Tag Archives: salad

An Interesting Salad Idea-Paneer, Pineapple and Pomegranate Toss-Up

Most of the event-related dinners for our programs at TMTC are hosted at the Taj Blue Diamond and going there always reminds me  of our courtship days, when Shri and I ate their several times at their coffee shop. The place had a very cosy feel, with the highlight of the decor being these pretty lamp posts whose style I recognized as European only a very long time later, when we moved to France two years after we got married and I began to come across the same kind of lamp posts on European streets in cities
like Cannes !

But I digress. What I meant to write about here, lest I forget the ingredients or the idea in all the multitude of things  that happen every day, was the idea for a salad I ate when I was the hotel earlier this month.

The chef(s) had basically tossed together chunks of pineapple with paneer and pomegranate and added some salt and red chilli flakes to season it.

For some reason, the salad had acquired a bitter taste by the time I took some on my plate. But I think if one were to make it carefully, ideally this combination would make for a great and very different kind of salad, a pretty and colorful addition to the table. In fact I intend to make this one of these days and will probably leave out the chilli flakes and add some roughly chopped mint leaves for an extra dash of color.

Leave a comment

Filed under Salads

Broccoli,Baby Potato and Tomato Salad

Yesterday, when I realized suddenly that I did not have as much time to cook dinner as I had initially thought, I decided to make this salad on a whim, to go with grilled pesto and onion toast.

I kept the broccoli florets quite small and since the salad also had the girls’ favorite tomate marzounette (a type of small-sized tomatoes that have an oblong shape and are grown from a variety native to San Marzano in Italy) they ate it without comment.

I haven’t combined them before, but potatoes and broccoli do seem to go well together. I can even see this salad as part of a more formal meal, with baby potatoes in place of the regular sort for a nice touch.

Broccoli, Potato and Tomato Salad

steamed broccoli florets

boiled, peeled and diced potatoes (the potatoes should be firm, not overcooked) OR boiled and peeled baby potatoes

cherry tomatoes, sliced in to halves (or quartered lengthwise if the tomatoes are the marzounette variety)

Put the tomatoes, the broccoli and the potatoes in to a large salad bowl. Add some olive oil, toss the vegetables lightly in it, and leave aside for an hour.

Just before serving, sprinkle some sea-salt and lime juice and mix the salad.

Light, colorful, GOOD ! Definitely one to make again.

Leave a comment

Filed under Quick Meal Ideas, Salads

A One Sentence Recipe – A Simple Carrot Salad

One of things that is so special, , in my opinion,  about the carrot koshimbir that I make very often, is the tangy taste created by the combination of sugar and lime juice.

Inspired by that, I sometimes make this simpler carrot salad which is so much lighter to eat, quicker to make and yet very tasty too.

Carrot Salad

peeled and grated carrots

lime juice, salt and sugar to taste

Toss the carrots with the seasoning and serve.

That surely qualifies for the “world’s shortest recipe” competition !

Leave a comment

Filed under One Sentence Recipes, Salads

Warm Spinach and Fennel Salad

At the same hotel – the Sophia Country Club – where I had the avocado and orange salad, I also had a dish for lunch one afternoon which had a very new and unlikely – to me – combination of finely sliced fennel and spinach leaves.

The vegetables seemed to make up a sort of warm salad that included some kind of seafood.

I had only the vegetables from this dish, however, and the combination was surprisingly good.

I need to figure out now how they’d been cooked together.

Leave a comment

Filed under Quick Meal Ideas, Salads, Versatile Accompaniments

Avocado and Orange Salad

This very simple but very nice salad was part of the buffet lunch one afternoon during the conference last week.

It consisted only of alternating, thin slices of avocado and orange, with a very slight drizzle of olive oil, if I remember right, or perhaps not even that.

Light, delicious and perfect for a summer afternoon.

Leave a comment

Filed under Salads

Pasta Salad with Broccoli,Red Bell Pepper and Feta Cheese

I remember that the Italian husband of one of Shri’s colleagues brought a delicious pasta salad, that had feta cheese in it, to a barbeque last summer.

So when I made pasta salad for lunch today, I made it like that one, which had no sauce. The girls were  therefore not too excited when they saw their plates at lunch especially since I had added broccoli to the salad ; some “Pesto Rosso” (a Barilla sauce they adore) would have helped make that vegetable more appealing, I guess.

But despite the broccoli – which, to be fair, they have been eating more easily recently – they ate without fuss or too much comment and I really appreciated that. And hopefully the Feta cheese made it a little better at least for Indira.

I did think that the dressing of olive oil, lime juice and dried basil flakes left the salad somewhat bland. So I added chilli-infused oil to my portion and that certainly gave it a nice kick and flavor. So I would probably add chilli flakes to the dressing if I make this salad again. I think it would bring alive both the Feta cheese and the broccoli.

150-200 grams of pasta

200 grams of broccoli florets, cut in to smaller portions

1 small can of sweet corn, drained

200 grams of feta cheese, cut in to little squares

olive oil

lime juice

1 red bell pepper, sliced fine

salt, dried basil flakes and chilli flakes to taste

Leave a comment

Filed under Picnic Food, Quick Meal Ideas, Salads

Indira’s Favorite(at the moment) Salad

This is so pretty with the red,white, orange and green, I like to make it as much for the visual treat as for the taste of the bell pepper and feta cheese !

The same day, some weeks ago, that we had the delicious steamed fish at Celine’s home, her mother Doris also made a green salad to which she added feta cheese.

Up until then, Indira and Noor had never quite taken to the taste of this sheep’s milk cheese which is why I usually only mix it with boiled potatoes to make croquettes with it, but that evening Indira declared,  “I love this cheese !!”

Which suits me because Shri and I like it a lot too 🙂  So since then we have started to add it to salad, though we have yet to convert Noor.

As with most other salads, I make this at least an hour before we are ready to eat. Tonight we had this with chole masala and rice.

feta salad 003

Bell Pepper,Feta Cheese and Carrot Salad

1 small red bell pepper, sliced fine

2  carrots, peeled and grated

100 gms of feta cheese, cut in to small cubes

some salad leaves

Mix all 4 ingredients and dress with olive oil, lime juice, sea salt  and dried basil flakes.

For another dash of color, you could add some sweet corn too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Salads

Wheat berry Salad

This salad is excellent picnic food and I make it to take with us sometimes when we go out for the day.  But I do make it quite often otherwise too. Shri likes to take it for lunch so this is what the girls and I had for lunch too, yesterday, with the steamed trout.

pastatroutwheatberries 021

Wheat berry Salad

Wheat berries – 125 gms

Chickpeas – 1 can (drained weight 200 grams)

Sweet corn – 1 can (drained weight 140 grams) or a little more if you like

Frozed or fresh green beans – I do this by approximation; enough for a salad for 6

Tomatoes – 2 large or 3 small, diced (in to chunks not too small)

salt to taste

Pesto – again, approximate as per taste ; use just enough to coat the salad ingredients well, say 4 tablespoons but not too much

(I always leave the pesto out near the cooking surface for a while because most bottled varieties tend to be quite thick to begin with but actually contain a lot of oil, so they become a little more fluid this way, which makes me feel I am able to use less than I would otherwise.  I may be wrong about this but that is what I hope is happening !!)

Snap the frozen beans in to 1 inch or 1 and half inch long pieces and place these in a steaming basket/container. Bring a large quantity of water in a sauce pan to boil, add the wheat berries and cook them till they are soft enough for you. As the wheat berries cook, steam the beans till they are soft (but not so much that they are easily squashed; they will cook well before the wheat berries are done) on top of the same saucepan.

In the meanwhile put all the other ingredients except the salt in a large bowl. When the beans are done, cool them and  add them to the bowl, sprinkle some salt on top and mix everything well.

Drain the wheat berries when they are done, allow them to cool (else I tend to think the heat will soften the tomatoes too much, making the salad kind of mushy) and toss with all the other ingredients.

This is light and delicious, a great salad any time of the year.  Noor and I love it with cherry tomatoes instead of the regular kind. Grated carrots work well too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Picnic Food, Quick Meal Ideas, Salads, Versatile Accompaniments

A Summer Lunch- Couscous Salad with Grilled Trout

One might even call this salad tabbouleh, as many cooks and supermarkets do.

However, I made the mistake a long time ago, of ordering tabbouleh for Indira – when she was very little, about 3, and first started to enjoy store-bought “tabbouleh” – at a Greek/Armenian restaurant called Le Varouj in Grasse.  And found that what we got contained more mint/parsley and lime juice and only a very very little amount of grain. I figured then what the restaurant served us was real tabbouleh, as explained in these two links

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/culture/2/Food/Ashkenazic_Cuisine/Israel/Tabbouleh.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A23428587

while what many of us make, which has a greater proportion of grain such as couscous (some people use bulgur), can be correctly termed only a couscous salad.

Noor, especially, loves it, as do I.

In the summer, it is such a pleasure to make.  Even simpler than pasta to prepare, I love  that there’s no stove-top cooking involved here.

It was made in just 15-20 minutes after I woke up one morning a few days ago and wondered what to pack for Shri’s lunch.

The girls and I had this for our lunch that day with some grilled trout on the side.

tabboulehbalchaocactus 007

Couscous Salad

1 cup of  medium grain, whole wheat couscous

3/4 teaspoon of butter

1 orange bell pepper, diced fine

1 small can of  sweet corn, drained thoroughly ( I have been using the no-added-salt, no-added sugar variety for some time now and the corn tastes so much better without the added salt)

1 medium-sized can of chickpeas, drained thoroughly

2 tomatoes, diced

1-2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh basil

1 cup of finely diced cucumber (unpeeled)

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 and 1/4 cups of just-boiled water

Add the butter to the couscous, then cover it with freshly boiled, salted water and leave it (till all the water is soaked) for 5-7 minutes. Fluff it up gently with a fork.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the other ingredients, season lightly with salt and black pepper (optional, I skip this), then toss with the olive oil.

Now add the couscous to this bowl, and stir everything together and leave it to rest for about an hour before eating, to allow the couscous time to absorb the juices and flavors of all the vegetables .

This is very fresh, very cool, very light.

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy One Pot Cooking, Picnic Food, Quick Meal Ideas, Salads, Versatile Accompaniments

Honey and Nutmeg-flavored Chicken Tikkas

I have been thinking for a while that I would like to extend the repertoire of starters I am able to cook, especially of the non-vegetarian kind. I have made the same mangoris, tikkis, and vadas too often now.

I also would love to introduce the girls, gradually, to other kinds of chicken and lamb-based preparations in Indian cuisine that are not the usual curries. At a restaurant in Mumbai some months ago, I noticed that the girls really enjoyed eating reshmi kebabs, and it has been on my mind since then that I should try and make those at home for them, for a change from the usual fare.

So I decided recently to start trying out the recipes in an interesting little book I have had for years in my kitchen, called “Tikkas and Kebabs”, a compilation of recipes by various chefs at prominent restaurants in India.

The one that I tried this evening caught my eye because of the unusual- to me – ingredients that it uses(honey and nutmeg) and because it looked so easy. The tikkas I made with this recipe turned out really well, and both Indira and I loved them. Noor didn’t seem too keen on the taste though; I guess that was down to the unusual/unaccustomed flavor of nutmeg (she said the chicken had a “funny” smell” !!) though that is precisely what I loved about these tikkas.

I think these would be very nice as a first course, served over a layer of salad leaves (and maybe some grated carrot, or as a starter.

Best of all, this recipe really is amazingly simple. An added bonus is that it needs very little oil.

Honey and Nutmeg-flavored Chicken Tikkas

Chicken breasts(de-boned)/chicken fillets  500gms

Lime juice 4 tbsps

Honey 3-4 tbsps

1/2 tbsp of red chilly powder (I don’t like my food “hot” so I used kashmiri chilli powder; you could use a stronger kind)

Garlic paste  1/2 tsp

pepper powder 1/4 tsp

Nutmeg powder 1/4 tsp

a pinch of red food color (I’d say this is optional- the original recipe lists this but I never use any food color)

salt to taste

Mustard or any other cooking oil to baste 1 to 2 tbsps

Cut the chicken in to 2 inch pieces, and pierce these lightly with a fork. Mix all the other ingredients to prepare a marinade. Toss the chicken pieces in it thoroughly and leave in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours. Then put the pieces on skewers, or line the grill with cooking paper and lay them flat on this, and grill at the top of the oven at 200 degrees C till the pieces are well done.

During the cooking process, baste the chicken with mustard oil (I used sunflower oil since I have no mustard oil at the moment) on each side once.

Do try this one; the honey and lime is a delicious combination with the chicken, and nutmeg adds a superb flavor.

2 Comments

Filed under Starters and Snacks, Versatile Accompaniments

A quick lunch for two – Salmon Salad

It was just Noor and me at home yesterday for lunch. She loves baguette and we had picked up one from the boulangerie when we walked back home from school just before noon.

So I decided that I’d make some salad for lunch, to eat with the baguette, with fruit yoghurt to serve as dessert.

Luckily I had cherry tomatoes in the fridge, and canned salmon and sweetcorn in the kitchen cupboard. Noor LOVES each of those things, so I knew she’d approve of the salad, even though I was planning to sneak in some green beans. This is how I made it.

Salmon Salad

(serves 3-4)

1 150g can of salmon, packed in water

1 150g can of sweetcorn

100-150 g of fresh/frozen green beans, cut/snapped into1 inch pieces

150-200g cherry tomatoes

1 or 1 and a 1/2 tsp dried basil

2-3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp of lime juice (add more, or less, if you like)

Cut the tomatoes in to halves and put in a salad bowl. Sprinkle the basil on top and add the olive oil.

Mix these 3 ingredients together gently and leave for some time, say 30 minutes (this is the key to making a really tasty salad if you are using tomatoes and olive oil. The flavors of these two things mingle to produce the most divine taste there is, and you really have to give it time for it to develop).

In the meanwhile, steam the green beans and allow them to cool. Drain the salmon and break up the meat with a fork. Now add the beans, the corn, and the salmon to the tomatoes, season with sea salt, add the lime juice, and toss everything together.

Serve roasted potatoes on the side, for a more filling meal.

Bon appetit !

Leave a comment

Filed under Picnic Food, Quick Meal Ideas, Salads

Pasta Salad with Pesto-Easy Dinner for a Summer Evening

It has been so hot this year – or may be I forget from one July to the next how bad it can get – that my usual enthusiasm/willingness to cook has deserted me more often these past few weeks than I can remember it happening before.

But the family has to be fed; so I decided one evening recently to combine everyone favorite ingredients – that’s cherry tomatoes for Noor and me, corn for Indira and Noor and Shri, pasta and pesto for everyone(most of all Indira) -plus some beans and grated carrots for the nutrition quotient, to make this pasta salad. Now that sure was a very quick and easy dinner ! Here’s what I did :

Pasta with Vegetables and Pesto

Pasta (any short shape) – 150 grams

Carrots – 3 medium sized

Frozen beans – 3/4 cup

Sweet Corn – a 125 gram tin

Cherry tomatoes – 150 – 200 grams

3 tablespoons of readymade pesto sauce

(look for brands that make the pesto with pine nuts, and not cashewnuts, which is the more commonly used ingredient in most commercially available pesto)

Snap the frozen beans in to 1 inch pieces and steam them till they are cooked.

(One way to do this is to place the steamer, with the beans in it,over the pan in which you will boil the pasta, so that both get done at the same time)

Boil 1-1.5 litres of water in a kettle, then transfer to a large pan. Add 1/2 tsp salt and a few drops of any cooking oil, and bring it to a boil again. Add the pasta and leave it to cook, stirring it occasionally.

In the meanwhile chop the cherry tomatoes in to halves and put these in a large salad bowl.

Add the corn to the tomatoes, after draining all the liquid in which it was packed.

Peel,wash, and grate the carrots in a food processor, then add these as well to the corn and the tomatoes.

Once the beans are steamed, leave them to cool for a bit, then mix with the other vegetables along with a sprinkling of salt and the pesto.

Once the pasta is cooked, allow it to cool for a few minutes (pasta that is too hot would make the tomatoes go a little soft) then toss it will the other ingredients in the bowl.

This salad works equally well with a different dressing. Combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1/2 a teaspoon of dried basil. Mix this dressing in to the vegetables instead of the pesto.

It is a good idea to make this salad at least an hour before you are ready to eat, since this allows the pasta to soak in all the flavors.

Leave a comment

Filed under Picnic Food, Quick Meal Ideas, Salads