Veggiestan Waldorf Salad



When I read this recipe in Veggiestan I thought ‘hmm, might be a bit boring’. How wrong could I be.

This is a very exciting take on a Waldorf Salad and would make the perfect side to anything from fish to chicken to Halloumi – I could go on.

We both thought that it could be made into a perfect main with the simple addition of some bread (maybe pitta or garlicky croutons) and some cheese (maybe shaved parmesan – or Freya’s preference Stilton).

I like this kind of dish on a work day because you can take all the ingredients to work in their raw state and just prepare it when you want to eat.

There’s nothing worse than preparing a salad in the morning, popping it in some Tuppaware and then seeing it degrade before you get to eat it. You can prevent this somewhat by keeping the dressing separate but as soon as you start cutting apples or such-like they will lose their colour – so it’s best you just do it when you want it.

A traditional Waldorf salad is made from fresh apples, celery and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise, and usually served on a bed of lettuce. This dish differs slightly with the addition or raisins, chopped coriander and chopped mint, green pepper and onions. Also there is no mayonaisse. The dressing is made from yoghurt, oil, saffron, seasioning and cider vinegar.

I used some really colourful little gem lettuces (with nice purple tinges), and red onion in my version to make it look less green.

I love this. It packs a punch and has lots of different textures and flavours running through it. It’s a great salad – and it’s made with ingredients I usually have knocking about. I’ll never make a traditional Waldorf again.

Figs with Halloumi


Saved by the Figs!

You will find a rendition of this dish in almost every Middle Eastern cookery book. Figs and Halloumi are made for each other and this version is as good as any I’ve had previously.

The winning formula – so prevalent in Ottolenghi’s books – of leaves, nuts, fruit and cheese – works every time. In this dish it is Rocket, Pistachios, Halloumi and Figs.

We would eat this sort of dish every day. It is really satisfying.

The dressing works well too if you follow it to the letter – but I guess not many people have Raspberry vinegar ( sell it).

A wonderfully simple dish from Veggiestan by Sally Butcher

There’s an amusingly seductive tone for the recipe of this dish. You need to play some sexy music on your Hi-Fi – get the candles out – throw this together – and expect your evening to go very well. That said, I’ve had a lot of Dates (see previous recipe) – I think my chances are slim!

Fried Eggs with Dates


This is weird. In fairness when we saw it in the book we said – that looks weird, we should try it.

If you think about it too long, you won’t try it. Because it’s dates and fried egg mixed together. That’s it nothing else.

I feel kind of sucked in by the narrative under the ‘Western International Breakfast’ where the author says ‘Because the best food in the world is often the simplest’.

This may be true – but only of other dishes – not this one!

Freya didn’t like this – as was apparent when we swapped plates once I’d eaten three quarters of mine and she’d merely moved her food around the plate. Obviously I have concerns for how regular I might become having consumed 250g of dates – but I’m sure I’ll be fine!

I only made this while I waited for the Ocado man to deliver our groceries. Freya was hungry and in need of a quick nibble. I should have waited 15 minutes – although I guess I’d have made it eventually.

Have I got across to you all that I won’t make this again? Good!

Veggiestan – Sally Butcher



This is the first Vegetarian only cookery book I’ve cooked from. I borrowed it from my future mother-in-law quite some time ago and haven’t gotten round to cooking from it.

I like the down to earth writing of the author of this book – it’s a very modern writing style.

In searching for this week’s recipes I only got to page 80 before I’d shortlisted 20 recipes – and then stopped. This book compliments all the Ottolenghi books – and many of the recipes are strikingly similar but with slight twists. The middle eastern style of cooking really suits me. I hope I can go there on a holiday once we’ve sorted our boat out !

I particularly like the ‘suggestions’ of how to modify the dishes and customise them to your own tastes.

Anyway all this week’s recipes are going to come from this book. I’ve plumped for lots of simple to make, smaller dishes as I don’t have a lot of spare time this week. I hope you enjoy them !

This week I’ll be making:

  • Turkish Pizza Bread
  • Spinach Fatayer
  • Afghan Leek Pies
  • Beetroot and Orange Salad
  • Cucumber and Pomegranate Salsa
  • Waldorf Salad
  • Fatoush
  • Herby Omelette Thingies
  • Onion and Herb Salad
  • Fried Eggs With Dates
  • Figs and Halloumi
  • Cheese Baked Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes
  • Tomato, Fennel and Arak Soup

I’ll also make Mung Bean Casserole – but I have to wait for those to arrive from, they take a few days to deliver based on past experience.