Sometimes when people come over you want to impress but you really don't feel like putting a lot of funds and effort in - well, a great solution is a collection of awesome salads, which are very easy to knock together and can comprise of what you have on hand mixed with a few touches that make it really special. These salads make a great complete dinner when made together but of course the nice thing is that you can break them up and just make 1 or 2 of them for dinner any night of the week.
Friday, 8 July 2011
Vegan Salad Medley: White Bean Salad, Garlic Artichoke Hearts and Almond Date Couscous
White Bean Salad:
1.5 cups of white beans (such as Great Northern Beans), soaked in water over night
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp capers
8-10 black olives
Big handful of baby spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Boil cover the beans in water and boil in a saucepan with the lid on for 1-2 hours (until beans are cooked to the way you like them, their skins should be slightly split but the bean still firm). Chop the pumpkin into cubes, coat in olive oil and roast for 10-15 minutes in the oven until cooked.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with some of the oil that you cooked the pumpkin in.
Garlic Artichoke Hearts
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts
¼ Spanish onion
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
½ clove garlic
1 green lettuce
1 purple lettuce
1. Chop artichoke hearts in eighths and dice the onion very small. Combine the artichoke, onion, lemon juice, olive oil and crushed garlic. Leave aside to marinate while you make the other 2 salads.
2. Just before serving break the lettuce into leaves and arrange on a big serving platter alternating the colours. 3. Spoon the artichoke mix into the centre of the plate and drizzle the dressing at the bottle of the bowl over the lettuce leaves.
Almond Date Couscous
1.5 cups couscous
2 cups vegetable stock
½ cup dates, chopped finely
1/3 cup of slivered almonds
1. Preheat an oven or grill to 180 degrees.
2. Put the dry couscous in a bowl and cover with the boiling hot vegetable stock, leave to soak until the couscous is fully expanded and there is no more liquid in the bowl. Fluff the couscous with a fork and mix the dates through.
3. Spread the almond slivers on a tray and toast for 2-3 minutes until slightly browned – keep a close eye on the suckers because they are really easy to burn. Once toasted mix through the couscous mix. Serve.
Note: this couscous also goes great as an accompaniment to curry or roast vegies. To add a bit of colour to it you can also add a handful of chopped coriander.