The English Post

Crunchy spring and summer salad

Written by Veronica Lavenia

Crunchy spring and summer salad is a rainbow of colors and wellness.

In spring and summer,  fresh salads become the hero of the table. They can also become a substantial main dish, rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins. The key is to select seasonal vegetables, preferably organic.

I made this salad with romaine lettuce and valerian, both rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. I added a generous handful of Sicilian toasted hazelnuts (they are available in the best Italian/Sicilian food shopszelnuts have important nutritional properties, they contain monounsaturated fats (the “good fats”), vitamins E and K, minerals such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus.

Juicy cherry tomatoes are a concentration of sweetness and flavor.

Cheese, not too seasoned (you can substitute with vegan cheese, if intolerant) gives the right amount of protein.

Finally, the dressing: balsamic vinegar of Modena and excellent olive oil make valuable a “simple” salad.

Crunchy spring and summer salad: Ingredients

Serves 2

6 romaine lettuce leaves

A generous handful valerian leaves

10/15 cherry tomatoes

2 tbsp chopped toasted hazelnuts

100 g (3½ oz) semi hard cheese, cut into cubes (or Feta, or cherry mozzarella to your liking, or vegan cheese)

2 tbsp Modena balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

Pepper to taste

Crunchy spring and summer salad: Method

  1. Wash and cut the lettuce and valerian coarsely. Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the chopped hazelnuts.
  2. In another bowl, add the balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste. Emulsify with a fork and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad. Mix well and let stand in refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve with slices of rustic bread.

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About the author

Veronica Lavenia

Veronica, PhD, is an Italian based food writer. Born and raised in Italy, surrounded by the thriving culture and spirit of Sicily, Veronica was a University academic before becoming a food writer. In the context of academic research, she has published essays on the Spanish-American narrative in national and international Academic Journals. As freelance journalist, she wrote about book reviews and tennis. Food was the subject she thought about most so, inspired by family recipes, and valuable Italian culinary heritage, she moved into writing her experiences and studies on the subject.
Sustainability, seasonality and selection of raw materials (as much as possible local, organic and unrefined) are the basis of Veronica’s natural food philosophy.
Cookery author, "Gluten Free Heaven" magazine contributor, some of her works have appeared in "Vegetarian Living", "Veggie Magazine", "Lifestyle FOOD", "Australian Good Food & Travel Guide" and "Chickpea", among others.