A few weeks ago now, when I attended the Britmums Live conference I was thrilled to be given a few cookery books to try out and so here is the first of my recipe reviews.
Mama’s Family Cookbook is a chunky, feelgood selection of attractive, tasty recipes suitable for all the family. It’s packed full of hearty, wholesome meals that look traditional and yet so modern. The photography is gorgeous and inviting and I’ve made a few things from the cookbook already; the images just draw you in. I love it’s old fashioned feel and wondered if I’d find the recipes a little heavy and unhealthy, but no, quite the opposite in fact. Pleny of vegetables, salad and lashings of olive oil (as you’d expect of course) make this suitable for those on a health kick as well as those wanting to serve up an Italian feast for a dinner party.
Today’s recipe that I’m showing you is for a gorgeous, light and extremely tasty salad. Perfect for the summer. And for me whilst I’m counting calories! I don’t know about you but I often chop and change recipe ingredients (not always successfully I might add) and as I’m not a big fan of fennel I left it out of this one. I also didn’t want to get pine nuts this time, and used sunflowers seeds from my cupboard instead.
I have to say I thought it would taste like any other lunchtime salad, as the ingredients are minimal, but I can’t stress how wrong I was. It was absolutely delicious. The dressing and sunflowers seeds seemed to take the edge off the rocket, making it less firey, and the cheese added the protein and extra flavour I love.
If you’re looking for a different salad for lunch, as a starter or even a side dish, do give this one a go!
- 2 handfuls of rocket leaves
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 50g / 1¾ ozs pine nuts
- 100g / 3½ oz Parmesan cheese shavings
- salt and pepper
- Wash the rocket and pat dry. Divide between among the four plates
- Halve the fennel bulb and slice finely. Arrange over the salad leaves. If like me, you aren't a fan of fennel feel free to leave this part out.
- Whisk the oil and balsamic vinegar together, adding salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a little over each plate of leaves.
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry, hot pan for just a few minutes until golden brown. (Use sunflower seeds as a good alternative)
- Add the Parmesan shavings to the salad and sprinkle the pine nuts on top. Serve immediately.