Beetroot, apple and walnuts salad with yoghurt and cumin seeds dressing

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Beetroots again! It has been while – but here they are again… #Beetrootgate proceeds with a lovely salad of contrasting flavours and different textures. Add a bit of feta cheese for a full meal, perfect for a lunch box.

Beetroot, apple and walnuts salad with yoghurt and cumin seeds dressing  (adapted from Dave Myers and Si King’s The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight)

Ingredients

  • 2 medium cooked beetroots (not pickled), cut into small cubes
  • 20g blanched hazelnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 chicory heads, trimmed.
  • 2 red apples, like gala 
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • small handful of fresh mint leaves
  • small handful of fresh flat leaf parsley

Dressing

  • 150g of low fat yoghurt
  • the juice and the zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoon of runny honey

Method

Slip the beetroots out of their skins. Cut them into wedges and then into cubes

Roughly chop the hazelnuts on a board. Tip them into a colander and give it a good shake until get rid of all the small powdery bits. Reserve the big chunky ones.

Scatter the nuts into a non-stick frying pan and toast over a medium-high heat for about 5min or until lightly browned, turning them as they cook. Add the cumin seeds and toast together for about 1-2min. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl.

Cut each head of chicory lengthways into 6 thin wedges and put them in a salad bowl; alternatively you can separate the some leaves. Cut the apple into quarters, remove the core and the slice the apple quarters fairly thinly. Peel and finely slice the onion. Roughly chop the mint and parsley leaves.

Lightly toss the chicory, apple, onion, hazelnuts, cumin seeds and herbs together. Scatter the beetroot on top of the salad and mix gently. Scatter around the dressing to taste

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Fennel orange salad with harissa dressing

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Every now and again, I find a dish that I like so much I do it over and over and over again. Like, for example, the Russian egg salad. Or, this cauliflower soup. And, let’s not even mention the whole #beetrootgate affair. This is one of those dishes, which has become one of the staples of last Winter (and Spring…  and even Summer). It is just divine with smoked trout, baked salmon, cold cuts… And all this for less than 250 calories for a reasonable sized portion. Really, what not to like this salad?

Fennel orange salad with harissa dressing  (adapted from Dave Myers and Si King’s The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight)

Ingredients 

  • 2 medium size fennel bulbs, trimmed,  woody central core part removed and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 oranges peeled (white parts out) and cut into 5cm chunks.
  • 1/2 radicchio washed and thinly sliced (escarole or endive also will also works well)
  • About 20 roasted salted almost slightly crushed with a mortar
  • Handfull of raisins or sultanas (or a mix of both).

For the harissa dressing

  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 white wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

Place the sliced fennel in a salad bowl. Carefully remove the white bitter parts of the orange and slice the oranges to divide flesh sections. Add to the bowl Crush the roasted salted almonds with a mortar and tip in the bowl. Add the sliced radicchio In a small bowl whisk well the harissa, honey, coriander and white wine vinegar. Pour in the olive oil in a very thin stream (spoon by spoon),  beating all the while. The sauce is ready when it you obtain a glossy, slightly thick mixture. Drizzle the harissa dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.


Beetroot soup with hazelnuts, spring onions and goat cheese

beetroot soup hazelnuts goat cheese spring onion

“So, Burntsugar…”, said B. “How do you make this soup?”. “Well, it is not too difficult.”, I answered. “You pick a spread recipe from last Ottolenghi’s book, then decide to use boiled beetroot instead of roasted and finally get a watery yoghurt instead of a drained one.” B. looked a bit worried, but proceeded to eat its portion and lick the bowl as this had been a perfectly executed dish. Truth to be said, what could have  been a really bad day in the kitchen, ended up with a delicate and colourful dish much to the delight of my  mobile calorie intake units guests. On the next episode of beetrootgate…

Beetroot soup with hazelnuts, spring onions and goat cheese (adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi‘Jerusalem)

  • 500g cooked beetroot (pay attention not to pull the vinegary ones from the shelf)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small red chilli
  • 250g yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon maple sirup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • salt to taste
  • 2 spring onions thinly sliced
  • 15g toasted hazelnuts, roughly crushed
  • 60g of soft goats cheese, crumbled

Method

Peel the beetroot and cut it in chunks

Place the beetroot, garlic, chill and yoghurt in a food processor. Blend it until you obtain a smooth paste.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in in the maple sirup, olive oil and za’atar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Transfer into small serving bowls (or glasses) and scatter the spring onion, hazelnut and cheese.

Serve at room temperature.


Banana Bread with Walnuts and Chocolate

An excellent recipe to start  of the weekend: banana bread with walnuts and chocolate. I had done it once before, using Bill Granger’s recipe, but this time I decided to give a go Gordon Ramsay‘s take on it. It was definitely a more sophisticated cake, less chocolaty but with more flavors.

Banana Bread with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips

Ingredients 

  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 170g golden caster sugar
  • 75ml vegetable oil
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 150g natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large (or 4 medium) very ripe bananas
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 50g dark chocolate chips

Method 

Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4. Butter and line a 2 litre loaf tin. Mix all the dry ingredients, except for the walnuts and chocolate chip, together in a bowl.

In another bowl, combine the vegetable oil, eggs, yoghurt and vanilla.

Peel and mash the bananas with a fork, then mix into the egg mixture.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry mixture then quickly fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Try not to overmix the batter to ensure a moist loaf. Scoop the batter into the prepared tin.

Bake for about an hour until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the loaf. If the bread is not ready, return it to the oven for another 10 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing and serving.