I am a recent salad convert. The salads of my past were sad, uninspiring things, and as such I avoided them. Particularly in restaurants. Who orders a salad in a restaurant?! A fool, that’s who. Something has switched for me, though – and I think this salad might be the culprit. Far from forcing it down in the name of health, this salad makes me want to devour it daily. No limp lettuce or too-crunchy croutons. Now I’m craving salad regularly – the fresh flavours, the delicious dressings and, a little bit, the feeling of smug satisfaction.
This salad is good for you. Boy, is it good for you. Body and soul. Using the very best of British springtime produce, there are plenty of crunchy green veggies in there, complimented by the saltiness of the parma ham, the slight punch of mustard and the zing of lemon. It’s all in the textures, too. Really crisp radishes, slightly charred tenderstem broccoli, creamy mozzarella. If this is starting to sound like a love letter, I guess that’s because it kind of is. I love this salad. I love it for lunch. I love it served on a giant platter as a starter for four. I love it for dinner, with crusty bread to mop up the dressing. I love it when I’m eating it, and I love it when I’m not. I want it everyday. This really is the best ever salad.
- 1 ball of mozzarella
- 250g purple-sprouting or tenderstem broccoli, trimmed
- 1 small soft-leaved lettuce, washed & leaves removed
- 5-10 radishes, sliced
- 6-8 slices parma ham
- olive oil
- zest & juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 big squidge honey
- 1 tsp. wholegrain mustard
- Drain the mozzarella and leave to come to room temperature.
- Toss the broccoli with some olive oil and seasoning until lightly coated. Heat a large frying pan and gently fry the broccoli until warm and cooked through, but with a little bite - around 4-5 minutes.
- Arrange the lettuce leaves on a plate or platter and cover with the broccoli. Scatter over the slices radishes and tear over the mozzarella and parma ham.
- Mix together the lemon zest, juice, honey and mustard. Whisk in around 50ml of olive oil and season to taste - it should be sweet and sharp. If it gets too oily, add more lemon juice and mustard.
- Serve with crusty bread. There should be enough for 2 for a light meal, or 4 as a starter or snack.