This is a really, really easy salad. It’s just a ‘throw-everything-together’ kind of a recipe. Just a bit of chopping and massaging… Yes massaging. To be honest though, most nights during the week I tend to eat really easy dishes like this as it’s hard to find time to cook something complicated from scratch after a long day at work.
I bought most of the ingredients at the Temple Bar Farmer’s Market last weekend. The beautiful black kale and fresh beetroot are from McNally’s organic farm, the delicious apple balsamic vinegar is from Llewellyns Orchard, the Irish buffalo mozzarella is from Toonsbridge Dairy (if you follow this blog you’ll see I use it ALL the time, that’s because it is the ambrosia of the Gods). I also got some macadamia nut oil from my local health food shop, The Hopsack (which is a real gem by the way), to massage the kale. Kale has a gorgeous texture and there’s no need to cook it if you massage it with a little oil. This softens it a little and you’ll visibly notice the colour become more vivid , I think it vastly improves the texture and flavour. You can use whatever oil you like but macadamia is packed with healthy fats and had a beautiful, subtle, nutty taste that’s perfect for salad dressings.
All in all this is a very easy, healthy and delicious salad, so get to it and whip it up!
1 bunch kale
1 large raw beetroot (okay I suppose you can use the cooked prepackaged ones if you must)
1 ball of fresh mozzarella
Macadamia oil (or other mild tasting oil like rapeseed)
Rinse the kale. Remove the stalks/ribs of the kale (you can’t eat these, or at least without difficulty) and slice the kale into fine ribbons. In a bowl massage a tablespoon of oil into the kale leaves for about a minute.
Wash the beetroot well and remove the roots. Slice finely on a mandolin and mix into your bowl of kale.
Tear up your mozzarella and scatter on top. Drizzle with balsamic oil.
Roughly chop your pistachios and scatter on top of the salad.
What a great May Bank Holiday it has been, but what a busy one too. Despite having lots of plans last weekend, most of which were in West Cork, I took a detour on Saturday morning down to the Ballymaloe Literary Festival as I really didn’t want to miss it. I only had an hour as I had to be in Schull that afternoon, so I decided to make an hour’s pit stop for lunch. I unfortunately didn’t fit in any talks, which is a shame as I wanted to see Michelle Darmody’s talk on self-publishing among others, but it was still a great spot for an hours lunch.
Ballymaloe converted a big old shed of their’s into a space filled with farmer’s market style stalls, but it was obvious how high Ballymaloe set the standard for what the stalls should look like. Walking into The Big Shed was like walking into a foodie fairytale! All the stalls were dressed in ivy and flower garlands, there was a magical play area for kids, a book stall selling favourite cookbooks, and a graffiti artist spraying out images of much loved Irish food culture.
I ended up going for a savoury galette with smoked salmon, cream cheese, herbs and beautiful unusual dressings, but I also helped my Dad finish off his BBQ from Gubbeen smokehouse… obviously! I also stocked up on treats for the weekend: king oyster and shiitake mushrooms from Ballyhoura farm, Porcini dust and a delicious salad from the Rocket Man. It was such a beautiful sunny day, that I wished I could have stayed longer. Alas, next year I’ll keep a full day free to come down and enjoy the festival. It was visually stunning and the programme of events was world class. Trust Darina Allen to pull off the best food festival in Ireland, with world class chefs, speakers, demos and events while staying true to her ethos of supporting local and artisan Irish food producers!
Another weekend, another great breakfast! As you may have noticed if you have been following this blog for a while, breakfast is without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite meal of the day. I have been loving The Guilt Free Gourmet cookbook by Jordan and Jessica Bourke, and I have made their avocado toast loads since I got the book.
This weekend I decided to make it again, and add some bacon as I was making it for a carnivore as well as myself, and I have to say that it was soooo good. I love dishes like this that are minimal effort but really tasty and wholesome. Sometimes during the week I mess this around and use lime and mint in the avocado so give it a really fresh flavour. This was the perfect healthy yet tasty breakfast to set us up for a day in Marley Park. It was the first time I visited the Marley Park Farmer’s Market and it was really nice. There were some lovely food stalls, and you can go for a nice long walk along the grounds after your meal. It was the perfect Saturday afternoon!
1-2 Slices of spelt or rye bread per person
2 rashers/bacon per person (Or 4 if you have an extra hungry man to feed)
1 avocado per person
Handful cherry tomatoes per person
Salt & Pepper
1. Fry the rashers in a little oil until cooked through.
2. Mash up avocados and season with salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and a shake or two or chilli flakes (depending how hot you like it)
3. Slice up tomatoes lengthways and toast bread.
4. Smear the bread with the avocado mash, and scatter tomatoes and rashers on top.