Wednesday, 18 July 2007

A Summer Salad With Fruit

It was just about warm enough for me today to be reminded it was summer (for those of you not living in Britain, it's been a fairly miserable excuse for the sunniest season of the year). I didn't need to carry a jacket, I felt compelled to buy a pair of sandals, and got very warm on the tube. I was in the mood, therefore, for one of my summer salads.
I like having a big bowl of salads on warm evenings. My salads don't so much follow a recipe as take on the ingredients of whatever is in the house and needs eating. Tonight's featured chicory, curly leaf lettuce, and romaine lettuce for the greens, but even with the varying greens there are a few staples I like my salads to have. One is the fruit: I consider peaches or nectarines ideal, but am also happy to use strawberries or mangoes if those are on hand. Another is beans: I like to use a tin of borlotti beans, only partly drained - the rest of the tinned juices help make a thickened salad dressing. And that leads me on to the dressing - what makes the salad come into its own is a splash of sesame seed oil (the remainder extra virgin olive oil) and half a lemon for the acidic bit. That's more or less it. Roll on the summer weather.

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