life’s a beach

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You could be forgiven for thinking that I’ve been lazing on a tropical island, especially when I tell you that the scent of coconut was wafting by …. but I wasn’t – I promise!  This is the beautiful beach at Nairn (which is on the Moray Firth coast in Scotland just in case you’re wondering) and the walk was positively bracing!  The scent of coconut came from the gorse which was growing nearby, not my sunscreen!!  The next day it was blowing a hoolie and if I could work out how to upload the video I took you’d be able to hear it!  Actually we were very lucky with the weather and had a lovely time in Nairn and the surrounding area.  We visited Cullen where I had been on holiday as a child and, apart from Rockpool, a lovely café and restaurant where we ate some very yummy fish and chips, it was just as I remembered.  Amazing!  We also visited Portsoy which has a very picturesque harbour.

During the week I had a quick side trip to Aberdeen to visit friends and we went to a new café called Foodstory.  I have to say its been a long time since I enjoyed lunch in *Aberdeen quite so much – it was right up my street!  There was plenty of choice – you could have a sandwich, soup or salad or a combination of all three.  I opted for two salads and some lovely bread and it really hit the spot.

On my return home I felt inspired to try and make some more interesting salads.  Over the last few months we’ve been eating out of the freezer (not literally!) otherwise I get to September only to find boxes labelled 2013 lurking.  Although sometimes I find bags/boxes without a label (and this is not because they’ve fallen off) so its a real lottery as to what we might be having for dinner!

One of the salads I had at Foodstory had a lovely spicy satay dressing so I thought I would try and make something similar.  I used the same ingredients – roasted sweet potato, barlotti beans (out of a tin) and rocket – and made a **dressing from roasted peanuts, chilli pepper, lime juice, coriander and sesame oil.  I’m afraid I can’t give any quantities because I confess I burnt some of the peanuts and just had to work with those that I managed to rescue!  I started by putting the roasted nuts, some lime juice, half a red chilli and coriander into the food processor and just tinkered with it until it tasted good.  I added the other half of the chilli and only added a small amount of sesame oil.

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I chopped some peanuts to sprinkle over the salad for texture but there should definitely have been more.  Lesson learnt – don’t take your eyes off those roasting nuts for a second!  Difficult when they’re in the oven of the AGA!

*lunch at friends and family excluded of course!

**dressing adapted from recipe in ‘Cornucopia at home’ – a collection of recipes from Dublin’s Cornucopia Restaurant.

 

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