Category Archives: Warm

Cauliflower and potato salad

Warm salads are what I am all about. And nuts and flowers, but it is hardly the season for the latter, so I have omitted the edible flowers this time. If you make this salad in summer, do add nasturium and/or calendula leaves. Pretty. Tasty. Easy to grow.

1/2 head of cauliflower
3-4 waxy potatoes
2 tomatoes
1 shallot
100g fresh spinach
a handfull of blanched almonds
nigella seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, salt, pepper, chili
a drop of tabasco
olive oil

Chili and lime pickles to serve.

Peel the potatoes, then dice into cubes of 2x2cm. Parboil in salted water for about 8 minutes. Drain and spread out on a baking tray lined with parchment.

Turn the oven on to 175C (fan). Cut the cauliflower into florets about the same size as the potato cubes. Mix with the potatoes, then coat lightly in olive oil, and season w freshly ground (and toasted) cumin and coriander, plus salt, pepper and chili (dried flakes – if using fresh, add after cooking). Roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. The cauliflower should have slightly charred edges, and the potatoes retain a little bite.

While the potatoes and cauliflower are roasting, blanch and skin the almonds, then roast until golden. Chop roughly and set aside. Dice the tomatoes and shallot finely. Shred the spinach. Mix everything together, add the nigella seeds, and adjust the seasoning. I always add a dash or two of tabasco. If you are not a fan, adjust the acidity level with a few drops of red wine vinegar. Drizzle over a little oil before serving if you like. Serves 2 as usual if you add some pickles and an additional salad. Otherwise, enjoy a bit of sourdough bread and a hunk of cheese with a glass of red wine after.

Puy lentil, butternut squash and spinach Autumn salad

It is Autumn. A cozy season without the stress of Christmas, which is why I like it. I am Scandinavian, so anything that serves as an excuse to light candles is good to me per definition. The only downside to Autumn, apart from the cold, is the inability to deal with the rain in the UK. Everything grinds to a halt. Trains suddenly cannot depart, and you are stuck. Often on a train that no longer moves, on a freezing cold and over-crowded replacement bus, or simply on the platform. This Autumnal salad can be eaten in any of such places, but it is best enjoyed warm at home.

1 mug of puy lentils

veal, chicken or vegetable stock (enough to cover the lentils by 2-3 cm)

1/2 butternut squash

1 shallot

100 grams of spinach

a good chunk of feta

a handful of olives

100g chicken breast (optional)

a handful of toasted almonds (if not using chicken)

olive oil, lemon juice

cumin and coriander seeds, chili flakes, salt, pepper

Set the oven to 200C (fan).

Peel the butternut squash with a potato peeler, then cube into pieces of roughly 2×2 cm. Coat lightly in olive oil, sprinkle over dried chili flakes, and gently crushed cumin and coriander seeds. Give a good grind of salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Roast for some 25 minutes.

Dice the chicken into pieces of 2×2 cm. Add to the butternut squash and mix well. Roast for a further 20 minutes approximately, but turning the oven down to 175 C. You want the butternut squash to be slightly charred around the edges.

Gently simmer the lentils in the stock for 40 minutes or so. Until tender, in other words, not mushy. Drain and set aside.

Finely chop the shallot, and mix with the lentils. Add the olives, and crumble in the feta. Then, shred the spinach roughly (or do not shred at all), and combine with the slightly cooled lentils. Finally, add the roast butternut squash and chicken. Give a good stir, and check the seasoning. If you are Italian, drizzle over a little olive oil.