Nadiya’s Fast Flavours episode 4: Nadiya Hussain shares delicious recipes for things that are both fresh and a little bit healthy. These are some lighter meal alternatives, all of which are foolproof recipes that are simple to prepare and easy to master.
To kick off, Nadiya cooks up a bright and beautiful butternut squash soup, where she makes the flavour sing by adding spiced saffron for warmth and the juice of a grapefruit for an intense citrus hit. Rather than throwing away the seeds, she toasts them in oil before sprinkling them with fragrant mango powder to use as a crunchy topping.
Next up is a delicious crunchy salad. Nadiya admits that she used to struggle to get excited by salads, as they can be so plain and uninspiring, but that all changed on a filming trip to Thailand. While filming a scene in a market, she had a crunchy papaya salad with green beans and peanuts, and her mind was blown. Nadiya has created a unique version of this Thai classic, using the more accessible and affordable cucumber as well as juicy prawns and a punchy dressing packed with sour, sweet, tart and spicy Thai flavours.
Nadiya always has cake in the house, and she shares her recipe for a vegan and gluten-free apple and olive oil bake. Not healthy per se, it is still a lighter alternative to some of her more decadent recipes and full of fresh fruity flavour.
Finally, Nadiya turns her attention to a lighter alternative to the roast dinner. As the centrepiece, she takes a side of fresh salmon and coats it with a salsa verde crumb, while caramelised miso onions make a delicious side. Meanwhile, Georgina Hayden shares a treasured recipe for a Greek Cypriot kebab and zesty salad with creamy avocado, punchy radishes and a lemon and tahini dressing.
Nadiya’s Fast Flavours episode 4 recipes:
Salsa verde side of salmon
This is a wonderful centre-of-the-table type of dish – a whole side of salmon baked with a punchy salsa verde. It’s served with onion wedges cooked gently in a medley of simple, flavourful miso and ghee, and crispy salmon skin crumbled on top. Nothing wasted, everything used, and stunning to look at and eat.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Line a roasting dish big enough to lay the salmon in comfortably and another flat tray to lay the skin in with baking paper.
- For the base, add the onions, ghee, miso paste and salt to the roasting dish. Get your hands in there and give it a good mix. Lay the onions, flat-side down, in the roasting dish.
- For the salmon, pat the skin dry and cut the salmon in half. In a bowl, mix the cornflour, paprika and salt. Smear the cornflour mixture over the skin until it is coated all over. Lay flat on the prepared baking tray. Pop the onions in the oven on the middle shelf and the skin just below. Roast for 20 minutes, turning the skin over halfway through so it crisps up evenly.
- To make the salsa verde, put all the ingredinets, including the oil from the tin of sardines, into a food processor and whizz until well combined.
- Take the tray with the onions out of the oven, move the onions to the sides and place the salmon in the centre. Cover the top of the salmon in the salsa verde. Bake for 30–35 minutes.
- When the skin is crisp, remove from the oven and leave to cool. As soon as the salmon is ready, serve the onions and salmon on a platter. Crumble the skin all over the onions and it is ready to eat.
Apple and olive oil cake
This apple cake is dense and sweet, with a little tartness from the apple sauce, while the olive oil icing makes it moist and fragrant. The cake is not only vegan, it’s also gluten-free – but most of all, it’s delicious.
- Start by lining and greasing a deep 20cm/8in cake tin and preheating the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
- Pour the oil and sugar into a bowl and whisk together for 2 minutes until well combined and pale. Put the baking powder and apple sauce into a smaller bowl and mix together. Add to the oil and sugar mixture and mix together until well combined. Fold in the ground almonds and plain flour until everything is well combined. You should have a dense, grainy batter. Spoon into the lined cake tin, smooth with the back of a spoon and bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and pop a piece of kitchen foil on top of the cake tin to stop the top from browning too much. Bake for another 25 minutes.
- To make the syrup, put the apple juice and sugar into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half. Take off the heat, add the mixed spice and stir through. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes into it and pour the syrup mixture all over. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
- Meanwhile, make the icing. Put the oil and icing powder in a jug and mix until thick and well combined (or blend with a stick blender). As soon as the cake is cooled, drizzle the icing on top and it’s ready to eat.
Thai cucumber salad – Nadiya’s Fast Flavours episode 4
Thai salads often include papaya, which is hard to buy here in the UK, and pricey when it is available. So I’ve created my version using the humble cucumber for a crunchy, strong and aromatic salad topped with prawns.
- Start by blanching the green beans in boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain, run under cold water and leave to cool.
- Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and red onion in a large bowl. Mix by hand. Add the prawns and peanuts and mix through.
- Now put the chillies in a pestle and mortar and crush them, followed by the garlic. Add the brown sugar, lime juice and fish sauce and mix through.
- Add the sauce to the salad and mix everything together. Serve with a sprinkling of nuts.