Sun, Showers and an abundance of Salad!

The weather is a common theme in my daily routine. On waking my neighbours regale me with the latest focrecast including sniff tests (apparantly they can smell water in the air!) as well as wind analysis, cloud cover and the like. My success in the garden is largely due to this ecclectic group of pensioners who regularly advise on when and how much I should water my veggies, when to watch out for snails and slugs, how much sun certain plants require (I’ve recently learnt that my basil should have no more than a half day of sun as too much can damage it) and the list goes on.

So it is with great pride that in recent days I’ve started harvesting my first salad plants and am now officially eating my own produce, hooray! I wouldn’t go so far as to claim self-sufficiency but it is a small step in the right direction.

What I am however discovering is that my neighbours are once again far superior in their crop production so not only am I eating my own salad but I’m being given colossal baskets of lettuce and rocket to chomp through on a daily basis! My immediate neighbour calls me a “goat” for my love of salad but even I have my limits as to how much I can eat!

Ironically many of my favourite salads are lettuce free; Greek Salad, French bean and tomato, Grated carrot and cranberry but today I’m swaying towards a Nicoise salad to make use of the lovely fresh leaves filling my kitchen.

Nicoise Salad

Ingredients: Mixed Lettuce (I’ve used 3 kinds from my garden including a red leafed variety and some rocket), boiled eggs, tuna, black olives, tomatoes, avocado (optional), anchovies, For the dressing olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, shallots

Preparation: 15-20 mins

  1. Portions as per number of people you are catering for. Allow 1 egg, 1 tomato, 1/4 advocado, 1/2 tin tuna per person and a generous helping of lettuce. the olives and anchovies are for garnish so you can use as few or as many as you like.
  2. Hard boil the eggs for 10 mins and then leave to cool in cold water until you are able to peel.
  3. Wash and drain the salad leaves and then shred by hand into a large salad bowl.
  4. Chop the advocado into bite sized chunks and sprinkle across the salad.
  5. Crumble the tinned  tuna across the salad. (You can also make using fresh tuna steaks for a more sophisticated evening salad in which case place your griddled / bbq’d steak alongside the salad).
  6. Quarter the tomatoes or cut into eigths if using larger salad tomatoes and sprinkle around the bowl.
  7. Half or quarter the eggs and place around the salad.
  8. lastly sprinkle on the olives and lay a few anchovies across the top of the salad.
  9. For a finishing touch I also added some chopped basil to top my salad off although this isn’t strictly part of an authentic nicoise salad.
  10. For the dressing mix 1tsp mustard, 1 tbsp vinegar and 3 tbsp of olive oil and add in a pinch of salt, sugar and ground black pepper. For larger volumes just replicate 1-3 mix ratio of vinegar and oil and add in the mustard to create your desired thickness.
  11. Bon appetit!
One Response to “Sun, Showers and an abundance of Salad!”
  1. I love your raised beds – they are so pretty. Congrats on the first salad and commiserations about having weather forecasting, geriatric neighbours :D. Though, they clearly mean well. That’s a delicious looking salad you have there!

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