Tag Archive for sauces and dressings

chickpea and roasted sweet potato salad with a thai coconut dressing

sweet potato and chickpea salad

It is summer time, so my thoughts have naturally turned to salads.

I love salads that are a whole meal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with green salads, but I tend to think of them as a side dish, rather than the main event.

This is one of my favourite substantial salads. I sometimes vary what goes into it, adding spinach or some other leafy green, but the chickpeas and either roasted sweet potato or pumpkin are always a constant.

I roast vegetables on a cooler day in summer so that they are ready in the fridge for using in salads. If I have some veggies already roasted, it makes it very quick to throw this or any other salad together. The dressing is what makes it so delicious.  You could probably use it with any firm vegetable and it would work.

The dressing has all those special Thai hot, spicy, sweet and salty notes that make everything taste good.

I took this recently to a family meal and it was a big hit.

 

chickpea and roasted sweet potato salad with a thai coconut dressing
 
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author:
recipe type: salad
cuisine: vegan
serves: 6
ingredients
  • 500g sweet potato
  • 1 400 gram can of chickpeas, or equivalent amount of home cooked ones.
For the dressing
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, white part only
  • 2-3 red small chillies
  • a small handful of fresh coriander
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves finely sliced
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk,
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vegan 'fish' sauce (or you could substitute light soy)
  • extra fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
instructions
  1. Peel and dice the sweet potato into 1-2 cm chunks.
  2. Roast them in the oven with the smallest amount of oil until just tender. Allow to cool.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
Make the dressing
  1. Remove the hard outside layers from the lemongrass until you have just the tender part.
  2. Remove the seeds from the chillies unless you like things really hot.
  3. Add the lemongrass, chillies, fresh coriander, kaffir lime leaves to a mortar and pestle and pound to a rough paste. It doesn't matter too much if there are occasional chunks in it.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk, the 'fish' sauce and sugar and add as much lime juice as you need to taste.
  5. You can keep tweaking it with more lime juice, 'fish' sauce and sugar until it tastes how you like it.
  6. Mix the dressing into the chickpeas and sweet potato and garnish with extra coriander leaves.

 

parsley overload! salsa verde with everything

roasted mushrooms with salsa verde

I love parsley, but I have so much at the moment, that a scatter thrown on dishes as a garnish just isn’t going to make a dent in it. So I’ve started making salsa verde to use more of it.

This isn’t a burden, because salsa verde adds a wonderful fresh, sharp, salty zing to everything it touches. It goes well with so many things, I’ve been eating it with asparagus, with avocado on toast and with roasted cauliflower,  but I love it most with roasted mushrooms.

The quantities below are very rough, this is how I like to make it, but you can vary the proportions to suit your own taste.

 

salsa verde
 
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recipe type: sauce
cuisine: vegan
serves: 1 cup
ingredients
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup finely chopped mint
  • ¼ cup finely chopped basil
  • 2 tsp finely chopped capers (I like the tiny dry salted ones, rinsed)
  • a splash of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp smooth dijon mustard
  • olive oil to cover
instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients except the oil into a jar.
  2. Add enough oil to just cover. Mix.
notes
The salsa will keep for a few days in the fridge, though it may lose some of its bright green colour.

 

vietnamese rice vermicelli salad

vietnamese rice vermicelli salad with grilled tofu

A Vietnamese rice vermicelli salad would have to be a candidate for one of my favourite dishes of all time. My desert island dish. Well, I lie. I probably have 10 desert island dishes. 🙂

It has so much going for it. It is easy to make, it is fresh and vibrant, it is healthy AND it tastes spectacularly good.

It is just a bowl of vermicelli noodles topped with a variety of raw or lightly blanched veggies, some protein and a sweet, salty and spicy dressing.

The dish varies every time I make it. It really depends what is in the fridge. The only constants are the vermicelli, lettuce and carrot. And the dressing of course.

Today’s bowl contained rice vermicelli, lettuce, carrot, coriander, snow peas, satay flavoured tofu, sliced fresh chillies, spring onions and the chilli, garlic and “fish sauce” dressing.

Today I came home from a walk, hungry and ready to eat so I used some already flavoured tofu. In the past I’ve used crispy fried tempeh or some seitan mock chicken.

Here is the recipe for the dressing. You will need about 1/3 cup per bowl.

 

dressing for vietnamese rice vermicelli salad
 
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author:
cuisine: vietnamese, vegan
serves: 1 cup
ingredients
  • ¼ cup vegan fish sauce
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 small hot red chilli, finely chopped with the seeds removed (or less if you're scared)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
instructions
  1. Heat the vegan fish sauce, vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves completely. Don't let it come to the boil.
  2. Allow to cool, then mix in the garlic, chilli and lime juice;

 

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