Every now and then, the compelling need to consume literally every type of vegetable in my refrigerator hits me, and as you can tell from here, I’m pretty much a veggievore. In times like that, I’ve always resorted back to my fail-proof asian-styled dressing that pretty much works with everything- the bonus is that it’s really healthy and I never seem to get sick of it.
A good salad, to me (it’s really quite a personal opinion), is one that combines a variety of textures and flavours and smells. They’re just so many ways to construct a salad.. it’s all a bit exciting and colourful, yes? This soy sauce-based dressing is one that combines a deep saltiness with a hearty roasted flavour of sesame seeds, rounded off with a bit of sharpness from the malt vinegar. It’s fabulous simply tossed in noodles, steamed vegetables and in salads.
For a variety of textures, it’s important to vary the doneness of the vegetables. Certain types can be served raw, while others require a slight blanching. Also, the shape you cut each veg up makes a huge difference- here I’m using ribbons of raw carrot and courgette, cubes of yellow pepper and white grape (yes, grape), slices of mushrooms, shredded kale and whole leaves of baby spinach. It sounds like an awful lot of work, but it’s simple prep that hardly takes much time. Let’s build salads!
Asian styled dressing
- 1 tsp of light soy sauce
- a few drops of sesame oil (it’s a deep flavour, you won’t need much)
- a splash of malt vinegar
- sesame seeds (however much or little you want!)
Simply combine all the dressing ingredients together.
Ingredients: (to serve two, or perhaps just one veggie-loving human)
- About a palm sized portion of your favourite vegetables
- A palm sized portion of a fruit (grapes, apples, clementines all go really well in salads)
- A large handful of baby spinach
- A large handful of shredded kale
- A tablespoon of dried wakame (seaweed)- this is optional but it goes really well with the dressing
- Determine which vegetables you’re serving raw, and which you’re going to steam.
- Dice, slice, shred, ribbon (use a veg peeler- ribbons are so pretty and easy to eat) vegetables (and fruit).
- In a pot, pour water till an inch deep, and bring to the boil.
- Add the vegetables (to be cooked) to the pot and place the lid on. The idea is to steam them, not boil.
- Add the raw vegetables into a large bowl, and when the steamed veg is done, simply drain and add to the bowl
- (optional) Hydrate wakame in a small dish and add to the large bowl. Salad is growing!
- Pour dressing on, and toss toss! Adjust to taste by adding more of the dressing ingredients.
- This goes perfectly at room temperature, but I think it’d be awesome chilled too.
So… what is wakame? It’s a dried seaweed that looks like this.
Just think of it as the black paper wrapped around sushi (that’s nori sheets), but in a different form. Same-ish taste, different form, same origin. It should be available at your asian supermarket.
The addition of fruit comes about as an accidental discovery- I was making egg salad one day and decided I had to save my lone, dying apple in the fridge, so I just chopped it up and added it in. It was delicious and so unexpected. One of the joys of salad-making is raiding your fridge for odds and ends and coming up with new flavour and texture combinations!
I had this with some of K’s bread he baked yesterday… and of course I didn’t just have that tiny pile. I had the entire bowl :d
Yes to veg!