Tag Archives: sprouts

Shredded Sprout Salad

Ooof, still feeling the effects of Christmas and New Year? Even if you’re not into celebrating in a big way, January often comes as a relief when there is just generally less food, drink and sweets on offer. I kind of feel that I don’t really want to go near a spiced cookie for quite some time! At home we’re not doing anything too radical, other than an “eat less rubbish” drive. Everything in moderation and such like.

Well, this salad is a bit of an antidote to all that rich food. It’s actually my preferred way of serving Brussels sprouts, and is really very simple. Rather than trying to boil them, then cooking them too long and ending up with grey mush, you just leave them raw. Then it’s simply a case of shredding them finely, adding some nuts and soft cheese or thick yoghurt, dressing the lot and you’re done.

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If you’re thinking that raw sprouts aren’t really your thing, try one – they’ve actually slightly sweet, with a mild flavour. Not a hint of cabbage!  I’ve matched them with some tangy goat’s cheese, and then a selection of nuts and seeds. I use whatever nuts I have to hand, usually hazelnuts, but here I’ve used sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds, all of them toasted to bring out their flavour. And finally, the dressing is a simply mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice, which makes the whole dish taste really fresh.

There really is not much mystery to making this salad, other than making sure you shred the sprouts finely. This means that you can sort of fluff the greens up, so that everything mixes well. If the sprouts are too large, the nuts, cheese and dressing will stay separate. Other than that, it’s a case of having as much or as little of each part as you see fit. Personally, I would major on the toasted nuts and goat’s cheese, but that’s just my preference.

To serve this, I think it looks best on a flat plate piled up high rather than in a bowl. Given that you’ve got that wonderful green-yellow colour of the sprouts, a dark plate is best for dramatic effect (even it I’ve used a white one for my pictures!).

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So there we have it – a bit of a healthy start to 2015!

To make Shredded Sprout Salad:

For the salad

• Brussels sprouts
• nuts and seeds (I used almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds)
• soft goat’s cheese

For the dressing

• 1 lemon, zest and juice
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• salt, to taste
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Toast the nuts in the oven. Allow to cool and chop roughly.

2. Trim the sprouts and remove any bad leaves from the outside. Finely shred them.

3. Make the dressing – add the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and salt to a jam jar and shake vigorously.

4. Make the salad – sprinkle half the sprouts on a plate, then half the chopped nuts and seeds. Drizzle over a little of the dressing. Add the rest of the sprouts, the rest of the nuts and seeds, then scatter chunks of the goat’s cheese on top with half an eye on coming up with something that looks a bit artistic. Finish with the rest of the dressing.

 

 

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Winter Slaw Salad

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been trying to empty the fridge and cupboards after the excesses of Christmas. This often prompts a strange array of dishes with a random festive ingredient, or what can seem like an endless supply of Clementine juice…and there is that stray jar of mincemeat that needs to be used up…somehow!

Today’s recipe addresses this, as it allows you to use up a few winter vegetables to make a colourful and healthy coleslaw salad, full of raw vegetables with lots of fibre, which makes for a comforting side dish. The sort of thing that works very well alongside baked potatoes with butter. It is, after all, snowing outside, and that’s not the sort of weather that you want to eat only cold raw veggies, is it?

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I have to fess up to the fact that I’ve seen a few versions of winter slaw around recently, so this is something of an amalgam of those ideas. However, I’ve made this recipe based on what I had in the cupboard (I’ve tended to buy very little since Christmas other than milk and bread!), and lends itself to endless tweaking based on what you have to hand. I’ve just used some red cabbage, Brussel sprouts, fennel, carrot and apple, and the sauce is made from mayo and sour cream that has been enlivened with some spicy harissa paste and allspice. Sometimes just going with what you have to hand is a great way to come up with exciting flavour combinations. But you might just want to stop short of crumbling some left-over Christmas pudding on top, eh? The only thing I would suggest you make sure you do is to shred the veg as finely as you can – it means all the sauce will get mopped up, and of course it looks all the more dramatic on the table. If you want to go even further, top with some chopped fresh herbs (dill being a bit of a seasonal favourite at the moment) or some chopped toasted almonds or pistachios.

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To make winter slaw:

For the slaw:

• 1/2 small red cabbage
• 1 small fennel bulb
• 2 large carrots
• handful of Brussel sprouts
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/2 lemon, juice only

For the sauce:

• 2 large tablespoons mayonnaise
2 large tablespoons sour cream
• 1/4 teaspoon harissa or chilli paste

• squeeze runny honey
• 1/2 teaspoons mustard
• 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
• 1/8 teaspoon allspice
• pinch ground mace
• salt and pepper, to taste

1. Start with the sauce – put everything into a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.

2. Prepare the slaw – put the olive oil and lemon in a large bowl (you’ll add the vegetables as you go, and tossing in the lemon juice will stop them from getting brown). Peel the carrots, then use the peeler to slice the carrots into thin pieces. Trim the fennel and cut lengthways into very thin pieces. Peel and core the apple and finely slice. Peel the sprouts and shred. Last of all, finely shred the cabbage as thinly as you can. Put everything into a large bowl with the olive oil and lemon juice, and toss gently to ensure the vegetables are coated.

3. Just before serving, pour the sauce over the slaw and toss gently to make sure all the vegetables are coated.

Worth making? Nice and easy, and a great way to use up a glut of veg. The sauce is the place where you can get very creative – allowing you to make sure the slaw sits well with other dishes.

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Edamame and Sprout Salad

After a glut of ice-cream and sorbet, today is a frost-free zone! This is because last night I took a big step and…signed up with a personal trainer! The first session was great, although I am currently knowing levels of pain that I had never even known could exist.

Aching with every step, and hoping that all this pain would hopefully lead to some sort of gain, I decided to make a healthy lunch. Something Asian and light. I am happy to admit that I did not put too much thought into this recipe, but rather I just checked out – as usual – what I had in the cupboard, and selected out anything that looked exotic and had suggestions of Asia about it. Edamame beans, sprouts, sesame oil. You get the picture. I also happened to have some alfalfa and China rose radish sprouts (which were a little peppery and added an additional interesting flavour to the salad). The great thing about these sorts of dishes is that you can customise them to suit what you want to eat and what you have to hand – I can also see this working well with a few pieces of tofu, a little quinoa and/or some glass noodles. For me, the successful part of this dish was getting the dressing right –  sesame oil, lime juice and soy sauce, so that it is by turns sharp, citrus, salty and nutty, but it does not overwhelm the main ingredients.

I’m not sure how authentic all of this is, but as someone who one day wants to Japan and experience its food and culture, it kept me happy this lunchtime. Perhaps the time has come for me to get hold a vegetarian Japanese cookbook?

For the salad (main for one, side salad for two):

• 150g edemame beans, boiled, drained and cooled
• 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds, toasted
• 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
• 1 teaspoon nigella (black onion) seeds, toasted
• 1 generous handful of alfalfa
• 1 generous handful of China rose radish sprouts
• 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips

Place all the ingredients in a bowl, add the dressing and toss lightly before serving.

If you need to toast the pumpkin seeds, this is easiest done in the oven at 200°C for around 10 minutes until they smell of toasted nuts. To toast the nigella seeds and sesame, put into a saucepan without any oil and dry-fry until the are aromatic and the sesame is lightly golden. Be careful with all of them – they burn easily!

For the dressing:

• 3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil (e.g. grapeseed)
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
• pinch of sugar
• 1 teaspoon chilli sauce

Put all the ingredients in a jam jar, and share vigorously. Like a mini-workout.

Worth making? This is a really nice dressing which has more pronounced and interesting flavours than normal the normal oil-vinegar mixture. Using the edamame beans as the main ingredient makes this quite a different lunch or side salad, and keeps it filling without being heavy. Really worth trying, and so easy to adapt to your personal tastes.

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