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Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in Recipes | 1 comment

Lunch with friends!

Lunch with friends!

So it’s been all about healthy eating lately, but when I have guests over I do want to spoil them a little. I was having some of my closest friends and family over for lunch this weekend for a post honeymoon catch up. So I used this opportunity to keep with my fresh, light and healthy eating plan but decided to really splurge a bit on some fabulous ingredients.

For many reasons I tend to be a Pick n Pay girl, but I treated myself this weekend to a full woollies goodies lunch. Their fresh produce selection and quality really does give me immense joy. Well the menu went as follows (and was created while walking the isles):

 Baby potato salad with watercress and a truffle saffron Caesar dressing

 Caprese salad with pesto marinated buffalo mozzarella

Mixed baby and micro salad leaves with sautéed exotic mushrooms, green asparagus and pistachio nuts (I would leave the sprouts off next time – they didn’t add anything)
I served this with a pumpkin seed baguette from woollies. My mom brought a fantastic sour dough rye loaf from De OudeBank Bakkerij, marinated sundried tomatoes, olives from Komati and a cheese selection which she got from Get Stuffed just down the road from my house.

I ended the meal with a platter of white nectarines, litchis and black cherries.

I don’t think I could have enjoyed the meal more if I tried! It was perfect for a lazy summer lunch. My guests seem to have agreed with me – as there was not a morsel left over!


 Caprese Salad

Serves four side salad portions

3 ripe tomatoes

2 mozzarella balls (mozzarella di bufala or Fior di latte)

24 big tender basil leaves

For the dressing

½ clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp of sugar

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp basil pesto

½ tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Slice each mozzarella ball into 6 slices. Combine the dressing ingredients and rub the mozzarella slices in the dressing and set aside.

Slice each tomato into 6 slices (discarding the outer slices and removing the eye)

Using and appropriately sized platter, arrange the slices so that they are overlapping and fanned-out. Alternate between slices of tomato and mozzarella and a basil leaf between each slice.

Add some extra olive oil to the left over marinade from the mozzarella and then trickle that over the fanned-out salad.

Serve this with crusty bread as a light meal or as a side salad to a main meal.

Baby potato salad

Serves four side salad portions


400g of baby potatoes (the smallest you can find) boiled until tender and cooled

2 handfuls of watercress and some extra for garnish

3/4 cup of truffle saffron Caesar dressing *

In a mixing bowl add your cooked baby potatoes and gently squeeze them with a fork, just to break them open a little. You don’t want to mush them up, just to give them a little more surface area to pick up the dressing. Then add your watercress and your mayo and toss to combine. Serve them onto your serving dish and garnish with more watercress.

*Truffle Saffron Caesar Dressing

4 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp Worchester sauce

1 medium sized clove of garlic

1 large pinch of saffron threads

Salt and pepper to taste

50g of parmesan cheese

1 tsp of good quality mustard

1 large egg

60ml of olive oil

60ml of sunflower oil

30ml of truffle infused

In a stick blender jar blend all the ingredients together, except the oil, until smooth. Add the oil, place the stick blender to the bottom of the blender jar and blend pulling the blender slowly from the bottom of the jar up through the mixture. Then pump the blender around until the mixture is smooth and lightly thickened. If you want the dressing a bit thinner, add some extra oil (sunflower oil if you think the olive oil taste is too strong).

For a video on how to make mayonnaise please click here

Baby leaf salad with pan fried exotic mushrooms, asparagus and pistachio nuts
Serves four side salad portions

Two handfuls of baby salad leave
One handful of micro salad leaves
1 punnet of exotic mushrooms – sliced up, fried my way click here and cooled to room temp
1 punnet of mini green asparagus spears – blanched by submerging them in boiled water for a few minutes until bright green and slightly tender. Cool them under water and drain.
50g of raw shelled pistachio nuts

Assemble the leaves on a platter, scatter the salad with the asparagus spears, then the mushrooms and then the pistachio nuts. Provide a good balsamic vinegar and olive for dressing.

1 Comment

  1. I was happy to be invited – sooo good! Thank you, Mrs. Salmon 🙂

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