Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells! Jingle all the way! I hope all of you are enjoying this time of year and to my American readers I hope that you had a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!
One of the things I love about this time of year are the classic colors of Christmas - the brightly colored festive reds and greens that are quintessentially Christmas - that is actually what inspired my post for this week. Today we have a beautiful, fresh salad made with gorgeously red and orange hued baby tomatoes, vibrantly green and nutrient rich fresh basil, mint and moringa leaves hand-picked straight from the garden, accented with cute baby bocconcini all finished in a quick and easy olive oil, soy and balsamic dressing and a smattering of lightly toasted pine nuts for added crunch and flavor. Really, this salad is the perfect compliment to your favorite Christmas roasts, potatoes, pies and gravy.
This recipe is so quick to whip up and at this busy and hectic time of year I am all for that! Honestly, in literally in minutes this salad is ready to go.
Apart from being the perfect side salad, it makes a delicious meal on it's own served on crusty Italian bread for a bruschetta-like treat too! I also think this recipe would work beautifully with something like my slow-roasted lamb from my Deconstructed Lamb Biryani.
Wherever you serve it, it is so pretty and will make a striking impact on your table!
Ensure your ingredients are really fresh
Toast your pine-nuts in just minutes in a small pan over medium heat - they will cook quickly and burn if you leave them in for too long, gently shake the pan as they cook. When lightly browned or you can smell their aroma they are done. This will only take a few minutes. Remove them from the pan as soon as they are complete otherwise if you accidentally leave them in, they could get over done and burn in the residual heat.
Recipe is best assembled just before serving although you can assemble your salad it about an hour or two in advance and keep it covered in the fridge.
To bump up the Christmas flavors, you could try adding some dried cranberries - I think it would work nicely and add another lovely dimension
YOU WILL NEED
For The Dressing
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce (start with 1/4, taste and add another 1/4 teaspoon if you want more)
1/2 teaspoon honey OR caster sugar
3/4 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
A good crack of pepper
500g | 3.5 cups | 17 ounces baby tomatoes halved
1/2 cup lightly packed moringa leaves (optional)
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
200g | 7 ounces baby bocconcini roughly sliced
1 - 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
In a small bowl mix together the extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce, honey, balsamic vinegar and pepper and set aside.
In your serving bowl or plate gently add and toss the baby tomatoes, moringa leaves, basil, mint.
Top with your sliced baby bocconcini and toasted pine nuts.
Give your dressing a quick re-mix and using a spoon, gently drizzle the dressing over your salad.
Serve and enjoy.
SERVES 6-8 AS A SIDE SALAD 4-5 AS A MEAL