Sunday, July 31, 2011

Two Summery Salads

 Hisahshiburi, (long time no see) as the Japanese say. We currently have guests staying with us and Friday Night Dinner ended up being some more Bánh Xèo because there were some who had never tried it! My original plan for Friday was to make a chickpea salad with some feta cheese as a summery type salad with some other kind of side protein thing. I was expecting a guest that was allergic to dairy so I made some tofu feta cheese which was similar to last time but with a few tweaks.It goes great on pizza! We made this salad for lunch instead, which we decided to pair with a second cilantro quinoa salad due to the excess of herbs from last night's Bánh Xèo.

This chickpea salad comes from Gordon Ramsay who did a bunch of healthy recipes for the Sunday Times.  I've probably watched every show that he's ever been on, and I'm not afraid to admit I'm a Ramsay fan but not for the yelling and swearing (well maybe just a little bit). It was the care and love that he shows for food that got me aboard the Ramsay bandwagon.

Tofu Feta Cheese
1 package of firm herbed tofu (454g?), chopped into small cubes.

1/2 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Sea salt

1 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Oregano
A dash of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water

After cutting the tofu into small cubes, put them on a plate or bowl and sprinkle on the salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Evenly cover all the pieces of tofu and then in a container, mix the rest of the ingredients. Add the tofu to the marinade and chill in fridge overnight or 3-4 hours.

Chickpea Feta Salad, inspired by Gordon Ramsay
Printable Recipe

Olive Oil
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Multicoloured peppers, sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, for zest and juice.
2 garlic cloves, minced
A dash of red pepper flakes
Sea salt
Handful of Cilantro, chopped (Usually flat leaf parsley)
Tofu Feta Cheese (Or just the regular stuff)

Heat some oil in a pan, add add onions and fry for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic, peppers and let cook for a minute. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Finally, add the cilantro and crumble on some feta.

Salad number two has been made by Gillian many times before, and only now have I realized why sometimes it tastes better than others. Red quinoa doesn't seem to absorb as much flavour as white quinoa does, so when made with the former, it doesn't taste as good.

Quinoa Cilantro Salad, found from allrecipes

Gillian doesn't usually let me change anything in this recipe but this time there was a bit of browning on the pan so I snuck some white wine in there and scraped it all up like a good stew. I also convinced her that green onions would be a good idea. In fact, pine nuts would be an even better addition. Anyway, have fun with the recipe.

the stonemason does all the work