It’s summer! and BBQ season, even for vegetable lovers like me, which is enough to make anyone excited. In celebration of this and all things vegetable here’s a couple of recipes that involve grilled veg, with the tahini sauce, a favourite of mine.
Of course this tahini will go nicely with any grilled veg, but these two recipes work particularly well.
Firstly a grilled lettuce salad, this salad will change your attitude to both lettuce and salads. It’s proof that lettuce doesn’t have to be boring at all.
I know a lot of people struggle to make salads, interesting, filling & exciting to eat. So this is where I come in to help, with recipes, ideas and inspiration for you. Don’t feel like you always have to stick to a salad recipe, you can mix things up, experiment. It’s not baking, it doesn’t need to be exact, and you can have fun with it! Yes, fun with a salad.
Grilling lettuce shows a different side to this crunchy leaf, it’s warm, charred, smoky and melts into the tahini sauce.
This would be lovely as a side or cook up some grains, roast some sweet potatoes or grill some bread to serve along side and make this more of a meal.
Tahini is rich in protein and calcium along with other vitamins and minerals. Toasted seeds on top give you omega 3s, bright pomegranate and dark herbs all pack nutrients and vitamins in.
The other recipe I thought I would share is my burnt aubergine and tahini.
Like a deconstructed babaganoush. Burning aubergine does something magical to it, a delicious transformation occurs, which works so well with tahini.
One last thing before the recipes, I have exciting news.. Palm Greens the salad bar has finally opened!!
It’s a plan that’s been in the making for a while, you may remember our pop up, Green Flamingo a couple of years ago. Palm Greens we hope we hope will be a lot more permanent.
We’re serving up fresh, locally sourced, plant based and most of all delicious salads and dips. Starting with Saturdays at Hoxton Square market, we are aiming to grow over the next few months. So watch this space..
For menus and photos take a look at the Palm Greens tab here on my site.
For the Grilled Lettuce Salad
Serves 8 as a side
8 baby gem or 4 larger cos lettuce
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 grapefruit, segmented
seeds of half pomegranate
100g mixed seeds
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
100g Nutgrove’s edale ‘cheese’ – optional
salt & pepper
olive oil to drizzle
75ml olive oil
Juice 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
big pinch salt
Firstly, prepare your ingredients. To make your tahini dressing. Add all the ingredients to a high speed blender and blitz until smooth. You could also do this by hand with a bowl and a whisk. Simply grate the garlic in and whisk the rest of ingredients together.
To segment the grapefruit, use a sharp knife to slice off the skin, then with the knife, carefully remove each segment.
For the pomegranate, cut and using your finger remove the seeds. – Some people recommend using a wooden spoon to hit the pomegranate to get the seeds out. For the home cook, I think this is too messy and one pomegranate doesn’t take too long.
To toast your seeds, heat a small fry pan, add the seeds, toast for a couple of minutes, add the oil and tamari, and stir to make sure everything is coated. Toast for a further few of minutes until browned, mixing to make sure the seeds are evenly toasted, remove from heat and place in a bowl until ready to use.
On a hot bbq or in a grill pan on high heat - heat the pan for a few minutes until smoking. While heating, half the baby gem or cos, rinse, and place in the bowl to coat with the melted coconut oil. Once this is done, and the grill or pan is hot, grill the lettuce in a single layer; place cut side down onto the pan, grill for a 3-4 minutes, dont be tempted to touch or move the lettuce around. When it’s ready flip and grill for another minute. Carefully remove and set aside, repeat the process with remaining lettuce. Remove from the pan and sesaon with salt and pepper.
To plate spoon the tahini dressing onto a large serving dish, or 4 individual plates. Divide the lettuce between the plates. Sprinkle with pomegrate seeds, toasted seeds and pieces of grapefruit, if you like, a little crumble of soft white ‘cheese’ and drizzle of oil.
Burnt Aubergine and Tahini
Serves 8 as a side
4 whole aubergine
salt & pepper to taste
1 portion tahini
Optional toppings :
Burn the aubergine over an open flame, either on the BBQ or on a gas hob, turning regularly until charred all over, this should take a few minutes.
Split open and top with some chopped parsley, pomegranate seeds for a nice burst of freshness & toasted seeds or crispy chickpeas for crunch.
For chickpeas – drain chickpeas and pat dry, toss with 2 tablespoon oil & seasoning, roast in pre heated over 190c for about 30 minutes until crunchy. They will become crispier as they cool.