Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Asparagus with Vinaigrette

A deliciously quick and easy way to serve fresh asparagus that everyone can enjoy. Serve warm or cold as an appetizer or a side dish. Recipe serves 2-4.


1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Finely chopped parsley and snipped fresh chives to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bunch asparagus


1. For the vinaigrette, measure mustard into bowl. Whisk in vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and herbs to taste.
2. Continue whisking, slowly adding oil until mixture thickens. Cover until ready to use.
3. Remove the hard, cut ends of asparagus by breaking or cutting. Nodules should be trimmed from the thick part of the spear with a vegetable peeler or knife. Steam for 5-10 minutes until tender but crisp.
4. Arrange on a plate and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Chicken Potato Salad

A classic of Turkish cuisine from the days of the Ottoman Empire, this delightfully easy chicken breast and vegetable salad has been updated using potatoes. Recipe serves 4.


1 pound (500 g) potatoes
2 pints (1 litre) chicken stock
1 small onion spiked with 3 or 4 cloves
2 sprigs thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
2 chicken breast pieces, skinned
2 slices bread, crusts removed
1 small onion, grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 ounces (50 g) pecan nuts, finely chopped (or walnuts)
1 cup finely chopped parsley or basil
Few lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or macadamia nut oil)
2 teaspoons paprika


1. Wash potatoes, cut into cubes (with skins still on) and poach in chicken stock.
2. Add clove-studded onion, thyme and the chicken breasts and let the breasts poach slowly with the potatoes for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, soak bread in stock, squeeze out excess. In a bowl, crumble bread, add grated onion, garlic, nuts and herbs. Mix thoroughly adding a little chicken stock to make a smooth paste.
4. When chicken breasts are cooked, remove from stock and allow to cool. Chop finely and add to nut mixture. This process could be done in a food processor for a smoother mixture. When potatoes are cooked, remove from stock, drain and allow to cool.
5. To assemble salad, place a few lettuce leaves on a serving plate, add potato cubes and spoon over the chicken/nut mixture.
6. Heat olive oil, add paprika and heat for a minute. Drizzle this oil/paprika mixture over salad.

Tip: The stock may be used again. Simply remove the clove-studded onion and store stock in the refrigerator or deep freeze.

Raw Beetroot Salad

As the beetroot doesn't have to be cooked this is a very quick and easy salad to prepare. Recipe serves 4-6 as a side dish.


4 medium beetroot, trimmed, peeled and coarsely grated
2 zucchini, coarsely grated
Coriander leaves, to garnish
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Combine beetroot and zucchini in serving bowl. Add dressing and toss well.
3. Garnish with coriander leaves.