Friday 24 November 2017

Salad days

 

Heirloom Tomato and Griddled Feta on Orzo with Lemon Dressing
Recipe: Louise Pickford, Photography: Clare Winfield
Heirloom Tomato and Griddled Feta on Orzo with Lemon Dressing Recipe: Louise Pickford, Photography: Clare Winfield
Oven-roasted Romanesco Cauliflower, Labne & Spiced Nuts
Sesame Seared Tuna with Asian Slaw

Go for gorgeous Greek-style salad bowls featuring feta or labne, or try a fragrant Asian-inspired sesame sensation

Heirloom Tomato and Griddled Feta on Orzo with Lemon Dressing

A hearty combination of Mediterranean flavours can be found in this vibrant salad bowl. Choose a combination of different tomatoes to add colour and flavour, and experiment with different- flavoured herbs. Baking and then grilling the feta gives it a fabulous crispy coating and creamy centre.

Serves 2

Ingredients

100g orzo

Salt and pepper

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

1½ tbsp clear honey

1 small garlic clove, crushed

200g feta cheese, sliced

25-30g rocket leaves (handful)

1 x 400g can of chickpeas, drained

350g mixed heirloom tomatoes, quartered

50g pitted black olives

A handful of fresh herbs, including coriander, mint and basil

A small roasting pan, lined with foil

Method

Cook the orzo in a large saucepan of lightly salted, boiling water for 6 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water, then drain again. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine 2 tbsp of the olive oil, half of the lemon zest and juice, 2 tsp of the honey, the garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Pour half into the cooked orzo, stir well and leave to go cold.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5.

Put the feta in the prepared roasting pan. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil, lemon zest and juice, honey and a little pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Preheat the grill to high and put the feta underneath to cook for a further 4-5 minutes until golden. Cool for 5 minutes and then cut into quarters, ready to serve.

Meanwhile, arrange the rocket, chickpeas, tomatoes, olives and herbs in serving bowls. Top each bowl with a feta quarter, drizzle over the remaining dressing, and serve.

Oven-roasted Romanesco Cauliflower, Labne & Spiced Nuts

Roasting cauliflower is perhaps the tastiest way of serving this humble and somewhat overlooked vegetable, especially coated in Moroccan spices and lime juice. This, with the carrots, pearl couscous and pomegranate topped with creamy labne provides a really delicious layered bowl.

Serves 2

Ingredients

250g cauliflower florets

250g carrots, peeled

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp ras el hanout (North African spice mix, available from specialist food stores)

Grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

350ml water

120g pearl couscous

½ pomegranate

50g watercress leaves

2 tbsp mixed fresh herbs of your choice, chopped

50g pistachio nuts, toasted and roughly chopped

100g creamy labne

1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

A little smoked paprika, to dust

A roasting pan lined with baking parchment

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5.

Break the cauliflower into bite-size florets. Cut the carrots into similar-size chunks. Put the cauliflower and carrots in a bowl and add 1 tbsp of the oil, the ras el hanout, the grated lime zest, half of the lime juice and some salt and pepper.

Toss well until evenly coated and transfer to the prepared roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through until golden and tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Bring 350ml water to the boil with 1 tsp salt. Add the couscous, return to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave for a further 5 minutes.

Separate out the pomegranate seeds from the pomegranate over a bowl to catch all the juices. Combine the seeds, juice, remaining olive oil and remaining lime juice, and season to taste. Stir into the couscous and set aside until cold.

Divide the couscous, roast veg, watercress, herbs and pistachios between two bowls. Dollop over a spoonful of the labne and sprinkle the sesame seeds. Serve dusted with paprika.

Sesame Seared Tuna with Asian Slaw

Jícama is a great vegetable on its own and, as here, in coleslaw. Walk into your local sushi chain and it's easy to see that sesame seeds are often used for presentation. But they actually give a nutritional punch of calcium and magnesium to this bowl as well.

Serves 4

Ingredients

40g mixed black and white sesame seeds

2 x 170g sushi-grade tuna pieces

2 tbsp grapeseed oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Asian slaw: 250g sliced jícama (Mexican yam bean, available from specialist food stores)

½ mango, sliced in long strips

100g red cabbage, thinly sliced

For the tamari sauce: 1 tbsp soy sauce (check for gluten-free)

2 tsp sesame oil

¼ tsp finely sliced ginger

2 tsp flaxseed oil

2 tsp clear honey

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp white sesame seeds

A handful of fresh coriander, to garnish

Method

Spread the black and white sesame seeds evenly on a plate. Season each side of tuna with salt and pepper, then coat each side of the tuna with the seed mixture - don't forget the sides.

In a grill pan, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Sear the tuna for 30 seconds on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

For the Asian slaw, cut the jícama, mango and cabbage into long strips. Whisk all the tamari sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Add the slaw and mix.

To serve, thinly slice the tuna. Spoon a generous amount of slaw on each plate and put the sliced tuna on top. Garnish with fresh coriander.

 

Irish Independent

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