Friday, 3 July 2015

Dressing Up for the Occasion

Semplice Insalata Mista con Condimento di Ricotta Fresca, Limone & Miele
Simple Mixed Salad with a Ricotta, Lemon & Honey Dressing


When it gets to be as HOT as it is right now here in Frankfurt, a salad is just about the only meal that I can consider eating... Never mind preparing in the kitchen! It was just too, too hot to cook this evening!

And so a simple salad it was... A "clear out the fridge" salad, nothing special at all. Except that I decided to try out a new dressing... I had to offer all of you good people at least a little something new after all! 


Salads can be as boring or as fun as you make them, as rich or as light and as complicated and simple... It is always a matter of taste!

But one thing is always important and that is the dressing that you decide to use. A simple oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, the ultimate un-fussy, traditional Italian variation... Or a creamy, heavy, rich and more modern affair- the kind that may indeed be very tasty but which will carry more calories in a few tablespoonfuls than a full meal.

I decided to do something in-between, creamy and refreshing and yet healthy and light. And yep... It's doable! And so easily doable too!


Obviously, you can use whichever salad ingredients you prefer, but I just happened to have these: 1 small iceberg lettuce, 1/2 of a cucumber, 1 Spring onion, a good handful of little "date" tomatoes, 1/2 of a small bulb of fennel, some fresh marjoram and for the dressing, 1 tablespoon of ricotta, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of honey, 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.


All I needed was a little crusty bread to go with it and I was happy as I could be with my refreshing supper this evening... Sometimes it really is the simplest of solutions that is the best of all.


You can either whisk your dressing together, use a blender, a fork... Or even shake it in a jar or a bottle... It's all good! You just need to get everything nice emalgamated...


...into a rich, golden dressing like this! Dip in a piece of lettuce and tast to check for seasoning... That's the best way to do it. Adjust accordingly and then get ready to enjoy your salad!

Use whichever ingredients you have at home or you happen to prefer, but try to have a nice combination of textures as well as flavors in there... And then let the dressing and some fresh herbs bring everything to life for you!


Pour over a generous amount of the dressing, but hang on a second... First we need to add those delicious herbs!

To me, it makes much more sense to sprinkle the herbs onto the salad, so that they get mixed in a little more evenly, after you have added the dressing... I find that herbs tend to clump together or sink to the bottom if you mix them in... So now you know why I do it my way!

Add plenty of some aromatic herb... I had marjoram, but oregano would also have been excellent. Rosemary, basil or thyme... Which we you prefer, but you need something to offer a bit of contrast and oomph!

So I had the marjoram, also the greens from the fennel, and as a little extra, I added a little finely chopped lemon zest, to make it extra vibrant and refreshing... Mmmmh!


Toss, taste, serve and enjoy! The added touch of creaminess from the ricotta makes for a much more satisfying and filling variation and is so nice with the flavor of the lemon from the juice and zest as well as the honey... This is just a perfect taste of summer!

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