A Trio of Salads

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Inspired by my all-time favourite place Iku Wholefoods I give you my interpretation of their salads. Wrap them up in a pita alongside leafy green foliage and you're set for a takeaway lunch. The red number is a pressed salad of sorts that take about 20 minutes sitting time, worth your while. It's a light meal that resonates with the change of season, now we are getting more hours of sun woohoo! and wait for it...warmer days (that is not -17 degrees celsius). It's a relief to turn our backs on the dark winter months. Now like the rest of Sweden we wait for colour to spring up from the ground. It's remarkable how important the weather is and how much it dictates life in Sweden. There are definitely more smiles on the street, laughter and the joggers are trickling out. I am set on having a bicycle to get around, easy to do in Stockholm as it's partial to bike traffic and not so big that you can cover a great deal in a few hours.

I met an Australian woman the other week who's husband coincidentally is chef and owner to my favourite veggie burger joint in Stockholm Plant Food Anastasia hails from Byron Bay, you might remember from an earlier post my enthusiasm for the Byron Bay hinterland, and is a fine example of integration with fluent Swedish and employment, albeit she has lived here for a good number of years. Encouraging for my first year in Sweden. But the burgers I have to say are really good, the Hammer burger has quickly become my favourite. The chef and owner Maximilian Lundin is a vegan so great care has been taken with the menu. The burgers come with a choice of boiled potatoes topped with tomato sauce (not ketchup) or a selection of salads. No french fries on this menu!

A Trio of Salads
Add some steamed vegetables aka cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli and yellow patty squash to add some bold colour and texture!

Bean Salad:
1/2 cup cannellini beans (soaked overnight in water with some lemon juice)
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
handful of green beans
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
60 ml olive oil
salt & pepper

Red Coleslaw:
1/8-1/4 of cabbage
1 small carrot
1 small beetroot
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
pinch of salt

Rice Salad:
1/2 cup short grain brown rice (soaked overnight in water with some lemon juice)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tamari
1/2 tsp umeboshi or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp brown rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp Sunflower seeds
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves
1 tsp white and/or black sesame seeds
2 spring onions, cleaned and sliced on the diagonal

Drain and rinse the beans then cook with plenty of fresh water along with the rosemary (remove woody stem) and garlic. Cooking time can vary from 45 mins to 1 1/2 hours, it depends on how fresh the beans are so check regularly. Whilst beans are cooking mix the mustard, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to a thick emulsion. Rinse the green beans, snip off ends and cut into finger length pieces. About 2-3 minutes before the cannellini beans are done drop the green beans in the cooking water to blanch. Drain cannellini and green beans immediately and add the dressing, gently mix until beans are nicely slathered in dressing.

Wash and peel both carrot and beetroot. You can use a mandolin here to achieve paper thin slices of cabbage, carrot or beetroot otherwise the standard box grater will do the job, use the larger "grate side". You don't want it shredded just paper thin and coin size. Place in a deep bowl and add both apple cider and brown rice vinegars and salt then gently massage for a few minutes. Squeeze it into a ball then place a heavy weight on top of the vegetables in the bowl, I used my heavy stone mortar here. Sit for 20 minutes before draining the liquid from the bowl. I usually give the vegetables a final squeeze before transferring to the serving bowl.

Drain and rinse the rice, place in a saucepan with just over 3/4 cup water. Bring to the boil, add 1/4 tsp salt then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Whilst the rice is cooking, combine the tamari, apple cider and brown rice vinegars and sesame oil in a clean bowl. Once the rice is cooked add the dressing, sunflower seeds and parsley, gently combine and top with the sesame seeds and spring onions.

Serves 2.