Two lovely Salads which go very well at braais here in South Africa (barbecue). Also with many other dishes such as Curries, Lasagnas and or a Greek Souvlaki served together with pita and Tzatziki Sauce.
You may if you wish – scrape down the length of your cucumber with the tins of your fork which will give it a fancier look
If using in Pita for Lamb Souvlakia, it is best to make your sambal mild due to its spiciness.
The word Sambal is Javanese in origin and means condiment. It is usually a highly seasoned relish of grated raw fruits or vegetables squeezed dry, sometimes mixed with pounded green chilli and moistened with vinegar or lemon juice for a sweet sour taste. Sambals are usually served with curries or a bredie which is a word for stew in South Africa. Today dhunia or fresh coriander leaves and garlic are also added for extra flavour.
The below are all added to taste..
Red firm ripe tomatoes, diced into small cubes
English cucumber (unpeeled), diced into small cubes
Green pepper, seeds removed, diced into small cubes Onion, finely chopped
Salt added to taste
sprinkling water and a few drops oil – to taste
Mix all together and serve.
Don’t use cucumber if making Souvlakia as Tzatziki Sauce already has it!
Cucumber Sambal (Salad)
1 Large English Cucumber
30 ml white vinegar
Salt to taste
Pinch sugar, if needed
Scrape cucumber with a fork. Cut into slices.
Place in colander. Sprinkle with salt and allow to draw for 15 minutes.
Press out all the moisture and combine cucumber slices with 30 ml white vinegar and salt to taste. A pinch sugar may be added if needed.
1 bunch of spinach (450-500 g) is enough to serve 2 persons.
Cheese is optional which I usually don’t add but may be melted under grill or over tops of spinach filled gems – Cheese is of your choice but I somehow seem to like Mozzarella. See here
You may skip this sauce and serve plain to lower calories or may make up a lovely mushroom sauce (see below) with wine of choice (dry red / white). Served together with a steak or meat dish.
3 pounds or 3 bunches (up to 1.5 kg) of fresh spinach
2 tablespoons grated onion (I use 1 small onion, finely chopped)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons of cake flour or all-purpose flour (not self-raising!)
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) heated milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 egg yolks, beaten
60 ml – 180 ml heavy cream added to taste
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley
Nutmeg to taste
Wash, rinse and remove the thick center vein from spinach leaves and discard.
Cook fresh spinach – Blanch leaves whole in rapidly boiling water for a minute or 2 until just wilted. (Do not overcook!). Remove immediately upon wilted.
If doing in a microwave steamer basket: Bring water to a rapid rolling boil – Add just enough spinach at a time. Do not overcrowd. Close lid and steam 1 -2 minutes or until just wilted. Never overcook!
Drain spinach. Chop finely and set aside.
Saute 2 tablespoons of your grated onion in 3 tablespoons butter over a low heat stirring constantly, until translucent or until it just begins to take colour.
Blend in 3 tablespoons of flour off the heat (Remove from heat whilst doing so).
Gradually add 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) heated milk and cook sauce stirring until it is smooth and slightly thickened.
You may strain your sauce through a fine sieve into another saucepan however I never do this – I just take care to make sure it comes out smooth.
Add the chopped spinach, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
Simmer the mixture gently for 2-3 minutes.
Beat 2 egg yolks with 3/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream or to taste – gradually adding the mixture to the spinach stirring continuously – stir in a tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley. Add nutmeg to taste.