November 20, 2007

salad days

It's been too hot to cook so the last couple of nights we've had a salad for dinner. Last night it was a variation on a Karen Martini recipe from a recent Sunday Life mag. It was very fast and easy to prepare, and like everything I've made from Karen's book Where the heart is it was very good.

Chicken, Couscous and Spinach Salad

50g couscous
50 ml chicken stock or water
1/2 tspn mixed spice
1 Tab extra virgin olive oil
4 Tabs plain yoghurt
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 Tab red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
handful shredded basil leaves
2 Tabs pinenuts, toasted
1/2 bought cooked chicken, shredded
few large handfuls coarsely shredded baby spinach
few baby cos leaves

Add boiling water or stock to couscous and stand 2 mins. Separate grains with fork. Whisk together spice, oil, yoghurt, onion, vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Toss together with chicken, leaves and couscous. Scatter with pinenuts. Serves 2.

Tonight I made a Thai beef salad based on a Jamie Oliver recipe. This is very flexible - you can add or subtract ingredients and/or vary the amounts according to your taste.

Thai Beef Salad

Mixture of shredded salad greens (I used Chinese cabbage and baby spinach)

1 carrot, julienned or coarsely shredded

large handful bean sprouts

1/2 cup coriander leaves

1/4 cup shredded basil leaves

2 spring onions chopped

1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, lightly crushed

2 small medallions eye fillet


1 Tab lime juice (or lemon)

1 Tab fish sauce

2 tspns olive oil

1 tspn sesame oil

1/2 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

2 tspns brown sugar

Char-grill or pan-fry meat to your preferred degree of 'doneness' and rest for 10 mins. Slice thinly. Whisk the dressing ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Toss lightly with remaining ingredients, divide between two plates and scatter beef on top. Garnish with a few extra coriander leaves. Serves 2.

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