I know, it’s cold and you’re not totally thinking about salad at the moment – but this one is warm and let’s face it – we don’t want to eat heavily all the way through winter. We have to give our body’s a break from the carbs! Well, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway 🙂
I love the nutty flavours of pumpkin in this recipe, mixed with the salty prosciutto and peppery rocket. If you don’t have prosciutto – you could also cut a few rashers of bacon into largeish pieces, fry them off and add them to the mix instead. It’s also great to take to work for lunch 🙂
Prosciutto and pumpkin salad
- 1 butternut pumpkin
- olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Half a teaspoon of chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 20 slices of prosciutto (you can get this at all good delis and even at your local supermarket)
- 4 handfuls of rocket
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (please buy the best balsamic you can find – it makes ALL the difference)
- 1 small block of parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 190°C. Peel pumpkin, remove the seeds and cut into largish cubes. Lay in a roasting tray, season with salt and pepper, the coriander and chilli flakes and drizzle over a little olive oil. Use your hands to rub the mixture all over the pumpkin. This is the best way to get the flavours going – it beats using a spoon any day. Roast the pumpkin for half an hour or until soft and golden. Allow to cool a little.
Lay your prosciutto over a large serving platter – let it twist and turn so it doesn’t look neat and flat. Put the pumpkin around the meat and then sprinkle over the rocket. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil to dress the leaves, as well as the balsamic. Use a vegetable peeler to shave over the parmesan.
If you wanted something to go with it – some really simply grilled chicken would be great.
As for a song to groove to while you whip this up – I think something light and refreshing is in order. The Script are an awesome Irish band – and their song This Is Love is inspiring. You’ll want to play it over and over 🙂
What’s flicking through on your iPod at the moment? Share your favourite tunes in the comments section below and keep us all inspired!
It’s Monday afternoon and you’ve got no idea what to cook for dinner tonight … this chargrilled squid salad is the answer.
If you don’t have the ingredients at home – then you only need to stop by two sections of the supermarket to get everything you need. You’ll be in and through the check-out in no more than 10 minutes. I think this is crucial because the supermarket pit-stop on weekdays, for me anyway, is one I dread. I just want to get home and start cooking and relaxing!
The flavours here are fresh and yummy, and the avocado really gives it a comforting creaminess – without the guilt!
CHARGRILLED SQUID SALAD
- 300gm of squid tubes, cleaned
- Olive oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- the juice of ½ a lime
- 2 very ripe avocados
- 1-2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of chopped coriander
- ½ a red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- juice of 2 limes
Squeeze the avocados out of their skins into a bowl, removing the stones. Add most of the chilli and coriander, the onion, tomato and lime juice. Mix everything up with a spoon, hacking up any bigger bits of avocado as you go. Have a taste to check the balance, and season with salt and pepper.
Put a griddle pan on a high heat to get nice and hot. For the squid tubes put the knife in the tube and cut through the side, open it out then lightly score every ½cm in a criss-cross fashion with a blunt knife. This means the squid will curl up and absorb extra flavour.
Season the squid with a pinch of salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil then toss to coat. Add it to the hot griddle, scored-side down, for 1 to 2 minutes. Use tongs to turn the squid over once it has nice char marks. Give it a minute on the other side until it curls up then immediately transfer to a bowl. While the squid is still piping hot, add a really good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, the lime juice and another small pinch of salt and pepper.
Spoon the avocado salad onto a platter. Cut the squid into bite-sized chunks. Pile the squid over the salad and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Scatter over the reserved coriander and chilli.
This dish looks so pretty. I know it’s Monday, but why not light some candles, pour some wine and sit down with you partner and pretend it’s the weekend!
Welcome to Wednesday! By this stage we are immersed in the week and lots of us can’t be bothered cooking something complicated.
What do you like to cook mid-week? Do you have a go-to recipe which you call on when things are getting a little overwhelming? If you do have one, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.
If you don’t have a recipe or two that you call on when you’re busy and fall back to take-aways or pre-made food – then this week I challenge you to find a recipe that you can whip up in 30 minutes or less. It’ll make life less stressful, be healthier for you and your family, and be so much kinder to your hip pocket.
I think mid-week is a time to have something quick, easy, light, but most of all – yummy.
This salad is ideal, and can be served with some simply grilled chicken. Put 3 chicken breasts, which you have cut into strips, into a bowl along with 2 crushed cloves of garlic, the zest and juice of half a lemon and some dried oregano and a good amount of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat the chicken and cook in a hot frying pan or on a griddle pan, if you have one, until golden and cooked through.
But before you do that, whip up the salad:
AVOCADO, TOMATO AND FETTA SALAD
- 2 handfuls of mixed lettuce leaves
- 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
- 1 lebanese cucumber
- 150gms of green, pitted olives
- 1/3 of a cup of diced, soft fetta
- 1 large avocado
- 3 tbs of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs of olive oil (extra virgin, if you have it)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash and dry the lettuce leaves and put into a large serving bowl.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the bowl.
Cut the lebanese cucumber lengthways and deseed using a spoon. The seeds are really watery and bitter. Chop the cucumer thinly and add to your bowl.
Add the diced fetta and olives and toss everything together.
Once you are ready to serve, drizzle over the balsamic, olive oil and salt and pepper and toss gently.
Cut the avocado in half. Remove the nut in the middle by tapping it with your knife and turn it. It should some away from the flesh. Use a teaspoon to scoop out segments and put them on top of the salad.
Divide the salad between four plates, and top it with the grilled chicken, as described above, or whatever other meat you like. This makes the salad a really nice, refreshing meal.
It may look and taste fancy, but this vanilla bean panacotta is super easy!
I learnt this during the Masterclass I had last month with Oakdene restaurant head chef Marty Chichester where we also made oysters, chilli mud crab and lobsters with garlic butter. It was an amazing experience for me, because I was intimidated by all the ingredients we cooked with that night. But, once I knew what I was doing I discoveed that these types of seafood are quite easy to prepare – and I know it would even be the case for people who aren’t too confident overall in their cooking abilities. In saying that, put these dishes in front of your friends the next time you invite them around for dinner, and they’ll be nothing short of impressed. So, if you missed those great recipes, be sure to check them out and give them a try. If you follow the recipes and tips, you can’t go wrong.
This dessert is the same. It sounds daunting, but it’s not at all – and this is coming from someone who’s terrified of making sweets!
The strawberry salad is also simple, but gorgeously sweet and scrumptious. strawberries are in season at the moment, so now is the best time to give it a try. It’d also work very well with some pancakes, or as a side to a rich chocolate cake.
Vanilla Bean Panacotta
- 200ml of thickened cream
- 75ml of full cream milk
- 1/2 a vanilla bean, split and deseeded
- 1/2 a sheet of gelatin
- 50gm of sugar
Dissolve the gelatin in ice-cold water for 10 minutes, until it becomes pliable.
Heat the cream, milk and sugar until just before it boils. Do not let it come to a boil, so it’s best to stay with the pan while it’s heating and remove it as soon as you see the liquid starting to wobble.
Remove from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes.
After the 10 minutes is up, remove the gelatin from the water and squeeze out the excess water.
Add it to the panacotta mix and stir it until it dissolves completely .
You can pass the panacotta liquid through a fine sieve at this point, but I actually like the look of the little black dots from the vanilla bean. It’s up to you.
Pour the mixture evenly between four cocktail glasses. and pop them in the fridge straight away. It’ll need to set for about two hours.
The other great thing about this recipe is it’s pretty quick, but can be made the night before. When you are ready to serve, make the strawberry salad, which is so simple it doesn’t need a recipe.
Remove the green tops from a punnett of strawberries. Cut into quarters. Place in a bowl and mix with 2 tsp of icing sugar. Taste one of the strawberry pieces. If you think it needs a little more sweetness, add some more icing sugar until you are happy with the flavour. I think next time I make this I’ll add a touch of masala. I think it would taste gorgeous!
To serve, scoop the strawberry salad on top of the panacotta.
You will enjoy every mouthful of this dessert. Once you have made it once, I’m sure it will become a recipe you’ll make over and over and your friends will be begging you for the recipe!
This recipe was given to me by a reader of Uforic Food, Janet.
With her garden brimming with beetroot at the moment, what better way to use it all up, or give it away, then to make a deliciously sweet relish.
I have also typed this one up to go on recipe cards in my brother’s shop Angelsea Fruitz as they also seem to have a great supply of this vegetable at the moment.
I’ll admit I haven’t really cooked with beetroot before, although I eat the tinned variety regularly. I suggest you wear gloves when you are peeling it – otherwise your hands will be the same gorgeous colour as the relish you are about to make!
Beetroot relish – By Janet
- 750gm of fresh beetroot
- 1 brown onion
- 1 1/2 cups of balsamic vinegar
- 3 tsp of yellow mustard seeds
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2 whole cloves or a pinch of ground cloves
- 5cm piece of orange rind
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel and process beetroot and onion in a food processor.
In a covered frying pan, fry mustard seeds in a little oil.
Add all ingredients to a large, deep frying pan, or large saucepan.
Place over a medium heat, cover and bring to the boil.
Cook for 30 minutes, or until the beetroot is soft and the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly.
Pour into sterilised jars, seal and let cool.
Refrigerate after opening, keeps for about 2 months .
Hope you enjoy this delicious recipe and a big thank you to Janet for sharing it.
If you have an awesome recipe you’d like to share too, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org .