Grilled Spring Zucchini with Peas, Lemon and Feta.

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This has to be the ultimate summer salad. I’ve completely fallen in love with this dish and I have eaten it at least 6 times in the past few weeks. I  make double for lunch the next day every single time because I just can’t resist. The combo is just…..I mean, garlic, lemon zest, feta, grilled zucchini and then the sweet peas.

And I know it’s not summer yet but with 31° (88° F) outside, I think we can call it summer, after all it’s just a technicality.

You can prepare the Grilled Zucchini Salad with Peas, Lemon and Feta ahead of time and bring it back to room temperature before serving or,  serve it warm or cold. It all works. It’s super simple to make and the flavours are simple irresistible. This would be amazing for your next Bbq too. Grilling the Zucchini on an open fire will enhance the flavours and make this dish even more amazing. Your friends and family are going to love it!

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Gluten free √

Vegetarian √


Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Zucchini
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 oz. Feta in one piece or little Feta balls
  • zest and juice of half an organic lemon
  • 2 garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • a small handful fresh mint
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

 

METHOD:

  1. Wash the zucchini and trim the ends. Cut lengthwise into 1/2 cm or 1/4″ slices.
  2. Heat a griddle pan and when hot, cook the zucchini for about three minutes on each side. Only turn them once so you get beautiful “grilling stripes”.
  3. Remove from the heat and cut the slices in half, place them on  a serving plate.
  4. Boil some water in a large pan and blanch the peas for about five minutes until just tender.
  5. Remove from the heat, drain and refresh under cold water.
  6. Sprinkle them over the zucchini.
  7. Heat the olive oil in  small pan over medium low heat and cook the garlic very gently for a minute or so until just fragrant.
  8. Pour over the veggies and let it cool down a bit.
  9. Next grate the lemon over the salad and then squeeze out the juice of half a lemon over it too.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Sprinkle over the feta and the mint leaves tearing them up a bit and leaving some leafs whole.
  12. Serve as a side or as a main course.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

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Beet Falafel Quinoa Salad Bowl with Cashew Lime dressing.

This baked beet falafel quinoa bowl with Cashew Lime sauce  is a very satisfying balanced and filling meal in just one dish. You can double the falafel recipe and freeze them for another day and just pop them in the oven until heated thru and crispy.

Beet falafel are a great twist on the traditional falafel with an earthy flavour from the beets and a fantastic colour. A great taste with an extra dose of vegetables.

They’re baked rather than fried for a healthier and oil-free recipe and served on a bed of quinoa and a mix of delicious greens and veggies. 

I actually always bake my falafel to keep them healthy but if you prefer to fry them that’s fine too. 

Vegan 

Vegetarian

Dairy free

Ref. sugar free

Egg free


 

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

 Falafel:

  • ½ cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight then drained
  • 1 large raw beet, peeled and coarsely grated (about 1 ½ cup)
  • Half a medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped, divided
  • 2 tsp.  ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons coriander
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons flour (or more)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Black pepper

Dressing:

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or in hot water for 15 minutes, drained the next day
  • ½ cup unsweetened plant milk
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • a few drops hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Salad:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • A small bag of mixed salad greens
  • 25 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • carrot ribbons
  • red bell pepper slices
  • some toasted pine nuts

INSTRUCTIONS

Pulse the chickpeas, beet, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, flour, salt and pepper in a food processor until you have a rough, coarse meal that’s not quite a paste. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by blending the cashews, milk, lime juice, hot sauce, garlic, pepper and sea salt until creamy. Put in the fridge to thicken and allow the flavours to blend.

Prepare the quinoa according to the package directions.

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F and line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil.

Form the falafel into balls, squeezing to see if they stick together.  If they’re not sticking together,  add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until they hold together. Shape in to balls and place on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the balls are crispy and browned on the outside.

Make the bowls by dividing the quinoa between four bowls and topping with the vegetables and beet falafel. Serve the sauce on the side to drizzle over.

Enjoy!

Myra. XO 

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

Lemongrass and Ginger Grilled Chicken Banh Mi with Ginger Lime Sriracha Mayo

 

…and crunchy Vietnamese Mango Slaw!

 

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Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off, this is actually very easy, there are just a few steps that need to be taken, and believe me you won’t be sorry. ‘Cause these Lemon grass and Ginger grilled Chicken Banh Mi are the business!

The smell  in my kitchen when I was grilling the chicken was incredible, the Vietnamese aroma was everywhere making it very hard not to just start nibbling on everything.

Full of sweet, savoury, sour and spicy notes.

Grilling the chicken gives it an amazing caramelized crispy sticky outside. Serve on a warm baguette with crunchy Vietnamese Slaw and drizzle with the ginger lime Sriracha mayo.

Good times, I promise!

Refined sugar free  ✔


Serves 4

Ingredients Banh Mi

  • 4 Baguettes
  • Grilled Chicken, sliced
  • Vietnamese Slaw
  • Ginger Lime Sriracha Mayo
  • Cucumber, about half, sliced
  • Cilantro, a handful. Roughly chopped
  • Lots of paper napkins!

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Grilled Chicken:

  • 1 pounds chicken breasts or thighs, deboned

Marinade:

  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp.  fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp.  chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp. fresh peeled and grated ginger
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bashed with the side of a meat hammer
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Thai (or Sweet) basil
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium lime
  • 1 garlic clove , minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Freshly ground black pepper

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Method:

  1. Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a measuring cup. Pour over chicken thighs or breasts and seal bag or place in a large dish and cover.
  2. Marinate for at one hour or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove from fridge and bring to room temperature one hour before grilling.
  4. Heat your griddle pan.
  5. Remove chicken from bag. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Discard marinade.
  6. Spray both sides of thighs with oil. Place on griddle pan.
  7. Season generously with black pepper.
  8. Grill for about 2 minutes on each side on high.
  9. Lower the heat.
  10. Continue grilling until thighs are done, about 7 to 10 minutes more. Chicken  will feel firm to the touch. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

 

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Vietnamese Mango Slaw:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely julienned
  • 1/2 Mango, peeled and finely julienned
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, washed
  • 1/2 bunch Thai basil
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded
  • 1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp.  ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. ginger syrup (from the jar of candied stem ginger)

Method Slaw:

  1. Place cabbage in a bowl with the spring onions, bean sprouts and carrots. Roughly chop the coriander and Thai basil and add to the bowl. Cut the chilli in half then cut across into fine strips.
  2. Add the chilli to the bowl.
  3. Place the remaining ingredients into a small jar and shake well until the sugar has dissolved. Dress the salad.
  4. Put on some plastic disposable gloves and start mixing well with your hands – make sure it all gets covered in dressing or it will taste bland.

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Ginger Lime Sriracha Mayo:

  • 3/4 cup Mayo
  • 1 piece candied stem ginger in syrup,  finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tsp.  Sriracha sauce
  • Juice of half a lime

Method Mayo:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon.

To Assemble the BANH MI:

Pre heat the oven to 200° C / 400° F

  1. Slightly dampen the baguettes with a little water. Wrap them in foil and heat them in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven. Remove foil and discard.
  3. Carefully slice open. Hot!
  4. Spread a generous amount of the Ginger Lime Sriracha mayo on the bottom of the baguette.
  5. Then a layer of sliced cucumber.
  6. Then the grilled chicken.
  7. Top with Vietnamese Slaw
  8. Sprinkle over some cilantro
  9. Drizzle over some more mayo
  10. Put the top of the Baguette on.

 

Serve with plenty of paper napkins!

Enjoy!

Myra XO

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

Passion Kale Salad with Grapes

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We had big plans for today to go shopping clothes for my daughter but it was soooooo cold outside, as soon as I closed the front door and we stepped into the thin freezing air it almost hurt to breathe. So we decided to call it a day after one sweater. And it was so misty you could barely see a foot ahead of you. Better to stay home on a day like this, and do some Netflix cooking and writing.

When I  look out of the window from where I am writing I can see the cars from the parking lot slowly disappearing as the mist settles down.  All the trees are officially bald now and I am glad to be inside. It gets dark so early these days. And although it’s not really salad weather, this Kale Salad is still a winter dish to me, maybe because of the dark green leafs and the red grapes.

So let me introduce you to a new couple,  Passion fruit and Kale. They say opposites attract, right?

Kale being strong, textured, dark and rough, and Passion fruit being delicate, perfumed, sweet and juicy.

These two go together so well. I wanted to find something completely different from the most obvious choices to accompany the kale, giving it sweetness and something  very different.

The addition of Grapes I love because to me they are like little explosions of sweet juice.

The nuts have had a turn in the pan with a bit of honey and salt to give them crunch and flavour. So to make a long story short, I think you’re really gonna like this one and it’s so pretty too.

The essential trick is to massage the Kale long enough for the right texture, it’s also easier to digest this way and it becomes a little softer.

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Vegetarian  ✔

Gluten free  ✔

Dairy free  ✔

Ref. sugar free  ✔

Egg free  ✔

 

Serves 4 as a side


Ingredients;

 

1  12 oz./350 gr. bag of (organic) washed and chopped Kale

juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 tsp Himalayan Salt

1 tbsp. Raw Honey

freshly Black Pepper

1/2 C. red grapes cut in half

1 passion fruit. (wrinkled fruit means sweeter)

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1/3 C. Walnuts roughly chopped

1 tbsp. Honey

a sprinkling of Himalayan Salt


Method;

 

Get out a tray and cover with parchment paper.

Put a frying pan on to medium heat. Toast the walnuts for  about three minutes until golden, add the salt and honey. Cook for an other minute or so until syrupy and sticky. Take off the heat and pour the nuts onto the tray with parchment paper. Let cool.

Put the Kale in a bowl. Add salt, lemon juice and olive oil. With very clean hands, start massaging and squeezing the kale, for about ten minutes. Until it turns darker and softer.

Spoon out half of the Passion fruit and add the tablespoon honey, incorporate in the kale salad and mix.

Place the Kale on a pretty serving dish or plate. Decorate with the grapes and nuts. Spoon the other half of the passion fruit pulp out on top of the kale salad.

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Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Harvest Pumpkin Salad, baked Halloumi & Chantherelles with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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Harvest Pumpkin Salad, baked Halloumi & Chantherelles with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

with Bacon,Cranberries, lentils, Maple candied Pecans…

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I’ve got Pumpkin on my mind. Everywhere I look I see pumpkins, everything I read seems to be about pumpkins and now I can’t stop thinking about them So rather than fight it, I’d better embrace it.

No, in all seriousness I love pumpkins and I am very happy with the vast amount of Pumpkin recipes going around . In magazines, on tv and online. I have come up with a few myself and this is the first one. I had it for dinner tonight and it was so satisfying and delicious I couldn’t wait to share it. Usually I am not a fan of just having a salad for dinner because I get hungry after about an hour. But it has been two hours since I had my dinner and I think I am going to be ok until breakfast.

This salad does have a few steps to prepare but then again it is a dinner substitute so there is some work and cooking involved. But fun work….promise. And it is so pretty and delicious you could easily serve it for an informal dinner party with some freshly baked bread like Country Loaves or a  Spelt Bread with Seeds.

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Serves 4

Cane Sugar Free   Egg Free  Gluten Free  Vegetarian

Ingredients for the salad;

1 lb roast pumpkin cubes

2 bags of lettuce mix, about 8 oz.

4 oz. of canned lentils, drained

Traditional Halloumi Cheese, 7 oz

14 oz. Chanterelles, gently wiped clean

1 large red onion, peeled cut in half and into slivers

1/3 C. Parsley leafs whole

1/4 C.  dried Organic Cranberries, soaked for at least 30 minutes

1/2 C. Bacon in smallish dice, (omit for vegetarians)

1/2 C. Maple candied All Natural Roasted Pecans (Unsalted)

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Roast pumpkin cubes;

Pre heat oven to 350 ° F/ 180 ° C

1 lb. fresh cubed Pumpkin, peeled and seeds removed

1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice mix

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. sweet smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt

2 tsp. olive oil

Toss everything together and place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Roast for 20 minutes. Toss pumpkin half way thru cooking.

Remove from oven and let sit at room temperature.

Maple candied Pecans;

1/2 C. All Natural Roasted Pecans (Unsalted)

2 tbsp Maple Syrup

Toast the pecans in a dry frying pan for 2 minutes until pecans smell toasted. Add the maple syrup and cook for two more minutes, until syrup has reduced and all is sticky and deep golden brown. Transfer the pecans to a plate covered with parchment paper. Immediately separate the pecans with two forks. Let cool completely.

Warning: Caramel of any kind gets extremely hot so do not touch with your fingers or taste it!!!

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette;

2 tsp. prepared Dijon mustard

4 tsp. Maple Syrup

3 tbsp. Thick Balsamic Vinegar

6 tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper

Whisk the first three ingredients together until well blended and slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Add a salt and pepper.

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Before we start with the chanterelle and Halloumi it is time to prepare the salad plates first. Or salad platter, which ever you prefer. Place like this

1  Salad leafs

2 onion slivers

3 roast pumpkin cubes

4 lentils

5 parsley leafs

Now back to the chanterelle. Heat a frying pan over high heat and add the bacon dice, cook over moderate heat until really crispy, remove from pan and set aside in a small bowl.

Remove some of the fat from the pan if necessary and put it back on the heat. Add the chanterelle and cook on high heat for about four to five minutes until golden brown. Remove to a plate and put the pan back on the heat. Add the Halloumi slices and bake in a dry pan for about 1 and a half minutes on each side until crispy and soft.

Divide  the chanterelle carefully over the salad, scatter with the bacon and add the baked Halloumi slices. Decorate with the maple candies pecans and cranberries and serve straight away with the Maple Balsamic vinaigrette.

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Not quite what you were looking for? How about Endive Gratin with Baked Apples, Blue cheese and Thyme img_1181

Quinoa Tabbouléh with Chickpeas and Pomegranate Seeds

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Quinoa is such a versatile grain, I love it! It’s cooked in minutes and basically you can do anything you like with it once it’s cooked. Plus point; it freezes really well too. Just put it in a zip lock bag in the freezer and scoop out what you need.

During the Summer, when it’s too warm to eat hot dishes I like making salads like these, where there is some sort of grain involved and you have your veggies and carbs in one dish.

 

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Tabbouleh is a middle eastern dish usually made with Bulgur, a kind of dried cracked wheat, but I like to use Quinoa instead since it has a lot more protein, less carbs and more fibre. Also it’s Gluten free.  Quinoa to me is a super grain, the seeds grow on large feather like branches and can be black, red or white. In Inca quinoa means “mother grain”, and I can see why.

However when you cook Quinoa it is very important that you rinse the seeds very well before cooking since they are covered in saponin, a bitter substance that works like a natural insect repellant for the plant.

 

Vegan ✔

Vegetarian  ✔

Gluten free  ✔

Dairy free  ✔

Ref. sugar free  ✔

Egg free  ✔

 

Serves 4 as a side dish


 

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 C. Quinoa

3 C. vegetable Stock

1 can of chickpeas, drained

1/2 C. Pomegranate seeds

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup good olive oil

Himalayan salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts

1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1  cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced

 

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METHOD:

Cook the Quinoa according to package instructions or;

Wash the Quinoa thoroughly and put in a pan, add the stock. Bring to a gently boil and cook with the lid on the pan for about 10 – 12 minutes , taste and check  to see if the Quinoa is done.

Place the Quinoa in a large bowl and let it cool before adding the chickpeas, pom seeds, scallions, cucumber, herbs, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss and serve either cooled or at room temperature.

Tip: Sprinkle over some toasted Pistachios for extra crunch.

Enjoy!

 

Myra XO

 

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Looking for more great recipes to try?  Be sure to check out this Watermelon Salad

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Beet Salad

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Prep time …. 5 MINUTES

Serves 4 as a side dish

Cane Sugar Free  Egg Free  Gluten Free Vegetarian

 

This is such an insanely pretty colored dish. I always serve it either with meatballs or steak for some reason. I think it just goes really well with meat I guess.

I always try to save some for lunch the next day but I rarely succeed. You’ll see for yourself.

The great thing is that you use the vacuum packed beets, so it takes 5 minutes to make, how great is that? Ok, here we go….set the timer.

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Ingredients;

1 lb. pack vacuum packed cooked beets

1/4 C. greek yoghurt

1 tbsp honey                   IMG_0750

salt and pepper

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 tbsp. chopped dill

4 spring onions, sliced into fine rings (reserve some for decorating)

2 tbsp pickle juice

 

Method;

Open and drain the beets. Cut in slices or chunks. Put in a bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients. Toss. Sprinkle over the remaining spring onions. Serve.

 

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Buddha Bowl Breakdown & Buddha Sauce

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Vegan  Vegetarian Dairy Free Gluten FreeEgg Free Cane Sugar Free

Some things disappear as quickly as they come. But the Buddha Bowl is doing exceptionally well. It’s been around for a while now and I think it’s here to stay.

I know that I am going to keep on making them, probably for the rest of my life.

When I cook dinner in the evening I always think, Ooh  I’ll save that for my Bowl tomorrow. I don’t understand why it has taken so long to become popular. It’s basically left overs made pretty in a bowl.

That’s why I am calling this the Buddha Bowl Breakdown, because it is more of a how to in general than one specific recipe. It all depends on what you have left in the fridge and what you are in the mood for.

For me it is super easy, since I always have cooked grains in the freezer as well as various beans. I am not such a fan of canned beans, I can always taste the can. I wonder if anyone else has this problem because I have the same with canned tuna. I love tuna but I always really need to air it before I prepare it. Anyway, drifting off here…

I have divided the ingredients in groups and you can mix and pair as you like. I highly recommend the Buddha dressing, because it is simply delicious. Even over warm vegetables the next day (“if” you have any leftovers).

 

Buddha Dressing:

1 tbsp. Olive oil

1/2 C. cooked Chickpeas

1/2 C. Water (more or less)

1/4 C. Apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. Tahini paste

1 Garlic clove, peeled and grated

juice of 1/2 a Lemon

1 tsp. Sriracha sauce

1 tbsp. Agave syrup

1 tsp. prepared Mustard

2 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast (optional)

1 tsp. Turmeric

Method:

Blend all the ingredients in the food processor until smooth. Keeps for about 5 days in the

fridge.

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Ingredients Buddha Bowl:

Base

All types of salad leafs and greens, Spinach, Watercress, Lettuce, Cabbage,Kale…

Grain/Starch

Cooked brown rice, Corn, Cooked Millet, Kasha, Kamut, Quinoa, Whole grain Pasta, Sweet potato baked or boiled…

Vegetables

Either, raw, steamed or grilled such as;

Asparagus, Onions, Green beans, Avocado, Carrots, Red Peppers, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Beets, Radish, Chicory, Leek, Celery…

Protein

Cooked or grilled; Chicken, Fish, Eggs, Tofu, Tempéh, Beans, Lentils, Edamame, Chickpeas… Any of these beans can be sprouted for a few days, in advance.

Herbs

Parsley, Dill, Chives, Cilantro, Tarragon, Mint, Basil…

Healthy Fats

Nuts, Seeds, Avocado, Olives…

 

 

 

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Hail to the Buddha Bowl!

Watermelon Salad

 

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Vegetarian Gluten FreeEgg Free Cane Sugar Free

Serves 4

Whenever I go the market and see Watermelons, I feel as thought Summer is really almost here. After a long Winter of rain, some snow and a lot of storms. At last we can enjoy all the things Spring has to offer, and soon Summer.  For me it is mostly the fruit I look forward to. Here where I live in Holland (in the country side), we don’t get Watermelons all year round like in some of the bigger cities. And I am ok with that.

I like eating what the  seasons have to offer, for me it feels like the right thing to do. So it’s really exciting when I see a Watermelon for the first time in season. Not only are they delicious but apparently very healthy too. They are full of Lycopene which is a carotenoid  good for heart health and bone health. They also contain Citrulline. Citrulline is an amino acid that is converted by our kidneys into arginine. The flesh of a watermelon contains about 250 milligrams of citrulline per cup.  Arginine can help improve blood flow and there’s also some preliminary evidence from animal studies that greater conversion of Citrulline into arginine may help prevent excess accumulation of fat in fat cells. Hello?

Ingredients;

2 bags of Arugula

1 small watermelon, peeled and diced

4 oz. Feta cheese

1  onion, peeled and sliced as thin as you can

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a bunch of fresh Mint. Pick of the leafs, thow the stems away.

1/2 C. Pomegranate Seeds

1/4 C. toasted Pine nuts

1 tbsp. Chia seeds

1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil

juice of one lemon

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Method;

Star of by putting the onion in a bowl with the juice of half a lemon and leave for about 15 minutes. This will take away the sharpness of the onion.

Arrange the Arugula on a platter. Scatter over the Watermelon. Then the drained onions.

Crumble over the Feta. Then tear the Mint leafs up a bit and sprinkle over the salad tucking the leafs in between the pieces of Watermelon.

Then scatter over the Pomegranate seeds, the Chia seeds and the Pine nuts. Serve drizzled with the olive oil and the remaining juice of the lemon.

 

 

 

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