Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

I love the sweet and sour combination of this crunchy salad. Adjust the dressing until you have the perfect balance.

Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

You can use any cabbage in this salad even red cabbage works.

For the Thai Peanut Dressing

2 tbsp creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from one lime

1 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)

1 tablespoons sugar

1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

1 Nam Pla

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

For the Salad

½ pointed cabbage, shredded

3 carrots, peeled into ribbons

1  cucumber, halved lengthwise, de-seeded, halved lengthways again and chopped into 1cm chunks

1 cos lettuce, sliced into 1cm slices and broken up

2 medium spring onions, thinly sliced

1 bunch freshly chopped coriander

For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth. Use to dress the vegetables and serve straight away.

Thousand Island Slaw

When I was a kid one of the first things I ever learnt to make for myself to eat, apart from of course countless cakes and biscuits, was a salad that I recreated from Tootsies burger restaurant in Wimbledon village. They had the highly sophisticated, so I thought at the time, salad mix of red cabbage, grated carrot and most exciting of all – sweetcorn. I suppose that the influence had come from an American slaw, but to me it was revolutionary. And most exciting of all was there was a choice of four dressing. This was back in the day before the idea of “choice” was really embraced in restaurants. French Dressing, Vinaigrette, Blue Cheese or my absolute, total favourite Thousand Island Dressing. I loved the stuff! I still knock up “Thousand Island Slaw” as I have now named it using whatever I have at hand. My kids love it too!

Thousand Island Slaw

A selection of what you have to hand. I recon fresh sweetcorn would be lovely. Just boil the cobs and then cut down the husks to remove the kernels.

Pointed cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage etc. very finely shredded

Carrots, peeled and grated

Thousand Island Dressing

5 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tbsp. tomato ketchup

Juice of half a lemon

Dash of tobacco

Mix up the dressing ingredients and adjust to your taste. Dress the salad and serve.

Grilled Sweetcorn Slaw

Another salad featuring the wonder cure Apple Cider vinegar. This is quite an unusual recipe in that the slaw is lightly pickled and if there is one thing more fashionable and fashionably good for you it is pickled food.

Grilled Sweetcorn Slaw

Makes tonnes so feel free to half the recipe. Yotam Ottelenghi

100 apple cider vinegar

200ml water

¼ white cabbage, shredded (300g net)

3 carrots, julienned or grated (175g net)

1 small red onion, thinly sliced (140g net)

4 corn cobs, lightly brushed with olive oil (600g gross)

2 red chillies, finely chopped

20g picked coriander leaves

20g picked mint leaves

Olive oil

Salt and black pepper

Dressing:

50g mayonnaise

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1½ tsp sunflower oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

Place the vinegar and water in a small saucepan along with 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. Place the cabbage and carrot in a bowl, pour over two-thirds of the salty liquid and set aside to soften for 20 minutes. Pour the remaining liquid over the onion and, again, set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse the vegetables and onion well, pat dry, place together in a large bowl and set aside.

Place a ridged char-grill pan on a high heat and, when it starts to smoke, lay the corn over it. Char-grill for 10-12 minutes, turning so that all sides get some colour (this will create quite a lot of smoke). Remove from the heat and, when cool enough to handle, use a large knife to shave off the corn in clumps and add to the salad bowl.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, pour over the salad and stir gently. Add the chilli, coriander and mint, along with a grind of black pepper, give everything another gentle stir and serve.

Teriyaki Stir-fry with Cashew Nuts

This is such a great use-up dish at the end of the week, when your fridge is still full of veg and you know your next veg box is coming. You can throw in whatever you like and haven’t even padded it out with noodle, it is just veg, veg and more veg and you can be sure you have got your 10 a day

Teriyaki Stir-fry with Cashew Nuts

Serves 2

Teriyaki sauce varies hugely. My favourite is Waitrose home-brand.

Large knob of fresh ginger

2 cloves of garlic

1-2 fresh red chillies

1 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced

1 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced

Handful of purple sprouting broccoli, sliced finely

Head o Bok, Choi shredded

Few sticks of celery and its leaves, shredded

2 carrots, peeled and then peeled into ribbons

Sweet mixed peppers, sliced, seeds removed

Teriyaki (for gluten free a mixture of Mirin, gluten free soy and Chinese cooking rice wine)

Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Chopped cashew nuts, toasted

Sea salt

Cut the chilli in half, remove the seeds and finely chop. Scrape the ginger with a teaspoon to remove the outer layer and grate. Peel the garlic and grate it. Heat a large wok or saucepan and add some sesame oil, the  garlic, chilli and ginger. Fry for a few minutes. Add all the rest of the vegetables and stir fry for 5 minutes or so. It is important to keep the veg moving all the time as the name stir fry implies. When the veg is well wilted, add the teriyaki to taste and a pinch of salt if necessary. Remove from the heat and add a little more sesame oil to taste. Add the freshly chopped coriander and chopped cashew nuts and stir well and serve straight away.

Cut the chilli in half, remove the seeds and finely chop. Scrape the ginger with a teaspoon to remove the outer layer and grate. Peel the garlic and grate it. Heat a large wok or saucepan and add some sesame oil, the  garlic, chilli and ginger. Fry for a few minutes. Add all the rest of the vegetables and stir fry for 5 minutes or so. It is important to keep the veg moving all the time as the name stir fry implies. When the veg is well wilted, add the teriyaki to taste and a pinch of salt if necessary. Remove from the heat and add a little more sesame oil to taste. Add the freshly chopped coriander and chopped cashew nuts and stir well and serve straight away.

Savoy Cabbage Braised with Chorizo

This week, like everyone else, I am thinking of Christmas and here is a way to jazz up your cabbage for those of you who are not Brussel Sprout lovers. We always think of braising red cabbage but forget that this is a really good way of cooking any sort of different cabbage from spring to pointed to savoy. There is no need to cook it for ages either. Just wilt it down and leave it a little crunchy. Much more delicious. I’ve been using rather a lot of bacon recently so I tried it out with Chorizo. Remember that the result will only be as good as the ingredients. You have chosen the best, organic cabbage you could so make sure that you source some chorizo which is just as good. There are some super ones out there nowadays, the acorn fed Iberico pigs producing some of the best. You can even buy it ready diced if you are short on time which, lets face it, you are bound to be if you are cooking on Christmas day!

Savoy Cabbage Braised with Chorizo

Olive oil

2 medium sized onions, peeled and thinly sliced

150g good quality chorizo, finely diced

½ savoy, or other cabbage, shredded

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the onion and cook really slowly until just turning golden brown. Add the chorizo and fry until it has rendered its fat. Add the cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Stir well and add a splash of water. Cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes or so. Remove the lid and check for tenderness. It is nice to keep a little texture. Check seasoning and serve.

Carrot and Pointed Cabbage Asian Slaw with Peanut and Ginger Dressing

Finally for this week, another slaw. Nut butters were all the range last year and a huge range has become available in our local supermarkets from cashew, to almond to coconut butter.

High in protein, packed with vitamin E and magnesium, and usually free from sugar and gluten, nut butters are good for those on vegetarian, vegan and paleo caveman diets.

But let’s not forget we have actually been eating nut butter for years, only peanut was the only available option. Nowadays this too is available in much healthier varieties from organic to sugar-free. It works fabulously in salad dressings and really works well in this delicious Asian inspired slaw.

Carrot and Pointed Cabbage Asian Slaw with Peanut and Ginger Dressing

Carrot and Pointed Cabbage Asian Slaw with Peanut and Ginger
I love all sorts of “slaws”, especially with barbecued food. This salad does not look that beautiful but it really tastes great. I like to use savoy cabbage when in season but you can use pointed cabbage, January king cabbage or even red cabbage.
1 small white cabbage or 1/2 a large one, finely shredded
3 large carrots, peeled and grated
Handful of finely chopped coriander
Dressing:
3 tablespoons good quality crunch peanut butter
2 teaspoons wasabi paste
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Large knob of ginger, peeled and grated
2 small clove garlic, grated
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Mix together all dressing ingredients. Dress the carrot and cabbage with the dressing and stir through the chopped coriander. Adjust seasoning to taste.

pointed cabbage