31 March 2008

Salad Days

Got home to a real treat this evening. I'd been promised a nice healthy salad for our evening meal by hubby. After the last few dismal Black Dog days it's back to being properly motivated, yada, yada - get the picture?

Mind you, I didn't expect to be served a gourmet salad! What can I say? It was just beautifully presented in white bistro bowls and both looked and tasted absolutely amazing, with a variety of stunning colours, shapes and textures. Only one way to describe the flavour... superb!

So, I've got you interested, eh?

OK then, to give you the details. It starts with a bed of a lovely mixed leaf salad, with plenty of my beloved rocket (can one become addicted to a salad leaf, I wonder?), baby spinach, lambs lettuce, lollo rosso, the frizzly-edged pale one that I can't remember a name for and much, much more. A tiny drizzle of low-fat honey & mustard dressing is all that's needed - less than a teaspoonful.

Sounding nice yet? You bet!

Placed gently on top of this was a long, slender Romano sweet red pepper, slit lengthwise and stuffed with a mixture of sharp white Turkish sheep's cheese, chopped pine nuts and coriander, then oven baked until bubbly and delicious, with the pepper skin just sliding away from the flesh at a touch.

Add to this a sprig of tiny cherry tomatoes still on the vine, also oven baked until just slightly golden brown in places, and bursting with their concentrated sweet juices.

Have I got you drooling yet?

A scattering of crispy oven-baked croutons and a single long olive bread-stick for some contrasting crunchy texture and there's a plate of heaven.

A quick analysis of the angelic and the naughtier aspects? Well, yes, there is the cheese and also some pine nuts to contribute fats, but not all that much is needed as the flavours are so intense. Croutons and bread-stick are both baked - no bad stuff there. On the plus side is all the salad leaves and the vegetables - that'll certainly help out with the five-a-day! All in all, leaning a lot more towards the healthy side, methinks.

For those of you in the UK I have but one thing to say. Eat your heart out, Paddy Burt!


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