I love it when friends come over for dinner, it’s always an opportunity to try something new and pamper them. Food is so enjoyable, comforting, sometimes better than words and a great way for me to demonstrate how much I care about those for whom I prepare it. Yesterday’s guest being my lovely friend Elise, I wanted something fresh and colourful: a super spring salad. Nothing new so far you’d say, but a salad can be different every time; with as many flavours, textures and colours as you can wish for.
For the first time ever, I cooked and ate the gorgeous Romanesco Broccoli – a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. It has a soft texture and tastes pretty much like latter actually.
How to cook it ? 1 – Separate the steams so you get cute flowers. 2 – Steam or boil for about 10 minutes, depending on how soft you want them really. 3- Drain under cold water. 4- Place them in a recipient with cold water and some ice cubes so they keep a nice colour. (There’s some cooking history running in my family, I have learned a few good tips when it comes to cooking, chopping and stuff.)
Back to the salad. This one is for 2; my friend Elise was the lovely guest.
- Rucola / rocket salad, 2 handful
- Baby spinach, 1 handful
- Cherry tomatoes, 10 (I used yellow, orange and red – some fun on the plate)
- Broccoli, a handful
- Romanesco Broccoli, a handful
- Purple cabbage, a small handful – it adds a nice crunch
- Roasted bell peppers, 1/2 red and 1/2 yellow (or green and orange if you prefer)
- Green asparagus, 2 big ones
- Seeds and nuts (your pick)
- Coconut oil (or olive oil)
- Salt and pepper
- Smoked salmon (organic preferably)
- Goat cheese or feta cheese (I used organic sheep’s milk cheese, yum.)
The roasted peppers. Pre-heat the over 180°C and grease a baking tray with coconut oil (or olive oil). Cut the bell peppers but first check out this video for an easy technique. Slightly grease the chunks of peppers and place them on the tray, face down. Add salt, pepper and cumin. In the oven for about 15 minutes, until the skin gets a bit darker and the peppers are nice and soft.
The green asparagus. I steamed them for about 7 minutes because I like them crunchy. That’s up to you again.
I didn’t use a big bowl to make the salad, I display the ingredients on the plate, around the rocket and spinach in the centre. Then I placed the asparagus across the plate, sprinkled some nuts and seeds, and added the coriander.
The vinaigrette. 2 table spoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over the plate.
Fresh, healthy, fun and yummy!