Monday 6 October 2014

Procrasticooking: Grilled paneer, edamame & asparagus salad with soy coriander dressing

prə(ʊ)ˌkrasti /ˈkʊkɪŋ
    the act or practice of  preparing elaborate meals to delay exam study
    Variant of: procrastibaking 

It's med finals.
It's peak exam stress time.
No sleep. Gallons of coffee.
And of course, plenty of procrasticooking.
A girl's gotta eat right?

I went a little crazy at the butchers last week so we've been having lots of gloriously carnivorous creations recently: slow roasted lamb shoulder, chicken cacciatore, steak with pepper cream sauce, so last night to balance things out, we went green with a Grilled Paneer, Edamame & Asparagus Salad with Soy Coriander Dressing.

If you want a super quick, healthy, mid-week, mid-exam meal - look no further.

If you haven't cooked with paneer before - it's an unripened fresh cheese hailing from India. It has this gorgeous chewy slightly gooey texture when cooked but holds it's shape and has a mild almost sweet nutty flavour that just soaks up any sauce or dressing you put with it. It's very similar to the ever popular haloumi but not as intense in flavour and more importantly for a student/family, not as expensive.  You can even make your own in 30 minutes.

We adore it so I'm gonna put it out there - Paneer is the Haloumi.

The dressing is a gorgeous concoction adapted from Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals book.  It's all herby and lemony, bursting with sesame and soy. Utterly addictive. It would be just as amazing on steak, grilled chicken, noodles, a sandwich, anything.

Grilled Paneer, Edamame and Asparagus Salad with Soy Coriander Dressing

Serves 2

Soy Coriander Dressing:

1 large handful fresh coriander, stalks and all, leaves chopped roughly, stalks chopped finely
2-3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped (or minced)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 Tablespoons fish sauce
6 Tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil (the stuff with punchy grassy flavours works best)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon (depending on how sour and how big your lemon is)
1-2 red chillis deseeded chopped (kinda roughly, not too fine otherwise it will be super hot!)

Add all the ingredients into a bowl starting with 1 Tablespoon fish sauce and juice from 1/2 a lemon. Taste and adjust with more fish sauce or lemon juice, as required.  Set aside while you cook the veges.

Grilled Paneer, Edamame & Asparagus Salad 

1 block of paneer, sliced into squares (I cut our block in to 1/8ths, slicing the block into thin halves first if that makes sense?)
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into 1/3s
2 zucchini, sliced finely lengthwise (a mandolin is really handy for this but you don't need one)
1/2 bag frozen shelled edamame beans (~225g)
~6 stalks of silverbeet, chopped roughly

1. Preheat your oven to 200oC, make sure a rack is on the top quarter. Line a baking tray with foil and spray with baking spray.  Line the zucchini, asparagus, and silverbeet in a single layer on the tray. Very lightly salt. Bake for 6-8 minutes.

2. While your veges are in the oven. Bring a medium saucepan with plenty of water to the boil. Add the edamame beans straight from the freezer and boil for 4 minutes.  Drain, run under cold water to stop cooking and set aside.

3. Heat a heavy based frying pan or griddle pan with oil on high heat and cook the squares of paneer for 2 minutes per side or until gorgeously golden brown

4. Assemble your salad by plonking the veges on a plate, lie your paneer on top and drizzle with plenty of dressing. All the dressing.  Serve warm as a light but filling meal.


If these veges are not in season where you are just use what is around: beans, spinach, peas, fennel, eggplant etc.

Frozen edamame is available from the supermarket or asian grocery stores. Make sure you get the shelled version!

Paneer is also available at the supermarket or at asian/indian grocery stores.

1 comment:

  1. This has been on my list for long time. Hope to make it sometime soon. Looks yummy.



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