1 handful fresh basil leaves
½ head Boston lettuce, or small red leaf lettuce
½ heart romaine
½ cup sprouted cress or alfafa
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon or English mustard
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped toasted walnuts, or your favourite nuts
Chopped salads are incredibly simple to make, you have to give them a go. If nothing else, they can offer you some chopping practice, so why not make something tasty while you're practicing your knife skills? Anyone can make these salads, just make sure you use a good, sharp chef's knife and your biggest chopping board – and watch your fingers!
Get yourself a big chopping board and a large sharp knife. It's best to start by chopping the harder, crunchier veggies first, so trim and chop your scallions and slice your cucumber. Slice your basil. Bring it all into the centre of the board, and continue chopping and mixing together.
Add the lettuce leaves, and cress or alfalfa to the board. When everything is well chopped, you'll have a big mound of salad on the board.
Make a well in the middle and drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add the mustard and the salt and pepper. Sprinkle with nuts. Mix up so everything gets well coated and serve on the board or in a bowl.
This makes a nice addition to any main dish such as Barbecued chicken, Spaghetti and meatballs or Old-school pork chops with apples.
- What I want to show you here is that the sky's the limit when it comes to the different ingredients you can add to a chopped salad – you can use whatever's available.
- The only rule I would give you is to always include a couple of handfuls of crunchy lettuce to give your salad a really good texture. Try out different things, and don't feel obliged to use the same old stuff all the time. Bell peppers, tomatoes, herb sprigs, a peeled and pitted avocado . . . you can get any or all of these into a chopped salad.
- Basil works well in this salad, but so do lots of other soft fresh herbs, such as chives, chervil, or mint.
- For a bit of extra crunch, simply toast some nuts in a warm pan, but watch them as once they start to go brown they can burn very quickly.
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This just goes to show that even the simplest green salad can pack a real flavour punch
BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH
Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.
When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.
For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:
Marine Stewardship Council