Now I’m not entirely fond of this brand of coffee shop, I don’t rate their coffee that much (sorry!) but the one thing that this multinational coffee gang do well is gluten free nibbles. I’m often impressed by the range of sweet treats I can buy there AND they have been doing gluten free sandwiches for a long time now. And this, folks, impresses me. I mean sandwiches, gluten free ones, on the high street, it’s not a lot to some but it means a great deal to me. Now they were doing a chicken and pesto thingy me jig filling which I sampled in a motorway service station last year but I was a tad disappointed by the lack of filling and ended up leaving all the crusts behind. However this new sandwich, well, it is jam packed with cheesey goodness and pickle AND salad, and I was rather impressed. Good things sometimes do happen, even to us sad coeliacs! So my friends there is more choice out there, go forth and try it, then tootle back and tell me what you think…
I had this salad or a version of it a few years ago in a lovely Spanish restaurant in Fulham. Since then from time to time I make it. Seeing as the market appeared to be bursting with ripe figs today, I bought some then went in search of it’s partners in crime, Manchego and Serrano ham. I found some great Manchego reduced in the supermarket today so it seemed like the god of ingredients was on my side and on I trotted with my packet of ham happily dreaming of this yummy salad that would soon become my lunch!
This is super simple and you can make it all pretty with practically no effort at all.
A handful of baby spinach or green leaves of your choice
2 slices of Serrano ham
2 ripe figs
10g of Manchego cheese
A couple of teaspoons of a good sherry vinegar
Half a teaspoon of agave syrup
Salt and pepper
Olive oil would be good here but I did without
Mix the vinegar, syrup, salt, pepper and oil, if using. Dress leaves and plate up. Cut the figs into four and arrange like a clock around the plate. Tear your slices of ham and pop in the centre then shave (potato peeler) the Manchego on top. Drizzle left over dressing over figs and serve. Bloody marvellous!
I’ve gone a bit mad for this salad over the past few days, knocking up versions of it for sides on a bbq or as a quick healthy lunch. I’ve always been a bit funny about beetroot, I didn’t like it, I still grimace a little when I see it pickled or rather smell the pickling liquor. My mum and dad seemed to religiously eat this in cheese salad sandwiches on a Saturday lunchtime and I used to hover round my dad as he made sandwiches making sure mine went no where near the stuff. My partner loves the stuff too, gobbling up the pickled stuff straight from the jar as a midnight snack, bleurghhh. Anyway my tastes have matured and as I often see the stuff finely shredded in salads you can buy in the shops and rather enjoying said salads I thought it was high time I got over my fear and grated this heavenly super food into my salads. It’s a bit of a revelation of taste, it’s sweet and crunchy and that purpley pink dye is rather charming when mingled with other salad veg and the salty, fresh feta.
So here it goes…
Serves 2 as a lunch
- 1 sweet potato, washed and unpeeled, cut into square dice (about 1 and 1/2 cm)
- 1 beetroot, grated
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- A large handful of baby spinach
- a 3rd of a bar of Feta
For the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- half a teaspoon of agave syrup or honey or sugar
- salt and pepper
Heat an oven to about 220 degrees. Chuck your sweet potato chinks in a tray, drizzle with oil, season generously and toss together to coat. Cook your sweet potatoes for about 20 min until tender and slightly browned. Set aside.
Combine your grated veg, spring onions, spinach. Add warm sweet potatoes. Mix dressing and pour over and toss. Crumble in feta. Toss lightly. Serve.
This is so delicious, I had it again today with out the sweet potato and was thinking about mixing in some fried chorizo chinks for a more meaty treat another time. If you are afraid of beetroot, try this, it’s really not half as bad as you think, promise.
I’ve been trying to up my fish intake recently, I’m on holiday so can make more of an effort to get down to the fish mongers and see what is on offer. Mackerel is one of my favourite fish. It’s full of flavour, packed with healthy omega 3s and a reasonable price. This is a fresh summery way to serve this rich fish and would work well packed up for lunch as well. The mango and lime cut through the oily meat of the fish and the flavours meld perfectly with the light quinoa grains. So, errr, yeah, it tastes good, OK? Try it…
- 2 mackerel, filleted and boned
- 1 large mango
- A ramekin full of quinoa
- A handful of coriander
- A handful of mint
- 1 or 2 spring onions
- 1/2 a lime
Cook your quinoa following the instructions on the packet or check out these instructions here. Peel and chop your mango into little chunks (about 1/2 cm dice), finely chop your spring onion, coriander and mint and mix together with the quinoa. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime, season and spoon onto plates.
Heat a dry pan. Oil your mackerel fillets and place in the searing hot pan skin down. Cook until for a couple of minutes or until the fish is almost cooked through then flip and cook for a further minute. Sit the fillets on top of the quinoa salad and serve.
Hello! Sorry I’ve neglected this site a little recently.
Anyway, it’s my 100th post so I thought I’d treat you to a yummy salad I made last week. After buying a bargainous bowl of courgettes in Surrey St market for 50p I had to find many uses for courgettes this week and one of them was this salad.
A large courgette
1/3 pack of feta cheese
A clove of garlic crushed
a pinch or two of sugar
salt and pepper
Mix the dressing by squeezing the juice out of the lemon, zesting it and then adding olive oil, crushed garlic, sugar and salt and pepper tasting as you go.
Shave off ribbons of courgette into a bowl with a potato peeler. Toss in dressing. Top with feta and there you have it, a rather healthy, zingy little salad to celebrate my 100th post!
Shredded left over chicken
A heaped dessert spoon of creme fraiche
A heaped dessert spoon of mayonnaise
A heaped teaspoon of mild curry powder
Half a teaspoon of ground coriander
A handful of raisins or sultanas
A dessert spoon of mango chutney (i used a smoothish variety but you could just chop up a chunky one)
Salt and pepper
Gently toast your spices in a dry pan. Mix creme fraiche, mayo, chutney, spices and raisins together then stir in chicken until evenly coated, season and there you have it, a very delicious luncheon with salad, in a sandwich or jacket spud.