Simple summer dishes using in-season ingredients feel so right they just can't be wrong! This wonderful little dinner came about when I had very little in the kitchen to cook with apart from a few potatoes, some baby gem and some beetroot. If I'm left with a glut of tomatoes I always roast them in the oven, it's a great way to make them go further. You can use them straight away while they're still warm from the oven or store them in a jar with olive oil to be added to pasta or in sandwiches. Give this little summer salad a try this weekend, it's simple but wonderful flavours will really brighten up your day!
This is a truly beautiful little vegetarian dinner which is so appealing you won't even realise there's no meat in it! Cooking the baby gem lettuce on the griddle is a little trick I picked up in America. It really adds the most wonderful deep smoky flavour to an otherwise simple salad leaf. The chive flowers are an optional extra but really make a difference to the final dish. You can grow them quite easily during the summer.
2 baby gem lettuce, cut in half
2 potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
2 beetroot, cut in thin slices
6-8 tomatoes, cut in half
Chive flowers to garnish
For the dressing:
6 tablespoons of buttermilk
2 tablespoons of mayonaisse
1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
A handful of chopped chives
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190˚C.
Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and roast for about an hour until reduced in size and caramelised.
Toss the potato cubes in a little oil and season with sea salt on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until crispy for about 1 hour.
Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
Place a large griddle pan over a high heat and brush the lettuce halves with a little oil and season. Place the lettuce halves onto the griddle and cook for about 2 minutes either side until they have nice deep char marks but still hold their shape.
Arrange on serving plates by placing slices of beetroot and the tomato halves around the side of the plate.
Then add the lettuce halves, followed by the potato cubes and drizzle over the dressing. Finish with sprinkling of chive flowers and serve straight away.