Moorish Crunch Salad
This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Kitchen.
Need to get the cholesterol down again – I just need to start and then keep eating healthily from now on. Why is it so much easier to do short bursts of healthiness? And to know you only have to do it for just a short time. At this stage I’ve lowered my cholesterol a few times by following a healthy diet and taking regular exercise. It’s not difficult to do. So why is it so difficult to stick to? I don’t have any answers. Willpower – it’s never easy.
But some tasty salad recipes should help a bit.
I love tabbouleh that salad of couscous, cucumber, tomato, onion, mint and parsley in a olive-lemon dressing (just replace the couscous with cooked and cooled quinoa if you’re looking for a gf option). There is something about fresh mint and parsley that tastes so good – not just that it’s tasty, it tastes like it’s doing you good. Great combination. So I was looking through Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Kitchen and I came across this Moorish Crunch Salad. It’s a lot of crunchy stuff with mint and parsley in a tahini-olive-vinegar dressing. It has pretty much everything I could want in a salad – apart from the tahini – so I decided to give it a go.
If you want to improve your health (and if your body works in any way like mine) having a raw carrot or two or three (no more you can have too many you know) everyday really seems to work wonders. When you’re eating healthily (i.e. eating less sugar and less bad fat) they are this wonderful healthy crunchy bit of sweetness. Love them. Radishes are also great but I rarely think of adding them to things. And unfortunately I discovered they are nice roasted with some butter drizzled over them so I rarely think to eat them raw – obviously they are better for you raw.
The tahini I wasn’t at all sure about. I tried out some stuff with tahini a good while ago and I found it very bitter. I went online and read through some comments about it – it seems like it really depends on the brand but none of the ones people were recommending online are available here. This time I went for dark tahini which is whole sesame seeds, roasted and ground to a paste. I think that this is less bitter than the light version but it’s too long ago for me to be sure. At first I was going to replace the tahini with just a little bit of toasted sesame seed oil but then I decided to try the thing properly – except I’d reduce the quantity of it (from 1 tablespoon to 1 teaspoon). And it was lovely – I’m definitely making this dressing again. The tahini definitely added a filling creaminess to it – which is always good.
The recipes also calls for toasted sesame seeds. I just have a tub of toasted seeds that’s a mix of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and some other seeds as well. Okay, I know it sounds lazy that I used a bought toasted seeds mix … but in fairness if I am to have any hope of sticking to this salad eating thing long-term then the salads have to be as close to ready-made meals as possible. Just the slicing takes ages… And what are the chances I will burn the seeds? Very high – I’ve been down that road before.
I also used a mixed of dried cranberries and raisins because I had these handy.
You can see how the salad should look from the book below. To achieve this look you’d need to chop the carrots into matchstick-like batons. He does show you how to do that. Um… texture can definitely affect flavour … I’m not good with knives though – and I’m ok with that. So I just grated the carrots. It’s still a lovely salad.
I’m going to write the recipe’s ingredients as they are in the book – but for the tahini I’ll use both amounts – and I’ll stick in numbers for the vegetables – I can’t be the only one who avoids weighing whenever I can.
- 300g/10oz/3 large carrots, peeled & grated (or chopped into matchsticks)
- 150g/5 1/2 oz/10 - 15 radishes, sliced finely
- 2 crunchy eating apples, cored & sliced finely
- 1 small handful of raisins
- 1 handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
- 8 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon or 1 teaspoon tahini
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, toasted in the oven
- Put the tahini, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a jar, close it and shake it till it is emulsified.
- Gently toss the rest of the ingredients, minus the seeds, in a salad bowl and then mix in dressing.
- Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Sprinkle over the seeds before serving.