Salads

Im back, with a baby! (and the Perfect Summer Salad)

Hi there,

Its been a while.

Almost shy of a year, but who’s counting?

(I am, its been 10 months).

My last post was in June, while braving the summer heat and the insane humidity that is a forbearer of my beloved monsoon, when I was slaving away making pasta from scratch, figuring out innovative ways to use morel that was freshly brought in from Kashmir (which now, 10 months later, is still lying patiently in a glass jar in the pantry). But all this aside, we’ve been blessed with the most adoring little baby girl, and I’m over the moon. She’s almost 2 months now, which is why I now feel slightly able to hit the kitchen again (I couldn’t stand the strong smells in the kitchen for all my trimesters, and all I wanted to cook was comfort food like manchurian and iced tea which I wasn’t risking to eat out due to the fear of MSG overload).

My pregnancy was a ride, but a really welcome one! Now that baby is out, mama’s feelings towards the smells have alleviated, letting me slowly but surely return to my beloved kitchen. I wondered whether my first post-natal blog post would include any of my pregnancy experiences, like aversions / obsessions / recipes and  Read more…

Kale Salad with Pecans, Cranberries, Apple and Baby Radish

Is there a thing such as ‘Blogger’s Block’, you know, like writer’s block? Essentially, I too am writing, but just online and on a blog, so does that make me not a writer? I’m not so sure about that hypothesis, but what I am sure about at this hot, humid, sticky moment in the beginning of what threatens to be a horrendous summer, is that I have a case of whatever block you may term it. So now coming to the crux of my irrelevant public analysis of what block I am being plagued by – I am basically looking for an excuse to not continue tapping my fingers feverishly over the keyboard, as if it is a mission which I cannot fail.

But today, I am going to delve right into this beautiful, summary and fresh salad recipe. I know I’m (fashionably) late to join the Kale Revolution – but better late than never! This salad first came together as a beautiful mish-mash of ingredients in the fridge plus a big bunch of kale that was incredibly inviting at the supermarket, I had to get my hands on it. I started with apple, to add a bit of sweetness to the otherwise bitter kale, but this batch of american kale was far from bitter! Adding some thinly sliced baby radish, plump ruby red cranberries, toasted pecans, white & black sesame seeds and a few tablespoons of garlic scented cheese (you can easily substitute cheddar or crumbly cheeses like feta or goats cheese) with a basic and effective honey mustard vinaigrette to tie it all together!

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Scallion & Sprouted Mung Bean Sauté with Peanuts

SS and I just celebrated 5 years of being together, in Hong Kong. I mention this because while exploring Soho one sleepy Sunday, we stumbled upon a store called Pantry Magic, which transported me back to any good European or American kitchenware stores (picture a Williams Sonoma meets Divertimenti) – from where I took home the pictured gorgeous wok, perfect for cooking up Asian fare at home, without taking up too much space in my already congested pantry cupboard! Now, one Sunday after that purchase was made, I decided to use my Clean Foods cookbook (for much needed detox after last night’s revelry and general HK indulgences!) and repeat this Scallion & Sprouted Mung Bean Sauté with Peanuts which I previously made with some pak choi, but this time left it out.

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Iceberg Lettuce Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Sometimes, stinky cheese is just what the doctor ordered. Well in my case, any doctor that ordered me (any kind of) cheese would become my new favourite person. While I love adding cheese to salads, very rarely will I made a dressing, whose entire flavour profile is derived from the cheese. I also find that of all cheeses, it is blue cheese that most people shy away from, not due to lack of an acquired taste, but more due to preconceived notions. And the fact that it smells. Last evening, I just wanted a salad, without fuss and too much effort. So begins the birth of the Iceburg Lettuce Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing.

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Baby Spinach & Avocado Salad with Tomato Wedges and Dried Cranberries

Let me just begin by saying that I’ve made and shared (with friends) this recipe a few times already, and I felt that it needed to get on the blog ASAP. That being said, I also realised that because I’ve made it again and again and again, its become like second nature to me, and often when I am mechanically going about my favourites and staples, I forget to pay attention to the important details like photographs!

I do hope this little glitch will not deter you from re-creating this superbly simple and satisfying salad at home. I personally find honey mustard and avocado to be a match made in heaven. The use of two types of mustard and 2 types of citrus really complement the salad ingredients, and require very little prep and chopping. The salad and dressing kept separate, make a great lunch at your desk as well. I also love the fact that it is gluten free, vegan and dairy free.  Read more…

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Spring Onion and Goats Cheese

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Spring Onion and Goats Cheese

Now apart from my last post on the summer fresh and easy umami chickpea sandwiches, the bulk of 2015 has been written up as sweet posts, including Momofuku’s cinnamon brown butter bun pie, amarula spiked chocolate pudding pots and coconut brown butter cookies with the exception of my Valentine’s Day inspired heart shaped champagne and truffle risotto. Time to give you a more balanced approach to cooking! Today I have for you an absolute stunner – Sweet Potato salad with spring onion and goats cheese. This stunner has been adapted from Ottolenghi’s arsenal of glorious recipes. Now as you may recall, I’ve succeeded at emulating Ottolenghi’s sweet potato cakes, which I still fantasise and salivate over.

There’s enough potato in this significant salad to serve as a meal in itself for 4-5 people, or as a part of a larger gathering of food, for 8-10 people. But I would definitely size it down and serve it to myself for a gratifying and fire-crackingly flavourful lunch or dinner – nutritiously comprising of gluten and grain free carbs along with a handful of vegetables and sprinkling of protein. And my most important food group – spice!

The bulk of the work is done by the beautiful marriage of the ingredients – the perfectly golden…

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