The Art of The Savoury Salad

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I love salads.

What a lame beginning.

I’m unsure of myself here. Today. On my own blog. I can’t believe its been three months since I was here last.

Sigh, life is happening even as we speak. And still, I love salads. And I’m here. Showing up on the page.

Talking about the wonders of savoury salads. Of colours and textures, of layers and flavours. And green and root vegetables.

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Plantain Salad Imoyo: Boiled plantains, bell peppers, chilies, smoked chicken, herbs

I’m of the opinion that there is a general formula for salads and its always about balance – therein lies the art. About that combination of sweet and salty, spice and crunch. And heft sometimes, lightness – others. Of herbiness. And of a combination of a few of these.

I like how salads run the gamut – from  making me feel as though rivers run through my centre, to being comfort food.

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Lime Fever: 30 Things to do with Limes

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mswanawana wrote on Instagram:

‘Its official. You are obsessed with limes. Get on with the lime and lemon grass cordial’

Limes.

Zip. Zing. Zest.

Great with sweet – mangoes, ripe plantains, pawpaw, perfect with spice, like cardamom; herbs like mint and tang, like yogurt.

Nigerian dessert: Mango and Lime Dessert

Pushed and prodded by Miss Wana Wana on Instagram, I decided to share my favourite ways to make them bed and mouth fellow.

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Jollof Beans

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I love stewed beans.

Or Jollof beans as we would call it in Nigeria.

Beans cooked in a tomato sauce. Except my sauce is more onions and peppers than tomatoes. But it still ends up with the Jollof ‘hue’, a cross between deep orange and red.

Jollof. 

Today, I share my beloved recipe for ‘stewed’ beans: Brown beans pre-cooked, then finished in an oniony sauce, reddened with palm oil.

This bean dish can be cooked with white or brown beans. I prefer brown beans especially a variety known by the Yorubas as ‘Oloyin’, meaning honey. Of sweetness.

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Frejon: Of Nigerian And Brazilian History

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Connectedness. The thing that fascinates me the most in life. If I had to narrow down the things I find fascinating. This would be one of them.

Connectedness – of people, places and things. Brazil. Nigeria. Connected. By slavery and freedom.

Frejon Recipe

Frejon, with Garri Ijebu & Flaked Croaker in a pepper sauce

In culture and cuisine. Like Carnivals. Connected, with thick tropical rainforests and love for football. Connected in cuisine. Some of which I’ve explored before, from Bean Fritters to Plantain salads.

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‘Nigerian’ Bread Pudding with Pawpaw Custard

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This was the point of the lime marmalade…but it was TOO bitter. Even to feature, not less star in the dish. Thankfully, I had some great, store-bought orange marmalade which took its rightful place at the table.

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This is another recipe from Zina. This time though, she cooked. Baked it. For us. Read more…

Technique: How to Juice a Lime

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To juice a lime…with ease, you’ll need the greenest, smoothest-skinned, most fragrant limes. Ever. Well…..even yellowing, gnarled limes would work.

Moving on. You’ll need a sharp knife and thus your wits about you. And a beautiful handheld citrus press, or you could be here all night.

Don’t forget you’ll need a cup too, a receptacle to catch the juice. For isn’t that the very point of this tutorial? The juice.

Which once done is set aside for a lime marmalade and a recipe that will follow.

How to juice a lime

But first, how to juice a lime. Read more…

Mango Salsa: A Quick & Easy Recipe Guide

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Salsa, of a rhythmic Latin American dance. And of a sauce. A condiment with names, types, characters varied.

From Roja, of red to verde, of green.

With sweetcorn, onions, carrots, pineapples and mangoes – each starring as the main ingredient. Even with citrus too.

Mango Salsa

This salsa I present to you is of mangoes.

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#Video: How to Cut a Mango

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I didn’t grow up cutting up mangoes into pretty chunks for food.
I didn’t worry about how to get my chunks all lined up in a row.
I didn’t find my days and night taken with thoughts of salsas and salads
Limed-fruit and whatnots.
It wasn’t till adulthood beckoned…
That I learnt how to cut a mango.
 
So, I hope you find this video useful….
 

How to cut a mango on Vimeo.

Dessert in Nigeria: Mangoes & Lime with Cardamom Yogurt

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As much as I love lemons, they have nothing on limes. Even Meyers. I’m sorry. So sorry.

Nigerian dessert: Mango and Lime Dessert

Limes transport me to a place. Sharp. Vibrant. Fragrant. All at once. Yes, harsh but with the feeling and willingness to be tempered.

I think one of the most sacred combinations of fruit and citrus lies in Mangoes and lime. Zest. Juice. Et al.

‘Fresh lime squeezed on ripe mango is one of the worlds greatest food pairings. They’re both pugnacious flavours, although lime’s slightly harsh, medicinal qualities are offset by the floral notes it shares with mango'; The Flavour Thesaurus, Niki Segnit

And as it is still mango season, and we’re discovering new ways to enjoy it….this recipe is the happy medium for breakfast. And dessert. And in-betweens.

Its simply diced mangoes, tossed in lemon zest and juice, served with spiced natural yogurt. Read more…

Quick & Easy: Lime-Pickled Onions

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It’s the transformation that gets me. The beautiful change of colour in the purple onions to almost magenta.

Groundnut Chop toppings

A table full of toppings

It’s the acid in the fresh limes that result in this. That creates this thing of beauty.

The bite of the onion is tempered, and the texture is slightly softened. The acid in the lime juice sets the colour and creates this vibrant pickle in a matter of minutes

We know the effect of citric acid on fruit and vegetables – think of how acidulated water slows down browning in bananas and artichokes and most other fruits. It maintains and sets the colour and brightens it.

Great in salads – both fresh and cooked, On wraps, as a garnish, as a condiment/side. As…….

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Chicken & Avocado Tortilla wrap with pickled onions

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