A great looking, great tasting salad for your next picnic. This would be the ideal menu to bring to a Bank Holiday lunch “al fresco” and in the sun…
Salad and tortilla for a summer lunch outside
- Bunch of mint (fresh pepper mint is best)
- 1 cucumber, seeded
- Strawberry, 1 punnet
- Feta cheese, 1 cubed slab
- Pedro Jimenez reduction or Balsamic vinegar
This came to me in flash as I was trying to use a punnet of strawberries but in a savoury way. I thought that strawberries are great with cracked pepper but also with mint and from then on I imagined to pair them with the amazing “chocolate peppermint” I have been growing in my front garden. It is a spicy tasting plant with a real smell of “After eight” and the taste of strong Hollywood chewing gum! It is wonderful in that salad but sweet moroccan mint would be nice too.
Chop the strawberries and cucumber a similar size cubes and same with the cheese – although the cheese is pleasant in adding a bit of salt in there, it is by no means essential. It might even distract a bit from the wholesome simplicity of flavours so I have sometimes omitted it.
Dress with a simple drizzle of balsamic vinegar or my favourite Pedro Jimenez reduction. It hardly needs anything else and if it did it would be a hint of black pepper, if your fruit are a little bland. Toss and serve.
A healthy, skinny and super tasty salad.
Love the colours…
Our first picnic of the year was in Hyde park and this is what we carried:
(The gorgeous metal plate are Heritage designs printed for the Wallace collection by Elite Gift `boxes) Many happy memories are created around picnics so choose your spot, your day, your company and make it a picnic to remember…
I have recently discovered the japanese Daikon radish – also called Mooli by some- and I love adding it to side salads or eating it alongside smoked fish. Its acidity is unrivalled to help digest salmon or mackerel and it would go brilliantly with red meat too. Paired with seasonnal pomegranate and a refreshing cucumber it is the most perfect palate cleansing side dish. Don’t you love those colours, too?! Beautiful food is more satisfying…
red and green, bejewelled salad
- 1/1 daikon radish
- 1/2 seeded pomegranate
- 1/2 cucumber
- Dash of pomegranate syrup or molasse
- Balsamic vinegar 1 Tbsp
- A splash of olive oil
Peel the daikon and wash the cucumber without peeling.
Cut up both like a thin “julienne” or grate with the large grater side of your mandoline.
De-seed the pomegranate and mix all the vegetables in with your fingers.
For seasoning, I used a delicious pomegranate syrup I buy from a turkish delicatessen and it is worth looking for it if you can but otherwise, olive oil and balsamic vinegar are perfect on their own. These quantities serve 5 or 6 and you can make the same salad the next day with the other halves!
Daikon is a wonder vegetable and it will help break down the fat in anything you eat . It is a very “healing” food according to the Macrobiotic way and it also aids relaxation and acts as a diuretic. It is very useful as a weight loss support.
Adopt a new friend today
Still life for winter stew
Try a new ingredient this week! And make it a promise…
Kohlrabi is not the most handsome of autumn vegetables. In fact, it is quite alien looking and if one was casting for vegetables, it would probably not be the prettiest of characters. In fact, I doubt that anybody would put it in the lead ; It would probably be cast as the slightly scarry outsider!
But if you have never tried its crisp and clean taste, between a radish and a water chesnut, then this is your chance! It works beautifully grated as in today’s salad, with cucumber and carrots. Maybe it is an occasion to start with a new resolution this term: Why not try to introduce an ingredient you have never tried before, each week – something not necessarily exotic or hard to find but just not in your usual repertoire. A change of routine!
The pursuit of fantasy and curiosity in the kitchen is just what I need to shake the boredom that can sometimes find its way into our meals. Too many of us cook the same things weeks after weeks- a true recipe to loose your appetite for good! Forget the ubiquitous greens beans and try Kolrabi instead…
ET comes home
Kohlrabi, carrot and cucumber salad with fresh mint and pumpkin seeds
Ingredients list: It’s all in the title!
- Grated kohlrabi 1
- Grated carrots 2
- Grated cucumber ½
- Some mint leaves
- Handful of pumpkin seeds
For the dressing:
- ½ a squeezed lemon
- Dash of Maggie Liquid seasoning
- Olive oil 2 Tbsp
Grate all of the above. I use a steel mandolin to do that and therefore I get a very quick and prettily cut “julienne” as a result. But a normal vegetable grater will do.
Toss in a big bowl and dress with the squeezed lemon, a bit of olive oil and some Maggi liquid seasoning or a dash of soy sauce. Sprinkle the chopped mint and seeds on the top before serving.
Nutrition notes: This is a very easily digested salad and if you use very fresh vegetables, you’ll be getting heaps of vitamins and good fibre too. All very macrobiotic indeed…
You can also use kohlrabi to replace turnips in soups or potatoes, as in “gratin dauphinois”.
A few young and tender leaves of dandelion
A few leaves of rocket
One sliced pear
Handful of walnuts
Dress with lemon juice and olive oil
Best to pick this in a field but we found our leaves by the edge of strawberry plants. It is a lovely feeling to think that we are competing with rabbits for that salad! The bitter edge of the dandelion is nicely rounded by the pear and nuts.
I love the fact that the most delicious things in life are free: dandelion salad, sunshine on a beach or a run in the woods when the heat has just gone down and the cicadas start again…
If you have enjoyed my Soba Salad with King Prawns, you will love this mediterranean vegetarian take on it!
Soba noodles (buckwheat japanese noodles)
Whole cherry tomatoes 5 to 6
Red pepper 1
spring onion 1
Soya sauce 2 tsp
Crushed ginger 1 small bite
Pressed garlic 1 clove
Fresh chopped basil
Optional: dried seaweed Hijiki for decor (pre-soaked)
First boil the Soba noodles 5 minutes in boiling water. Drain and rinse under cold water. They must be still firm but cooked.
Fry your cherry tomatoes and sliced red pepper in a wok or cast iron pan with a spoonful of rapeseed oil. Throw in the drained pasta, season with soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger or 5 spices. Shake around the wok until coated with the sauce and warm.
Reserve and start dicing the avocado, chopping the cucumber in strips (ideally with a mandolin or grater) and slicing the spring onion finely lenghtwise.
Assemble all the vegetables in a dish then throw the noodles in and season with some more soya sauce and crushed ginger, the pressed garlic and rice vinegar. Add a dash of olive or sesame oil if too dry. The salad must be generously dressed and have a certain bite! Tear some basil into it and serve at room temperature or cold.