Summer’s nearly here and at this time of year only a good salad recipe will hit the spot — the healthier the better. David and Charlotte Bailey, authors of Wholefood Heaven in a Bowl, share three delicious recipes for you to make at home…
Seaweed, wild rice, tofu, sesame and spring onion salad recipe
This is a moody-looking salad; we’re in love with the deep greens and purples of the sea vegetables. Seaweeds are so good for you, too, being rich in iodine, as well as all manner of antioxidants and a broad spectrum of vitamins. Placing the spring onions in icy cold water is a little trick that makes them curl.
Serves 2, or 4 as a side
- 8g/¼oz dried sea vegetable salad (or dulse), soaked in cold water for about 10 minutes
- 3 spring onions (scallions), sliced lengthways and placed in icy cold water
- 200g/7oz/1¼ cups wild rice, cooked and cooled
- 200g/7oz fresh firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds, to garnish
For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 2 tsp runny honey
- ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
- 15g/½oz fresh root ginger, finely chopped
- Begin by making the dressing. Mix the vinegar, tamari, honey, sesame oil and ginger together in a bowl. Place to one side.
- Drain the seaweed and spring onions and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked rice and tofu. Mix well, then pour over the dressing and top with the sesame seeds.
Vegan option: Use agave in place of honey.
Sweet potato, rye grain, tarragon and ricotta salad recipe
Just to be clear, rye grains really do need to be soaked properly. There’s no getting around it and so this isn’t a spur-of-the-moment salad, although you could use spelt grains or short-grain brown rice if you don’t have the time to leave the rye overnight. But rye is an ingredient well worth getting to know: its flavour is deep and complex and it’s super-healthy, being very high in fibre and magnesium as well as many other nutrients. Rye is beloved in Nordic cultures and we’ve kept with a Nordic vibe, pairing it with the delicious herb tarragon.
- 150g/5½oz/¾ cup rye grains, soaked overnight
- salt and black pepper
- 600g/1lb 5oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 300g/10½oz butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 6 sprigs tarragon, leaves plucked
- 125g/4½oz/½ cup ricotta
For the dressing:
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil. Drain and rinse the rye grains before adding them to the boiling water, along with a pinch of salt. You don’t need to be too precise about how much water, but it should be in the region of four parts water to one part rye. Cover with a lid and bring back to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 50–60 minutes or until the rye grains are tender (they will still have a little bite). Drain and place to one side to cool.
- Meanwhile, put the sweet potato and butternut squash into a mixing bowl, add the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Transfer to a roasting tray lined with greaseproof (waxed) paper and and roast for 50–60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes and squash have taken on good colour and taste cooked. Once ready, set aside to cool.
- While they’re roasting and the rye is still cooking, make the dressing. Combine the lemon juice, mustard, honey, olive oil and a little salt and pepper in a bowl and place to one side.
- Once everything is cooled, gently combine the rye, sweet potato mix, tarragon leaves and dressing in a large bowl. Spoon in the ricotta and serve, adding a little more black pepper if you like.
Vegan option: Leave out the ricotta.
Wholegrain glass noodle salad with smoked tofu and mixed sprouts
Loaded with all the colours, flavours and vibrancy of Southeast Asia, this is a quick and easy salad, ideal for a light lunch or dinner. Many large supermarkets and Asian groceries now stock wholegrain rice vermicelli (also more poetically known as glass noodles) but they’re also easily bought online if you’re struggling to find them. Smoked tofu, mixed sprouts and seeds are ingredients that we use all the time to make sure our dishes have plenty of protein.
- 125g/4½oz dried wholegrain rice vermicelli
- 1 carrot, cut into thin strips
- 100g/3½oz mangetout (snow peas), cut into thin strips
- 30g/1oz coriander (cilantro), chopped
- 150g/5½oz mixed sprouts (eg mungbean, chickpea, lentil)
- 100g/3½oz smoked tofu, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
For the dressing:
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 45g/1½oz fresh root ginger, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp unrefined brown sugar
- Juice of 4 limes
- 2 tsp tamari
- Put the noodles in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and leave to soak for 4 minutes. Drain in a sieve and then run cold water over the noodles until they have cooled down. Drain well and leave to one side.
- To make the dressing, in a pestle and mortar, crush together the garlic, ginger, chilli and sugar until they form a paste. Add the lime juice and tamari and stir.
- Put the carrot, mangetout, coriander, sprouts, smoked tofu and noodles in a large bowl and gently mix together by hand, then pour over the dressing and continue to mix by hand until the dressing is well incorporated. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve.