Monday, August 23, 2010

Salad and dip

The weather is really too hot nowadays. The last few weekends we have been indulging in the delicious offerings at the Ramadhan bazaars - tasty bakso and soto, chicken marinated in spices and fried to a crisp, laksa utara, spicy prawn shavings wrapped in glutinous rice and banana leaf and grilled over an open fire. But all that spicy and "heaty" food is starting to take its toll. So we decided to take things a little light last Sunday with an organic salad and bean dip. Life is all about balance, yes?

There's something for everyone. Salad for the adults, bean dip with celery sticks and dragonfruit and papaya for the kids. Also a cutout fish for anyone who wants.

The salad is really easy to put together. Use 1 head of organic iceberg lettuce, 5 stalks of organic celery, diced, 1 organic apple, cubed, organic dried cranberries and organic black sesame seeds to garnish. For the dressing, I mixed 1 cup of store-bought French dressing and 2 tablespoons of organic extra virgin olive oil. Toss. It takes 5 minutes to put together and its delicious, sweet from the apple and cranberries, tangy from the French dressing.

The dip is made up of 2 cups cannelini beans, 1 cup chickpeas, 3 cloves garlic, 1 shallot, 150g of light thickened cream, a few pinches of dried parsley and 1 teaspoon salt to taste. I used dried cannelini beans and chickpeas, so these had to be soaked overnight and boiled for about 45 minutes before processing. Put everything in a blender and process until smooth. When you're ready to serve, make a hole in the middle of the dip and drizzle olive oil on top. Garnish with black sesame seeds.

It was a refreshing snack on a hot Sunday afternoon, and the kids had fun digging into the dip with their fingers. The celery wasn't very popular; I shall try again next time.

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