A salad to light up any table with a wonderful combination of strong colours and sweet flavours. I know we always rave about our food, but we happen to like it! This salad is a combo of all the things we adore in food; beans, sweet things, crispy veg and a tangy dressing. It’s a hearty salad and ideal for a main course.
All ingredients are from the local market, grown by people who love their plants. I swear you can taste the difference!
Piquillos are something new for us, I have never fully appreciated their potential to tantalise. A proper taste explosion! There is such a wide range of flavours that can be experimented with when marinating. The process is the same with meat and veggies, peppers are ideal for the slow soaking process. Really getting the flavours in there and becoming nicely tender.
Piquillos are little red Spanish chilli peppers, which are spicy in a soft way. To make our marinated peppers, we roast them off first, get a little colour on them, and pop them in a jar and cover with olive oil and a drop of honey. Herbs and spices can be added, we like them nice and simple. Seal well and leave for a few days, longer if you can, and enjoy on all salads, sandwiches or served straight up as a nibble/ tapas treat.
Kumatos are a real star. A type of tomato grown in these Murcian parts, dark green (or called black by some!) and full of a vibrant sweet flavours. Very fruity indeed. I did not fully understand the wonder of tomatoes until I visited southern Spain. They grow all around this region, unfortunately mostly in longs bags in massive plastic covered farms. These beauties came from an old mans back garden and you can taste the love!
Salads like this deserve a decent plate to be served on, not stacked up in a bowl. This adds a little theatrical joy to the dining experience. Get your largest, finest plate and spread the gorgeous ingredients out in a haphazard, indulgent fashion.
I like to serve the salad with warm butter beans, it brings the flavours out even more. If you use warm beans, serve straight away, things can get limp.
Time for the assembly…..
Makes one large plate of salad, good for two as a main serving.
5 medium kumatos (or the best tomatoes you can get your mits on), three large handfuls of chopped swiss chard, 2 cups of cooked butter beans, 1 cup chopped piquillos, 1 avocado (chopped into chunks), 1 handful of fresh coriander,
Dressing – 3 tbs great olive oil (or use the oil from the piquillos, even better), 2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.
Lay your chard out onto the plate and pop the rest of your bits evenly on top, leaving the coriander until last. Drizzle with a little dressing and keep some on the side for people who love their tang!
Centre stage maybe with some crusty bread and lashings of olive oil.
We Love It!
Rich and sweet, just like us (not!) A real gourmet salad treat.
Piquillos are traditionally grown in northern Spain and are full of vitamin C (comparable with a citrus fruit). They are also rich in many other vitamins and are generally served in Spain stuffed and roasted. They’re great stuffed with cream cheese and herbs.