Bring back the ‘Salad Days’ continued…

In Recipes on February 1, 2011 at 1:42 am

The first salad I made was the very simple Insalata Caprese.  This is just slices of the best tomatoes you can find, layered with slices of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves.  I ground a little sea salt and black pepper over it and finished with a drizzle of olive oil.  This salad is all about the freshness of the ingredients so it can only be made in summer when tomatoes and basil are at their best.

Insalata Caprese

The next salad was a version of pear, parmesan and rocket salad.  Unfortunately, the early William pears had not yet appeared in the shops so I substituted slices of white nectarine.

Nectarine, Parmesan and Rocket salad

Pear (or Nectarine), Parmesan and Rocket Salad


100g rocket leaves

2 large pears or 3-4 nectarines (core or stone removed and thinly sliced)

1 tbs freshly grated Parmesan cheese

a handful of walnuts

40ml olive oil

40ml white wine vinegar (or to taste)

more shaved Parmesan for the top


Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Top with freshly shaved Parmesan before serving.

Finally, I opened a tin of red kidney beans, added half a finely chopped Spanish onion, a few chopped basil leaves and a finely chopped roasted or char grilled red capsicum.  To dress I added the juice of a lemon and a good drizzle of olive oil, a grind of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Toss and serve.


I place a whole red capsicum on the gas jet, as each side blackens and blisters I turn until it is done all over.  I put the whole thing in a plastic bag, close it and leave it to sit for half an hour or so.  Then I remove as much of the skin as I can using tongs and scraping off any difficult bits with a knife.  This is a very easy way to char grill a capsicum if you don’t have a ridged grill.

Taste of summer

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