As the year winds down, we should really be enjoying our warm beach days, but obviously Sydney didn’t get the memo. Where can I lodge my complaint about the horrendous weather we’ve been having? I know I’m whingeing, but last week it was so cold we had to pull on our ugg boots, and sleep in our winter pyjamas. This is supposed to be summer!
Luckily, we’ve had a couple of warm days thrown in amongst all the rain. Just the sort of day to enjoy a good salad or two. I wasn’t really going to blog about these, but they looked so pretty I couldn’t resist.
The first salad I actually made a couple of months ago, using the last few beetroot of the season. It was inspired by a salad we ate (twice) at El Amacen (one of our favourite restuarants when we visited NY). The two things I remembered most about the salad were the wonderfully tasty slivers of spiced almonds, and the dressing. It was listed on the menu as a shallot vinaigrette, which I thought would taste really “oniony” but it was lovely and mild, and tied the whole salad together. (The rest of the salad is made up of baby spinach leaves, roasted and steamed beetroot cubes and apple slivers).
I found a recipe for shallot vinaigrette over here on Epicurious. For the spiced almonds, I based it on a recipe for spiced nuts, found here, and used flaked almonds instead of whole nuts. Some spiced nut recipes used oil, but I prefer the taste of butter, it really does make a difference here. Make lots because you’ll find yourself snacking on them as you prepare the rest of the meal. I’m not sure how long they’d keep (because of the butter content) but I think they’d make a great edible Christmas gift too.
Salad number two was a more recent concoction and came about from a last minute scrabble through the vegetable crisper in the fridge. I found lamb’s ear lettuce (mâche), a cucumber, some crimson grapes, and a forgotten granny smith apple. A forage through the cupboards yielded pecans, and my salad was born. Ain’t it purty? I dressed it with a very simple dressing made from equal parts verjuice and olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
Mâche is now my new favourite salad green. I love how the texture is kind of fleshy and leafy at the same time, and of course, it just looks so gorgeous with the little rosettes. As you can tell, I’m a really visual eater (most of the time).
Enjoy the weekend and see you soon. We’re having family visit over the weekend, so Malaysian Monday will probably be late :)
Is that batgirl? No! It's MC Junior receiving her "diploma" :)