Saturday, September 08, 2007

WHB #99 - Kaffir lime leaves

As the sun has decided to smile down upon us again an automatic gear shifting has crept into the kitchen. The porridge pot is put away and instead the oats are soaked in soy and eaten cold with fresh fruit and nuts. Likewise the desire for salad is consuming me. All week I have been blanching and tossing all sorts of green things with dressings.

The trip to the market rendered the dearest little spring stalks of asparagus, practically vibrating with organic goodness. Blanched for less than a minute, at this end of the season they have amazing sweetness. The other find was a bag of fresh kaffir lime leaves. I have a weak spot for these flavour bursts of lime. Sure you can use them in curries but uncooked, finely sliced they add life to salads when sprinkled on top or incorporated in a dressing.

Chickpea and asparagus salad, with kaffir lime dressing
Serves 2 hungry vegetarians as a main or many for a side dish

2 cans organic chickpeas (home cooked would be better), rinsed well
a generous handful of asparagus, blanched and refreshed in ice water
1 avocado, diced
2 organic eggs, hard boiled and diced
a big handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds, toasted

Assemble in a pretty bowl, dress and toss.


the juice of 1 lemon
twice as much olive oil to lemon juice (pumpkin seed oil also goes well)
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2-4 tsp Dijon mustard
1-2 kaffir lime leaves*, very finely chopped
a little sea salt and ground black pepper

Shake the ingredients in a jar or whisk in a bowl. I like it on the tangy side but you can add more oil if you don’t. The lime leaves add an extra burst of citrus.

* kaffir lime leaves store well in the freezer in a ziploc bag and can be used straight away. The photo above is taken of a leaf that had been frozen for a few days, snapped a couple of minutes out of the freezer. Other than having a tree in your garden or in a pot, this is the best way I have found to preserve the flavour and deep green colour.

Weekend Herb Blogging is bought to you this week by Katie at Thyme for Cooking - don't forget to check her site on Tuesday for this weeks round up.

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Blogger Katie Zeller said...

I keep hearing about kaffir lime leaves but have never seen them. I wonder if I could grow them...
I have kiwifruit....mild winters....
Anyway, love your salad and am so envious of your beginning asparagus season!

12:30 am  
Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

I am just crazy about the flavor of kaffir lime leaves. Of course I could never grow them in Utah where it gets so cold, but I do have a step-sister in California who mails them to me. I keep them in the freezer, definitely not as good as the fresh ones you're getting, but still pretty good for a lot of dishes.

Love the combination of flavors in this salad; just fantastic!

1:08 am  
Blogger GS said...

I am not a horticulturist but if you can grow lemons in your area, then kaffir lime will survive. They grow fine in (large) pots, so if there are harsh winters if you have a sunny spot inside to put it during the cold season, you should be alright. As the aim isn't necessarily to bear fruit, rather just keep the leaves looking healthy - it is a lot easier.

9:27 am  
Blogger Lucy said...

Must say that the asparagus is a very welcome sight.


3:11 pm  

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