Mediterranean Summer Garden Salad
Inspired by my local community garden I have created a delicious salad for summer. It can be eaten at room temperature but is equally delicious when cold. Serve with a crusty bread for a substantial lunch or as a delightful side dish to accompany couscous and chickpeas, grilled fish or meat.
Servings Prep Time
6people 15minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
6people 15minutes
Cook Time
  1. Cut the fennel bulbs into quarters and slice finely. Keep some of the smallest, most tender, feathery bright green tops of the fennel that you aren’t using
  2. Add the sea salt and toss until the fennel becomes damp, and the salt draws the liquid from the fennel giving it a softer texture. Reserve the fennel and liquid to add later.
  3. Heat a frying pan and add the oil. Over a medium to high heat sauté the onions until softened and starting to brown.
  4. Add the garlic, chilli, if using, coriander and cumin seeds.
  5. Add the reserved fennel and its liquid.
  6. Add the lemon juice and zest and cook for a minute or two.
  7. Remove from the heat and toss into a salad bowl to cool.
  8. Chop large tomatoes in bite-sized chunks and squish small tomatoes to release their seeds and juices. Add all these to the bowl.
  9. Tear the basil leaves into the bowl and add the ricotta or eggplant.
  10. Add the olives.
  11. Toss the reserved fennel tops and the pine nuts in and add a grind or two of black pepper, to taste.
  12. Drizzle the oil and vinegar over the salad and serve.
To toast the pine nuts and cumin and coriander seeds
  1. Place a small frypan over medium heat.
  2. Toast each ingredient individually, as each requires a different toasting time and it’s important not to burn them as their flavours and nutritional values will be ruined.
  3. Stir gently until the seeds smell deliciously nutty and are golden in colour.
  4. Remove from the pan immediately and allow them to cool before use.

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