The sun has been shining here in Northern Ireland for weeks now and this incredible weather has meant long evenings (it's bright until 11 in these Northern parts), eating outdoors and sitting to the small hours chatting and drinking. Being able to eat alfresco in Derry is a rare occurrence and when I do it always feels like I'm on holiday.
The ultimate luxury though is having a sneaky midweek lunch with Seán in the back garden, when the kids are at school and everything is calm. Just the two of us with the birds chirping, the cat and dog sunbathing beside us and ultimately a glass of Rosé in hand... I have to enjoy it whilst it lasts because believe me... this weather in Northern Ireland isn't going to last! So hopefully that explains the quietness over the last few weeks?
So this month I'm focusing on simple, light salads that you can throw together as a quick lunch or side dish to a meal, and then a few more substantial ones that you could make for alfresco dining to share with friends. Keep watching and don't forget to register for the newsletter to get all the recipes delivered to your inbox.
1 Teaspoon Sesame Seeds
2 Baby Gem Lettuces
4 Spring Onions
15g Fresh Coriander
Dressing: (makes more than needed)
1 Unwaxed Lemon, tested and juice squeezed
40g White Miso Paste
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Water
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Toast the sesame seed lightly in a frying pan then leave to cool on a plate.
Slice the lettuce into strips and arrange on a serving plate.
Slice the spring onions and radishes thinly and scatter over the lettuce leaves.
Remove the leaves from the coriander and sprinkle over the other salad items.
Make the dressing:
Zest the lemon and then squeeze to extract the juice. Put the zest and juice in a bowl and whisk together with the miso paste, olive oil and water. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the cooled sesame seeds over the salad and dribble the dressing on top. There will be more dressing than needed but it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
This salad goes well served with seared Tuna Steaks.