Superfood salad

I’m not usually one for food fads. I like my ice cream with cream in, my cakes with butter and sugar and I’ll only consider using cricket flour when all cereals will have disappear from the surface of the Earth.

But in spite of everything, it looks like I’m currently tumbling down a superfood-shaped rabbithole.

Superfood salad | Cake + Whisky

I blame my on-going cupboard clearing phase, that made me realise that I must be a member of the squirrel family (the kind that socks on nuts and then forgets about it).

The consequences of this discovery being that I made a superfood salad to use up part of my stocks and pretty much anything else I had in the fridge: watercress, red cabbage, radishes, avocado, ALL THE NUTS/SEEDS…

Superfood salad | Cake + Whisky

A pretty healthy lot, since most of them are actually superfood and therefore pack a punch of health benefits.

Add some lovely walnut French dressing and juuuuuust a tiny bit of crunchy BACON, and what was bound to happen, happened.

Superfood salad | Cake + Whisky

I became addicted to said superfood salad.

So much so in fact that despite the weather doing its best to make me see sense and come back to more wintery food, I’ve had it for lunch for 3 days in a row. And I’m strongly considering making it 4.

Superfood salad | Cake + Whisky

Cold air? Don’t care! All I want is this (super-easy to make) colourful superfood salad!

 

Superfood? Supergood!

Superfood salad | Cake + Whisky

Watercress & seeds superfood salad (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag (100g) watercress, rinced and pat-dried
  • 1 big handful thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 8 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, stone removed, diced or sliced
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon (for a vegetarian version, replace with 1 poached egg per person)
  • 1 tsp each black sesame seeds and pine nuts
  • 2 tsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (I love the sweetness of this honey lil’ number)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp walnut oil
  • salt flakes, cracked black pepper (use smoked pepper if you have some!)

1. Make the dressing: In a small jar, place the mustard and vinegar and mix until well combined. Pour the oil in, pop the lid on, then shake until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Cook the bacon in a hot pan until it’s all nice and crispy. Remove all residual fat from the pan and let the bacon cool a bit, then use kitchen scissors to chop it into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

3. On a serving plate of dish, arrange the watercress, red cabbage, avocado and sliced radishes. Sprinkle with the seeds and top with the crispy bacon bits.

4. Pour the dressing on top and serve immediately.

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Superfood salad

Brunch at Dishoom

I don’t usually give another chance to restaurants that disappoint the first time around but I made an exception for Dishoom.

Truth be told, after our last visit, I really wasn’t keen to go back. For me, it simply wasn’t worth the hype.

But many people told me that going for dinner was a mistake, and brunch was what Dishoom was all about.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

And so, after hearing the same advice from quite a few foodie friends, I finally gave in and booked a table for breakfast at their dazzingly beautiful King’s Cross venue.

(yes, BOOK! Quite an improvement on the 30 min+ in the cold already!)

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + WhiskyBrunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Once again, Dishoom signature decor, a mix of Bombay knick-knacks and vintage touches, took my breath away.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

The carefully thought-out details and the smell of Chai…

The second you step in, you’re transported miles away from London and its rain into the heart of India’s cultural capital: Bombay, home of Bollywood and the famous Irani cafés Dishoom was inspired by.

But did the food measure up?

Considering it’s been in basically every ‘London’s best brunch’ list, we came with high expectations.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

 

And having at heart to do as thourough a job as humanly possible, we covered the table in as many dishes as we could manage.

And here’s the good news. Some of it was very good indeed.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Top of the list being Dishoom’s famous Bacon Naan Roll.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Freshly baked tandoor naan, graced with a touch of cream cheese, chilli tomato jam and fresh herbs, and wrapped around rock-salt cured streaky bacon.

A Dishoom signature dish truly deserving of its accolades.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Not bad either were the Masala beans.

A massive portion for £1.5, with just enough warming chilli and a little sprinkle of fresh coriander, it is the perfect brunch side and anything but your usual baked beans.

Unfortunately, the rest of our selection wasn’t quite as successful.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Akuri – An Irani café staple of spicy scrambled eggs with onion and tomato, piled up alongside plump pau buns and served with grilled tomato.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

A winner on paper, but while it tasted quite nice with a nice kick of green chilli and fresh coriander, the texture of the eggs was truly awful as they were dry, yet with plenty of liquid leaking out (presumably from the chopped vegetables not being pre-cooked).

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

Kejriwal (fried eggs on chilli cheese toast) was even more of a disappointment, as the inviting orange-yolked eggs were un-evenly cooked (one was runny and the other entirely cooked through) and so covered in cracked black pepper that it was impossible to taste anything else. Quite a shame, really.

Brunch at Dishoom King's Cross | Cake + Whisky

And if the Chai was alright (not the best I’ve had, but not the worse either, and really quite helpful if you’re nursing a bit of a cold as I was that day), the Red grape & lemon wasn’t quite so. Too much lemon ruined the balance of the juice and brought out the unpleasant bitterness of grapes, instead of enhancing its natural sweetness.

So once again, Dishoom was quite a hit-or-miss sort of experience.

But if you stay right away from the fancy-looking options, and focus all your attention on the Bacon naan roll, it is actually quite a good brunch option!

Bacon, naan, chai. Sold.

Dishoom King’s Cross, 5 Stable St, London N1C 4AB – Book a table here

Do you give restaurants a second chance? 

Brunch at Dishoom

Potato & bacon salad

I don’t know about you but I always find cooking much more exausting in the summer. Maybe it’s because the idea of turning on an oven and standing in a hot kitchen for hours in the heat isn’t quite my idea of fun.

Or it could just be that ingredients are so much better in the summer that I don’t feel it’s worth doing much to them as they shine best in very simple recipes.

Baby new potatoes are one of my absolute favourite ingredients and they definitely fall into that category; they’re so much sweeter than their winter counterparts that it would be a shame to only use them as a side.

There are many ways to cook potatoes (my German friends usually brag than they know over 100), but I couldn’t think of a better way to highlight those beautiful potatoes than this deliciously light, summer-y potato and bacon salad.
Summer potato and bacon salad | Cake + WhiskyIngredients (serves 2): 500g baby new potatoes, 4 rashers streaky bacon, 3 spring onions, 1 red onion, 2 ripe tomatoes, 1 tbs whole grain mustard, 1 tbs cider vinegar, 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs vegetable oil, salt, black pepper.

1. Wash the potatoes and put in a pot of cold water with some salt. Boil until tender. Cut into manageable pieces.

2. Slice the spring onions, the red onion and the tomatoes.

3. Cook the bacon in a pan until nice and crispy. Take off the pan.

4. Add the sliced red onion into the pan with the bacon fat. Cook on a low temperature until soft, then turn the heat up and cook until golden.

5. Make your dressing: in a jar, combine the mustard, the olive and vegetable oil, the vinegar, some salt and black pepper. Close the lid and shake until thoughroughly mixed.

6. In a big bowl, put your sliced tomatoes. Pile on the potatoes, the bacon and red onions. Sprinkle the spring onions on top. Add a good sprinkle of salt and some cracked black pepper.

7. Pour the dressing on top and serve.

What’s your favourite way to cook potatoes? I’d love to discover new recipes I can impress my German friends with!

Potato & bacon salad