This week saw 8 of us meeting here, for lunch. We all lived in Brussels in the ’80’s and 90’s, had kids the same ages, who went maybe to the same schools, maybe played on the same soccer teams, baseball teams, and certainly all went to the same Orthodontist. I mention this because, out of all of us ( and there were many many more ex Brussels girls out there) the Orthodontist ( and one other, maybe) is the only one who is still there, after all these years! And yes! She came over for the day for lunch!
My dear friend, who now lives in New Zealand was visiting and so I thought maybe, just maybe, some of us could get together for old times sake, and so we did.
A beautiful sunny day in London, and the question was , what to eat. Something which did not require me being in the kitchen, and certainly not to have the oven on. I decided on the following:-
- A Super food type Salad, of enormous proportions
- my favourite french cheese tart
- a salmon mouse
- a vegetable frittata
- Japanese cheesecake
- Eton Mess.
The french cheese tart has been written about before ( Tart au Fromage d’Abondance…… January 15, 2016) as has the cheesecake ( March 29, 2016 and November 22, 2015) The super food salad is new as is the salmon mousse.
With apologies to Yotam Ottolenghi, whose recipe inspired mine. The quantities used are completely, hit and miss, add what you want and as much or as little as you want. I used a mixture of all of the following
- 200 grms cooked quinoa
- 200 grms cooked puy lentils
- 100 grms Fregola pasta
- 2 grapefruit segmented and cut into chunks
- 2 cups pomegranates seeds, ( too much of a pain? Waitrose sells them already seeded)
- bunch spring onions chopped
- 200 grams soft apricots chopped
- 100 grms cooked asparagus cut into chunks
- 100 grms cooked green beans cut into chunks
- some baby gem lettuce shredded
- some rocket leaves
- 100 grms chopped nuts preferably pistachios
- a couple or red chillies , de-seeded and chopped
other ingredients could be, red rice, brown rice, sun-dried tomatoes, mustard and cress type sprouts, chopped parsley, chopped coriander, can of chick peas.
The dressing I served on the side, and it was very simple, dijon mustard, with lemon juice and olive oil.
The cooking of the various ingredients is a little time-consuming, but worthwhile, especially as they all need to be done ahead of time, cooled and refrigerated. Just before serving, literally chuck them all into a large bowl, mix well ( using your hands is by far the best way) and serve !