Summer is definitely here with 30 degree celcius heat yesterday. I made this salad for a Christmas gathering and it is such a winner. The blanched vegetables along with roasted capsicum and almonds give texture and sweetness. And then when you combine an amazing dressing of blended basil it is so tasty. Enjoy!
Here are ingredients for the Christmas Salad Basil herb dressing- the basil, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar in a bowl. Then blend whilst slowly adding the oil. The finished dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to week.
Ingredients for the Salad
- 3 medium size red capsicums (peppers)
- Olive oil
- 250 g Asparagus chopped in half on an angle
- 1 large head of Broccoli cut into small florets
- 500 g Green Beans trimmed and cut into half if quite long
- 1/2 cup whole Almonds
- 250 g Feta cheese cut into cubes
- 1 cup Basil Dressing
Ingredients for Basil Dressing- makes about 3 cups
- 4 cups tightly packed Basil leaves roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup White wine vinegar or Apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp Brown sugar
- 2 TBS Dijon Mustard
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable oil- I use Sunflower oil and Olive oil
- Cut the capsicums into large bite size pieces. Toss in them in a little oil and put on an oven tray with the almonds. Bake in oven at 180 degrees celcius for about 10 minutes until almonds toasted and capsicums soft. Remove from oven and cool.
- Blanch the asparagus in a steamer or boiling water for 40 seconds, then the broccoli and green beans for a minute each.
- Plunge the green vegetables into iced cold water for a minute to rapidly cool. Then drain and place on a kitchen or tea towel to fully dry.
- This leaves the vegetables crunchy with a nice bite.
- In a large serving bowl or platter gently mix the vegetables, almonds, capsicum, feta and 1 cup of basil dressing. This salad can be stored to eat a second day. Or if you wait to dress it, the vegetables will keep for a good 2 to 3 days and can be dressed before eating.
- Using a stick blender or a blender, mix all ingredients until smooth. Adjust for salt and pepper to taste. Then store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.