Plenty of salad days ahead for student
WHEN you are about to leave home for the first time and your diet is vegan based, the thought of preparing and making meals is a little daunting. The stories of poor university students existing on two-minute noodles was starting to sound like a reality until I laid my hands on a copy of the recipe book Salads All Year Round compiled by Makkie Mulder. The prospect of living on the pitiful uni student diet faded and my taste buds began to sing as I flicked through the 100 recipes published in this book. Admittedly the photographs of selected recipes alone are enough to get the mouth watering, but the fact that most of the recipes seem quick and easy to make and need a short list of ingredients adds to its appeal. Another good thing is the ‘before you start’ section that gives tips and tricks to making great salads, along with a guide to the ingredients. I need all the help I can get. As a vegan, there were several sections of the recipe book which didn’t interest me like fish and prawns, cheese, poultry and meat. However the recipes covering these food groups looked good for those who like that fare. For me, chapter seven was the go-to section. The fruit-based recipes are perfect especially with the warm weather we are presently experiencing. I tried the herb salad with fennel, carrot, orange and pomegranate. Even though a couple of the ingredients are a little obscure, it was tasty, fresh and sweet. I’ll be trying out more of the recipes in this book but knowing how time poor I am, I imagine I will be reverting back to the staple diet of a university student from time to time. 2 fennel bulbs 2 carrots Ice cubes Large handful dill 3 large handfuls flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves Large handful mint leaves Seeds of 1 pomegranate 2 tbs fennel seeds, toasted 4–5 oranges (200ml juice) 150ml extra virgin olive oil Juice of ½ lemon For the dressing, thickly peel 4 oranges to cut away all the peel and pith and cut the segments away from the membranes. Reserve any juice that comes out – you want 200 ml juice in total. Juice the fifth orange if you haven’t got enough juice. Reduce the orange juice in a small saucepan for 15 minutes on medium heat until thick and sticky. Don’t let it burn. Discard the outer layer of the fennel bulbs. Very thinly slice the fennel bulbs and carrots lengthways using a mandoline slicer. Fill a large bowl with water and ice cubes and submerge the fennel and carrot. The vegetables will curl up and go nice and crunchy. Drain, then pat dry using a clean tea towel. Mix the fennel and carrot with the dill, parsley, mint and pomegranate seeds in a serving bowl. To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice into the reduced orange juice. Stir the dressing into the salad and sprinkle with the toasted fennel seeds.