Friday, February 8, 2013

Summer Salad's Selebration

We dont eat much meat here at the flat. Along with my beliefs in local seasonal food I am understanding the real cost of meat and the fact that we can't enjoy the amount of meat we do without sacrificing the quality and humanity of the animals. Which I'm not willing to do. I really do love meat, but with the demand that farmers are under for producing cheap and high quantaties of meat the animals are the ones that suffer. Smaller confined spaces, poor feed and health and a loss of nutritional value and ethics. Chicken and pork are the worst examples where we expect it to be a cheap and accessible product without much thought of how it gets to our plate. The solution. LESS. Just like everything else in this time, we 'expect' and we 'can' have accessiblity to anything. But this all comes at a cost and the we can't expect to eat meat everyday and still have well looked after livestock.
So with all that said. No meat can leave a bit of a gap on the plate and tummy sometimes while still adjusting. In come, Carrots. I do love carrots. They may not be sprouting of my garden this season but I'm more than happy to enjoy the success of others. There have been 2 carrot salad's I've been gawking over this summer. Both zingy, sweet, refreshing and both help you see really well in the dark.
Indian Spiced Carrot Salad (with yellow zucchini if its in your garden)
Serves 4
Ingredients -
6ish carrots and 1 yellow zucchini (zucchini optional and different coloured carrots are ideal)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Small bunch of coriander 
Small bunch of mint
I didn't have any coriander so used the tarty goodness from the carrot leaves, mix it up with what you have.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small red onion, peeled
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 heaped teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Extra virgin Olive Oil
Serving Idea -
Naan bread
Lemon halves
Shave the carrots into long thin strips with a peeler or a good slicer

Heat a small frying pan over a moderate heat and toast the cumin seeds for 30 seconds to get the oils going.
Put them into a pestle and mortar and grind them up.
Then toast the sesame seeds till golden brown and smell nutty, transfer to plate

Finely chop the red onion, (finely being the key word)

Combine lemon zest and juice into a bowl and add the onion, grated ginger, ground cumin and a pinch of salt. Whisk everything together with about 5 tablespoons of extra- virgin olive oil. Pour the dressing over the carrots, add the coriander and mint leaves, and mix it all together using your fingers. It's important that you have a little taste to check whether the dressing needs more lemon juice, oil or seasoning.
Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Served with naan bread, some yogurt and a lemon wedge.
Orange, Carrot and Beet Salad

Ingredients -
5-6 Carrots
1 Beetroot
2 Oranges
Small bunch of mint and coriander
Walnuts or cashews (any nut or seed)
1 large clove of garlic
Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons of White vinegar

Grate the carrot and beetroot into a large bowl, add the zest of 1 orange and mix together well.

For the dressing
Combine the juice of 2 oranges, the white vinegar, finely grated garlic and 4 Tbsp of Olive oil. Stir well. Tear the coriander and finely chop the mint leaves and stir through the dressing. (save a little for the top)

In a dry fry pan lightly toast the cashews or your choosen nut/seed and roughly chop, set aside.
Add the dressing to the carrot mix and toss well to combine flavours
Place on your serving dish or bowl and scatter with the nuts and remaining coriander.
Enjoy with a cold beer and good company, and a clear conscience that you have made a difference to the welfare of an animal.  

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