My Secret Santa Bought me a cookbook called The Healthy Hedonist: More than 200 Delectable Flexitarian Recipes for Relaxed Feast by Myra Kornfeld.
What the heck is a flexitarian? Well it's someone who mainly eats vegetarian meals but occasionally has meat.
I've looked through it and it looks like it has some great recipes. This spring roll salad recipe caught my eye. I didn't want to serve 8 so I cut the salad recipe way back (you can easily eyeball it) and cut the sauce recipes in half. It really isn't as labor intensive as it first appears. I did make the sauces ahead of time.
Also once you have the ingredients on hand it's easy to toss another salad with the leftovers.
The effort is well worth the result. I love the peanut sauce and my try it with the tempeh recipe I posted earlier. Or maybe I'll drizzle it over soba noodles. I did over-roast my shiitakes so watch them carefully.
This would be an excellent side dish to a seafood entree. If you want to make the dish heartier you can add some glazed tofu.
Some changes I made: I didn't use shoyu, I used tamari. They're both soy sauce by the way. And I didn't use tamarind concentrate I used tamarind paste which I found with the Indian food.
Spring Roll Salad with Roasted Shallot Peanut Sauce and Tamarind Dipping Sauce
3/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons shoyu
4 ounces (4 cups loosely packed) fettucine-style rice noodles
2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks (1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Roasted Shallot Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)
Tamarind Dipping sauce (recipe follows)
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375.
Cut the stems off the shiitakes and discard them (or save them for stock). Thinly slice the caps; you should have 5 cups. Toss the shiitakes in a bowl with the olive oil and shoyu. Then spread them out on a parchment-covered baking sheet and transfer it to the oven. Roast, stirring twice, until the mushrooms are shrunken, browned, and fairly crisp, about 40 minutes. Place the mushrooms in a small bowl and set it aside.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat, add the noodles, and let them sit until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, and rinse the noodles for at least 30 seconds under cold water to prevent sticking.
Toss the noodles in a bowl with the carrots and herbs. Mound a portion of noodles on each plate, and drizzle the dipping sauce and the peanut sauce over the top. Sprin- kle with the mushrooms and peanuts.
Roasted Shallot Peanut Sauce
This versatile peanut sauce is sweet with a spicy kick. It's great on a variety of dishes. Heat the sauce or serve it at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
3 medium shallots, unpeeled
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons natural sugar, preferably maple sugar or evaporated cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon shoyu
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
Place the shallots on a parchment-covered baking sheet and roast until they are very tender and the juices have started to ooze out, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the shallots cool slightly, and then squeeze the pulp out of the skins. Place the shallot pulp and all the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. The sauce will keep, covered and refrigerated for up to a week. Warm before serving.
Makes 2 cups.
Tamarind Dipping Sauce
This tangy sauce takes only a few minutes to make and complements the sweet and spicy peanut sauce, making the noodles come alive with flavor.
2 tablespoons natural sugar, preferably maple sugar or evaporated cane juice
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon shoyu
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon finely slivered seeded red serrano or Thai bird chile
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan, and warm over medium heat until the sngar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the lime juice, tamarind concentrate, and shoyu, stirring until smooth. Let the mixture cool slighdy, and then stir in the cilantro, garlic, and chile. The sauce should be tangy and slightly sour. The sauces will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days.
I'll be getting back to the ethnic food soon so stay tuned!