Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A quick summer salad

I remember just a couple of years ago I never ate salad. As I recall I found it wasteful, both of money and time. The reason behind this is rooted in the memory of always being served a salad of lettuce leaves with either a jarred dressing or oil and balsamic vinegar. The soggy, sharp leaves did nothing for me and left me with a negative view on salad, instead turning to vegetable dishes for nutrition. Things have changed over the last couple of years now after having discovered the joys of salad. It started out as a way to use some leftover greens from a veg box in the healthiest way possible and experimenting with the store cupboard. Now most meals are accompanied by a salad (or are a salad) in our home. Though towards the bottom of my list of salads when it comes to interesting ideas/something a bit different, this is a relatively quick one that I threw together to go with dinner a few days ago.

Red cabbage with cavelo nero and almonds
Serves 3-4

- shredded red cabbage, a quarter of a large cabbage (or half if a small one)
- lettuce leaves (such as oak), roughly torn, small handful
- cavelo nero, shredded, small handful
- mint, torn, handful
- parsley, roughly chopped, leaves from a few sprigs
- almonds, roughly chopped, handful
- half cucumber, diced
- garlic, 2 cloves
- zest and juice of half a lemon
- wholegrain mustard, tsp
- extra virgin olive oil, 3-4 tbsp
- red wine vinegar, half tbsp
- honey, half tsp

Note: you can toast the almonds if you like. I didn't on this occasion, partially because I wanted the salad to be healthier and partially because I forgot.

To make the dressing crush the garlic cloves with the side of a large knife and peel of the skin. Place the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of sea salt and grind to a minced paste. Combine with the mustard, oil, vinegar, honey and lemon juice. Mix and set to one side.
Combine all the remaining ingredients except the almonds and lemon zest in a large salad bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle over the chopped almonds and lemon zest and serve. Simple and quick (-ish, if you don't mind washing, drying and chopping lots of leaves in preparation)!
Enjoy alongside a meal or top with something like pan fried sardines to make a meal out of it.

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