I spent my Saturday in Chittering, a quiet rural town north-east of Perth, learning to make vegan salads from Chef Kate Meinck.
Kate runs cooking classes from her secluded retreat. Some of you may be aware that she recently won a Maggie Beer recipe competition, so you can be fairly assured of culinary success if you follow her directions.
The class started with theory (“what makes a salad?”) and some awesome dressings before launching into the guts of the salads, most of which included a cooked component. [Note: the photos in this post are all taken hurriedly with my iPhone; please look past the photo quality to the fabulousness of the food.]
Kale salad — this rustic salad was the last of the day. Although it was the simplest to make, its flavours were complex and satisfying. I could have eaten a whole bowlful on its own.
Warm sweet potato salad — the caramelised sweet potato married perfectly with an Asian-styled dressing.
Artichoke and broad bean salad — my favourite salad of the day, I think because of the fresh broad beans, barbecued artichoke halves, and the rousing mustard greens in the leafy mix.
Spicy cashew, beetroot and raisin salad — even though the spicy cashews, made completely from scratch, were impressive, the beetroot remained the king of this dish. The lemon-based dressing was the perfect accent for all the flavours in this salad.
Caesar salad — who would have thought that some fried tempeh and seaweed would taste so awesomely Caesar-ish? I definitely didn’t miss the anchovies or bacon in this salad.
Kate has graciously allowed me to share one of the day’s recipes with you. I selected the mayonnaise on the basis that I had not tried a convincing vegan mayonnaise before this creamy version, which we used in the moreish Caesar salad dressing.
Recipe #110: Kate’s Vegan Mayonnaise. Printed with permission.
You will need:
► ¼ cup soy milk [or you can use a nut milk]
► 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
► 2 tbsp lemon juice
► ½ cup olive oil
► ½ cup sunflower oil [you may need more, depending on how thick you like your mayonnaise]
► salt & pepper, to taste
► 1 tbsp boiling water [prevents the mayonnaise from splitting when refrigerated]
In a bowl or blender, whisk the soy milk, mustard and lemon juice until frothy. Add ~1 tbsp of the olive oil and blend or whisk until the an emulsion is formed (ie. all ingredients combined well into a homogenous, creamy mixture). Add another 2 tbsp oil and whisk/blend into the mixture. Continue to add the rest of the oils in a steady stream until a thick consistency is achieved.
Taste, season, add more lemon if needed. Finally, add the hot water and whisk/blend it in really well.
- for aioli, replace the sunflower oil with more olive oil and add a clove of garlic; and
- for a tartare sauce, add capers, gherkins and parsley.
The day was warm, the company was delightful, the salads were delicious, and it gives me so much pleasure to share my day with you here.
Thank you to H, for inviting me along, and to Kate, for the excellent tips and tricks!
PS. Thanks for sticking with me, in spite of Friday’s missing post! You are all wonderful 🙂