10 April 2010

Middle Eastern Beet Salad

The recipe for this vibrant salad was from a book called Saha: A Chef's Journey Through Lebanon and Syria by Greg Malouf and Lucy Malouf. I borrowed this wonderful recipe book cum travelogue from the public library and spent many hours pouring over the recipes and reading the vivid descriptions of the streets and sounds of Lebanon and Syria. I made several of the dips and salads dishes from the book, and they were all lovely. Be ready to squeeze lots of lemon and drizzle out lots of olive oil. How can you go wrong, right?

This beet salad was a hit with my walking buddies as part of a healthy all-salad dinner I prepared (the other salads I made that day was a quinoa taboulleh and a cucumber raita) before we went for our weekly power walk.

Unfortunately I forgot to write down the recipes before I had to return the library book, but you really should check out this book for yourself. Next time you are at the bookstore or library look out for it.

This yummy salad has roasted beet roots marinated with a lemon-garlic vinaigrette, with some chunks of peeled orange and lemon wedges thrown in. All this goodness tossed over spring mix leaves and sprinkled over with some roasted pistachio.

I do remember what was interesting in making the vinaigrette was that the garlic had to be slow cooked in a little olive oil until a little golden on the outside but soft on the inside, then mushed up with some salt ( I used my mortar and pestle). Once the garlic was all mushy, lemon juice and olive oil was added to the mix. I am guessing you can also use (pre-)roasted garlic for this dressing.

Lemon Yoghurt Muffins

This recipe is from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess. They are called Baby Bundts in the book as Ms. Lawson used cute mini-Bundt molds. I did not have any bundt molds so I used good old muffin trays which worked just as well. These muffins were very quick to make and tasted light and healthy. Great with a cup of tea. The lemony icing on top makes them luscious and feels like a special treat.

Recipe (adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess):
125 ml natural yoghurt
75gm butter, melted
2 large eggs
zest of 1 lemon
150gm plain flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate soda
pinch of salt
125gm caster sugar

200gm icing sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven 170 C
Mix yoghurt, melted butter, eggs and lemon zest. Put all the dry ingredient in a dry bowl. Fold dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Fill the muffin tin and bake for 20-25 mins. To make icing, add enough icing sugar to the juice of 1 lemon to get a condense-milk like consistency. Drizzle on the cooled muffins.


07 April 2010

Picnic spread

Tzatziki, hummus, and fruit salad; a spread for a picnic at the botanical garden listening to swing music on a lazy Sunday afternoon in Singapore.