My writer friend Neritia van Zyl, hailing all the way from South Africa, shared this refreshing, easy salad recipe, which she calls “the little black dress of salads.” We made it for dinner tonight, added grilled chicken and a Dijon dressing, and felt like we were dining in a fashionable bistro.
Here’s Neritia’s recipe, in her own vivacious words:
You know how every girl needs a little black dress (even if it’s in the back of her cupboard)? Well, this is my little green salad…! Each girl needs one of these too. It’s winter here in South Africa, so we’re doing less braai’s (barbecue) and more stews…but the North has summer now and I think you all might just love this one. Salads are not my favourite meal – I love meat and carbs (unfortunately) but the Guy loves a salad and this one feels less like salad and more like veggies…! Easy to prepare…and a win at any table! So let’s start with what you’ll need:
- Leaves – I love a mixture of watercress, baby spinach and rocket, but any greens will do
- Spring onions – the small ones
- Fine or extra fine green beans
- Fresh peas or snap peas
- Ripe avocado
The to do of it all:
- Before you do anything – place some ice cubes in a mixing bowl and add cold water – you’ll thank me later xoxo
- Rinse all your leaves and leave them in a colander to dry…or dab them dry with a kitchen towel, that’s what I do.
- Boil 500 ml of water in a medium saucepan – add salt.
- Once the water reaches boiling point…add the peas and fine beans to the water…you want them to boil for ± 8 minutes or until they go bright green.
- Remove them from the heat, pour off all water and place them in the cold water / ice cube mix…see why I said you’ll thank me?
- Once the peas and beans cooled down completely you can dry them.
- Slice the spring onions to your personal preference…they can be fine or chunky…remember it’s your salad!
This salad is gorgeous to look at – so I love placing it on a serving dish instead of a salad bowl, but that’s just me. So, place your leaves, toss the peas and beans over the leaves and then add the spring onions. If you’re making the salad in advance – place it in the fridge and add the avocado just before you serve it. I toss the avocado in lemon juice and leave it in the fridge until we’re ready to eat. Let me tell you, with steak, chicken or on it’s own….this little green dream is a winner! Enjoy!!
A little bit about Neritia:
“My favourite quote is by D.H. Lawrence, “Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” I suppose it says a lot about how I feel about words, writing and listening. I live in South Africa and I adore this country and continent. My Guy is the love of my life, my Zoë-girl dog is my sweetheart and my Tammy-cat is my soft toy. Food makes me happy and you can entertain me with an egg on toast. I love to laugh and I love that my heart has an ever expanding space to love the ones I know, as well as the ones I hope to meet some day. God is my rock, my sanity and my first love.”
Neritia writes with heart and courage in a fresh, distinctly African voice that will inform and delight you, on her blog The Shape of My Heart. Follow her for inspiration and a unique view of life in South Africa!
Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot. D.H. Lawrence
- For the salad
- 4 cups of mixed leaves–watercress, baby spinach, rocket, arugula, baby kale, any greens will do
- 2 spring onions, sliced thin
- 1 cup fine or extra fine green beans
- 1 cup fresh peas or snap peas
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 lemon, juiced
- For the dressing
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 1 packet of stevia
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice.
- Boil a small amount of water in a large saucepan and add salt.
- Once the water boils, add the snap peas and beans to the water
- Boil until peas and beans are bright green.
- Remove them from the heat, pour off all water and place them in the cold water / ice cube mix.
- Slice green onions and avocado.
- Toss avocado with lemon juice until you’re ready to compose the salad.
- To compose salad
- Place greens on a plate.
- Top with green beans, snap peas, sliced green onions and avocado
- Pour all ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Mix well using a wire whip.
- Drizzle a small amount over each salad.