Endive, walnut, sweet onion, radish, black olives, orange and feta salad
This wonderful spring salad–a perfect starter to the Easter meal–is from my first cook book, Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.
Beautiful to look at, it raises the spirits and whets the appetite.
Endive! There’s a stall in Castres market that sells only these seasonal white torpedoes. They are sweeter than the industrially grown ones available all the year round.
I buy more than I need for the salad–we’ll have them slow-roasted another day.
It’s an assembly job–and fun to do…
- Slice off the base of three endive–this will make it easier to pick off the individual spear like leaves.
- Dry roast walnuts—about 5oz (a handful)– in a pan on top of the hob.
- Slice half a medium, sweet red onion as finely as possible.
- Slice a handful of radishes.
- Stone about 10 black olives and cut in half.
- Peel two juicy oranges by slicing off the top with a sharp knife and gingerly cut down through the peel top to bottom without cutting into the flesh. When you have completed the sphere–pull back the peel in each segment (very satisfying!)–and hey, presto! You have a neatly peeled orange. Now slice the orange horizontally into thick-ish pieces.
- Dice 4oz Feta cheese.
- Roughly chop a handful of parsley (optional)
Next make the vinaigrette for the salad:
- In a small screw top bottle put some freshly-grated pepper and a few pinches of salt.
- Add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and 4 tbs olive oil.
- Shake it all about–and set aside.
- Now assemble the salad on a large platter that will show it off well (before you spoil it, by turning it all over in the vinaigrette).
This is how I arrange things:
- Define the arena by arranging spears round the bowl with the tips upward facing.
- Slice additional spears into twos or threes and scatter in the bottom of the bowl.
- Arrange the orange slices nicely over these.
- Scatter the sliced onion and radish over the orange and add the black olives.
- Scatter the feta round the bowl and finish with the walnuts and the parsley.
- Pour over the vinaigrette (after shaking it again) and present the result to the table before turning everything over–ruthlessly.
- We finished it at the lunch with several of the guests having seconds.
The rest of the menu for the
Roast leg of lamb with White Bean Gratin
Slow-roasted Tomatoes with rosemary and garlic
Roast Asparagus Spears
Freshly-made Apple, Mint and Onion Sauce
Panacotta —made by Meredith–served with mango, more orange chunks and blueberries
All the recipes (except the panacotta!) are in
Mediterranean Cooking for Diabetics.
One of the lunch guests, my old nemesis from Poldark days, Donald Douglas (aka Captain McNeil), decorated eggs for place-settings.
This is Meredith and me: