Category: Sides

This recipe stems from one of those evenings when I was faced with a lean pantry and a fussy appetite, but now I go back to it regularly as it’s very simple and quick, but yields impressive and colorful results. I realize there’s a couple of ingredients included that might not be sitting in everyone’s pantry – but don’t worry.

1. If you don’t have/can’t find sweet soy sauce at your local supermarket, then try mixing in a spoonful of honey with some normal soy sauce instead for the same flavor profile.

2. I am a big fan of infused olive oils when done well, but fear not – a good quality olive oil will work just as well here, it just wont be quite as lemony, which might even be a preference for some.

Total time: 35 mins (10 mins prep, 25 mins cooking)

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a side/main

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large zucchini, enough to yield 2/12 cups when chopped
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil for frying
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp of kejap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 1 15.5 ounce tin of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 2- 3 ripe plum tomatoes or one large ripe heirloom tomato (depending on the season)
  • 2 tbsp of lemon infused olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • Sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

Method:

Wash the zucchini thoroughly so the skin is shiny and clean and then chop into slices the thickness of a dollar.

Now gently heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Test if it’s ready for frying by adding one slice of the zucchini to the pan – it should start to sizzle nicely.

Now add all the zucchini to the pan and coat evenly with the heated oil. Allow the slices to fry on one side for at least a couple of minutes before flipping to check that they are starting to brown.

The zucchini should take about 7 – 10 minutes total to pan fry. When they are halfway done, you can add the chopped garlic – I don’t like adding too early as it tends to burn and burnt garlic is not a good addition to any salad, trust me!

A minute before removing completely from the heat, add the Ketjap Manis to the pan. TIP!! Be sure to have your extractor/fan going as the pan is going to be hot and any soy sauce tends to smoke when heated like this. Adding the soy sauce and allowing the zucchini to fry in this sweet, bubbling mixture for a minute adds a a nice sticky char to the veggies, just watch them and don’t let them burn.

Remove the zucchini from the heat and keep the pan covered while you assemble the rest of the salad.

Toss the garbanzo beans into a large serving bowl.

Chop the tomatoes into eighths or if you’re using one of those mammoth heirlooms probably much smaller pieces. There’s no hard and fast rule here – however you like to eat your tomatoes in a salad is fine, but ideally they’d be similar size chunks to your zucchini.

Add the tomato to the beans and now tip in the warm zucchini. Add the lemon olive oil, lemon juice, sesame seeds and season well. Combine thoroughly to ensure all the lemon and oils become infused into the warm veggies. Serve with hot crusty bread, plank salmon, seared halloumi cheese or even simple grilled chicken. Enjoy!

This dish and many simple variations is one my favorite sides to throw together on a week night when all I have in my fridge are a few lonesome potatoes and half a pot of sour cream. You can easily miss out the sweet potatoes altogether and it is equally tasty – I’m just obsessed with the tangy creaminess of nicely mashed sweet ones, especially as they’re now known to be even healthier than the average tater. Serve this side with salmon, chicken or even a good burger. Yummy anytime.

Total time: 45 mins – 1 hour (Prep 20 mins/cook and finish 20-40 mins)

Serves 3-4 depending on those appetites!

Ingredients:

  • 1 small bag fingerling or any small/new potatos
  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes (the orange variety) – if in doubt at supermarket, scratch a tiny pinch of potato skin away and the flesh inside should be bright orange
  • 1 knob butter
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt/Pepper for seasoning
  • Touch of Garlic Powder (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp Creme fraiche or Sour Cream
  • 1 good handful fresh Italian parsley (roughly chopped)

Method

Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove

Rinse and clean your fingerlings (or new potatoes) and chop any very large ones into smaller halves.

Peel your sweet potatoes and rinse thoroughly, cut into roughly same size chunks as your other potatoes (this is so that they all cook equally in the same time).

Plop all potatoes into now boiling water with the knob of butter and a tbsp salt and reduce to a decent simmer for approx 10-15 mins, cooking time will vary depending on size/type of potatoes.

Check that both types of tater are cooked so that they are soft but still have some bite (you don’t want the fingerlings to just fall apart) and then remove from heat and drain from the boiling water.

Leave potatoes in hot pan and add a generous slug of olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Then with a hand masher start to smash the potatoes together. The effect you are looking for is for the sweet potatoes to almost completely break down but the fingerlings to retain some shape – these are smashed, not mashed!

Finally when you have the potatoes at a consistency you are happy with, transfer to serving bowl and while still warm , stir in remaining ingredients: onion, vinegar, creme fraiche (or sour cream) and chopped parsley. Check the seasoning one last time.

Voila, double smashed potatoes. Now serve, spoon, eat and repeat! Enjoy

TIP! True vegans or veggies can leave out the dairy in this dish, it’s just a taste I like – if doing so just increase the amount of olive oil and vinegar slightly.

 

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