ORIENTAL SEAFOOD SALAD

IMG_0591405 cals
Serves 4
30 ml (2 tbsp) sesame oil
small onion, peeled and very finely chopped 2.5-cm (1-inch) piece fresh root
ginger, peeled and crushed 10 ml (2 tsp) soy sauce, or to taste 120 ml (8 tbsp) thick homemade
mayonnaise
salt and freshly ground pepper
225 g (8 oz) peeled prawns
225 g (8 oz) white crabmeat, flaked 1 red pepper, cored, seeded and
diced
cucumber, diced 50 g (2 oz) fresh heansprouts few Chinese leaves or lettuce
leaves
juice of 1 lime
lime slices and unpeeled prawns, to garnish

Methods:

  1. Heat the oil in a small pan, add the onion and ginger and fry gently until soft. Remove from the heat, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool.
  2. Stir in the soy sauce and mayonnaise, with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  3. Fold prawns and crabmeat gently into mayonnaise mixture, then fold in red pepper, cucumber and bcansprouts. Adjust seasoning, remembering that soy sauce is itself quite salty.
  4. Meanwhile, shred the Chinese leaves or lettuce and use to line four glass dishes. To serve, pile the cocktail in the centre, then squeeze a little lime juice over each serving. Serve garnished with lime slices and unpeeled prawns.

HUMMUS

HUMMUS252 cals
Begin ahead if soaking dried peas. Using canned peas, total preparation time is 30 minutes
Serves 8
225 g (8 oz) dried chick peas,
soaked overnight, or two 400-g
(14-oz) cans chick peas juice of 2 large lemons
150 ml tahini (paste of finely ground sesame seeds) 60 ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and freshly ground pepper black olives and chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
warm pitta bread, to serve

Methods:

  1. If using dried chick peas, drain, place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2 hours or until tender.
  2. Drain the peas, reserving a little of the liquid. Put them in a blender or food processor, reserving a few for garnish, and gradually add the reserved liquid and the lemon juice, blending well after each addition in order to form a smooth purée.
  3. Add the tahini paste, oil (reserving 10 ml [2 tbsp) and garlic and season to taste. Blend again until smooth.
  4. Spoon into a serving dish and sprinkle with the reserved oil, chick peas, and the olives and chopped parsley.
  5. Hummus -or as it is more correctly called – hummus bi tahina – is a traditional dip from the Middle East, where it is served as part of the mezze.
    The mezze course is similar to the French hors d’oeuvre, a collection of savoury titbits designed to titillate the appetite before the main meal is served. In this country you can serve hummus on its own as a starter.

ARTICHOKE HEARTS A LA GRECQUE

ARTICHOKE HEARTS A LA GRECQUE103 cals
Serves 6
75 ml (5 tbsp) olive oil
15 ml (1 tbsp) white wine vinegar 10 ml (2 tsp) tomato puree
1 large garlic clove, skinned and
crushed
7.5 ml (12 tsp) chopped fresh
thyme or basil
salt and freshly ground pepper 175 g (6 oz) button onions, skinned 5 ml (1 tsp) caster sugar 225 g (8 oz) small button
mushrooms, wiped
two 400-g (14-oz) cans artichoke

Methods:

  1. Make the dressing. Place 45 ml (3 tbsp) oil, vinegar, tomato puree, garlic, thyme and seasoning in a bowl and whisk together.
  2. Blanch onions in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain well. Heat remaining oil; add onions and sugar and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms and toss over J a high heat for a few seconds. Tip contents of pan into dressing. Drain artichoke hearts, rinse and dry.
  4. Add hearts to dressing and toss together. Cover and chill.