Melon, cucumber and courgette salad with olives

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Melons are now totally off season, but it is still worthwhile to post this  super light, super healthy and super refreshing  little salad. It was the best Summer dish * ever *…  Too bad I couldn’t do it more ofter.

Melon, cucumber and courgette salad with olives onion (adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall column in The Guardian)

Ingredients

  • ½ large cucumber (about 200g, deseeded  and cut in half moon slices about 2mm thick)
  • 1 medium courgette (about 200g, cut into 2mm thick slices)
  • ¼ small charentais or galia melon (about 200gm sliced as above)
  • 50g pitted black olives, chopped as above
  • Juice of ½ small lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Method

Quarter the cucumber lengthways, scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon and slice into thin quarter-moons about 2mm thick. Put the slices in a large bowl.

Top and tail the courgette, quarter it lengthways and cut into pieces the same thickness as the cucumber. Add to the bowl.

Scoop the seeds out of the melon. Carefully slice the melon off its skin, then cut it first lengthways into two to three slender wedges, then crosswise, as with the cucumber and courgette. Add to the bowl.

Roughly chop the olives and add to the salad.

Squeeze over the lemon juice, trickle over the oil, give it a good seasoning and stir together gently. Taste, add more salt, pepper or lemon juice if needed, and serve straight away


Valencian salad

Have been many times to Valencia, and never saw this combination. Normally, what you get if you ask for an ensalada valenciana is a mix of tomato, lettuce, onion and olives, dressed with some olive oil, vinegar and salt. In any case, Thomas Keller’s take is absolutely worthwhile trying… A lot of flavors that seem that won’t go together, but compliment each other to perfection.

Valencian salad (adapted from Thomas Keller‘s Ad Hoc at Home)

Ingredients 

  • Baby leafs ensemble by Migros (the original called for  frisée  and watercress, which I could not find).
  • Roasted red peppers (the original recipe called for piquillo peppers, a bit challenging to find in this part of the world; see bellow for a recipe of roasted red peppers )
  • Spanish olives
  • Valencia oranges
  • Marcona almonds
  • Roasted garlic vinaigrette (see below for recipe)

Method

Put everything in salad bowl, in a proportion that makes sense to your taste. Gently mix the vinaigrette. Serve.

Roasted garlic vinaigrette (adapted from Thomas Keller‘s Ad Hoc at Home)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (=120ml) champagne vinegar
  • 2/3 spoons garlic puree (just blend the equivalent of 2 – 3 confit garlic cloves)
  • 1 1/2 cup (360ml) extra virgin olive oil

Method

Mix the vinegar and garlic puree.  Add the oil slowly, whisking until emulsified and smooth. Put in the fridge in a covered container until use.

Roasted red peppers (adapted from Ferran Adrià‘s The Family Meal)

Ingredient 

  • 2 large red peppers
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper freshly ground

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. Rinse the peppers, and then place in a roasting tin while still slightly wet.

After 45min, the peppers will be blackened and soft. Leave until cool enough to handle. Keep any juices that have collected in the pan.

Peel the skin from the peppers and remove the seeds. Do this over a bowl to catch any juices.

Cut the pepper flesh into thin strips. Put the peppers and the reserved juices into a pan and simmer over a low heat for 5min.