Concoct this vegetable salad with nuts, cheese and balsamic mustard dressing to celebrate spring! Perfect for lunch and dinner sides. Put it in a big bowl and devour as is, and you are looking at my mid-afternoon snack.
1 head of red lettuce
1 fennel bulb
2 spring onions
2 small cucumbers
8 cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
1/4 cup of feta or blue cheese crumbles
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of coarse grained Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
To dice the fennel, chop off the green stems. You can use the fine leaves to top the salad off if desired. Cut the bulb in half. Cut out the core and lay the fennel flat side down. Cut lengthwise and dice.
Wash and chop or tear the lettuce. The claim that tearing is better than cutting is a myth and is now only used to deepen the rift between the good old fashioned salad and the elite premium vegetable experience of some restaurants. Tearing is good for large pieces but these are not ideal for a first date as you try and stuff yourself with a whole leaf of lettuce as it rains dressing and food bits over your brand new first-date sweater.
I like to lay the leaves on top of each other and cut lengthwise in thirds and then cut thin strands for a fluffy mess-free mixture.
Thoroughly wash and dice the vegetables. Keep the skins on! They add nutrition and texture.
In a measuring cup, whip together with a fork the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mustard and add a dash of salt and pepper.
Toss the vegetables together into a large bowl, sprinkle the walnuts and cheese on top and drizzle the dressing. Enjoy!
Recipe and Illustrations by Rosie Kosinski