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The most common question I receive from customers is “What can I use my oil with? Salads?”
Salads are the default go-to for extra virgin olive oil, and here is a recipe I learnt from my good friend Helen, the lady behind Marble Hill Cherries, which uses walnuts and olives to make a nutritious side dish to meals.
A basic tip to start: A mix of olive oil and vinegar is a great way to add flavour and texture, to coat over the ingredients of the salad. This recipe has our go-to for a mix:
Walnut & Olive Salad
A healthy, colorful, tasty and simple salad. Goes well with any other dishes. Serves 6 to 8 people
200g ready washed salad mix vegetables (or you can make your own with baby spinach, rocket, etc.)
125 gm of cherry tomatoes
6 large leaves of iceberg lettuce for lining the bowl (optionally use a small iceberg lettuce, retain the outer leaves and add the rest to the salad vegetables)
125 g box of blueberries (optional)
100 gm of pickled olive halves (without stones)
½ cup of roughly chopped walnuts
15 ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
20 ml of Merlot Vinegar
Salt & pepper for seasoning
- All vegetables including tomatoes should be washed and made as dry as possible. So it is easier to use pre-washed salad mix. If you are using iceberg lettuce in the salad, retain 6 leaves for decoration, break the rest into bite-size pieces and add to the rest of the vegetables. Put all vegetables in a large bowl for tossing. (Do not put in the blueberries, walnuts and olives.)
- Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the vegetables.
- Pour the extra virgin olive oil and merlot vinegar on top and give the vegetables a good toss using a wooden spoon or clean hands. Do not squash the vegetables. The aim is to coat all the vegetables will a thin layer of the olive oil and vinegar.
- Line your presentation bowl with the 6 leaves of iceberg lettuce.
- Put the salad vegetables onto the iceberg lettuce. Sprinkle on the olives and blueberries. Add the walnuts just before serving.
- To dry washed vegetables, you can use a salad spinner or you can dry them between two layers of paper or cloth kitchen towel gently.
- You can choose to add various vegetables such as chopped celery sticks or diced apples. Avoid fruits that are soft and mushy. We should aim to keep the salad crunchy and crisp.
- Try replacing walnut with other nuts such as pine nuts or almonds.
- You can prepare the salad in advance. Cling wrap the bowl and keep cool in the refrigerator. Add the walnut when you are ready to serve.