I’m sure you are familiar with the following scenario. You didn’t plan your meal, so you have no idea what to have for lunch. You start opening your cupboards frantically in search for a life-saver but there’s nothing to be seen. Then you open your fridge and it becomes your best friend. You find some bits and bobs which could work and let’s face it, you need to make something out of them or else they will go bad. That’s exactly the way this concoction came about.
I like to make it when I’m in the mood for a salad but still want warm food. It’s going to turn hotter very soon here, or so they say. A day like today totally screams for a version of this assemblage, and now I’m really getting hungry. I don’t have an exact recipe for it and the amounts I give here are only as precise as I can remember them. As with any recipe such as this, you are always free to tweak it according to your tastes, be it in the choice of veggies and/or spices. I cannot count the times I changed it myself and it turns out slightly different every single time. Be creative. If you don’t have sumac, don’t worry, you can leave it out. Just add a little bit more lemon juice at the end.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped or crushed
- 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
- 4 large chestnut mushrooms, chopped into chunks
- ¼ teaspoon sumac (optional)
- 1 orange pepper, sliced
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- around 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 100g green beans
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 romaine lettuce, washed and roughly chopped
- a few leaves of radicchio or any other lettuce variety of your choice, washed and roughly chopped
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- juice of half a lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
Steam or boil the green beans, and do the same with the sweet potatoes. If you decide to boil the potatoes, keep an eye on them as you don’t want them to turn into mush. The green beans will take a few more minutes to cook than the sweet potatoes. Transfer to a warm plate when ready.
Place a shallow pan over low to medium heat and pour in the olive oil. When it heats up add the chilli flakes and garlic to flavour the oil. When it starts to sizzle, throw in the chopped onion, mushrooms, sumac, pepper, seasonings and soy sauce. Cook for around 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly, and set aside.
Put the the lettuce, radicchio and tomatoes in a large salad bowl. Add in the mushroom and onion mixture, followed by the green beans and sweet potatoes. Top with the lemon juice and toasted sesame oil. Give everything a good mix and serve immediately.
It makes a great light lunch for 2 very hungry people or as a dish to share served up with some grilled meat. I like to wrap some in a soft tortilla.