I’ve always loved the Crispy Seaweed that you get at the Chinese. I think it’s the combination of sweet and salty along with that satisfying crunch – plus hey, it’s one of your five a day right? So when I recently discovered that, for the most part, it isn’t actually seaweed at all, but rather, cabbage or kale, I’ve got to say I felt a bit let down.
Once I got over my initial indignation, I realised that this could actually be a good thing! It meant I could recreate one of my favourite takeaway treats in my very own kitchen (without having to take a trip to the beach first…)
Now the good thing about this dish (other than the whole ‘no need for waders’ thing above and aside from the fact that it’s bloomin’ tasty) is that it’s unbelievably easy to make. You are no more than 10 minutes away from tucking into a mound of sweet and salty, crispy seaweed stylee kale and succulent, pink, salmon with just a hint of the orient. A Chinese whisper if you will…
For the fish, I use my George Foreman grill, thanks to my lovely Mother-in-Law who recently served us some perfectly cooked salmon using her’s and so inspired me to dig mine out of a cupboard and dust it off after months (ok, years…) of neglect. If you don’t have one, then a frying or griddle pan will do just fine.
You know those days when it’s oppressively hot and you just don’t feel like eating much? To be honest, living in the UK, I’m not that familiar with them, but if there’s a nation who totally gets it, it’s the Spanish. Their solution is both simple and delicious…
Gazpacho is a chilled soup which is both light and fresh and can be whizzed up in flash – because let’s face it, the last thing you want to be doing is slaving in the kitchen when you could be relaxing and sipping something cool under the shade of a tree.
Here are a couple more for you to try…
If you’re a fan of shows like Masterchef, then you’ll know that one of the latest foodie trends is to ‘de-construct’ classic dishes. You know the kind of thing I mean – Apple crumble becomes a pile of biscuit crumbs, a smear of apple purée and a vanilla ice cream foam. To de-construct Gazpacho, would be to serve a simple, dressed salad, so you see what a truly virtuous little soup it is!
So get out your blender and your fresh, seasonal veg and enjoy this beautiful, soup. It’s so full of goodness that you just can’t help feel better for it.
You know those meals that are are really special? The ones you spend hours preparing but it’s totally worth it because they’re such a treat?
Well this isn’t one of those.
Instead, do you know those dishes which can be whipped up in a flash but when presented to your eager diners, will be met with ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaaahs’ and ‘how lovelys!’ The reason being that sometimes the food just speaks for itself. Sometimes, beautiful, fresh and perhaps unusual ingredients can make a dish just as special (if not more so), without the need for endless toiling.
Happy days dear readers! This recipe, is one of those.
You will need:
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 orange
1 tbs runny honey
1 tbs chopped fresh basil
1 stale small baguette, thinly sliced along the diagonal (approx 1/2 cm thick)
1 x 120 g soft, round goats cheese
3 small figs, finely sliced lengthways (you should get about 6 slices per fig)
I love this soup! It’s incredibly simple, incredibly cheap and incredibly tasty. Picture a cold, winter’s day and you’ve just come inside after taking the kids to the park. Everyone’s noses are red and everyone’s tummies are rumbling.
Luckily, you have a few bits of old, rather sorry for itself veg that needs using up! Not very inspiring? …
…Ok, how about this? You have a rich, smooth winter vegetable soup. The vegetables themselves give it a beautiful sweetness, while the fennel seeds add a note of aniseed which compliments it perfectly. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ve whipped up some rather decadent cheese and rosemary toasts to go alongside. All in all, a deeply warming, healthy and oh-so-satisfying winter’s lunch.
Not bad popped in a travel mug and taken to work for lunch either!
You will need:
1 oz unsalted butter
1/2 tbs olive oil
2 leeks, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 carrots, roughly chopped (peeling optional!)
1 sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbs tomato purée
750 ml chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 heaped tbs Greek yoghurt
You will need:
1 part-baked white baguette
1 large handful of your favourite cheese, grated (I use a mix of Cheddar and Parmesan)
A sprinkle of dried rosemary (if you have fresh, then use that but don’t buy it especially!)