Watch me make this by clicking here
It is now a bygone age but the late 1800’s was an interesting period in history. Coca-Cola was first put into bottles and thankfully a useful little drug-maker introduced Aspirin to the modern world with all its headaches – and is still proving useful to me today for those odd occasions of excess :-).
… Then of course there was the Waldorf-Astoria salad. It is recorded that Oscar Tshirky or “Oscar of the Waldorf” was the maître d’hôtel of this famous New York City landmark from the opening of the hotel until he retired in 1943. Although he was not a chef, it seems he was largely attributed with suggesting or inspiring food ideas, and tradition says he invented the Waldorf Salad for the hotel opening.
The Waldorf salad lives on in its elegance and simplicity. It is traditionally made with fresh apples, celery on a bed of lettuce and then dressed in mayonnaise – the walnuts, it is believed were only added later. Over the years it now has several guises with variations being served with grapes, turkey and dried fruit.
So when my mom gave me this beautiful box of fresh sweet prunes I decided to add these to my version of this salad classic. I chose to caramalize the walnuts and added some fennel seeds to my mayonnaise. The caramelized walnuts add a crunchy texture to the salad and I also added some Appletizer and vinegar to the mayonnaise to thin it and to add a bit of sparkle to the dressing – perfect for Mother’s day.
waldorf salad with a sparkling twist = food elegance from a bygone era for mother's day
- Celery – pick the leaves and use them – chop the rest of the celery finely
- Apple - julienned
- Prunes - pitted and cut in halves or grapes
- For Caramelized Walnuts
- ½ Cup sugar
- 100g Walnuts
- Melt the sugar until it caramelizes - a light honey colour. Put the walnuts on the tray and pour the caramel over the walnuts. Let it cool down and then break into pieces.
- Salad Dressing
- 4T Mayonnaise
- ½t Roasted fennel seeds
- 2T Appletizer
- 2t White wine vinegar
- Pinch of red pepper
- Mix all ingredients together
- Mix all the salad ingredients together in a suitable stylish serving dish.
- Add the caramelized walnuts on top.
- Sprinkle with the dressing and season to taste.
I think for me Easter has always been different to the somewhat traditional religious Easter festivities, you know the Friday fasting, the curried fish, chocolate eggs and Easter Sunday feast….
You see, my father was the station master at Wepener in the Free State for many years and once a year the South African Railways would give its employees and their families a free rail ticket. So every year, my mom, dad, three brothers and me would take the train down to Durbs for our Easter school holidays. It was such an adventure for us because Durban was fun … there was sun + beaches + sand. It was singing on the stages trying our best to win prizes, fighting with my brothers, building sandcastles in the sand with dad, swimming in the ocean with mom and losing ourselves in the summers of our youth.
For the short few days we spent there we lived on ice cream and sandwiches during the day, but at night when we were all sunburnt and after a long soak in a soothing bath, my mom used to make us fresh fish and salad for supper. The fresh salmon salad I made today is a dedication to the happy memories of those Easters past and to my folks for affording us this once a year seaside adventure.
Apart from the salmon and the avocado, I got all the ingredients for the salad out of my garden. Instead of placing the salmon on top of the salad as it is usually served I decided it would be more fun to put the salad on top of the salmon – and I must say I think it looks amazing! It would be unfair for me to dictate the quantities of salad ingredients you should use as this is best left to your own discretion and mood.
I also like my salmon somewhat rare, so I prepared it that way. But the thing that really adds to the overall pop-up-flavour is the rather delicious lime and soya Asian dressing. So here’s to family, Easter, lasting memories and fresh food. Blessed Easter everyone!
sand + sunburn + salmon salad = happy family easter memories
- 2 x 200g Fresh salmon steaks
- For salad
- Avocado – sliced into small blocks
- Baby tomatoes – halved and then in three
- Cucumber ribbons – I take my potato peeler and run it over the cucumber
- Spring onions – finely sliced
- Radishes – sliced into thin slices
- Fresh coriander
- Salad dressing
- 50 ml Soya sauce
- Juice of one to two small limes
- 1t Sesame oil (optional)
- 2t Grated ginger
- 1t Fish sauce
- 1T Fresh coriander – chopped
- ½t Chillie flakes
- Fry your salmon for three minutes with the skin side down in a non-stick pan till skin crispy - say about 5 minutes - don’t turn it around and don’t season at this stage and let it stand to rest. The intention is to serve it luke warm not piping hot.
- Chop up all your salad ingredients and make your dressing by mixing everything together.
- Now just place this beautiful cut of fish on a plate. Place the salad on top and put the dressing on the side.
- I don’t add any salt at this stage and leave it to the guests to decide how much salt they need because the dressing is quite salty.
Melons are just amazing this time of the year and it’s such a versatile fruit that goes with salt, sweet and pepper. They are extremely beneficial to your health so simply make a point to stock up more often on this tasty treats.
Today, I just scooped out a sweet melon with an ice cream scoop and served it with a peppery rocket, a bit of mint and a mustard vinaigrette – these additions just enhance and bring out the already summer fresh flavour of the melon. It is light, easy and absolutely delicious!
Some Yellow and Orange Melon health benefits
1. Yellow and orange melons are packed with vitamins A, B-3, B-6 and C, potassium, dietary fiber and folate.
2. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A, which aids in healthy eyes, skin and mucous membranes.
3. These melons are Carotenoid-rich foods and may help reduce your risk of macular degeneration, cancer and heart disease.
4. Carotenoids help strengthen the immune system.
source: health24 + livestrong
scooped melon salad with wild rocket + mint + honey mustard vinaigrette
- 350g Melon
- Wild Rocket
- 5 Mint leaves – chiffonade
- Mustard vinaigrette
- 1T Honey
- ½ T White wine vinegar
- 1t Wholegrain mustard
- Scoop the melon out with an ice cream scoop. Mix with rocket and mint.
- Mix all ingredients of dressing together and drizzle liberally over salad.
# mango + marigold salad
Marigold Salad – Being the end of year I thought it would be fitting to look back and pay tribute to the fashion colour of 2012 – yellow! Trendsetters and futurists announced some 16 months back that yellow was the new gold…and so it was…rays of sunshine yellow in all manners and forms seemed to permeate many aspects of my life in 2012 – bringing warmth, happiness and vibrancy. It is definitely the colour of life and most undoubtedly changed the fashion scene in 2012.
# mango + marigold
About two months ago I attended a garden workshop by Matt Allison at the Secret Festival and he inspired me to relook my herb and veggie garden and to add lovely marigolds to it. It is incredible … these Marigolds have brought dollops of rich hues to my back yard. A few weeks later, I had enough freshly grown salad leaves and aromatic herbs to feed my hubby and my housekeeper’s whole family. What a joy.
I made a summery marigold salad today and to complement the luscious leafy, freshly picked salad I made a pineapple and ginger dressing. Wow, so healthy, so fresh, so yellow and summery. Enjoy!
# mango + marigold + corn + sunflower seed
# this pretty bug I found in my bed of leaves inspired me to add some pomegranates for fun
# pomegranates for fun
# my herb + veggie garden
mango + marigold salad with pineapple ginger dressing = painting a fitting tribute to the colour yellow
- Rocket leaves
- Basil leaves
- Marigold flowers
- Cos leaves
- Mango slices
- Pineapple slice
- Yellow patty pans sliced
- Sunflower seeds
- Cooked fresh corn
- Pineapple + ginger dressing
- 100g Fresh pineapple
- 1t Olive oil
- 62.5ml White vinegar
- 125ml Honey
- ½t Freshly grated ginger
- 1 Mint leave chopped
- Pinch of salt
- Lemon zest of half a small lemon
- For Dressing - Fry the pineapple in the oil for about two minutes.
- Add the vinegar + honey + ginger + mint + salt and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Lastly add the lemon zest - let it cool down and serve with salad.
- For salad - mix ingredients together and serve with dressing.
Summer is salad time. This is the most easiest salad but so packed with flavour because of the passion fruit dressing. I find the passion fruit lifts everything and the combination with the balsamic does wonders to the simplest salad.
leaf salad with roasted tomatoes + parmesan shavings + passion fruit dressing
- For Salad
- 1 Large packet of mixed salad leaves
- 30g Parmesan shavings
- For Roasted Tomatoes
- 200g Baby tomatoes
- 2T Olive Oil
- For Dressing
- 115g Passion Fruit Pulp
- 1T Balsamic vinegar
- ½T Olive oil
- Pinch of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- First preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Coat all the tomatoes in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- For the salad dressing, mix all the ingredients together.
- Put all the salad ingredients into a bowl and drizzle liberally with the passion fruit and balsamic dressing.