If you know me, you know that I love salads. In fact, every time I go to stay with my parents-in-law, they ensure that the vegetable draw is stacked full with all kinds of colourful ingredients to make salads with.
I love filling up on tasty vegetables. They are wonderfully healthy, bursting with phytonutrients and fibre.
I also love making salads because there is no strict method to follow. Unlike baking - a beautiful, and at times frustrating, chemical reaction requiring precision - salad-making can be relaxed and unmeasured. Throw things together, and see what results! More often than not, your taste buds will guide you, and you will come up with a lip-smacking combination of flavours.
However, I have heard that...
A salad would always have a nut, a cheese and a dressing.
My gorgeous sister-in-law told me this useful tip a few months ago. While I don't always adhere to it's suggestions, it has helped me to think more methodically when salad-making, to ensure a variety of texture and tastes... a crunch, a smoothness, a zing.
In this particular salad I wanted to make something special - I wanted a salad that could accompany a main dish without stealing the limelight, but also hold its own as the central attraction if occasion arose for a light meal.
I chose fresh, lightly-blanched green beans; peppery, delicate watercress leaves; crunchy, raw almonds, and creamy blue cheese. I hope that you make and enjoy this lovely Spring salad.
Green Bean and Watercress Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
3 handfuls of watercress leaves, carefully plucked from the thick stem
200g fresh green beans, lightly steamed, ends removed, and cut in half
1 handful of organic, raw desert almonds
40g blue cheese (or more if desired), broken into chunks
1. Gently toss watercress and beans together on a platter or in a bowl.
2. Sprinkle with almonds and chunks of blue cheese.
3. Drizzle with blue cheese dressing* just before serving. Put the rest of the dressing in a jar on the table for people to take more - it will be gobbled up!
*To make the dressing, combine 60g blue cheese, 2T ricotta or cream cheese, 1/2C homemade mayonnaise in a blender. Use immediately.
Note: If you do not have any ricotta or cream cheese, you may omit this ingredient.