Chimichurri and feta spiked mung bean sprouts in a baked, jumbo spring roll
I expended most of this weekend searching for a replacement car after mine was written off a couple of weeks ago. A van rammed into the back of my car at some traffic lights (I had stopped already) crushing the entire boot. I had a few moments of breathless hysteria because my little one was in the back, but fortunately, we are ok. A bit of whiplash, but blessed to be ok.
So, instead of visits to the zoo or park this weekend, we have been from car sales cosmos to showroom underworlds. Can you tell that I don’t enjoy shopping for cars? But it is an interesting world.
As I stood eyeing up a Seat Leon, two broad and bald men chuckled to each other that it is the poor man’s Audi. I smiled silently as I was thrown back to sitting/being squished in the back of the car of someone boasting to my mother about their impending purchase of a brand new Mercedes. Back then car sharing to weddings was common practise and London felt like planets away from Leicester, where I grew up. Of course back then I had no idea that London would become my home. It is where I started my married life, working life and built treasured friendships.
Anyway, I remember clearly sensing the inferiority that this lady wanted my mother to feel. She went on to describe their family business and property and how I looked awkward and that my face didn’t fit well on my body, but even though I was probably just 12 I knew that actually, she was without the basics in life of love and respect. I looked at my attractive mother who was adorned in a new sari and jewellery that my dad had chosen for her. Then I looked at the other lady, who was lacking.
The car is something of, ‘what do you do for a living’ or ‘where do you live’, isn’t it? Except it doesn’t grow does it? I once worked with a chap who did very well professionally and lived in an area brimming with upmarket delicatessens, fancy florists, and tiny Thai restaurants and of course fabulous schools, but drove a moving skip, as he called it. I learned a lot from him on many levels.
That said I know how I feel when I put on a nice dress, good perfume, make-up and a few simple but lovely accessories. I am sure my stance changes, my attitude might change too.
Head in a thorough spin, I decided to call it the end to a hot and bothersome level of thinking and head to the garden for some running under the sprinkler with the boy after the swings and slide. I needed refreshing with some zesty, summery, zingy, nutty, salty, juicy food with crunch and crisp thrown in. See where we are going with this?
I love mung bean sprouts; they are silky and nutty, cook quickly and I love the feeling of their little tails. They work fabulously well with chimichurri dressing but I have a confession; I cheated and used some Thai basil with the parsley and guess what? It gives the most fantastic, lasting herbiness. It is actually all pretty gorgeous, a healthy vegetarian recipe and I served the mung bean sprout spring rolls (baked for added bonus) with Za’atar sweet potato fries, because you know, it’s all about balance.
Ingredients to make 6 large rolls
For the sauce
350g mung bean shoots
One red onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic
The juice of one lemon
A large bunch of parsley
Salt to taste
1 tsp. chilli flakes or more if you like it hot
1 tsp. oregano, dried or fresh
A small bunch of Thai basil, finely chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
200g feta cheese, cut into small cubes
12 sheets of spring roll pastry, defrosted
Oil for coating the rolls
½ tsp. turmeric
- Blitz together all of the ingredients for the sauce and leave to a side
- Heat a pan and add a splash of oil and then add the turmeric and mung bean shoots. Sauté for 2-3 minutes and then add the chimichurri sauce
- Cook the mung bean shoots for approximately 4-5 minutes longer before turning off the heat and allowing the mixture to cool and then add the feta cheese
- Take two sheets of spring roll pastry and leave a 3-4 cm gap from the bottom and sides and place 3-4 dessert spoons in a line and tightly roll into a cylinder shape and leave it to the side
- Place the rolls in an oven after greasing them lightly and bake them at 200 degrees until they are lightly golden.