Colourful Summer Salad
„The earth has music for those who listen“ – George Santayana
When I was wandering around Vienna's Yppenmarkt during the Vienna Foodie Quest festival recently, I was overwhelmed by the colourful beauty of the produce and flowers on offer. Bright petals in all colours of the rainbow, shiny red and yellow tomatoes, rare and unusual herbs, lavender as far as the eye could see - and my absolute favourite: the Chioggia beet, a red and white striped root vegetable.
It's amazing what grows out there in nature, and that Vienna Foodie Quest Saturday morning brought this realisation back to me in a big way. The food event featured a scavenger hunt around culinary locations with a charity sideline.
The rally to find the Vienna's best eateries involved amazing people, fiendishly difficult riddles, tasting sessions and a look behind the scenes of the city's most amazing restaurants. In teams of two, off we went, documenting our experiences and impressions on social media. The most inventive, funny images were in the run for some incredible prizes and all of this benefited a Slow Food International project called 10.000 gardens in Africa: all of the participation fees went towards the construction of school and community gardens in African cities in order to enable locals easy access to healthy, fresh food, make them aware of the value of their land and show them how to grow and trade their own produce efficiently.
Personally, the Vienna Foodie Quest was an all-round beautiful experience. There was great entertainment, interesting information and overall, amazing scents, healthy ingredients and tasting opportunities wherever I turned.
In the spirit of all this well-being, I tried to bring a little bit of summer and its gorgeous products and brilliant colours onto today's featured plate - and it's a summer salad. Pure poetry for the eyes as well as tastebuds!
Colourful Summer Salad
- 2 yellow tomatoes (on the vine)
- 10 green asparagus stalks
- 2 Chioggia beets
- 4 radishes
- ½ handful of rocket salad
- 6 strawberries
- 1 mini cucumber
- 2 tsp black sesame seeds
- 125g buffalo mozzarella
- garden cress
- 1 pinch of salt
- black pepper
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP raspberry vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
- Wash and core the tomatoes and slice finely. Wash and finely slice the cucumber. Peel and finely slice the chioggia beet. Wash the asparagus, snap off the wooden ends, cut into halves (or quarters, if you've got big stalks) and fry briefly in some olive oil.
- Quarter the strawberries and break the buffalo mozzarella into coarse pieces. Wash and spin dry the rocket.
- Arrange all the ingredients on a plate and garnish with mozzarella, rocket, cress and black sesame seeds. Season with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and serve.