Week Nine, Day Five ( Thursday)

Many years ago, my eldest daughter ( the willowy Blond) declared “Salads are Boring!” I can see her now, and where we were at the time, actually only seems like yesterday and now her eldest is about the same age as she was at the time!

I like salads, often eat them especially when I have cooked something for Himself that I do not care to eat. I remember another salad incident even longer ago that the one above. Autumn, in Gibraltar, which has to have ranked the worse place to spend vacation time, ( sorry Gibraltar). Summer in Europe had been dire, rain, rain and more rain. We lived in the wilds of Normandy, where despite the rain, the food was always good. However we decided a break was needed and off we went, with two tiny tots in tow. After arriving at the hotel, the first thing we did was to go to the BA office and ask for tickets out of there. The weather was bad, the hotel was bad, Gibraltar was worse than bad and no escape, the border to Spain was still closed and all flights fully booked. So stay was the only thing we could do.

The salad I had for lunch was indescribably bad. In what was then a British salad, a few limp lettuce leaves, a few bits of tomato, a few slices of cucumber and a chicken leg. Heinz salad cream in a greasy bottle by its side. But apart from looking awful, the chicken was FROZEN ! We took it back, it was returned, warm on the outside and frozen in the middle. We said, Thanks, but No thanks, but then we’re asked to pay !

Last night, for dinner, it was going to be a salad night, that way it could be ready to go, when we were ready to eat.

I used the following:-

Baby spinach, rocket ( arugula), frozen peas, avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, new potatoes, roasted red and green peppers ( left over from the fish of a previous dinner) black olives, asparagus, canned tuna fish and hard boiled eggs. Topped with homemade mayonnaise. In the end it was a kind of take on Salad Nicoise but not. Too many ingredients and no green beans. Himself declared that he had really enjoyed it, and no doubt willowy blond, these days would have said the same.

To make your mayonnaise

1 large egg at room temperature

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar

salt, to taste

1 cup (240 ml) neutral flavored oil, I used good olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice,

I also added a teaspoon of garlic/ ginger paste. Normally I would just use fresh garlic crushed.

Using either a small food processor or hand blender:-

    Add egg to the food processor or in a jug along with the mustard, lemon juice and salt. Process for 20 seconds.

    Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, turn the food processor on then begin to slowly add the oil in tiny drops until about a quarter of the oil has been added.

    With the processor on, continue to add it slowly, but increase to a very thin stream instead of drops of oil.

    When all of the oil has been added, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and process for an extra 10 seconds. Taste mayonnaise for seasoning.

    Note, if the mayo seems too thin, slowly stream in more oil with the processor running until thick.

  • If for any reason your mayonnaise ‘breaks’ then here is the fix.
  • Add about 1 teaspoon of mustard to a bowl then use a whisk to slowly beat the broken mayonnaise, bit by bit, into the mustard until it becomes emulsified and creamy again. Or another way is to add an egg yolk to a large bowl and slowly use a whisk to beat the broken mayo, bit by bit, into the yolk. Most recipes call for just an egg yolk when making mayonnaise, but using a whole egg at room temperature is actually much easier.

    Of course there are many variations on a theme, try adding fresh herbs or some spices,Ring the changes, have fun.

  • 4 thoughts on “Week Nine, Day Five ( Thursday)

    1. Portuguese olive oil? And garlic-ginger paste from Greenfields in Crawford St? xox Debby

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    2. Looks delicious! Love the homemade mayo idea. I have been making my salads more palatable recently with home-made pickled beets. Very simple – boil some beetroot, cool and peel. Slice. Put in a mayonnaise jar with some brine for at least a few hours or preferably a few days/weeks.

      There are a million recipes for brine but I do a simple one: combine 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar with 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, big pinches of clove and cinnamon (or whole spices), and a small sliced onion. Bring to a boil and pour over the beetroot slices.

      Aside from waiting for the beetroot to cook, this recipe takes almost no time. A few diced slices added to a salad changes everything! Of course, it will turn you and your mayonnaise purple, but that’s a good thing, right?

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