Monday, 30 July 2012

Italian Mixed Salad

What a lovely weekend Mrs Ribeye and I just had.

We had plans to go to a big party at our friends in Brixton on Saturday night, and then skipped it to spend a much-needed afternoon at home with just our thoughts - and a big bag of peanut M&M's while watching DVD's, followed by an evening of Fish and Chips from the Seashell in Lisson Grove and more DVD's.

The next morning - Sunday - we took a slow walk through the rose gardens in beautiful Regent's Park, on our way from our home in Marylebone to Camden Town. After a massive fry-up at the Goodfare Cafe on Parkway, we got the papers and spent the afternoon lazing around at home. Heaven. Slight problem: Too many calories and not enough exercise.

So, to avoid the 'Creeping Gut' syndrome, I resolved to make a healthy Sunday night dinner - and this is it. Italian mixed salad. Basically, it's just a whole load of things that you might put on a pizza, but in raw form and without the pizza base, but with lettuce as the base instead. Of course, being English, the bread could not be omitted entirely - slices of olive oil-soaked toast with dried oregano sprinkled on top were the perfect accompaniment. I said 'eat healthily', not become an 'Atkins-obsessed, carb-hating fanatic', did I?

The result was absolutely incredible, and I didn't feel even a tiny bit bad about eating a whole mozzarella cheese. When you eat it raw, it feels healthier. Deluded? Probably.

This week is a big socialising week, with plans for about four nights in a row. No rest for the wicked - unless we cancel, that is.

Cost-wise, this dish comes in at just on your Potless budget. £3 per serving is all.

Serves 2


1 soft round or frisee lettuce
1 large red pepper, cut into large chunks
2 large tomatoes, cut into large chunks
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 balls of mozzarella, cut into large chunks
Handful of olives
1 x 75g tin of anchovies in olive oil
Handful of fresh basil
Half a ciabatta loaf, cut into 1cm thick slices
Pinch of dried oregano
Pinches of salt and pepper
Dash of olive oil
Dash of red wine vinegar

Arrange the salad vegetables, with the mozzarella, anchovies, olives and fresh basil on top. In the meantime, toast the bread and sprinkle with some of the reserved olive oil from the anchovies, then sprinkle with the oregano and salt and pepper. Dress the salad with the fresh olive oil and red wine vinegar and serve with the ciabatta slices.

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