So, as I mentioned before, I was in Riebeek Kasteel last weekend. I have a massive soft spot for that place. It has some incredible restaurants (real farm-style, old-school stuff), quirky pubs, wine farms, olive farms and fresh produce so good it will melt your face. We spent the weekend with Mr. & Mrs. Awesome, Power and Mama Kee. Mrs Awesome - being a professional photographer - took some beautiful shots of the food I made for lunch on Saturday. The photos are so good that I'm going to stretch them out over a few entries. Power was doing what he does best (slinging cocktails our way) and I was struck with the idea of adding a "cocktails" tag to the blog so watch out for that. I thought it was only fair with summer coming up. It's a pleasure.
Annnnyway, the picture above is of a little salad that I knocked up. It is perfect for a hot day (it was 35 degrees in Riebeek by the way), takes no time and looks seriously impressive. It's healthy, fresh, colourful blah blah blah. Basically, I'm telling you to make it.
Stuff you'll need to feed 6:
- About 8 baby apricots, halved and stoned. (The apricots. Not you)
- Two handfuls of mixed salad leaves (Look for different colours, shapes, sizes etc)
- A handful of pumpkin seeds
- Two fist-sized pieces of buffalo milk mozzarella
- A few slices of your favourite, salty meat (I used pork loin because it is very lean but other options would be parma ham, pancetta, chorizo etc.)
Okay, what to do:
1. Heat a griddle pan until it is smoking hot. Place the apricot halves in the pan with the freshly cut flesh facing down. Let them form charred lines on the flesh. Remove and set aside. You will probably have to do this in a few batches. The lines are a sign that the natural sugar in the fruit has been caramelised. It looks and tastes awesome and is important for this dish.
2. On a large platter, scatter the mixed leaves. Throw in the apricots. You don't want it to look too staged. Rip the mozzarella up into chunks and throw them in. Tear the meat into strips and add it. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top.
I dressed this with the best olive oil I could find. I think the flavours are so good you don't actually want to use a vinegar dressing. I almost feel embarrassed at how easy it was. 2 steps guys. 2 steps. It probably took less than 10 minutes. But it was pretty awesome. You should give it a go.