Monday, 15 April 2013

Cucumber, Bean, Mint & Apple Salad with Roasted Hazelnuts GF SCD

The weather's getting warmer, at last! I love salad, any time, any day but in the winter months we don't tend to eat as many mainly because some of us want something hot. Eating out, my favourite salads are at the Wholefoods Market cafe in London which we rarely visit but when we do it's a real treat. All the ingredients are listed and there's a wide choice but I tend to overfill my box and end up paying a fortune!

This salad contains fresh herbs. The herbs I've used in this recipe are not from my garden. These are not ready to use yet since they're still recovering from all the snow and ice we've had this year. We buy little pots of herbs but they're not as flavoursome as herbs from the garden. But don't worry about overdoing the herbs, just grab a handful and throw them in! And you could use any white or red beans in this salad but if you're following the SCD be sure to use legal beans such as navy or kidney. I use organic ingredients whenever possible, always the beans and apples but I don't lose sleep if I can't find organic options for the other ingredients.

Cucumber, Bean & Apple Salad with Roasted Hazelnuts GF SCD

1 cucumber
250g cooked white beans or 1 400g carton/tin organic cooked beans (haricot/navy for SCD)
2 red organic eating apples
50g hazelnuts (or more)
handful of mint leaves
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
A few handfuls of salad leaves (I used rocket)

Dressing :

3 tblsps hazelnut or walnut oil
½ lemon juiced
2 tblsps  finely chopped garden mint leaves
2 tblsps  finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

If you prefer to soak your hazelnuts, start the day before and soak them overnight. Then roast the hazelnuts according to the instructions in my Chocolate Hazelnut Milk Recipe rubbing off as much skin as possible.

Make the dressing in a jar - I use old jam jars (or rather honey jars). Pour half the lemon juice into the jar and the rest of it into a bowl to toss the apples in later. Add the walnut or hazelnut oil then chop the thyme finely (this releases the oils) and add to the jar.

To easily remove the thyme leaves from the stalk, grasp the stalk at the top with your left hand and with the thumb and finger of your right hand pinch the stem at the top and pull downwards toward the bottom of the stem thyme leaves to the jar.

Chop the mint leaves finely and add to the jar.  Put the lid on and give it a shake. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

Core the apples, lay the apple on its side and chop into fine slices (circles with the hole in the middle) and then into quarters and toss in the bowl with the lemon juice.

Wash the cucumber and slice into chunks.

Pour the beans into a bowl and add the dressing. Then gently stir in the cucumber and apples.

Chop the rest of the mint leaves, gently stir in then cover the bowl and put in the fridge until you want to eat it. To serve, arrange a few handfuls of salad leaves in a bowl, tip in the salad and sprinkle the roasted hazelnuts over the top.

Oh and by the way, did you know that apparently (because I've never tried this) if you rub a freshly cut cucumber over your shoes, not only will they shine but they will also repel water?