around forty chapters, each of which are based on one of Simon’s favourite ingredient, which include anchovies, brains, endives, kidneys and potatoes. The recipes, as you might imagine, are quite heavily biased towards French and British classics; in other words, the kind of cooking I grew up on and have spent most of my subsequent adult life avoiding due to a childhood horror of, well, most food, and a teenage distaste for meat, rich sauces, and absent vegetables. While my taste may still veer towards mainly vegetarian dishes and far more small grain-like things and pulses than my parents would ever consider normal, as I’ve got older I’ve consciously tried to broaden my food horizons. I was struck by Jeffrey Steingarten’s theory, in The Man Who Ate Everything, that all food aversions are really phobias which can, and should, be overcome. I may still have a few (mayonnaise, urgh) but the range of food I will eat now would have been unthinkable ten years ago. Besides, who can take pride in their cooking skills without being able to roast a chicken well?

This salad, which despite the French name is actually bacon and egg salad, conjures up for me an image of a little French bistro, a pavement-side table and a glass of cold white wine. But it went down pretty well even in a small flat in Oxford on a Monday night, and this is key, I think, because it was so simple and so delicious that I understood why this book might have been voted so useful – I can see this becoming one of my standbys.

Salade frisee aux lardons  Serves 4

The instructions preceding the recipe tell you to have everything ready and to hand before you start, as everything comes together quickly, and he’s right – you should.

1 head of frisee, washed and picked over into small tendrils (I couldn’t find frisee alone, but most supermarkets will sell a salad mix of mainly frisee)
salt and pepper
6 tbsp olive oil
vinegared water for poaching
4 eggs
6 thick, rindless streaky bacon rashers, cut into lardons (small pieces)
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 small baguette, rubbed with a garlic clove, cut into cubes, and fried in olive oil (I sliced, toasted, and rubbed with garlic instead)
1 heaped tbsp flat-leaf parsley

Have the washed frisee ready in a large bowl. Season it lightly with salt and pepper. Put a frying pan on to heat and bring the water for poaching the egg to a simmer. Heat the oil in the frying pan and start to fry the bacon until as crisp as you like it. Start to poach the eggs (I find the easiest way is to break the egg into a cup and then lower the cup into the simmering water, twisting the cup to slip the egg gently out, and removing the cup).

When the bacon is crisp, throw it onto the frisee and stir it in. Immediately add the red wine vinegar to the hot frying pan (off the heat), swirl it around, and tip that into the salad leaves too. Mix in the parsley and croutons and divide between four plates. Place a poached egg on the top of each salad, sprinkling with a little salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

From Simon Hopkinson’s ‘Roast Chicken and Other Stories’.