Saturday, 22 August 2015

Improvise & Surprise!

Insalata di Radicchio, Nocepesca, Pomodorini, Cetriolo & Menta con Origano & Sumac
Radicchio, Nectarine, Cherry Tomato, Cucumber and Mint Salad with Oregano & Sumac


Sometimes, I think to myself, "oh, I'll just make a salad" and then... I just make a salad. Which does not mean that I make something boring, either! On the contrary, it usually means that I try to do something as amazing as possible!

And no, that doesn't mean that I have to put a lot of effort into it eithe, it merely means that I have to put a little thought into what I can make from the ingredients I happen to have at home... And there is always something that you can do to amaze both your guests or family or friends... And even yourselves... Trust me!


This not only looked great, but it also tasted amazing too! And why? Because it wasn't just a matter of the colors looking nice together, it was the balance between the different flavors and textures that worked so well! And that is always the secret of any good dish as we all know.


Here are my ingredients for a nice, big salad. 1 radicchio, 1 nectarine, 1/3rd of a cucumber, 4-5 cherry tomatoes, 1 sprig of mint, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of sumac, salt, pepper and olive oil... Very simple and very delicious!


Right here in one plate, you have got sweet, sour, crunchy, juicy, bitter, mild, tangy and refreshing all at the same time... And THAT sounds like a great, Summer combination to me!

Of course you need to wash, dry and thinly slice your ingredients, I hope that, that goes without saying! Other than that, you only need to put a little thought into your presentation... And the way I presented mine was to start with a simple, symmetrical pattern like this.

On top of the cross of radicchio leaves, I laid out a circle of thinly sliced nectarine on top of the nectarine slices and then set the remainder, which I had cut into relatively thin shreds, on top. Then came the tomato slices, then the mint... And after all of that was done, I added the oregano and sumac generously on top.


With all of the herbs and spices added like this, you can safely put your salad in the fridge or simply set it to one side and it will be just fine for at least an hour or so if not longer... It is only when you add some salt that the cucumber and tomatoes will start drawing juices and thus the salad will begin to soften and wilt a little... So that is all good news!


It means you can prepare it in advance and be all cool, calm and collected when you serve up a beautiful looking centerpiece of a dish like this... Unless you are going to eat it all by your lonesome, like I did, that is!


Once you are ready, sprinkle with salt, drizzle generously with olive oil, toss thoroughly and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes before serving... And then grab a plate and serve yourself up a nice mixture of all of those great textures, colors and flavors!

And of course, as always- enjoy!

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