Fresh Salmon, Samphire, Dill & Basmati salad with grilled lemon

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Crispy skinned salmon fillets, salty samphire, fragrant dill rice & tangy rocket leaves. Feeling summery!

This salad is perfect for when you’re in a light summery mood and craving some lovely fresh fish. Its really a throw together; the individual flavours do the talking and you can easily adapt it to be low in FODMAPs.

Its been a while in-between posts so I apologise for that! I’ve really just been eating my way around London while I’m locuming as a Cancer Dietitian in Essex. Living in hospital accommodation really limits my cooking opportunities when you’re sharing a kitchen with 8 others! But on the up side, I’ve learnt to cook some amazing Indian dishes.

Samphire or sea asparagus is really gaining momentum on a lot of restaurant menus, and rightly so… because it is delicious! I’ve paired it with seafood which is a typical combination, it has a nice salty flavour and a tender texture. In this recipe I’ve lightly steamed it on top of the rice to preserve its bright green colour.

Basmati rice has a nice and low GI and cooking it in a pilaf style ensures it is nice and loose whilst being flavoursome. If you are following a low FODMAP diet, cut the onion in half only and put the garlic cloves into the rice mixture whole. Continue to cook as per the instructions but remove the onion and garlic before serving.

Picnic time! Salmon, Samphire & Basmati salad

Picnic time! Salmon, Samphire & Basmati salad

Recipe (serves 4):

4 small fresh salmon fillets (about 400g total)

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3 Tbsp oil

1 Cup basmati rice

4 handfuls chopped fresh dill leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Cups hot water

4 Handfuls fresh samphire (approx 50-100g will be plenty)

200g rocket leaves

1 avocado

1 telegraph cucumber, seeds removed and sliced diagonally (5mm thickness)

2 baby gem lettuces

2 lemons, cut in half

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:

  1. Begin by preparing the basmati rice. In a large pot, fry the onion and garlic in 1 Tablespoon of the oil over a low heat until translucent. Add the basmati rice and stir over the heat for 1 minute. Add 2 of the handfuls of roughly chopped dill leaves and 1/4 tsp salt.
  2. Add the hot water, stir gently and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow to cook gently for about 10 minutes before lifting the lid.
  3. Stir again gently and place the samphire on the top of the rice. Cover again and continue to cook for another 2-4 minutes until the rice is just tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. While the rice is cooking, heat 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a non stick pan. Season and then fry the salmon fillets. Begin by searing, skin side down over a medium to high heat. Turn, searing the top and bottom until you have reached your desired level of cooking (I like mine so that it is just cooked and can be broken apart in flakes, about 3-4 minutes per side (depending on how thick your fillets are). Remove the salmon from the frying pan and rest.
  5. Next, add the lemon halves to the frying pan, cut side down and fry for 3-4 minutes over a medium to high heat. Once done, remove and rest cut side facing up (to retain the juices.

Assembly: 

  1. Once the salmon and rice have cooled down hand are just warm, flake the salmon into large chunks and toss with the rice, rocket, chopped avocado, cucumber and extra handfuls of fresh dill..
  2. Arrange on top of the baby gem lettuce leaves and serve with the side of grilled lemon. Squeeze lemon all over salad to dress.
Advertisements

Tofu & zucchini cakes w fresh basil & tomato vinaigrette

Tofu & Zucchini cakes w/ sauce vierge

So I’ve landed back in Amsterdam to start up a new project; a cafe which will help to rehabilitate victims of human trafficking. The cafe will have a dedicated training kitchen to allow victims to gain the skills they require to enter the normal workforce (hospitality sector). At the cafe they will recieve formal training sessions, beginning with learning some basic kitchen skills and hopefully progress to a point where they can join me in the commercial cafe kitchen. An exciting project! At the moment, I’m only up to designing the kitchen layout and what equipment is needed, and have partly written the menu…. eek! But exciting things to come never-the-less.

Tofu cakes

My senses are indeed feeling messy; a combination of jetlag and clash of a beautiful summer just had in New Zealand with the bitter cold of Amsterdam (please warm up!) So I’m still inspired to cook something light & vibrant with a punch of flavour despite being in the colder northern hemisphere!

Sunny Amsterdam

Over the years there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Tofu and in particular Soy. From a nutrition perspective it is an excellent source of protein & calcium, a vegetarian staple which is usually well tolerated (even if you have irritable bowel syndrome). Per 100g, tofu has more than twice the amount of protein & calcium as quinoa or kidney beans. In terms of iron content, quinoa does win; but lets be realistic here… it is much easier to eat 100g of tofu than it is to eat 100g of quinoa!

Tofu cakes

I usually choose a firm tofu as I find this is the most versatile & it holds it’s shape well. Making tofu delicious requires a bit of love. It absorbs flavour well and it is important to remember that a piece of tofu is as good as the accompaniments you match it with. Traditionally capers are used in Sauce Vierge however I used chopped caperberries today to add a bit of extra bite and texture against the creamy texture of the tofu. I hope you enjoy it!

Tofu cakes without spice dusting

Recipe:  

(makes 6 small cakes/patties (2 portions). Can be easily doubled to make 4 portions.

100g firm tofu

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1 handful chopped italian parsley

1 cup shredded zucchini

1/4 red onion

1/2 medium garlic clove

To dust on patties prior to frying:

1 tsp dried garlic or celery salt,

1/2 tsp each whole coriander seeds, ground cumin

Salt and pepper to season

Olive oil for frying

Sauce Vierge:

1 roma tomato, roughly diced

1/2 cup picked and shredded basil leaves

1/4 cup shredded italian parsley

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup caperberries, stems removed and thinly sliced

salt and pepper to season

Rocket leaves & whole caperberries to serve.

Method: 

  1. To begin, toss the shredded zucchini with a few pinches of salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.

  2. To make the patties, blend all the ingredients together (except the zucchini). A handblender is particularly useful. Taste a small amount of the mixture and season as required.

  3. Squeeze any liquid out of the zucchini and combine well with the tofu mixture.

  4. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and roll into balls. Flatten slightly into desired shape. The mixture should be wet and easily form balls.

  5. At this point you can coat the patties in your favourite spice mixture (Today I used dried garlic & toasted coriander seeds).

  6. Over a medium heat, fry the patties in a little olive oil until golden brown on each side.

  7. While the patties are cooking, you can make the Sauce Vierge. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season well.

  8. When the patties are cooked through, assemble on a bed of rocket leaves, dollop the sauce on top and allow the juices of the tomato & herbs to run down over the patties.

  9. Serve immediately for the most delicious result.

DIETARY MODIFICATIONS

Irritable bowel syndrome: Omit the onion and garlic. Jam pack the tofu mix with fresh herbs and the green part only from a spring onion. If you are sensitive to wheat, swap standard breadcrumbs for gluten free, or substitute rolled oats or rice flakes in place of breadcrumbs.

Salicylate intolerance: Swap the red onion for the green part of the spring onion. These cakes are better enjoyed with a herby greek yoghurt rather than Sauce Vierge to minimise your symptoms. Zuchinni contains moderate levels of salicylate therefore if you are particulary sensitive you could swap this for choko or chickpeas to add texture.

Gluten free: Swap the breadcrumbs for a gluten free option or use rice flakes.

Summer grilled veggie salad w/ marjoram, basil & blue cheese

image

This is a gorgeous wee salad. The intense colours make it a stunner and the combination of sweet and salty is soooo yummy. It’s super easy as well. If you’ve got no time on your hands and want something a little fancy without going to too much trouble this salad is a winner. I left the skin on the beets and carrots because these are such a great source of fibre and it’s time-saving!

I’ve grilled the veggies at a really high heat because it is a really quick method of cooking and you can just focus on getting some nice caramelisation going on. The veggies have a lovely tender texture on the outside whilst staying deliciously crunchy inside. The quick flash of heat softens the ginger so it can begin to marinate in the juices of the veggies.

Once your grilled veggies have cooled, toss in plenty of fresh fragrant herbs and crumble over your favorite creamy blue cheese! The salad is essentially self-saucing! What could be easier? Divine.

image

Recipe

(Serves 4 people as a side)

For roasting:
3 large red beetroot, ends trimmed
2 large orange or purple carrots, ends trimmed
2 red peppers, seeds removed
2 Tbsp (2 thumb sized knobs) finely diced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp liquid honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the salad:
1 handful picked fresh marjoram leaves
1 handful fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 Cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
100g creamy blue cheese (use up to 200g if you’re a big blue cheese fan)
2 spring onions, sliced
1 small red onion, finely diced

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees on fan grill or grill setting.
2. Begin by washing and cutting the veggies. Chop the beets, carrot and red peppers into 2x2cm cubes.
3. Place the veggies in a bowl and toss with the ginger, hon6. ey & olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Lay veggies out on a baking tray (with an edge) and roast on one of the highest racks in the oven, close to the grill for 10 minutes.
5. Pull veggies from the oven and toss with a spoon to turn over. Grill for a further 5-10 minutes until just seared and edges turning golden brown. Cook a little less if you like crunchier veggies.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool
7. Meanwhile, toss the remaining ingredients (except the blue cheese) in a large salad bowl. Once the grilled veggies are cool, you can add these in too. Scrape in any juices from the pan into the salad.
8. Lastly, crumble in the blue cheese in large chunks and toss gently.
9. Serve with crusty garlic bread or alongside a juicy steak.