New Season Salad

Spring in Britain requires a little bit of flexibility.

Some days it’s 70 degrees and sunny. Some days it’s freezing hailstorms. Lots of days it’s both, usually in quick succession.

I like all this variety. Keeps things busy and my world feels alive. Plus, I take it as a personal challenge.

Can I possibly dress weather-appropriate without wearing everything I own in [semi-intentional] granny-layers?

Can I laugh delightedly EVERY TIME I get caught in a downpour like it’s first time?

Can I make a meal that suits my [pre-emptive] summer sensibilities but still feeds my wintery need for hot mushy carbs?

I’m working on the first two, but that third one? I conquered that bad boy something fierce.

Behold, the perfect spring lunch; rough and coarse oatcakes, a crisp, juicy apple, Cheese to die for, and a hot salad with bells on.

 

Can we talk about Manchego for a minute? This cheese is totally my favourite right now.

A hard cheese with salty, tangy notes – like parmesan or cheddar has, sort of, but better. So much better. It’s fruity and nutty and all sorts of fancy sounding things people say when talking about expensive wine.

Like cheddar, the name is a variety – a species of cheese if you will – so each batch, each farm, each sheep will give you something slightly different. Good manchego is hard and sharp and crumbles in your mouth with zingy afternotes which make my mouth sing.

Not literally… most of the time.

The new season batch just came in at my local cheesemonger [yes, I have one. I take cheese a little seriously], I J Mellis. It is divine.

So today, we matched it with a hot salad for kings.

New season veg, a splash tangy dressing –  the perfect mix of fresh springy goodness and wholesome winter warmth.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

New Season Salad

2c cooked potatoes, roughly chopped [I used up leftover new potatoes, roasted with a tbsp of fennel seeds]

1c fresh beans

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp olive oil

handful of pinenuts (optional)

 

Wash the beans and chop into bite-sized pieces. I feel like ones cut on the diagonal taste better, but that’s probably just my brain playing tricks on me.

Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice and olive oil for a light dressing. Season or rework it to suit your taste, but make sure it has a bit of bite to counteract the sweet, softness of the veg.

In a medium hot skillet, fry the beans in half of the dressing.

When mostly cooked but still firm, add the potatoes and the rest of the dressing.

When the beans are cooked and the potatoes are hot, toss in the pinenuts for a minute or so until starting to toast.

Serve warm with a tasty lunch platter for a simple midday feast.

 

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