Early Summer Salad (makes about 6-8 servings) from Venus Sophia Tea Room & Vegetarian Eatery

by Suzanne Heron.

Provided the sun is generous and the wind not too cold, you should find:

Mixed greens, 200 grams

1 bunch Lettuce, chopped

2 – 3 early season tomatoes, medium sized, cut in cubes

1 Cucumber, peeled & sliced in thin rings

1 Fennel, heart removed, bulb & 2” stem sliced thinly or cut into small cubes

1 Zucchini, unpeeled, shredded

1 Leek, white part, halved lengthwise & sliced thinly

1 cup cooked legumes, e.g. chickpeas

Garnish: Edible flowers, for example Zucchini flowers

 

Put lettuce in a large bowl. Distribute all the remaining chopped and sliced veggies on top of the salad leaves and create your own personal design.

Dressing:

What makes a salad really tasty other than picking the freshest possible vegetables at right ripeness is the dressing one serves it with.

1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1-1.25 cup of extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed, mechanically, will have a very distinct flavour)

1-1.5 teaspoon of sea salt (fine)

1 cup of finely chopped thyme and basil

 

A blender will make the dressing very smooth. Otherwise use a bowl and whisk or fork. Add salt to lemon juice and mix. Than add and blend the herbs. At last add the olive oil slowly, until you have the consistency you like. Always taste to see if it matches your taste expectations. Correct it to your liking. Drizzle on top of the salad, and garnish with an edible flower such as zucchini. Voila, bonne appetit!

Chef Alain El Alaily, Venus Sophia Tea Room & Vegetarian Eatery, Fisgard St

Alain & Sallie fell in love with Venus Sophia on their first visit, and bought it!