Joey's 10 kitchen hacks for the best summer salads
1) Dukka, dukka, dukka!
This north African seasoning (of toasted nuts, seeds and spices) is a super simple way of instantly injecting awesome texture and flavour into any vegcentric dish… At High we make a stunning activated dukka with hazelnuts and sesame seeds, it’s our most popular High Bowl topping.
2) Cooked grains
If dinner involves rice/quinoa/spelt etc etc cook a little extra and keep this in a Tupperware in the fridge, ready to be muddled with simple veggies, a handful of rocket, and feta for tomorrow’s lunch box. Grain based salads travel well!
3) Fermented foods
I firmly believe that good vegcentric cooking entirely depends on the complexity of flavour of fermentation. Without fermented foods, veggie eating is flat. End of. At High we add a little kraut or kimchi to every salad, and have unique flavours such as Curried Coleslaw Kruat, and Green Vegan Kimchi.
4) Use the ferment brine!
Kraut or kimchi brine makes an awesome dressing! The lactic acid bacteria means it’s tangy and complex, not to mention beneficial for gut health. At High we serve a smacked cucumber salad dressed with kimchi brine..! If you dress with brine omit seasoning with salt.
Mung beans or puy lentils only need 24 hours in filtered water, a good rinse, and a few days at room temperature to offer a nutritionally awesome and texturally exciting salad topping.
6) Roast your greens
Any greens, and if a random medley of what’s in the veggie draw so much the better! Don’t worry about different ‘roasting times’ with a tray of green veggies, some might char while others stay al dente and that helps to layer up texture. Roasting on a high heat achieves a much deeper flavour than blanching or steaming.
7) Mini jam jars… (or leave the dressing at work!)
Tiny ‘areoplane-size’ jars can be popped in the Tupperware along with your salad, ready for dressing at lunch time. No soggy leaves withering at the bottom.
8) Go nuts!
Kilner jars of toasted nuts and seeds are my go-to for adding nutritional oomph to salads… flavour and texture too of course, but satiating good fats that help to fill me up! At High we activate all our nuts which make them easier to digest and boosts the bioavailability of nutrients.
9) Dress to impress
If you’re serving a salad at home do dress it generously and muddle the ingredients together well. Even 5 minutes helps the flavours mingle and creates an overall eating experience which is more interesting than a naked salad with dressing on the side or drizzled on top.
10) Mixing bowl vs serving bowl
Another one for when you're eating at home… even if it’s supper for one, I highly recommend prepping, dressing and tossing your salad in a mixing bowl first, and then transferring it. The overall flavour is hugely improved (see above!). Makes a huge difference!