Footy flavours, 182pp.
by stars of Australian rugby league
Ebury Press, North Sydney,2012
Cooking on page 32
Rugby league football has been a popular sport in Australia for more than a century, so it’s not surprising that someone decided to find out what the players love to cook and eat. Many recipes have been handed down from the players’ parents and grandparents.
But the main reason for compiling this book was to raise awareness of prostate cancer. It’s the most common cancer in Australian men, with 20,000 men being diagnosed each year and 3300 dying as a direct result of the disease.
The players donated their time as well as their recipes to bring about this book, in conjunction with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
Ben Ross of the Cronulla Sharks contributed this page-32 recipe. He also contributed a delicious sounding lasagne recipe on page 106. His secret ingredient for that is sweet potato. Oops! Maybe I wasn’t supposed to tell.
But I’ll spill all the details for page 32.
1 Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthways and sliced
1 red capsicum (bell pepper), cut into thin strips
1 small red onion, halved and finely sliced
50g baby spinach leaves
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp honey
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
Combine the vegetables and chickpeas in a serving bowl. Put the lemon juice, oil, honey and garlic into a small screw top jar; seal tightly and shake to combine.
Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss to coat Sprinkle with the coriander and serve.
Note: Ross says he sometimes adds chopped red chillies into the dressing.
How it played out
Salads are the single most common dish made at our house. Dinner always includes a salad, lunch usually does. It’s not surprising. My mother was a home economist and nutritionist (graduate of Purdue University) and my childhood meals seemed to revolve around salads. Maybe the salad thing is genetic!
So I know my salads and am a dab hand at making them. This one was so easy to make as written. Toss the veggies together and follow with the dressing.
No need to change a thing? Oh wait, I changed the colour of the capsicum (bell pepper). I had a green one on hand. But then the salad needed a hit of red, so I added a handful of cherry tomatoes and a bit extra lemon juice because I like sour.
A terrific salad—quick-to-make, versatile, colourful, crunchy, healthy and with just the right amount of dressing. I almost always have these ingredients on hand so will make this often. Will probably add the suggested chopped red chillies and maybe even some crumbled feta.
Many thanks to Ben Ross.
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