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Salad Days

Posted in Mary Contini recipes on Wednesday, 27 March 2024
Salad Days At last Spring has arrived - just about!

As soon as the light increases my appetite decreases and my energy levels soar.

Salad Days are here at last.

There is such a wide choice of lettuces, endives, radicchio and herbs coming from the markets, each with their distinct textures and flavours - in the Spring we like to stock red, white and pink radicchio. Buy whole heads, keep them fresh in tubs in the salad drawer and mix their leaves to create beautiful dishes. I like to add bursts of flavour with fresh herbs and texture with nuts, seeds or pieces of fruit.

I crave the bitter tastes of red chicory and radicchio which are packed with potassium, vitamin b and zinc; all good for building immunity.    

A mixed salad of fresh lettuce leaves has proven health benefits. They are a rich source of vitamins, antioxidants and are also appetite suppressants! 

I eat a salad as an antipasto, the best way to manage my appetite.

Don’t forget, salads can calm anxiety and, if you have read Beatrice Potter, you will remember, they have a soporific effect on rabbits.

1 head radicchio Treviso
2 heads white, red or pink chicory
2 Sicilian blood oranges
1 large pomegranate
8-10 leaves fresh mint, shredded

Trim the base of the endive and chicory and peel the leaves from each other.
Rinse in a bowl of chilled water.
Darin well, pat dry and add to a wide bowl.
Working on a shallow bowl, slice the skin from the oranges and carefully remove the segments 
cutting away any white pith.
Scatter the orange slices over the leaves and add any juice you have collected.
Cut the pomegranate in half and use a heavy object such as a rolling pin or heavy spoon, to knock 
the seeds out into the salad, again taking care to remove any bitter white pith. 
Season with a pinch of sea salt.
Drizzle over the honey and lemon dressing and use your hands to mix it well over the leaves. 
Finally scatter the shredded mint leaves.

4-5  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Zest and juice of half an unwaxed lemon
1 teaspoon honey
Sea salt and black pepper

Add all the ingredients into a bowl and using a small whisk, whisk everything together to emulsify the dressing.
Season to taste.
This can be stored in a sterilised jar in the fridge for a few weeks.