Lucy in the Larder

You don’t win friends with salad

“You don’t win friends with salad… You don’t win friends with salad…”. I don’t believe this to be true, but I do love a good Simpsons quote.

Whenever I visit family and friends, more often than not, I’m armed with something edible. It’s just what I do.
Not long ago, my friends 7-year-old daughter said to me, quite seriously: “Lucy, you don’t always have to bring food when you come to see us, it’s ok to just bring yourself”. Profound. And then again last weekend, upon being invited to a BBQ: “Lucy, you’re always bringing food, please just bring yourself”. This makes me sound like some kind of food-pusher. Am I a pest? It’s just me living at home, so any opportunity to share my food is welcomed – that’s why I cook – not always for myself but because, for me, feeding people is a wonderful exercise in generosity, an act of nuturing and nourishing, and I love it.

So put simply, I thought I’d share a couple of totally delicious salads (the first two in particular) that I’ve made recently to ‘take-with’ – because they’ve been enjoyed by my friends, and they keep asking me back. So maybe Homer Simpson was wrong.

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Triple fennel & spelt salad (From My New Roots by Sarah Britton)
Serves: 4

¾ cup raw spelt
2 medium fennel bulbs
1 Tbsp minced fennel flowers with their pollen
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
3 Tbsp minced fresh tarragon
15 kalamata olives, pitted
1 small red onions or shallot
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
Cold pressed olive oil to serve
Fennel marinade:
Zest and juice of 1 organic lemon
1 tsp honey (or maple syrup)
1 Tbsp cold pressed olive oil
Couple pinches sea salt
Cracked black pepper

– Begin by marinating the fennel and onion. Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut the fennel and onion into julienne strips, or any small, bite-sized shape you like. Add to the marinade and toss to coat. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, up to 8 hours

– Rinse spelt kernels very well in a large pot or bowl, changing the water until it is relatively clear (2-4 times). If possible, let spelt soak in fresh water for up to 12 hours to improve digestive qualities. Drain spelt and place in a pot with 2 cups water. Add a few pinches of sea salt, cover, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook until tender, yet chewy (time varies depending on soaking time, but approximately 30-40 minutes). If there is any water left in the pot, simply drain out. If the water evaporates before the spelt is cooked, add a little at a time until it is. Let cool slightly, fluff with a fork and toss with marinated fennel

– Pit olives by squashing them with the flat side of a knife blade, and slice into small pieces. Add olives, fennel flowers, and tarragon, and fold to combine everything. Season to taste, serve and enjoy

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Baby spinach salad with dates & almonds (from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi)
Serves: 4

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
½ medium onion, thinly sliced
100g pitted Medjool dates, quartered lengthwise
30g unsalted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 small pitas, roughly torn into 1 1/2-inch pieces
75g whole unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
2 tsp sumac
½ tsp red pepper flakes
150g baby spinach leaves
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt

– Put the vinegar, onion, and dates in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix well with your hands. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes, then drain away any residual vinegar and discard

– Meanwhile, heat the butter and half of the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the pita and almonds and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring all of the time, until the pita is crunchy and golden brown. Remove from the heat and mix in the sumac, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside to cool

– When you are ready to serve, toss the spinach leaves with the pita mix in a large mixing bowl. Add the dates and red onion, the remaining olive oil, the lemon juice, and another pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately

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Kohlrabi salad (from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi)
Serves: 4

3 medium kohlrabies (750g in total)
80g Greek yoghurt
70g sour cream
50g thick double cream
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly shredded mint
1 tsp dried mint
20g baby watercress
¼ tsp sumac
Salt & white pepper

– Peel the kohlrabies, cut into 1.5cm dice, put into a large mixing bowl. Set aside and make the dressing

– Put the yoghurt, sour cream, double cream, lemon juice and olive oil in a medium bowl. Add ¼ tsp salt and a healthy grind of pepper and whisk well. Add the dressing to the kohlrabi, followed by the fresh and dried mint and half the watercress. Gently stir and place everything on a serving dish. Dot the remaining watercress on top and sprinkle with the sumac

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This entry was published on April 12, 2013 at 8:21 am. It’s filed under Delicious and healthy!, Lucy's plate, Recipes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “You don’t win friends with salad

  1. Wow, the kohlrabi salad looks so lovely!

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