Monday, March 31, 2014

Peach & Blueberry Pancakes

Peach & Blueberry Pancakes 1.jpg

I've been on the waiting list for about a year to join the Secret Recipe Club, a cooking group where each month we are assigned another blog from which we will choose a recipe to make and write a post about.  This is done in secret (hence Secret Recipe Club), so no one knows who is cooking from which blog until everyone puts up their post on reveal day.

Anyway, after a long wait, I was very excited to get an email this month inviting me to participate, and sending me my assigned blog ... Kudos Kitchen by Renee.  This is a fantastic way to discover some new blogs, and more importantly get to know the lovely bloggers themselves.

Renee was definitely a "new-to-me" blogger, and it didn't take me much time browsing around her blog to realise that the hardest part of this challenge was going to be narrowing things down to just one recipe to make.  Renee has a lot of recipes which really took my fancy, and which have now been bookmarked to make in the near future.  But, with the last of the seasons golden queen peaches and blueberries to use up, Renee's Blueberry Peach Pancakes seemed like the perfect dish.

I did make a few minor changes.  I roughly halved the recipe as, unlike Renee, I didn't have a big family of hungry men to feed.  This still made easily enough for two (possibly three) for breakfast/brunch.  In the original recipe, Renee used a combination of plain flour and sprouted wheat flour - in the absence of sprouted wheat flour, I used all plain flour.  I left out ground flax seed and, in the absence of buttermilk, I used a combination of regular milk and yoghurt.  Lastly, I made the most of fresh seasonal fruit in place of frozen fruit.

These pancakes were delicious, so good in fact that I have made them again, and have even managed to freeze some peaches and blueberries so that I can make them again in the winter ahead.

Peach & Blueberry Pancakes 2.jpg

Peach & Blueberry Pancakes Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Makes 2-3 generous servings

1-1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large, free-range egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus extra for frying
1 cup blueberries, plus extra for serving
1x large peach, cut into smallish dice (about the same size as the blueberries)
maple syrup for serving

Sift together flour, cinnamon and baking powder in a large bowl.  Add the coconut sugar and salt, and mix well to combine.

Whisk the egg lightly in a separate bowl.  Add the vanilla, milk, yoghurt, and melted butter.  Whisk lightly to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.  Add the fruit and fold in gently.

Set a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, and add a tiny knob of butter.

Add spoonfuls of pancake batter to the pan.  Once bubbles start to appear around the edges and on the top side of the pancakes (about 1 minute), flip them over and cook until the underside is golden (approximately another minute).

Remove cooked pancakes to a serving platter and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest of the pancakes.

Once all the pancakes are cooked, add another generous knob of butter to the pan, along with the extra blueberries.  Cook over low heat just until the blueberries are warmed through, and starting to soften and release their juices.

To serve, spoon blueberries and their juice over the top of the pancakes, and drizzle liberally with maple syrup.

Hope you enjoy the pancakes as much as I did, and visit the links below to check out all the other great dishes my Secret Recipe Club friends made.

Secret Recipe Club

Friday, March 28, 2014

Za'atar Roasted Pumpkin & Couscous Salad

Roasted Pumpkin & Couscous Salad 1

If you visit here often, you will know that I like to play along over at I Heart Cooking Clubs, where twice a year we choose a chef whose food we explore, according to a variety of weekly themes, over the following six months.  You will also, most likely, know that our chosen chef for the last six months has been the extraordinary Donna Hay.

They say there is a season for everything, and that being the case Donna Hay has definitely been the perfect chef for my "season" of late.  Over the last six months I have been under a lot of pressure, on many fronts, and I have found Donna's simple, yet still packed with flavour, dishes absolutely perfect for those days when I've really been under the hammer.  I'm sure that had we been cooking with a more challenging chef, there would have been many weeks in which I just wouldn't have found the time or the energy to participate.  So thank you, Donna, you've been a lifesaver!

Sadly, though, it's time for us to say "Catch Ya Later Donna Hay", and choosing a dish for that final fling was no easy feat.  However, just as we are saying farewell to the last vestiges of summer in my part of the world, our thoughts are turning to slightly heartier, more warming dishes for our cooler evenings, so something to fit that autumn vibe seemed appropriate.

This Roasted Pumpkin & Couscous Salad, from Donna's book "Fast, Fresh, Simple" is perfect for this time of year.  It's still a salad, which is always a preferred meal option for me, anytime of year, but has warm ingredients and enough body and gusto for an autumn lunch or dinner.  Actually I would even eat this in the middle of winter, and almost certainly will when it rolls around.  As usual I couldn't resist the urge to ring in a few changes.  The preserved lemon in the couscous and the honey-cumin dressing really spoke to me of the Middle Eastern flavours that I love, but I thought there was definitely room to "up the ante" a little.  Before roasting, I brushed the pumpkin with a mixture of olive oil and za'atar (one of my favourite spice blends of thyme, sesame, sumac, salt, coriander and cumin).  I replaced feta with haloumi, mint with parsley, and added in some chopped pistachios for a little extra texture.

This salad was a wonderful combination of tastes and textures - sweetness from the pumpkin and honey, saltiness from the preserved lemon and haloumi, nuttiness of the couscous, crunch of the pistachios, the slight chewiness of the cheese, and the little hits of smoky spice coming through from the za'atar and dressing.  Absolutely delicious - this is definitely a dish I will be making many times over in the months ahead.

Roasted Pumpkin & Couscous Salad 2

Roasted Pumpkin & Couscous Salad Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Donna Hay
from Fast, Fresh, Simple
Makes a substantial meal for 2 people, or would easily serve 3-4 people for a lighter meal or appetiser
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

800g (28 oz) pumpkin, cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon za'atar (I used Sami's Kitchen)
1 cup couscous
1-1/4 cups hot vegetable stock
1/2 a preserved lemon, rind thinly sliced, flesh discarded
generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
generous handful pistachios, roughly chopped
200g (7 oz) haloumi, fried and sliced

1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F).

Place pumpkin pieces, in a single layer, on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Mix the olive oil and za'atar together, and liberally brush over the pumpkin pieces.  Bake in the preheated oven until the pumpkin is tender and golden - 20 to 30 minutes depending on your pumpkin.

Meanwhile, put couscous into a medium sized bowl, add the hot vegetable stock, cover with cling film, and leave to stand until the couscous has fluffed up and absorbed all the stock - about 5 minutes.  Stir in the finely sliced preserved lemon rind, chopped parsley and pistachio nuts.

Set a small, very lightly oiled, non-stick pan over medium heat, and fry the haloumi, until golden on both sides and just starting to "ooze".  You can either fry it in one large block, then cut into slices once done, or you can cut it into slices first and then fry the slices individually.  Remove from pan and set aside.

To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients together.

To serve the dish, arrange the pumpkin, couscous and cheese in layers on plates, and spoon over the dressing.

Before we finally say goodbye to Donna Hay (though in my case it will definitely be "Catch Ya Later" rather than goodbye), I thought I would share a little round-up of a few of my favourite dishes from the last six months.  I loved these dishes and I'm sure you will too.

Green Tea Soba Noodles with Soy-Roasted Salmon and Broad Bean & Radish Salad 2

Pearl Barley Salad with Pistachios, Favas & Pomegranate 2

Prawn & Chilli Pot-Sticker Dumplings 2

Harissa-Marinated Tarakihi with Lemony Couscous & Tzatziki

Roasted Strawberry Custard Tarts 1

Green Olive Tapenade & Mozzarella French Toast Sandwiches 1

Crispy-Skin Miso-Glazed Salmon 2

If you would like to get to know Donna Hay a little better, and to see all the fabulous dishes my friends have come up with, then do go visit I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links.  And don't forget to come back next week, as we begin our cooking adventures with our new chef, the incomparable Nigel Slater.

IHCC Donna Hay Badge resized

I'll also be sharing this post this week at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace, Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads, and at Foodie Fridays hosted by Designs by Gollam.

See Ya in The Gumbo Badge     Weekend Cooking Badge     Foodie Friday Badge

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Falafel with Tahini Flatbreads

Falafel with Tahini Flatbreads 2

It's Potluck Week at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week.  This is always a popular theme, because not only do we get to choose any recipe we like, but we can choose to cook with any one of our nine IHCC chefs - that's a whole lot of choice.

I couldn't resist the temptation to return to my favourite chef - the highly inspirational Yotam Ottolenghi.  I'd been wanting to try the falafel from his fabulous book, Jerusalem: A Cookbook, for months, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give them a try.

I first developed my love affair with falafel when we used to live in Christchurch and would frequent the fabulous Sami's Cafe (sadly, no longer there).  I'd tried falafel several times before, and always came away feeling horribly disappointed, but Sami's falafel won my heart.  Unlike the horrid, dry, tasteless "bullets" I'd experienced in the past, Sami's falafel were light, crispy and beautifully flavourful.

After Sami had set the bar so high, I was excited to see if Ottolenghi's falafel could live up to my expectations.  I made a couple of minor changes to the recipe.  Instead of using only chickpeas, I replaced half the quantity with some dried fava beans - a little tip I learned from Sami.  I replaced onion with shallots, because I prefer their more delicate flavour.  I replaced some of the spices called for in the original recipe with some Sami's Kitchen Falafel Spice Blend ** (a fragrant and spicy mix of coriander, cumin, pimento, pepper, cinnamon and cloves), and I also increased the ground cardamom in the original recipe, just a little.  Cardamom is our ingredient of the month at Tasting Jerusalem*, and I love the fragrance and slightly sweet flavour that it brings - it can overpower though, so do use it with restraint.  The end result - sensational flavour, great texture, gorgeously crunchy, everything I dreamed they would be.  I will definitely be making these again.


Of course, falafel is not complete without a few trimmings, not least some good pita bread.  I chose to make Donna Hay's Tahini Flatbreads from issue #73 of Donna Hay magazine.  These are so good, that they've become my "go to" flatbreads over the last few months, and are likely to stay that way for a long time.  If you've never tried making your own flatbreads before - seriously, these are the ones to try.

Tahini Flatbreads

Falafel Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
from Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1/2 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 cup dried fava beans
1x shallot, roughly chopped
1x clove garlic, roughly chopped
generous handful flat-leaf parsley
generous handful coriander
4x teaspoons Sami's Kitchen Falafel Spice Blend **
(available in New Zealand here, or internationally here)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 tablespoons plain flour
generous pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons water
sunflower oil to deep fry
sesame seeds to finish

Place dried chickpeas and fava beans in a large bowl;  fill the bowl with cold water;  and leave to soak overnight, or at least 12 hours.

Drain the chickpeas and beans well and place in the bowl of your food processor.  Add the onion, garlic, parsley and coriander.  Blitz until finely chopped.  It's best to use the pulse function on your food processor so that you don't overdo it.  The final mixture should be very finely chopped and just beginning to clump together, but definitely don't grind it to a paste or let it get mushy.

Remove mixture to a bowl, and add the spices, baking powder, flour, salt and water.  Mix well, using your hands, until everything is well combined.  Cover and put in the fridge for at least an hour before continuing.

Place a medium-sized, heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat and fill with oil to a depth of about 7cm (2-1/2 inches).  Heat the oil to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).

Using wet hands, form the mixture into small patties or ball.  Squeeze them together really well, as you will find the mixture is a little crumbly and delicate.  Sprinkle just a few sesame seeds on the top of each one, and very carefully lower them into the hot oil, cooking them in batches, until deep golden and crispy, and cooked through - about 4 minutes.

Remove, drain on a paper towel, and serve immediately.

Falafel with Tahini Flatbreads Collage

Tahini Flatbread Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Donna Hay
from Issue # 73 of Donna Hay Magazine
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1-1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon honey
sunflower oil for frying

Mix water, sugar and yeast together in a small bowl, cover with a tea towel, and set aside for about 5 minutes until the mixture is all frothy on top.

Meanwhile, mix flour and salt together in a large bowl, and make a well in the centre.

Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture, and whisk it in lightly.  Then pour all of the liquid into the dry ingredients.  Mix together to form a dough, and knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth - about 5 minutes.

Return the dough to a lightly oiled, clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to stand in a warm place until doubled in volume - about an hour.

Meanwhile, mix the tahini and honey together in a small bowl and set aside.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and divide into 8 pieces.  Form each piece into a small ball then, working with one piece at a time, roll each ball out to form a circle.  Place a teaspoon of the tahini-honey mixture on each round, and spread it out, leaving a 1cm (1/2 inch) border around the edge.  Fold the dough in half, and then in half again, to form a triangle;  then roll the dough out again to flatten it.

Heat a little sunflower oil in a large cast iron, or other heavy based, pan over high heat, and fry until golden and cooked through - a couple of minutes each side.

Falafel with Tahini Flatbreads 1

Serve the finished falafel, with tahini flatbreads, a generous dollop of hummus, fresh coriander, a simple tomato salad and a drizzle of yoghurt.


If you would like to get to know Donna Hay and Yotam Ottolenghi a little better, and to see what everyone has cooked up for our potluck feast this week, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links ...


... or check out Jerusalem and Ottolenghi's other great titles available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK or Fishpond NZ.


*I am also sharing this post at Tasting Jerusalem, a virtual cooking community exploring the vibrant flavors and cuisine of the Middle East through the lens of “Jerusalem: A Cookbook” by Ottolenghi and Tamimi published by Ten Speed Press. You can follow along and cook with us by subscribing to, following the hashtag #TastingJrslm on Twitter and Instagram, and liking our Facebook page.

And, because it would be rude not to, I'm also sharing this post this week at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace, at Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads, and at Foodie Friday, hosted by Designs by Gollam.

See Ya in The Gumbo Badge            Weekend Cooking Badge            Foodie Friday Badge

**  Note:  I'm not paid to tell you how good Sami's Kitchen spice blends are.  I'm just telling you because I use them myself a lot and I love them.  If you're able to get them where you live I urge you to try them.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Minted Pea, Feta & Quinoa Fritters

Minted Pea, Feta & Quinoa Fritters 3.jpg

With St Patrick's Day looming large, at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week we are celebrating the Eating of the Green, preparing Donna Hay dishes which are green or feature green-hued ingredients.

To be honest, I've never really been one to enter into the spirit of St Patrick's Day, but eating green food ... now that is something I have no trouble getting excited about.  Many of you, I know, are right now enjoying the first flushes of spring and all things gorgeous and green will be bursting onto the market.  In my part of the world, however, it's autumn and green things are becoming a little more scarce, so I was pretty happy to have one more "green fling" before life becomes all about pumpkins, mushrooms and root vegetables.

These pea and quinoa fritters with a tahini dressing, which appeared in the spring issue of Donna Hay magazine, have become one of my favourite dishes over the last few months.   The great thing about these is that with frozen peas they can really be made any time of year.   As a final nod to the disappearing summer, I added some mint to the mixture (not much of it left in the garden now), and also included some feta (because that always reminds me of holidays in the Greek Islands, and so always seems very summery to me).  As you'd expect, these are delicious, hot and crispy, straight out of the pan, but they are just as good the next day, and delicious at room temperature too. 

Minted Pea, Feta & Quinoa Fritters 4.jpg

Minted Pea, Feta & Quinoa Fritters Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Donna Hay
from Issue #71 of Donna Hay Magazine
Serves 2 as a main meal or 4 as an appetiser
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1/3 cup white quinoa
2/3 cup water
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup rice flour
1 tablespoon tahini
small handful mint leaves
small handful flat-leaf parsley
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
100g feta, crumbled
olive oil for frying

Tahini dressing:
2 tablespoons tahini
juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon olive oil
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
baby spinach leaves
blanched snow peas
extra virgin olive oil

Begin by putting quinoa and water in a small saucepan, and set over high heat until it comes to the boil.  Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove pan from the heat, leave the lid in place, and allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Remove quinoa to a medium bowl and set aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing by placing all ingredients in a small bowl and whisking until smooth.  As you begin to mix the ingredients together it will look a little as though it is "curdled".  Don't be alarmed, just keep whisking and it will come together in a smooth sauce.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  Set aside.

Put the peas, tahini, rice flour, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper, and half the quinoa into a food processor and blitz until you have a coarse paste.  Return to the bowl containing the remaining quinoa, add the crumbled feta, and mix until well combined.

Minted Pea, Feta & Quinoa Fritters 1.jpg

Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan set over medium heat.  With wet hands, shape mixture into small fritters, and cook in the hot pan until golden and crisp on both sides.

Minted Pea, Feta & Quinoa Fritters 2.jpg

To serve, arrange baby spinach leaves and snow peas on a serving platter.  Arrange fritters over the top and drizzle with the tahini dressing (if dressing has thickened while it has been standing, thin with a little water until you reach the consistency of runny cream).  Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

If you would like to get to know Donna Hay a little better, and to see all the fabulous dishes my friends have come up with, then do go visit I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links.

IHCC Donna Hay Badge resized

I'll also be sharing this post this week at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace, Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads, and at Foodie Fridays hosted by Designs by Gollam.

See Ya in The Gumbo Badge     Weekend Cooking Badge     Foodie Friday Badge

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Pan Fried Tarakihi with Green Chilli Noodle Salad

Pan Fried Tarakihi with Green Chilli Noodle Salad 1

Some of you might recall that when I put up last week's post for this fabulous Salmon with Mango, Edamame & Pink Grapefruit Salad, I was waxing lyrical about the latest summer issue of Donna Hay magazine.  Now, I'm the first person to admit that I will often buy a foodie magazine such as this, spend hours reading it cover to cover, and then, often as not, actually end up making nothing from it.  Not so this issue.  I have already made several dishes, and have several more bookmarked.  Although this is the summer issue, there is plenty on offer here that will still be perfect now that we're drifting into slightly cooler autumnal weather.  In fact, I recommend buying this issue for the Beetroot Salmon Gravlax with Tahini Flatbread alone - soooooo ridiculously good (and ridiculously easy to make), I've made it three times in the last two weeks - I just can't get enough of it.  Seriously, as soon as you've finished reading this post, rush out and buy a copy before they're all gone.  If you live in Australia or New Zealand, it's a pretty small investment, and well worth every penny.  A bit more extravagant, I know, if you live in the northern hemisphere, but if you have an iPad you can get it online for a fraction of the price.  And, don't just take my word for it ... ask Sidewalk Shoes ... Pam reckons it's worth every pixel too.

Anyway, all of that was a very round about way of telling you that when it came to choosing a recipe for this week's theme of "Noodles, Noodles, Everywhere!", this magazine was the first place I turned.  Actually, not just in this mag, but in her vast array of books, Donna has so many noodle dishes on offer that it was hard to choose.  Broaden the scope of that to include pasta as well, and you'll find that she literally has dozens and dozens of quick and easy, yet inspiring, dishes to tempt your tastebuds.

Still, I'm digressing a little again .. back to the "issue" at hand (ok, I know that was bad - really, really bad - but I just couldn't resist).  I happened to have a nice piece of fresh tarakihi on hand, so I wanted something "noodley" to accompany it.  Donna's crispy skinned fish and green chilli noodle salad seemed perfect.

I'm not going to reproduce the recipe here exactly, as I didn't make any changes to it, and actually you really don't need to be too attached to specific quantities here.   Begin by putting some rice vermicelli noodles in a bowl and covering with boiling water, allowing to stand until the noodles are soft (about 5 minutes).  Drain and refresh under cold water.  Mix together fish sauce, lime juice, caster sugar and chopped green chillies (leave seeds in or remove according to your tastes) - taste and adjust according to the salty, sour, sweet, and hot balance that suits your palate.  Using a peeler, shred carrot and telegraph cucumber into long, thin ribbons.  Add vegetables and noodles to the bowl of dressing and toss everything well to combine.  Pan fry fish in a little peanut oil until cooked through.  Arrange noodle salad in serving bowls, top with the fish, and sprinkle over chopped salted peanuts and fresh, chopped coriander.  (You can find the original recipe on page 39 of the magazine.)  Great flavours, great textures - definitely a make again dish.

Pan Fried Tarakihi with Green Chilli Noodle Salad 2

If you would like to get to know Donna Hay a little better, and to see all the fabulous noodle dishes my friends have come up with, then do go visit I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links.

IHCC Donna Hay Badge resized

I'll also be sharing this post this week at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace, Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads, and at Foodie Fridays hosted by Designs by Gollam.

See Ya in The Gumbo Badge     Weekend Cooking Badge     Foodie Friday Badge

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Salmon with Mango, Edamame & Pink Grapefruit Salad

Salmon with mango, edamame & pink grapefruit salad 1.jpg

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, our theme is Tropical Delights.  I love food that transports me to the tropics any time, and enjoying the tail end of summer here in New Zealand right now, this was the perfect theme to get excited about.

I've holidayed several times in Bali, and also in Queensland (Australia), and on such occasions nearly the first thing I do as soon as I get off the plane is find a good fruit stall and stock up on papaya, mango and pineapple.  These are pretty much my all time favourite fruits, but as none of them are really grown here in New Zealand, indulging in them is at best a rare treat.  Set me down in a tropical destination, however, and you will find me literally gorging on them every day for the duration of my stay.

As most of you will know, our current guest chef, Donna Hay, is based in Australia where tropical fruit is abundant at this time of year.  Little surprise then that the latest summer issue of Donna Hay magazine is positively groaning with tropically-inspired fare - seriously, I was just about drooling over every single page.  But the dish that really leapt out at me was Donna's Salmon with Papaya Salad & Pink Grapefruit Dressing.  Of course Donna's styling is always stunning, but I found the picture of her crispy skinned salmon, alongside a gorgeous wedge of orange-fleshed papaya, garnished with lotus root chips and Thai basil leaves particularly captivating - the kind of dish I could easily imagine myself eating on a steamy evening, sitting on the terrace of one of my favourite Balinese restaurants.

Of course, I live in Nelson, New Zealand, not some tropical island paradise, so I couldn't find a ripe papaya last week for love nor money.  Ditto Thai basil leaves.  Also lucked out on the lotus root, which they do often stock in the freezer of my local Asian supermarket, but the one day I want some ... nada!

So, what's a girl to do when obsessed with a certain dish and ingredients aren't available?  Improvise of course.  Mango seemed like a good alternative to papaya.  I could use some peppery rocket leaves and mizuna instead of Thai basil and Chinese spinach.  I also decided that since the salad had a pink grapefruit dressing, some grapefruit segments in the salad would be a nice addition, and I also added some edamame to make the salad a little more substantial.  In fact, even without the salmon, the resulting salad would make a delicious, light meal in its own right.

Mango, Edamame & Pink Grapefruit Salad.jpg

Salmon with Mango, Edamame &
Pink Grapefruit Salad Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Donna Hay
From Feb/Mar 2014 issue of Donna Hay magazine

2x skin-on, bone out salmon fillets
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1x firm mango, ever so slightly under-ripe, peeled and cut into wedges
1x pink grapefruit, peeled & cut into segments (membrane removed)
3/4 cup shelled edamame
2x generous handfuls of peppery leaves such as rocket, cress, mizuna

juice of 1x pink grapefruit
2 tablespoons grated palm sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 cm (3/4 in) piece of ginger, finely grated

Begin by making the dressing.  Place all the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously to combine.  Set aside.

Put vegetable oil in a non-stick frypan set over medium heat.  Season salmon with salt and pepper, and once pan is heated, place salmon in the pan skin side down.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, before turning over and cooking for approximately one more minute or until done to your liking.

While salmon is cooking, place all the salad ingredients in a medium bowl and toss gently to combine.

To serve, arrange salad on serving plates, drizzle with the dressing, and top with the salmon.

Salmon with mango, edamame & pink grapefruit salad 2.jpg

This was a wonderful dish, full of great flavours and textures, and washed down with an excellent gewurtztraminer loaded with tropical flavours of lychee and papaya, it wasn't hard to close my eyes and imagine myself in some island paradise.

If you would like to get to know Donna Hay a little better, and to see all the fabulous tropical delights my friends have come up with, then do go visit I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links.

IHCC Donna Hay Badge resized

I'll also be sharing this post this week at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace, Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads, and at Foodie Fridays hosted by Designs by Gollam.

See Ya in The Gumbo Badge     Weekend Cooking Badge     Foodie Friday Badge

Secret Recipe Club