Asparagus, Artichoke and Roast Pepper Salad with Feta, Olives and Parmesan

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So there are a few cheats in this one, but honestly one of the yummiest flavour combinations that will transform your mid week meals into something special! Super quick to make and packed with deliciousness!

  • 3 cups of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tub of marinated artichokes
  • 1 Roasted red pepper with skin removed
  • About 10 pitted black olives
  • 1 round of feta cheese
  • 2 cups of fresh green asparagus
  • Fresh Parmesan Shavings
  • Rocket leaves (Arugula) to garnish
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle
  • Balsamic Glaze to drizzle

Wash and drain the spinach leaves and arrange on a serving plate / dish and drizzle a teeny bit of balsamic glaze over to dress lightly.

Steam the asparagus for 5 -6 minutes and then add them to ice water to cool. Then remove and pat dry and season with salt and pepper and put aside.

Arrange the sliced roast pepper, olives, feta, artichokes and seasoned asparagus on top of the spinach leaves and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Top with parmesan shavings and rocket leaves and then drizzle the balsamic glaze over the top and serve.

Enjoy x

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Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad

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I’ve seen a few recipes for watermelon salad and it made me quite curious! I made this one by Nigella the other night as a side dish to some Chicken thighs that I cooked with chinese 5 – spice and sweet chili sauce, sesame seeds and rice noodles.  It worked beautifully together. You may be hesitant to try black olives, feta and red onion with watermelon!! But it’s a fantastic combination 🙂  The little trick with soaking red onions in lime (or lemon juice) works brilliantly if you want to add red onion to any salad. I will use that trick for the rest of my life! 🙂

1 small red onion

4 limes

1.5 kilograms watermelon (sweet and ripe)

250 grams feta cheese

1 bunch fresh flatleaf parsley

1 bunch fresh mint (chopped)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

100 grams pitted black olives

black pepper

  • Peel and halve the red onion and cut into very fine half-moons and put in a small bowl to steep with the lime juice, to bring out the transparent pinkness in the onions and diminish their rasp. Two limes’ worth should do it, but you can find the fruits disappointingly dried up and barren when you cut them in half, in which case add more.
  • Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into approximately 4cm / 1½ inch triangular chunks, if that makes sense (maths is not my strong point). Cut the feta into similar sized pieces and put them both into a large, wide shallow bowl. Tear off sprigs of parsley so that it is used like a salad leaf, rather than a garnish, and add to the bowl along with the chopped mint.
  • Tip the now glowingly puce onions, along with their pink juices over the salad in the bowl, add the oil and olives, then using your hands toss the salad very gently so that the feta and melon don’t lose their shape. Add a good grinding of black pepper and taste to see whether the dressing needs more lime.

Recipe by Nigella

The photo is mine

Ricotta Fritters in Tomato Sauce and Grilled Vegetable Salad with a Yoghurt Mint Dressing

Ricotta Fritters and Grilled veg salad

So I decided to go where I have never ventured before, and that was to serve my husband and son a vegetarian meal! I am so keen to do a meat free meal once a week. I think it will save money, widen our horizons, push my creativity to get interesting with vegetables and for our overall health. I did this meal from my Jamie book but I didn’t do his salad, I created one of my own which was really delicious, fresh and sweet! The ricotta fritters were tasty! I used a blob of yoghurt and 2 eggs to moisten the fritters batter a little because the type of ricotta cheese that I used was a bit dry. So try to find a brand (Woolworths has a good one) that sells a moist ricotta. My 15 year old son suggested that I should do some chicken with it next time (boys hey?) but my husband and friend who joined us really enjoyed it. I will make it again!

Ricotta Fritters

For the Sauce:

25g dried porcini mushrooms

4 Anchovy fillets (optional)

1 dried red chilli

2 cloves of garlic

700g passata

8 black olives / Calmata olives (stone in)

½ a bunch of fresh basil

For the Fritters:

1 large egg (or 2 medium eggs)

400g ricotta cheese

1 whole nutmeg, for grating (or 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg)

1 lemon

40g Parmesan cheese

1 heaped tbsp flour

Olive Oil

Balsamic vinegar

For the veggie salad:

3 small peppers (orange, red and yellow)

6 baby marrows

A small bunch of asparagus

Olive oil, salt and pepper

1 tsp BBQ spice

For the Yoghurt dressing:

3 Tbsp plain yoghurt

10ml Dijon mustard

1 handful fresh mint, finely chopped

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

  • Put the porcini mushrooms in a mug and cover with boiling water.
  • Crack the egg into a mixing bowl, add the ricotta, finely grate in ¼ of the nutmeg (or add the ground nutmeg) and the zest of the lemon. Add the parmesan and flour and then beat together.
  • Put 1 tbsp of olive oil into the frying pan, then use a tablespoon to spoon in 8 large dollops of the mixture, turning carefully when nicely golden.
  • Put the anchovies (if using) and 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the casserole pan, crumble in the dried chilli, and squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher.
  • Finely chop and add the porcini with half of their soaking water and the passata. Season with salt (remember that anchovies are naturally salty) and pepper and bring to the boil.
  • Squash and add the olives, discarding the stones.
  • Pick and reserve a few basil leaves, then chop the rest and add to the sauce.
  • Let that simmer for a few minutes.
  • **I found that I had to add about a tablespoon of Xylitol (to keep the calories down) to the sauce, but you can add some sugar if you like to offset the bitterness of the tomatoes.**
  • Meanwhile, chop up your vegetables and put them into a mixing bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and BBQ spice and rub all of that into the veggies. Then in batches, put into a hot griddle pan until tender (but not soft!). Set aside and continue until all your veggies are done.
  • Place the veggies into a serving dish or platter to cool slightly.
  • Mix all the yoghurt dressing ingredients together and put ‘blobs’ of the dressing over the veggies.
  • Place the fritters on top of the sauce, then scatter over the reserved basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar (this makes a BIG difference!) and serve with lemon wedges and the Vegetable salad.

Ricotta Fritters and Sauce Recipe by Jamie Oliver

The Veggie salad recipe is mine.

Enjoy! xx