I eat salad almost everyday, no matter what the season. And this one is my new favourite. To me, a perfect salad requires both the refreshest ingredients and good layering. For a salad like this one, tossing or mixing it just won’t do. Layering means each serve has just the right amount of every ingredient. I served this salad aside delicious, piping-hot pumpkin and lentil pasties last night. There were lots of ‘mmms’ and not a crumb, or a seed left on the plates. Oh and if you loved last month’s ‘killer sandwich‘ post, this dish is just another great way to experiment with raw, vegan cheese.
What is vegan cheese?
Instead of dairy (or anything derived from an animal, rennet included), vegan cheeses are created entirely from plant-based foods. A great option for those of us who care about the welfare of our animals and who are making a conscious effort to tread a little lighter on our planet. It also means that they are completely free of any antibiotics and hormones. Generally speaking, the plant-based origin also means more nutritional value. Especially when the vegan cheese is raw. In this case, Botanical Cuisine, the Australian brand I love is! It is made from raw cashews and a bunch of other wholesome, organic ingredients.
While strawberries aren’t supposed to be in season, they seem to be everywhere at the moment. You could easily substitute strawberries with what is truly seasonal like mandarin segments or nashi slices and hazelnuts are a great seasonal alternative too.
What you’ll need: serves 2-4
200g of four-leaf salad mix
Half an avocado, diced
A punnet of strawberries, halved
1/2 a small red onion, finely sliced
3 tablespoons of linseeds
3 tablespoons of chia seeds
11 small tomatoes, halved
A cup of macadamia nuts
Botanical Cuisine’s lemon and dill ‘cheese’
Olive oil, fresh lemon, sea salt and cracked pepper to season
How to prepare:
Rinse salad mix, pat dry with a clean tea towel and add to your salad bowl. I always remove the very ends of each leaf as I add them to the bowl
Next add your avocado, strawberries and tomatoes, dropping them at even intervals around the bowl. Followed by the red onion
Now sprinkle your linseeds and chia seeds allowing them to fall through the leaves
Add the macadamia nuts at even intervals, also dropping them onto and through the salad leaves
Then finish with teaspoon-sized dollops of smooth vegan cheese. I always make sure I use enough, but not too much, so you’re left wanting more
I just pop the olive oil, a cut lemon, sea salt and cracked pepper on the table for guests to season for themselves