Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Spring Day Salad

I nearly didn't remember that yesterday was the first day of spring even though I enjoyed a very late breakfast in the garden for the very first time this year. After the indulgences of our trip to London last week what we really wanted was a large but filling salad. As usual, I had a rough idea of what I might put into it, e. g. buffalo mozzarella, but in the end it turned out entirely differently. And it took me a while to come up with a title for this raw and cooked salad with fruit and veg topped with tahini and roasted chickpeas.

Please note that you need to roast the chickpeas at least one hour ahead.

(serves 4)

lettuce leaves of your choice
1 ripe avocado
1 ripe pear
steamed sugar snaps
2 hard boiled eggs (optional)
3-4 cooked beetroot (no vinegar)

sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 part elderflower infused sherry vinegar
2-3 parts elderflower infused extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp agave nectar or runny honey (local if possible)
fresh dill (as an alternative to the flavour of elderflower infused oil and vinegar)

topping 1:
2 tbsp of Greek or Turkish style yoghurt
2 tbsp unsalted tahini
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
touch of lime juice

topping 2:
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1-2 tsp of sweet paprika
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
drizzle of garlic infused extra virgin olive oil

1. First, get your oven on to roast the chickpeas. Place the chickpea into a sandwich tin or similar, season with pepper, salt and paprika, drizzle with olive oil and mix well. Bake in the upper part of the oven (doesn't matter where in a fan assisted oven) at full whack for 10-15 minutes, then turn so the soft side is up. Repeat this until the chickpeas are crunchy. Set aside and leave to cool.

2. Steam the sugar snaps for 3-5 minutes then plunge into ice cold water to stop them from cooking further. Drain and set aside.

3. Prepare your yoghurt dressing next by mixing all the ingredient. Keep refridgerated until neede.

4. Make the salad dressing. If you don't have elderflower infused oil or vinegar use finely chopped dill.

5. Use any lettuce you like, though I'd suggest something a little sturdier and more flavourful than round lettuce, and place into a large serving bowl. Julienne the cooked beetroot, core the pear and cut into chunky slices, spoon out chunks of the avocado with a teaspoon, chop up the boiled eggs (if used) and add to the bowl.

6. Dress the salad, top with a little tahini dip and a tablespoon of roasted chickpeas and serve the remaining tahini dip and chickpeas on the side for everyone to help themselves. Alternatively, serve on individual plates as in the photo at the top.

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