29 May 2018 | Schwartz
Photo © Bill Bradshaw
By Kate Hackworthy
My cupboard is always heaving with bottles and bags of vibrant and fragrant spices. Rarely do I cook a dish and not enhance it with a pinch of this or a teaspoon of that. Spices have transformative powers to really make a dish and bring a new flavour dimension.
In this healthy, vegan and gluten free noodle salad, I’ve used Schwartz ground cayenne chilli pepper to add a burst of spice both to the tangy dressing and the griddled pineapple.
I love the way cayenne pepper works with zingy, juicy pineapple. Rather than just adding the chunks of fruit to the Asian-style salad, taking a few moments to marinate them in a cayenne-infused sauce turns them into something really special. Once it hits the hot griddle pan, the fruit chars and sears, while the marinade caramelises. It adds heat, smoke, sweetness and zing to the vegetables and noodles. The power of cayenne really makes this dish extra-special.
But it doesn’t stop there. Rather than just using it to spice up a chilli or curry, I urge you to think outside the box and get creative with cayenne. Add a little to your avocado toast or sprinkle a pinch onto freshly popped popcorn for a fiery kick. Try your morning coffee with a little cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of cayenne. You could even add a pinch to a chocolate cake to give it a subtle heat against the sweet cocoa.
For the cayenne grilled pineapple:
For the noodle salad:
200g rice noodles
1 carrot, peeled
1 red pepper, deseeded
3 spring onions
½ cup mint leaves, chopped
½ cup coriander leaves, chopped
For the cayenne pineapple dressing:
50g pineapple chunks
3 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
⅛ tsp Schwartz Sea Salt
⅛ tsp Schwartz Black Pepper
⅛ tsp Schwartz Cayenne Chilli Pepper
First, make the dressing:
Add all dressing ingredients to a blender (or a jug and use a hand held blender) and whiz until smooth. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
For the grilled pineapple:
Heat a griddle pan on high until hot.
Mix the oil, cayenne and salt in a bowl, then add the pineapple chunks and toss to coat. Brush the griddle pan ridges with oil, then add the pineapple chunks and grill for a few minutes until they get char lines, then turn and cook the other sides.
Meanwhile, prepare the noodles according to packet instructions (usually soaking in hot water for a few minutes), then refresh under cold running water, drain and set aside in a large bowl.
Cut the carrots, red pepper and spring onions into thin ribbons.
Break up the noodles if they’ve stuck together, then add the vegetables, mint and coriander and toss well.
Pile the salad onto plates, then top with the grilled pineapple. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!