20 October, 2013

My Life as Salad & Pie

Two outstanding recipes that I made recently include simple ingredients with minimal prep.  The food represents what I love about life: deliciousness.  I named the recipes for two people very close to me - I cannot separate the person from the dish in my mind.  Jessy's salad is vibrant with a special sweetness and perfectly composed; Rebecca's dessert is elegant, decadent and undeniably a good friend.  In other news, I started watching Masterchef Junior.  The kids are inspiring and ridiculously confident young cooks - and the judges are obviously having a lot of fun with them. I wish I was 12 years old and on this show.

Jessy's Salade Nicoise

Serves 4

8-10 new potatoes, cut in half or quarters and boiled

a large handful of green beans, steamed
4 eggs, hard boiled and served at room temperature
enough mixed greens for four people
8-10 black olives, sliced (Kalamata are good)
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
fresh herbs such as basil or dill (optional)
sea salt and pepper
2 seared fresh tuna steaks, sliced, or 20 seared scallops (optional)

For the dressing, use this one from River Cottage Veg cookbook:

1/2 small garlic clove, crushed with a little salt

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
A squirt/pinch of sweet (agave, sugar etc)

Gently toss the greens with a little of the dressing.  Compose all of the ingredients on a large platter or individual plates starting with the greens in the center and the other ingredients in groups around the outside. 

This was dessert from my first visit to enVie Vegan Kitchen.  It tastes very similar to the recipe below and was so lovingly plated I was smitten with their kitchen immediately.

Rebecca's Chocolate Pie

First make the salty-sweet pecan oat crust:

1 cup oat four or processed oats
2 cups pecans
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp ground flax
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1/4 cup brown rice syrup or honey
1 tbsp earth balance, melted

Combine all the ingredients and press/shape into large pie plate.  Score the crust by poking holes with a fork and bake until lightly browned, ten mins approximately.  Le cool before filling.

Next make the filling:

300 grams dark chocolate 
300 gram package of silken tofu (Rebecca says: "accept no tofu substitutes! it must be the softest kind")
vanilla and / or liqueur to tast (1tsp - 1 tbsp)

Melt the chocolate and then blend along with tofu and vanilla / liqueur in a food processor until silky smooth. Pour into prepared pie crust and let set for several hours in the fridge.

Serve with unsweetened whipped cream.