Soy bean sprout salad with sesame oil

I had a packet of soya beans on the shelf for a while, wondering what to do with them. This is one of the recipes that work well. I began with a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s ‘Eastern Vegetarian Cooking’, a book that I have had for more than twenty years. It is old and scorched, and full of recipes I like.


  • Soy beans
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds, toasted.
  • Stock


  • I started by sprouting the soy beans for several days, rinsing them at least twice a day in fresh water, and keeping them in a cool shaded area of the kitchen. Once the roots were about two inches long, and the beans were beginning to colour green, I put them in the fridge until I was ready.
  • Next I simmered the sprouts in stock for about seven minutes, and drained them.
  • When they were almost cool, I sprinkled the sprouts with sesame oil and a little soy sauce, and garnished with a teaspoonful of toasted sesame seeds.

Apparently you can add mung bean sprouts for the last couple of minutes of cooking. I served this slightly warm, and it was excellent.

Broad bean salad

I have a lot of broad beans at the moment; I planted them late and I’m just picking the last of them now. We used some to make this salad, which was perfect with barbequed food: we had shish kebabs, nan bread, yoghurt and cucumber salad, humus, lots of things. I got the idea from a Jamie Oliver Recipe, but he had added some other ingredients at the end. I stopped short of the full thing, as the salad was delicious enough without the extras. I made it at the last minute, as it is good slightly warm.


  • Allow around 30g beans per serving
  • Lemon juice to taste (1 lemon for 4 servings)
  • olive oil (ratio of lemon juice:olive oil is 1:3)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint per serving
  • 1 spring onion per serving


  • Pod the beans, and blanch them, unsalted, in boiling water for a minute or two. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • Put the warm beans in the serving dish, and dress with lemon juice and olive oil. For every 1 tbsp of lemon juice, add 3 tbsp olive oil.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and add finely shopped mint. Slice the onions very finely, and fry in a little olive oil, until the onions are soft and starting to colour. Stir them into the salad.

This works really well served with sour cream or greek-style yoghurt.

Carrot salad with mustard seeds

This is a very simple recipe, great as a quick side-dish to add freshness to any meal. It is great to add to a summer picnic, a cold buffet, or with a range of Indian dishes. 


  • Approx 350g carrots
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs rapeseed oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds


  • Peel and grate the carrots, and put them in a salad bowl, sprinkle in the salt and toss to ensure it is evenly distributed.
  • Heat the oil in a small pan, and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds. Cook the mustard seeds until they begin to pop. 
  • Pour the hot oil and seeds over the carrots, and mix well. 

Lobster Salad

I have lovely neighbours. They gave me four small lobsters yesterday. They had been cooked the night before just after being caught. We had lobster salad for tea last night, just the best. One lobster each. We are going to do the same tonight. It is one of those things where simple is best. 


  • 1 small to medium lobster per person, around half a kilo weight. 
  • 1 lemon, allow one decent wedge per person
  • Salad – include tomato, cucumber, lettuce. Optional extras include rocket, spinach leaves, celery, chives
  • Mayonnaise – this could be plain, or flavoured with lemon or tarragon. 


  • If you are cooking the lobsters yourself, plunge them into boiling water, and simmer for around 10 minutes. Drain them, and when you can handle it, remove the heads so they drain and cool faster. Keep the claws and discard the heads. Once cool, pop them in the fridge. 
  • I serve the lobster in a bowl on the table, with a plated salad, mayonnaise and a wedge of lemon for each person. I also like a slice of brown buttered toast with this. 
  • If you have people who can’t sort out a lobster, I remove the meat from the tail and claws, chop it into pieces around 1 cm cubed and stir in a good squeeze of lemon. I then mix this with the mayonnaise. Sometimes a little chopped celery or chopped chives can be added at this stage. The resulting mixture can then be served on a bed of lettuce, rocket, tomato and cucumber, with a side serving of hot buttered brown toast. 

Salad of flowers

This looks so beautiful, adding flowers to salad, and the extra flavour that they bring just lifts the whole thing. I usually make a basic Greek-style salad and layer the flowers on top. The ingredients depend on what is available. I add the ingredients in layers, only mixing together when serving. 


  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber 
  • Spring onions
  • Chopped tomato
  • Black olives
  • Crumbled feta cheese 
  • Flowers – borage, nasturtium, chives, violas, dill, rocket, rose, rocket, stocks, pinks, kale, chamomile, marigold, dandelion
Salad of flowers

Greek feta salad

This is my version of a greek salad, it is quick to make and one of my favourites. I don’t usually refer to a recipe, so it is probably not that authentic. It has a lot in common with the Persian summer salad. 


  • Half a cucumber
  • About the same weight of cherry tomatoes
  • About four or five spring onions
  • A small little gem lettuce
  • 50g feta cheese
  • Kalamata olives
  • Oregano or chive flowers
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Line a large salad bowl with lettuce leaves
  • Dice the cucumber, chop the onions, cut up the tomatoes and add them to the bowl, in layers with the tomatoes on the top. 
  • Add the olives and crumbled cheese, and garnish with herbs. 
  • Just before serving, season and add a drizzle of olive oil. 


Carrot and cumin salad

This is a classic going way way back to university. It is great with middle eastern meals. 


  • 2 or 3 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Toast the cumin seeds in a small pan for a minute or two, and then lightly crush
  • Mix the carrots and cumin seed, season with salt and pepper
  • Just before serving, mix in the lemon juice and olive oil

Persian summer salad

I’ve been eating a lot of salad this summer, this is a good one to serve with some of the other dishes that I’ve posted this year. It is from Nightingales and Roses by Maryann Sinaiee. I have adapted it a bit, because we don’t get a lot of pomegranates on South Uist, but you can add these for an extra burst of colour and flavour. 


  • Half a long cucumber
  • About the same weight in cherry tomatoes
  • About the same weight in spring onions
  • A couple of sprigs of fresh mint
  • A good squeeze of lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Peel the cucumber and dice
  • Cut the tomatoes into 8 (half, half and half again)
  • Chop the spring onions into small circles
  • Chop the mint finely
  • Mix the chopped ingredients. 
  • Just before serving, mix in the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. 

A quick potato, dill and bean salad

Cooking quickly to avoid being inside when the weather is good. I combined a 400g bag of new potatoes, boiled in their skins and chopped, with a bag of beans from East camp, cooked for 5 minutes in boiling water. I added some chopped dill, spring onions and mayonnaise. 

Salmon is what you need to serve with this.