Salad chef


(Images ©Illustration By Beth Kevill-Byrne)

Now I do not/cannot claim to be a chef – or even a whizzy cook and I’m defiantly NOT a baker!!

And before marriage and children (embarrassingly) my cooking repertoire consisted of (in order)..Opening wine bottles, making porridge, buttering ryvita, making salad (full stop).

As fate would have it I went on to marry a chef the – Irish equivalent of Jamie Oliver – who had cheffed at Michelin level and could make a ‘Risotto con porcini’ in his sleep (whilst I could barely spell it). He loved cooking for us, so I let him and I continued to make my contribution of  ‘opening the wine’!

This said 10 years on my cooking repertoire is now a marathon distance better, I’ve learnt alot living with a chef. And although I’m still not au fait with cooking meat my years of vegetarianism (and a few Vegan) have left me with a strong penchant for salad making – as my Husband puts it I ‘eat more green stuff than the Guinea pigs’ (who have their own penchant for green stuff)  – I’m actually quite good and thus I have been promoted to ‘salad chef//wine bottle open (hoorah!) “I’m chuffed”!

So anyway – in light of my promotion (“whoop-la”!) I though I would share with you two of my most favourite salads. The first is inspired by the Indian salad Chucumber and the second by a traditional sauerkraut.

‘A take on Chucumber’

I love this salad its a lovely refreshing salad, great with both Indian and non Indian food. We tend to eat it with homemade tandoori chicken, naan breads and yogurt but is equally as great with grilled meats or fish :0). Once you have the spice mix I find it a versatile salad, adding extra’s that work for you. I usually add Avocado and cashews nuts (salted/roasted) to mine – :0) Although my salad is tweaked the original – tradional recipe for this North Indian salad can be found here ‘The food of India’ an amazing book I would very much recommend.   

1 red onion

2 small cucumbers

2/3 ripe tomatoes

1 ripe avocado

Fresh coriander

Fresh flat leaf parsley

1 red&1 green chilli

Juice of 1 lemon

pinch of salt – to taste

125g of salted (or unsalted) peanuts

Half teaspoon of; cumin&turmeric

1 teaspoon of garam masala

(*Tip*  cut the onion first and leave steeping in the juice of the lemon and some of the salt – to ‘cook’ it)

‘Sauerkraut with a fruit twist’

I’m in love with cabbages they are such an amazing underrated veg! (and most of us can find one lurking at the back of the fridge). To echo the above i.e… ‘I eat more green stuff than the Guinea pigs’ I do and probably single-handedly eat my way through three cabbages a week!! I’m totally obsessed with home-made Sauerkraut and luckily for me so are the children and I’ve been making my own Sauerkraut for about 5 years. In that time, usually influenced by what I have in the fridge, I’ve come up with a few versions. Below is my favourite, its fabulous with grilled meats, burgers (veg or meat) – we eat ours with a home-made Chicken Schnitzel and fat potato wedges chips.

1 quarter of a white cabbage

1 quarter of a sweetheart cabbage

1 quarter of savoy cabbage

Fresh dill – chopped

Fresh flat leaf parsley

1 white onion

1 eating apple

1 to 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar

1 dessert spoon of Rapeseed (or non strong flavoured oil)

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

white pepper to taste.

(*Tip*  cut the onion first and leave steeping in vinegar, salt and sugar for about 10 minutes)

(*Tip* try to and shred the cabbage as finely as you can :0) )

Happy weekend folks XB

happy plate food 6