Yesterday felt like a summer’s day, I was craving a summery salad and simple pasta for dinner. I love this salad as a side at a barbecue (such as with the Middle Eastern inspired bbq chicken), or with pizza or pasta. It’s light and has a great balance of flavour, texture and nutrients – and that’s pretty much what my approach to eating is all about. And just check out those colours…
With that in mind, make a bowl of pasta and serve it with this amazing salad!
2 cups watercress*, any large stems removed
1/2 cup mint
1 small bulb of fennel, cut in half then finely sliced (reserve any fronds)
1 orange, (grate the zest and then segment the orange)
1 tsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp good quality sea salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (keep the pieces quite large)
1 Tbs maple syrup
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line an oven tray with baking paper. In a small bowl toss the maple syrup, walnuts and a pinch of salt. Spread out in a single layer on the prepared oven tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from an oven and allow to cool.
Combine zest, orange, vinegar, olive oil, remaining salt, pepper and fennel in a small bowl and leave to sit while the walnuts cook/cool.
Place the watercress, mint, and fennel fronds in a bowl large enough to toss the salad in. When the walnuts are cool add the orange and fennel mix along with the liquid (this is your dressing) and walnuts. Toss to combine and serve.
* you can replace with snow pea sprouts or even rocket for a more peppery salad.