I have finally started using Instagram properly. I’ve now set it up so that I’m following my favourite people. This allows me to have a sticky beak into their latest adventures, to gawk at their beautiful photos and to save them for inspiration at some later date.
I’ve also been saving all of Nigel Slater’s latest instagrams. You see, he is currently travelling around Japan, and accompanying his gorgeous photos are some cleverly crafted little snippets that bring the pictures to life.
I seem to be obsessed with photos lately, although I don’t think it’s helping much with my own photography skills. Or, you know, lack of patience… I don’t want to eat cold food…
This week is Meat Free Week, an event that encourages people think about not only how meat they eat, but where that meat comes from. And it just so happened that as I was admiring Mr Slater’s latest Instagram photos, his new column came out featuring the humble chickpea, a vegetarian staple, and with it, an amazing sounding salad.
So to kick off Meat Free Week 2015, I give you Mr Slater’s salad of spiced chickpeas and puffed rice. It’s meaty enough for all those omnivores participating in Meat Free Week, and it’s different enough with its contrasting textures and temperatures to inspire all vegetarians, pescatarians and vegans.
Salad of Spiced Chickpeas and Puffed Rice
- 1 small pomegranate
- 400g cucumber
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 50g almonds (whole and skinned)
- 1 x 400g can chickpeas
- 30g hemp seeds
- 30g sunflower seeds
- 30g unsweetened puffed rice
- olive oil
- Crack open the pomegranate and remove the seeds, putting them into a mixing bowl and discarding any white pith as you go. Peel the cucumber, lightly, leaving as much colour as you can, then cut in half lengthways. Scrape out the seeds and pith with a teaspoon and discard, then cut the flesh into small dice. Toss the cucumber and pomegranate together.
- Put the coriander and cumin seeds in a shallow pan and warm them over a gentle heat. Let them cook, moving them around the pan, until crisp and fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and tip the toasted seeds into a mortar. Crush them to a fine powder.
- Warm the oil in the shallow pan, then, keeping the heat low, add the ground cumin and coriander, the garam masala and the curry powder, then the skinned almonds. Warm the nuts and spices, moving everything round the pan so it doesn’t burn.
- Drain the chickpeas and stir them into the spices and almonds, together with the hemp seeds, sunflowers seeds and puffed rice.
- Tip the warm chickpea mixture into the pomegranate and cucumber, add a trickle of olive oil, then toss gently together and serve.
Recipe by Nigel Slater as found on The Guardian.