Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Recipe CIV - Rocket Salad

A few days ago, I read something from a Mr Lobstermuncher of Beckenham, Kent, along the lines of "Rocket Salad is rubbish", or words to that effect. Anyhow, I beg to disagree, Mr Lobstermuncher. Rocket salad is really tasty, but that means doing something with it. I have often wondered why kids don't want to eat veggies and salad - if they're so dull and lifeless, I wouldn't want to eat them either. I mean, you wouldn't have ever drunk tonic on its own unless you had spent some time convalescing in the 19th century, so that's why people add vodka or gin. The same goes for salads. Most leaf salads are quite bitter if you do nothing to them. Here's a little suggestion using ingredients nearly everyone has in their kitchens, or are easy to obtain.

Some rocket salad

Some olive oil
Some balsamic vinegar
(Oil : Balsamic ratio = 3 : 2)

1-2 tsp brown sugar in a bowl
20-30 raisins or sultanas
4-5 hazelnuts
Some ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic (cut into pieces)
Some grated slices of hard cheese like Cheddar, Parmesan, Manchego, Leicester, etc...

Take the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, the pepper and garlic, and pour them in the bowl with the sugar. Give them a gentle swirl with a spoon until it's all mixed up.

Take your hazelnuts and crush them with your finger, sprinkling half into the bowl with the salad, and half into the oil and vinegar mix. Cut up half of the sultanas and put them in the oil and the whole ones in the salad. Mix up the salad, then taste the oil mixture and add more of what you think (maybe sugar, maybe oil or vinegar), then pour it all over the rocket salad and toss until all the leaves are saturated.

Finally, add the cheese on top and serve with your main course!

Cherry tomatoes go very well with this dish, as do Mozzarella, basil, chives and a lot of other ingredients. If someone says, "But I don't like .....," just remember that when it's mixed up with other ingredients, it probably tastes fine. But you're going to put people off for life if you serve certain things on their own!

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