I do love this time of year as the days become longer and we click over onto daylight saving time and every day is warmer than the one before, and all around, everything turns green, green, green.
But before we get onto the green, green, green, salad, I have to show you a brand new Spring arrival. I wish she was mine but she’s not. Her name is Coco and she’s just 10 weeks old. My little guy has a friend at school who had a dog who died at the same time as Ruby. Devastated, they wanted to fill the void so joined the queue for a long-haired miniature dachshund.
I’ve been following the journey as David and his mother moved up the waiting list and then there was the news of the pregnancy and then the birth of three puppies, (however tragically one puppy died), and then finally, last Saturday they were able to drive to the breeder and collect their chocolate-coloured puppy.
Barely able to restrain myself, I called in on Sunday with Rosie for a ‘meet and greet’. Coco was so thrilled to see a familiar face, (Rosie’s, not mine), and tried to engage Rosie in some puppy games but Rosie wouldn’t co-operate. Not even when Coco grabbed the end of Rosie’s tail with her teeth and tried pulling her along the carpet did Rosie engage with Coco – she was a dud familiar face.
David’s mother said to me that the night before she put Coco to bed in the laundry. Coco just whimpered and yelped and carried on and so she brought her up to her room where she slept in her bed. She asked me if that was normal. I said, ‘Absolutely; dachshunds don’t like to be further away from you than an inch’.
She said, ‘Well none of my other dogs ever carried on like this’.
And I said, ‘This one knows she’s royalty’. And today’s update is that Coco is still sleeping in the royal suite.
Coco is such a cute and gorgeous puppy. As long as I don’t wear out my welcome mat, I’ll be very busy visiting her.
Now…at this time of the year when everything is new and young and fresh, it’s not something you want to miss out on. I made a salad to celebrate all things new, young and fresh.
It’s a salad full of greenery with lots of flavour, texture and crunch. I made it using fresh broad (flava) beans and fresh peas that needed to be podded. If you don’t have time for all that podding business you can substitute frozen vegetables and the salad will taste the same, it’s just there’s something rather therapeutic about podding and shelling peas and beans.
The dressing is simply made with olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, a little sugar and some seasoning. The salad can be a side dish or a complete meal. I ate the salad for lunch with a slice of toasted sourdough covered in marinated feta.
- 1kg (2lbs) broad beans (flava beans)
- 400g (14oz) peas
- 100g (3.5oz) snowpeas
- 1 lge handful beanettes (baby beans)
- 1 bunch baby asparagus
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 handful toasted pinenuts
- For the Dressing:
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp castor (superfine) sugar
- Pod the broad beans. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to boil. Blanch the broad beans then drain and place in an ice bath. When cold, remove outer skins from broad beans and discard. Place shelled broad beans in a large bowl.
- Shell the peas then blanch in salted boiling water. Drain and place in an ice bath. When cold, place in same bowl as the broad beans.
- Trim snow peas then blanch in salted boiling water. Drain and place in an ice bath. When cold, add to the bowl.
- Trim the beanettes then blanch in salted boiling water. Drain and place in an ice bath. When cold, add to the bowl.
- Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Blanch in salted boiling water. Drain and place in an ice bath. When cold, add to the bowl.
- To Make the Dressing:
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl then whisk until sugar has dissolved. Pour over salad.
- To Assemble:
- Arrange salad ingredients on a large platter or bowl. Decorate with some baby mint leaves and toasted pine nuts.
If you’re looking for something vegetarian, vegan and brilliantly green, don’t look past this Spring-fresh salad.