May 10, 2011

Grilled vegetable salad with mung bean balls and home-made tahini


How was your weekend? 

We ended up enjoying a nice Mother's Day lunch at a local cafe, followed by an afternoon tea and cake. It was a gorgeous, sunny autumn day here in Sydney - a perfect setting for such a special day. 

My pick for lunch was a Mediterranean vegetable salad with falafel and tahini. I thought it was a fantastic recipe idea, but unfortunately the dish could've been better. The salad would have been so easy to put together with ingredients you could just pick up at any deli - sundried tomatoes, grilled eggplant, salad leaves, falafel, nuts, etc. I was determined to recreate this dish in my kitchen, with a few adaptations of course. 


I made a fresh herb marinade for the vegetables before lightly grilling them. I opted for cherry tomatoes instead of sundried tomatoes, mung bean balls instead of falafel and made my own tahini which is a real no-brainer and so easy to make. The mung bean balls work really well in this dish and are much easier and quicker to make than falafel. I was fortunate to have some gorgeously juicy limes from Elizabeth's garden to use in the mixture, but lemons would work just as well. I think the outcome is a more colourful, tastier and prettier dish than the one I had at the cafe and still so easy to put together!


 Grilled vegetable salad with mung bean balls and home-made tahini
(Serves 4)
2 tablespoons olive oil
small handful of mixed fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano), finely chopped
pinch of sea salt
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 small eggplant, thinly sliced
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
mixed salad leaves
small handful walnuts, toasted
1 cup dried mung beans
handful of fresh mixed herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano)
2 tablespoons of olive oil + 1 tablespoon extra, for brushing
1 lime, zest and juice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Tahini
(Recipe from Group Recipes)
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted until golden brown
1 teaspoon (or to taste) sesame oil
pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons warm water

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Cook the mung beans in boiling water until soft. Drain and place in a food processor along with a big handful of mixed fresh herbs, olive oil, grated zest and juice of one lime. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blitz the mixture in the food processor until smooth.

3. Roll the mung bean mixture into balls and place on a baking tray. Brush each ball with a bit of olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes. 

4. In the mean while, place the olive oil and the finely chopped mixed herbs in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Toss the zucchini and the eggplant slices in the marinade and grill on a grilling pan for one or two minutes on both sides. Set aside. Toss the tomatoes in the left-over marinade and grill them cut side down for 20-30 seconds. Set aside.

5. To make the tahini, place the sesame seeds in a food processor (or a coffee grinder) and blitz until smooth. Add sesame oil, salt and warm water (tablespoon at a time to reach a perfect consistency) and blitz until smooth. Set aside. 

6. To assemble, place the salad leaves on a large platter, top with the grilled vegetables, mung bean balls and scatter the walnuts on top. Serve the salad with tahini and feta cheese (if you wish).


55 comments:

  1. That is one original and unique salad! I really love those mung bean balls. What a fabulous idea.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. thats a wonderful dish.. love anything baked..

    New to ur space and Happy to follow u.
    Do visit me as time permits
    http://comeletseat.blogspot.com

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  3. beautiful!! Oh I love the idea of the mung bean *falafel* ;)!

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  4. Ihana salaatti Maria! Noita mungpapu-pallosia pitää ehdottomasti kokeilla:)

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  5. Great idea. Everything look sooo great and sooo delicious. I wish I were next to this plate :-)

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  6. I love the look of this salad, especially the mung bean balls. Such a delicious and substantial salad.

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  7. Gorgeous and wholesome - the mung bean balls are so cute too!

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  8. Those felafel look brilliant! I've tried a baked felafel recipe using sweet potato before (a Leon recipe that Heidi posted on 101 cookbooks), but otherwise only ever used the traditional chickpea mixture. These will be a welcome change!

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  9. YUM! What a delicious salad - I love this!

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  10. such a healthly little cat you are!? these look fabulous. dayle

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  11. This looks and sounds amazing! I love mung bean but have never used it in anything but soups and noodles made from its starch.

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  12. This looks indeed delish and healthy! I am totally intrigued with your herb mung bean balls.

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  13. Great meal, especially these cute mung bean balls!

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  14. Wow. Just wow. How did you get to be so talented?!

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  15. oh this is so pretty and perfect even for a late spring meal on the other side of the world :))

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  16. I always love your unique twists on flavors and ingredients. Beautiful too.

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  17. This is just my kind of salad! Full of flavor, color and tons of varying vegetables. Thanks for sharing, Maria!

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  18. I love grilled salads, they make clean up a breeze!

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  19. Maria, so creative using mung bean...I have a bag of mung bean and this will be perfect since my husband likes falafel. Have a wonderful week :-)

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  20. Beautiful salad Maria! Not only you take gorgeous pictures, this salad looks so delicious! I love your detail work...even the balls are so perfectly shaped! Loved your post - brightened my day.

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  21. I love all the components in this beautiful salad! Great idea to make your own tahini!

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  22. I love the idea of mung bean balls! I actually have a huge jar of tahini, so I'm definitely inspired to make some of these!

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  23. Everytime I come here I learn something new! I've never seen or heard of mung bean balls mixed with herbs before, it really sounds like a very delicious idea! Your photos are of course beautiful as always...:)!

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  24. Ooh mung bean balls! Delicious!

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  25. mmmmm my mouth is super watery now .. I just love this kinda meal .. which has a lil bit of every thing

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  26. Delish. I could so easily be happy as a vegetarian. This dish just speaks to me!

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  27. Maria, the mung bean balls alone have me wanting some. Love the colours and flavour combinations!

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  28. This looks amazing, grilled veges are one of my favourite things to eat!

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  29. Love the mixture of warm and cold with this salad. You never cease to amaze me with your fresh and healthy dishes :)

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  30. Yum! I cannot wait to try this one

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  31. Love this salad, a complete nutritious one pot meal.

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  32. This is such a pretty salad! The baked mung bean balls sound great, and baking sounds much easier than frying as in falafel. I have to try this.

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  33. Glad to have found your blog, this dish looks delicious, and your photos are amazing!! :)

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  34. I love mung beans.Using the beans in a salad is such a creative idea!

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  35. These falafel won me over! Cannot wait to try them! I actually think that regular falafels are too much trouble to make at home! I also like the homemade tahini and would love a chance to try making it also; exciting post altogether!

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  36. Falafel is one of my favorite things to snack on. We get them in abundance here so don't really bother making at home. But your version with mung beans sounds amazing with homemade tahini.

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  37. These photos are just gorgeous.This sald looks so unique and very tempting

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  38. Okay i am loving the mung bean balls. I just had to google it to see more info on them and they look and sound amazing. I bet they would be great for kids. The whole dish looks so colorful and delish!

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  39. This looks amazing! Love the mung bean balls, I must make them; and the wonderful fresh-made tahini. I would love to make this for lunch today - if only I didn't have to leave for work soon ;)

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  40. I am so tempted to move in with you. Seriously, I'd be so happy and full all the time. This looks amazing! Anything with tahini sounds good to me!

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  41. Love the idea of this salad with grilled veggies, so delicious with mung bean balls and tahini!

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  42. I love roast vegies! whenever we do a roast with roast vegies i always make extra so I can have it for lunch the next day :) the mung bean balls look adorable! :)

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  43. Amazing photo of deliciously healthy food - brilliant !

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  44. I love EVERYTHING about this dish! Bookmarked!

    Stunning photography!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

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  45. I'm a sprout lover, and a salad lover, so this has my name all over it. The walnuts are a nice addition... maybe a bit of fresh feta, the soft kind, for me. Just had dinner, but could eat a plate of this right now...

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  46. Delish! I thought so too, that the mung bean balls look like falafels - and that was before I read your post in details.

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  47. This is a great recipe! I love that you made a mung bean "falafel". Gosh, I love those things!

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  48. Hi:)
    This is the first time I visit you blog, and Im already in love! This recipe looks soo good! I have to keep reading the rest of your recipes tonight! Everything looks so yummi!

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  49. It's been refreshing, looking at your photos. I like that roo! But the food is gorgeous, Maria.

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  50. Oh love the mung bean ball idea instead of the traditional falafel! Beautiful photos as usual :) Yum!

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  51. this looks so delicious! so interesting that you used mung bean. I hope can try this recipe out soon!

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  52. Such a great information and I've been looking for this..

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  53. Hello Scandi Foodie!

    Thank you for publishing this recipe. I just tried out the mung bean balls... except mine didn't roll,more like squatted patties, with a tiny crunch on the exterior, but too soft inside, even though i let them bake for longer. Where did I go wrong?

    Thank you!

    M

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  54. Hello M,

    I'm sorry to hear they didn't work out for you! Mine have always rolled well (maybe you need to make them smaller?) and although they are soft inside, they shouldn't be too mushy. Sorry I can't help more!

    Maria
    x

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  55. What an amazing recipe! I love Pinterest, a blog post might have been from years ago but I can still find quality and most delicious recipes like this floating around the ether :). Cheers for this wonderful recipe. I am going to make it today. It might be almost winter here in Tasmania BUT I have sesame seeds, I have mung beans and I have this recipe...I WIN! :)

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