Infinitely Adaptable Salad with a Smashing Hemp Seed and Ginger Dressing

I am rather chuffed with meself today. Husband No:1 (not sure if I’m keeping him, 23 years of marriage and he is still annoying 🙂 )came in and announced that he wants to follow the 5:2 diet (he has no need to lose weight at all – he is a damn near physically perfect specimen – but he wants to be healthier) and he is really keep for those 2 days to be fully raw, vegan days. I know for sure now that he has been enjoying those foods along with all the other delights I proffer.

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I did promise on my FB page that I would share this recipe. It is, as I say, infinitely adaptable, I would always suggest you use seasonal fruit and veg and if you can get locally grown then do so. You know if you can’t grow stuff yourself you can pop along to the local allotments or communal veg gardens and either buy the excess that they are probably selling or else go along and introduce yourself, tell them you are wanting to eat more locally grown foods and that theirs looks gorgeous (a little flattery will go a long way) and offer to buy what they have over each week. Not only will you be getting some fantastic produce, but you’ll be getting inspired by what these old boys and girls can produce and you’ll probably make a couple more friends 🙂

In all honesty, the food may well not look as perfect as the stuff in the supermarkets – I take that as an excellent indication that the food has been grown with due respect to the flora and fauna of the veg garden – and I kinda like bees …. and wasps … and even spiders 🙂

Mix this up … use what is good right now
1 cup fresh beans (broad, french, runner- in the winter you can go for sprouted mung, kidney or chick peas)
3 ears of corn (just slice the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife (in the winter you can use 2 cups of frozen – it can be our secret)
1 sweet red pepper
2 cups of chopped tomatoes (I currently am loving the very fleshy italian varieties)
2 large carrots (I am currently loving the globe variety I have in my garden – so…. carroty!)
1 corgette/zucchini
1/2 a sweet white onion/shallot

Give it all a good scrubbing wash and then chop it all into small pieces (so a few pieces could pile onto a teaspoon)
And mix in a bowl.

Hemp Seed and Ginger Dressing
4 medium carrots
a 2cm hunk of ginger (peeled and sliced)
3 tbsp coconut palm sugar (or whatever you like to use as a sweetener – this adds such a nice warm base to go with the hemp seeds)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp himalayan salt (you can use sea salt – but I like the iron hit)
1/3 cup Hemp seed oil
1/2 cup shelled hemp seeds

Pop everything bar the hemp seeds into a good strong food processor/blender and let it go until everything is a nice soft sauce. If it needs a little more water to blend it then just add it in 1/4 cup at a time.

Now just taste it, adjust the seasoning (does it need a little more sugar, vinegar, salt? Or all of them?)

Tip into a bowl and stir in the hemp seeds (my absolute favourite seeds)

Now use it to dress the above salad or use it as a dip. I love it smeared onto raw veggie wraps with some naughty avocado and apple – yum

😀

Italian Cardamon Chocolate Torte (soft and super yummy)

Well this is one of my best recipes that will be making it’s way into the recipe book, but a rather lovely customer is utterly desperate for it and so, as I am the ‘Queen of Customer Happiness’ I am sharing it for you all to enjoy.

This makes a nice deep uber chocolate cake which is utterly lovely with just a dust of icing sugar. But if you like and you fancy something a little more lavish I suggest you divide the mix between two pans before cooking (don’t even bother to try and cut the cake in two once it is cooked – you’ll end up with lots of very delicious choccy cake chunks) and once it is cool fill and top with 16 oz/ 450g of cream cheese mixed with 2 oz/ 50 g of icing sugar and 4 tablespoons of vanilla paste – no messing 😀

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Italian Chocolate Cake

Makes a good 10 slices

140g/5 oz butter or a non hydrogenated vegetable fat

252g/
9 oz chocolate (min 70% Cocoa solids), chopped

3 tablespoons water

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

105g/3.75 oz cocoa powder

5 eggs, separated

224g/
8 oz sugar

12 cardamon pods

2 teaspoon vanilla paste

1/2 teaspoon Sea salt

Heat oven to 350˚F 180˚C Gas 4

Roast the cardamon pods for 5 minutes until fragrant and starting to colour.

Allow to cool then grind in a coffee grinder, liquidiser, food processor or pestal and mortar.

Parchment line a 23 cm or 9″ cake pan, but make the sides at least 4 cm 2″ high.

Line the bottom of the baking pan with a round of parchment paper.

Melt fat in a large bowl over a saucepan of hot water (don’t let the bowl sit in the hot water)

As it melts stir in chocolate until melted and then remove from heat.

Stir in the water, set to the side.

Whisk together the baking powder, salt, cardamon and cocoa until just combined.

In another bowl, whisk egg yolks with half the sugar and the vanilla paste until pale and fluffy.

In another very clean larger bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, then add the final sugar and beat again.

Now everything gets folded into the chocolate, keep going until well mixed.

Tip into the waiting pan (pans)

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, it should look shiny on the top and feel firm at the edges. If you’ve done as I’ve said it should be ready – you aren’t getting a dry toothpick out of this cake 🙂

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minimum of 30 minutes before you turn it onto a cake plate.

Dust with a little icing sugar or fill with the cream cheese as I suggested earlier.

Eat warm or cold.

Do not refrigerate this cake – it will go hard and only popping into the oven will retrieve that lovely tender crumb.

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.

email me scarletrositafood@gmail.com

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