Beetroot & Bocconcini Salad

Beetroot & Bocconcini Salad

Yes, more beetroot. If you have it, why not use it right. Super yummy salad inspired by a starter we had a a wedding a few weeks ago. Enjoy

Ingredients

2 medium cooked and peeled beetroots
1/2 cup bocconcini
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup fresh rocket leaves
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic glaze
salt & pepper to taste

Method

Slice the beetroot as desired. I decided to cut mine into different shapes… cubes, slices and quarters. Roast the pine nuts in a dry non stick pan for 3 – 4 minutes until you can smell the smoky flavour. Roasting the pine nuts gives it an amazing flavour. Arrange the rocket, beetroot, bocconcini and pine nuts on a plate. Drizzle with oil, balsamic and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy

Blood Orange and Feta Salad

Blood Orange and Feta Salad

Its blood orange season people! It is only the second time I have ever managed to find blood oranges in Singapore in 9 years. I am dying for some fresh fruit so I have three recipes that will keep the flavours fresh. 2 of them are drinks yes, but lets be honest… who doesn’t want a beautiful blood orange cocktail or two? I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients

red onion, thinly sliced
100g feta cheese, broken up
2 blood orange, peeled and sliced
fresh mint leaves and rocket to serve

For the dressing

2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Method

Pretty simple… whisk together the lemon, salt, pepper and oil for the dressing. Arrange your salad ingredients on the plate and serve with the dressing. Enjoy with a beautiful blood orange cocktail as seen below.

Mint & Basil Pesto Risoni with Pea & Feta

Mint & Basil Pesto Risoni with Pea and Feta

Basil and mint seems to love growing in the tropics and my patio herb garden always have these in stock so why not put them to good use in a yummy simple salad for a meatless Monday lunch. Add a glass of dry white wine and you have double yum.

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked Risoni
water for boiling
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
15 – 20 almonds
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of half a medium lemon
2/3 cup of frozen peas
1/2 cup feta cheese cubed
salt and black pepper
shaved parmesan to serve

Method

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the risen for 9 – 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Place your frozen peas in a microwave safe plastic jug and fill with water till about 2 cm above the peas. Microwave on high for 2.5 minutes, strain and set aside.

While the pasta is boiling prepare your pesto. Process the basil, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, almonds, grated parmesan and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor until finely chopped and well combined.

Once pasta has cooled down slightly mix together your pesto, feta, pasta and peas and serve with the shaved parmesan cheese. Enjoy

Roasted Tomato & Quinoa Salad

Roasted Tomato & Quinoa Salad

Since we have been doing meatless Monday’s I have had to find new things to make and it has been quite nice to experiment with all the veggies around. I love quinoa salads and my philosophy has always been that if you have a base of either couscous, salad leaves or any other salad base and add what you love it will be tasty. This is one of my all time favourite meals.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
2 cups boiling water
250g cherrie tomatoes, halved
1 stick rosemary
2 cloves garlic, slightly crushed but whole
1/3 cup kalamata olives
200g feta cheese roughly crumbled
200g fresh rocket leaves
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp chilli flakes or chilli salt
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra for roasting the tomatoes
salt and pepper

Method

Heat your oven to 180 degrees celcuis. Place the tomatoes, garlic and rosemary in a oven proof dish. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and allow to cook in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. Cook the quinoa with the boiling water for 12 – 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed, remove from heat and allow to rest with lid on for another 15 minutes.

For the dressing whisk together the chilli flakes, lemon juice and oil for your dressing. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Once the tomatoes are roasted remove from oven and discard the garlic cloves and rosemary stick. Add the tomatoes as well as its juices to the quinoa. Add the feta cheese, olives and rocket leaves and mix. Add the dressing and mix through. Eat while it is still a bit warm and enjoy.

Smoked Salmon Salad

Smoked Salmon Salad

I have only recently started eating fish again as the fish I had as a child was from a box and tasted horrible so I eventually decided to give it another try (not from a box) 10 years later and what do you know, now I love it. This is a simple salad and a great meal for a light lunch. For me smoked salmon has to be accompanied by capers and my all time favourite… lemon!

Ingredients

store bought smoked salmon
capers, drained
1 radish, thinly sliced
6 strips of english cucumber, thinly sliced
rocket leaves
1 tbsp chopped dill
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
salt and black pepper
fresh lemon to serve

Method

Using a mandoline definitely makes this job much easier but if you do not have one you can use a peeler to get thin slices of your cucumber. The radish (being small) would probably be better off being sliced with a knife if you don’t have a mandoline and watch those fingers no matter which one of these you choose to use.

Mix the cream cheese, dill, lemon zest, salt and pepper together. For my assembly I rolled up the salmon and cucumber and used dollops of the cream cheese to be the anchors for my radish slices. Finished off with capers, rocket and fresh lemon. It could not be easier. Make sure to get a mouth full of everything together when you chow down.

You could also roll the salmon and cream cheese mixture into the cucumber. I do this often, but I decided to go for a different presentation for this photo. Enjoy

Beetroot & Goats Cheese Salad

Beetroot & Goats Cheese Salad

I saw these beauties in the shop and of course I had to buy them. This is a very simple and quick starter to whip up and perfect for a fresh summer lunch. 2.5 small beetroots per person will be perfect for a starter portion.

Ingredients

Baby yellow beet roots, leaves included
100g goats cheese
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt & black pepper

Method

Peel and wash your beetroots and take off the leaves. Give the leaves a wash too. Next its time to dust off that mandoline and get slicing. Thinly slice your washed beetroots. Arrange your beetroot leaves, sliced beetroot and goats cheese on a plate.

For the dressing whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and serve with your salad. As easy as that 🙂

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

I remember being in my early 20’s. South Africa had just started opening Woolworth’s outlets at petrol stations, open 24 hours a day and they sold an amazing greek pasta salad. This dish is not only delicious but it holds a lot of memories for myself and my hubby. Being able to get an amazing meal like this at 2 am in the morning after a long night out was like heaven.

Pasta

Ingredients

1.5 cups flour
2 eggs
extra flour for working the dough

Method

Make a well in the middle of the flour and crack in the eggs. Start beating the eggs with a fork and slowly start working in the flour until the dough starts to form. On a well floured surface start working the dough until it feels elastic and not dry. I add a little water if the dough seems a bit dry. Once the dough is done wrap it in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature. As I live in Singapore where room temperature is 28 degrees Celcius I alternate between outside and in the fridge every 20 minutes with the latter being outside of the fridge.

After the hour of resting is done get a big pot of salted water to boil while you start rolling out your pasta. First roll the dough out with a rolling pin on a floured surface until it is able to roll through your pasta roller. I start at setting 6 on my titania roller and end at setting 2 for this particular pasta.

Next, cut the pasta dough into small squares and one by one using the thick side of a chop stick and roll each square sealing it with a little bit of egg at the end to make it stick. This process takes quite a bit if time, so if you don’t have time use a store bought penne pasta.

Cook in the boiling water for about 3 minutes and strain. Allow to cool

Other Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup greek feta cheese
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/5 cup olives, pitted and chopped

Dressing

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Beat the vinegar and olive oil together.

Add all the above ingredients to the pasta and enjoy.