It's getting colder in London and I should be cooking hearty soups and stews. Instead, I'm making salads from the cookbook Community: Salad Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen. Last weekend, on a dreary, grey London day, I received a surprise package in the post from my dear friend Jane in Sydney. Always so thoughtful, she wanted to give me some Aussie inspiration for my cooking and my blog. It is through her foodie escapades that I'm kept in the loop to what's happening in my home town.
Hetty McKinnon is the creator and cook of Arthur Street Kitchen, a successful food concept that delivers inventive, healthy and delicious salads to the locals of Surry Hills in Sydney. Using fresh, seasonal produce, she whips up salads in her domestic kitchen and delivers them every week (and by bike) to her customers. Unfortunately, Hetty is no longer delivering her famous salads in Sydney as she has moved to Brooklyn. On the upside, those in Brooklyn may soon get to sample her salads.
I can't deny that I enjoy eating meat (I'm a meat eater and I love a good steak) and couldn't see myself becoming vegetarian. But over the last few years, I have been eating less meat and more vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. Hetty's passion for wholesome and nourishing food is evident and comes across in her cookbook. You are reminded that there is more to salads than just green leaves and tomatoes. She shows us how to be creative with cooking vegetables.
I couldn't decide which recipe to share. Instead, I merged two recipes from the cookbook - Chargrilled Cauliflower with Fried Butter Beans and Pumpkin Hummus with the addition of Dukkah. I love dukkah but have never made it. I was surprised at how easy it was to make once you have all the ingredients. Looks like I'll be eating a lot more of dukkah.
Serves 4-6 people
CHAR GRILLED CAULIFLOWER WITH FRIED BUTTER BEANS
2 kg cauliflowers cut into florets
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic gloves finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
500g cooked butter beans
1 cup flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
1 cup coriander roughly chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds toasted
Sea salt & black pepper
Heat a BBQ or griddle pan to high.
Coat the cauliflower in 2 tbsp of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cook on the BBQ or pan for 2-3 minutes on each side and until charred all over.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan on medium heat.
Add the garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander and a pinch of salt. Cook for 10 secs to release the flavours.
Increase the heat to high and add the butter beans to the pan, stirring to coat the beans in the spice. Cook for 5-6 minutes, shaking the pan often, until the butter beans are crispy on both sides.
Combine the cauliflower, butter beans and herbs. Set aside.
750g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
2 tbsp tahini
1 garlic glove grated
1 tsp sea salt
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
Sea salt & black pepper
Place the pumpkin in a saucepan with a splash of water and salt and cover with a lid.
Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. Add more water if the pumpkin dries out during cooking. Allow the pumpkin to cool.
Combine the pumpkin with the tahini, garlic, salt, ground cumin, lemon juice, olive oil and whisk to break up the pumpkin.
Stir in the yoghurt and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more oil or lemon juice as needed and to your liking.
On a large serving dish, place the pumpkin hummus on and spoon the cauliflower and butterbean mixture on top. Scatter the pumpkin seeds on top.
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp white peppercorns
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp black sesame seeds
2 tsp nigella seeds
100g hazelnuts, skinned and toasted
3 tbsp sunflower seeds toasted
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp paprika
Heat and toast the coriander seeds and fennel seeds in a frying pan on medium heat for 30 seconds.
Add the cumin seeds and white peppercorns and heat for another 20 seconds or until they start to pop.
Remove and place in a bowl.
Reduce the heat to low and lightly toast the sesame seeds and nigella seeds for a minute or so and add to the bowl with the other spices.
Using a large mortar and pestle, pound the hazelnuts until coarsely broken.
Add the coriander, fennel, cumin, sesame, nigella, white peppercorns, black sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pound again. Mixture can be coarse or fine to your liking.
Stir through the sea salt and paprika to the mixture.
Makes 2 cups and can be kept in a tight container to accompany other dishes.
I don't like to waste food so I roasted the seeds from the pumpkin in the oven for 20 mins, which I scattered on top of the salad.
I also drizzled some more olive oil over the salad.