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Cover: Made by Jayne

Side dishes

05Jun 12

Asparagus & Halloumi Salad

I have done a fair bit of moaning about the lack of British asparagus this spring. It’s not that there haven’t been any at all there have, but from Peru, then a little closer, from Italy. Due to the late cold spell we had here there just weren’t any British asparagus. Well happily as I write this the sun has been shining and finally asparagus from Britain are in the stores. I am guilty of being a little lazy when preparing asparagus, just a quick steam or raw in salad is my usual style.  To celebrate my British asparagus purchase I went a little fancy and made this salad which actually is really simple and healthy. Asparagus are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants and are said to help fight cancer and slow the aging process.   This salad makes a great lunch on its own or accompanied by some grilled fish or chicken, maybe a poached egg it becomes a more substantial meal.

If you’re looking for more inspiration for your asparagus, try Baked Asparagus with Feta and Parmesan.

Asparagus & Halloumi Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch ,side dish, starter
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2
 

A healthy, tasty salad
Ingredients
  • 1 Bunch of Asparagus, approx 200g
  • 1 Bag Rocket
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 pack of Halloumi
  • For the dressing
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Smoked sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Begin by making the dressing, just whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice until they combine and make a sauce. Season with the smoked salt and pepper. If you don’t have smoked sea salt regular sea salt is fine. Set aside.
  2. Trim the woody ends from the asparagus.
  3. Place all the asparagus onto a hot griddle, a grill will work fine if you have no griddle. Turning frequently cook the asparagus until a knife goes into the asparagus easily. The asparagus should have some bite, you don’t want them to be soft.
  4. Meanwhile slice the block of Halloumi into 6 thick slices.
  5. Heat the tsp of olive oil in a frying pan, when hot place the Halloumi into the frying pan. Cook on each side until the Halloumi begins to brown. Remove from the heat and cut the Halloumi into cubes.
  6. Cut the asparagus into bite size pieces.
  7. Add the asparagus, rocket and Halloumi into a bowl and pour over the dressing, toss gently to combine and season a little more to taste.
  8. Serve immediately.

 

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14May 12

Red Lentil Curry

This curry is a real favourite in my house. Its packed with flavour and really versatile.  Lentils are full of fibre, protein and iron so they are  really good to include in your diet.  I like to serve this as a main meal served with a naan bread or chapatti as a quick vegetarian meal. I have also served it as a side dish to chicken for meat eating guests. With a little stock added it could even be a soup. Another favourite of mine is Spinach and Lentil Soup.

Green lentils can be used rather than red, the fresh tomatoes can easily be substituted with tinned and the cream can be omitted if watching the calories.  The ingredient list is fairly long but its mostly spices and the recipe comes together really easily.

Red Lentil Curry
Author: 
Recipe type: Starter, Main dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2 as a main or 4 as a starter
 

Easy vegetarian dish
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces red lentils
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled & crushed
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 litre cold water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon hot chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 large tomatoes, skinned & chopped or 1 tin of plum tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • few sprigs of coriander, chopped

Instructions
  1. Put the lentils, cloves, cinnamon stick and a few of grinds of pepper into a large saucepan. Cover with the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft.
  2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large pan, (I use a deep sided frying pan), add the onions and fry until softened and starting to brown.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger, giving a quick stir to mix in.
  4. Add the garam masala, ground coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir quickly to prevent the spices sticking. Once they are mixed into the onion mixture add the tomatoes and sugar.
  5. Fished out the cinnamon stick and cloves then add the lentils into the pan, season with salt and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Just before serving stir through the cream and coriander.

 

 

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