Summer salad from my garden : Carrot, greens and watermelon

Summer salad from my garden : Carrot, greens and watermelon

My first story (and photographs) for BBC Good Food India magazine covers the restaurant Chez Mariannick, in the Off the Eaten Track section. Do check the April 2012 issue. If you love good food, you must subscribe to BBC Good Food online. And I'm not saying this only because I'm writing for them. This magazine is full of inspirations for enthusiastic cooks.

After indulging on food through the weekend (trying out new restaurants, having friends over or going out to friends' places) Sunday evenings are mostly just salad based dinners. Neither do I have the appetite or the energy or enthusiasm to cook and eat anything elaborate on a Sunday evening.

It was no different this Sunday evening, when I went up to the garden, plucked a few things, soaked them in a sink full of water.

Summer salad from my garden : Carrot, greens and watermelon

Basket of freshly plucked produce sitting in a water bath

Come supper time, I quickly put together the ingredients to make a deliciously refreshing salad, perfect for the hot evenings in Bangalore. I must say that my salad making skills have been encouraged by two factors. One, the terrace garden that is always a source of a few fresh salad greens, and two, my two friends - Ajit Nandini, who are full of praise for any salad I put together. So I've decided to blog more of my impulsive salad making sprees.

Growing the multi coloured carrots has been a most fun experience, because when you pull it out of the ground, you don't know which colour it is going to be. Also, the purple carrots, when peeled are yellow inside, as shown in the picture below.

Summer salad from my garden : Carrot, greens and watermelon

The purple carrot is yellow on peeling!

Now, rocket / arugula / rucola, I'm so in love with this spicy salad green, that I simply cannot have enough of it. I've let the first batch of rocket sown grow into a jungle, literally, so I can let them go to seed and then collect the seeds to share with friends, and sow more rocket in my garden. I've been using them in every salad, made pesto, added it to pasta, and even to a mint and coriander chutney with brilliant results. I'm surprised how my crush over rocket is sustaining over the last 9 months. Some nurseries in Bangalore sell the seeds. If you are in and around Whitefield, I'd love to share some of the rocket seeds with you. It's extremely easy to grow, even in pots. Give it a try!

Summer salad from my garden : Carrot, greens and watermelon

Summer fresh salad with Carrots, Herbs and Watermelon

Serves 2

Time taken - Under 10 minutes, apart from the time taken to wash and dry greens

Summer salad from my garden : Carrot, greens and watermelonMy first story (and photographs) for BBC Good Food India magazine covers the restaurant Chez Mariannick, in the Off the Eaten Track section. Do check the April 2012 issue. If you love good food, you must subscribe to BBC Good Food online. And I'm not saying this only because I'm writing for them. Th...

Summary

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    Ingredients

    Medium carrots - peeled and shaved
    3
    Fresh rocket leaves ( you can substitute any other lettuce varieties or baby spinach).
    bunch
    Fresh lettuce leaves.
    bunch
    Fresh herbs like thai basil / lemon basil.
    Handful
    Fresh mint.
    Handful
    Roasted almonds.
    Handful
    Watermelon cubes.
    2 cups
    Dressing.
    Apple cider vinegar (you can substitute with red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar).
    3 tbsps
    Pesto (or use 3 tbsp finely minced/pounded basil in 1 tbsp olive oil).
    1 tsp
    Extra virgin olive oil.
    2 tbsps
    Honey.
    1 tbsp
    Ground black pepper.
    Pinch
    Salt.
    1/2 tsp

    Steps

    1. Wash the greens and herbs in a sink full of water 2-3 times. Use a salad spinner to dry the leaves or spread between two clean absorbent kitchen towels for up to 30 minutes before proceeding with recipe.
    2. I used an orange, purple and yellow carrot each because that's what was the day's harvest from my kitchen garden. You can use any carrots that are in season. I shaved them using a vegetable peeler.
    3. Roughly chop the dried salad greens and herbs into bite sized pieces.
    4. In a large bowl, mix the salad greens, thai basil, mint and shaved carrots. Keep aside.
    5. Mix all the ingredient for the dressing in a small glass jam jar and give it a good shake.
    6. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the greens-carrots in the bowl. Toss well.
    7. Divide into two plates, top each plate with half the roasted almonds and the watermelon cubes.

    Tip:.

    Adding grilled chicken or tofu or paneer or chickpeas will make the salad a heartier meal.

    [All pictures for this post taken on iPhone. I've realised that if I have to blog more often, iphone pics are my best friend :).

    Shopping notes:.

    All kinds of salad greens (except for rocket) are always available fresh at Namdhari's.

    Apple Cider Vinegar - I use Waitrose brand from Hypercity.

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