Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Fresh Gourmet - Sesame beef & noodle salad. Review & Recipe

I was recently sent a selection of Fresh Gourmet salad sprinkles (I'm sure there's a better term), to try out for you, my lucky readers.  Fresh Gourmet are the leading brand in the US for salad toppings, and have now launched in the UK.  I received 4 bags to try out:  Crispy Onions, Cheese & Garlic Croutons, Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper Croutons, and Basil Pesto Ciabatta Croutons.

I set to making a special summer salad to try out some of my new noms... why not give it a try yourself?

Sesame Beef & Noodle Salad
Serves 1 as a main meal, or 2 as a side
100g beef strips
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp sesame seeds
60g rice vermicelli
Half red pepper, diced
Handful lambs lettuce
Splash of olive oil for cooking.
Fresh Gourmet crispy onions to taste
Fresh Gourmet cheese & garlic croutons to taste

Pour the maple syrup into a bowl, add the beef strips & toss to coat well.
Add the sesame seeds & coat the beef strips well.
Heat a frying pan with a small amount of olive oil, add the beef strips & cook on a medium heat until cooked through.  Place to one side to cool.
Boil the kettle.
Place the vermicelli in a large bowl, and cover with boiling water, cooking to the instructions on the pack (mine said 3 minutes)
Rinse the cooked vermicelli under cold water to cool down, and place into a serving bowl
Place the lambs lettuce & diced pepper on top of the vermicelli.
Add the beef strips, you can use some of the maple sesame glaze as a salad dressing if you like.
Sprinkle on the crispy onions & croutons.

I enjoyed putting together something a bit different, all too often my salads are just a boring mix of lettuce, tomato & cucumber, which is why I don't bother with them all that often!  If you've met me, that will be all too obvious.

The crispy onions were great, they added a lovely hit of flavour, the only danger is I can see myself tucking into them straight from the bag, and I'm sure that's not what they're designed for!  The croutons are baked, rather than fried, which gives them a slightly softer texture than fried croutons, which is quite welcome.  I find many commercially bought fried croutons are too hard and rip my mouth to pieces.  And the flavour of the cheese & garlic were lovely, they really added something extra to the salad.

I haven't yet tried out the sea salt & cracked black pepper, I'm thinking that they will go well with some homemade tomato soup, and the basil pesto ciabatta croutons are waiting for me to do some sort of chicken caesar salad, they'll work well with the flavours in that I think.

Fresh Gourmet toppings are now available in Tesco stores in the UK for around £2.00 a pack, which I think is really good value, the packs will last for ages (unless, like me, you decide to eat them instead of crisps!)

Disclosure: I was provided with the above 4 packs of Fresh Gourment toppings free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not told what to write and all opinions are my own. Links are provided for convenience, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme & will not receive payment for their use.  By producing my own unique recipe using the ingredients I was provided, I have been given the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win kitchen utensils.

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