Monday, January 24, 2011

Avocado Wasabi Salad

Here’s a recipe for a salad that I really liked. I assembled most of the salad using the recipe as more of a guideline and eyeballed quantities, using what I had in the fridge. The wasabi powder really wasn’t as spicy as I feared, so this was quite good. The first time I ate it, I threw in some chopped avocado as well, but I think that was too rich with the avocado dressing. The dressing itself was thicker than I thought, with a consistency like that of mayonnaise, so it really worked only once it was mixed into the salad (as opposed to dolloped onto it). The second time, I didn’t use chopped avocado, only the dressing, and it was much better. I think I’ll reuse the chickpeas in other salads, they were quite good. I used arugula and baby spinach for this, but you can use whatever you have on hand. This makes 4 big servings as a main dish, but would be a great side dish too.

For the salad
greens of your choice for 4 people
1 carrot, shredded
2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
½ to ¾ cup broccoli florets, chopped small
½ cup toasted slivered almonds
1 recipe Wasabi Chickpeas, below
1 recipe Avocado Wasabi Dressing, below
freshly cracked black pepper

For the Wasabi-Tamari Chickpeas
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 can chickpeas
1 tsp wasabi powder
½ tsp sugar
1 Tbsp low sodium tamari/soy sauce

For the Avocado Wasabi Dressing
1 ripe avocado, diced
2 tsp white wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
3 Tbsp hummus, plain or garlic (I used some tahini)
1 tsp stone-ground mustard
½ tsp salt
2 tsp wasabi powder
¼ to 1/3 cup finishing-quality olive oil

Begin by whisking the dressing ingredients together, except for the oil. Whisk until smooth. (I did this in the food processor.) Slowly add oil until emulsified and the dressing is smooth; refrigerate until ready to use.

Toast your almonds in a dry pan over medium heat if they are not already toasted. Set aside.

In the same pan, add 1 tsp of oil and add broccoli. Sautee over high heat until the broccoli is beginning to color in spots and is bright green, but still tender-crisp. Sprinkle lightly with salt and set aside. (I completely skipped this step, as I prefer raw broccoli.)

Add the second teaspoon of oil to the same pan and add the chickpeas. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook the chickpeas until they are golden on all sides, using a spatula to loosen them as necessary, but don’t worry if they stick a little. Add the wasabi powder, sugar, and tamari and stir well. Remove from pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, add your salad greens. Add the broccoli, ¾ of the chickpeas, ¾ of the almonds and ¾ of the carrots. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Plate the salad, and garnish the top with the remaining chickpeas, almonds and carrots. Crack fresh black pepper over the top. Serve immediately. (If you are serving the salad later, do not add the dressing until the last minute.)

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