Free vegetables and herbs? It’s a Big Ass Salad.

The Irish Food Bloggers Association asked for recipes to appear in their ‘Something for the weekend’ series. I did a short version of this post for the purpose. Here’s the full story. 

The Wicklow Hunter is a passionate man. This year, he has taken to growing vegetables and herbs in his expansive spread in the Garden of Ireland. He does not do things by half. So his first crop of vegetables has started to come into season over the past few weeks. Like so many enthusiasts before him, he is discovering that growing the vegetables can be easier than giving them away. In truth, so many urbanites prefer their salad to come in a bag and their vegetables to come out of the freezer. Research confirms that is what we prefer.

Salad ingredients don’t get much fresher than this.

Thankfully, I am not that way inclined. So I gratefully accepted when he very generously gave me a food parcel containing the following:

  • A vegetable marrow
  • A cucumber (It looks and tastes like nothing you have ever bought in a supermarket)
  • Tomatoes (also looking and tasting unlike the insipid shop bought variety).
  • Spring onions (see notes above)
  • Potatoes
  • A range of herbs including thyme, dill, rosemary, mint, lemon thyme, bay, flat leaf parsley, regular curly parsley and some others that I can’t remember right now.

This prompted me to buy a nice wedge of Stilton cheese and make what my youngest daughter referred to as a “Big Ass Salad”. Marketeers would tut-tut such a name. Researchers would suggest something like: “Hmmm, perhaps we could put ‘Big Ass’ and a few other names out to groups and see if anything bites.”  I was too enthused by the ingredients to think of a better name for it. So Big Ass it is.

 Here’s what I did:

Parboiled the potatoes and cut them up. Added olive oil, rosemary sea salt and black pepper.

Baby potatoes

Lovely sweet baby potatoes. Sprinkled with rosemary, sea salt and olive oil before roasting.

Then I roasted these until crisp.

Cucumber

Peeled and sliced along the length. The taste was so wonderful that not all of it made it to the salad.

While this was going on, I peeled and cut the cucumber, sliced, salted and drained the marrow before giving it a spell on the griddle.

Vegetable marrow

For you who eat frozen veg by choice, this is what a marrow looks like. I took the picture outside to try to keep it real for you.

I also griddled some sweet peppers that were lying in the fridge.

Tomatoes

It is not possible to show taste in a photograph. If it were, the awesome flavour of home-grown tomatoes would have done it.

I washed, trimmed and chopped everything else, adding some toasted pine nuts for a bit of nuttiness (what else). The result is in the picture.

Salad with Stilton

The salty Stilton worked very well in the salad. Three of us devoured it in ten minutes.

It was a beautiful Big Ass Salad, perfect for a late summer weekend lunch. Though, I don’t think the name will stick, no matter what the research says.

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Latest comments
  • Who wouldn’t want something with the name ‘big ass’ in the title? Seriously. If you are trying to eat healthy, a big ass salad is the way to go. Hungry for some meat? How about a big ass pork chop or a big ass bone-in ribeye? Have a sweet tooth? How about a big ass slice of pecan pie? The only time one should become concerned is when they have a big-ass … ass. (Like me.)
    Excellent post, as usual.

    • Thanks Adam. High praise coming from you. I was out on the bike in the Wicklow Mountains today and right now I would eat a big ass anything.

  • Amazing looking salad! Nice photos too!

  • Excellent 😉 The poor farmer I buy from says he keeps getting people asking for clean potatoes!

    • It is the sanitised way of the world. Part of the reason for so many allergies and our generally weaker immune systems. Too much cleaning.

      • Very true – I like a bit of dirt to prove they didn’t come from a supermarket!

  • Nothing better than direct from the source, vine/plant ripened produce. Love it and the “Big Ass Salad.” 🙂

    • Thanks Richard. I enjoyed putting it together, photographing it and then attacking it.

  • as in, does my salad look big in this?

    • Ha! Love it. Why did I not think of that.
      Best,
      Conor

  • It’s definitely healthy and delicious-looking!

    • Thanks for stopping by Alex. I was on the high moral ground for a while after eating it.

  • love your wit. and awesome fotos!!!!

    • Thanks Audrey. I had fun putting it together.

  • Cant believe people eat this garbage.

    • Each to their own Sean. Enjoy whatever you are eating.
      Conor

  • Gorgeous! Nothing like fresh vegetables. Why doesn’t someone give me free fresh vegetables like this? You are lucky, may I remind you! You have done justice to them.

  • The salad looks delish! Love the fact that you’ve added potatoes …

    • It needed the bulk to make a meal of it. They were lovely with the added rosemary.

  • Looks delicious! I would love some of that big ass salad right now 🙂
    Is a marrow the same as courgette/squash/zucchini?

  • Conor, how funny – just yesterday I posted a tapenade with ‘big ass flavor’. Great minds (and great foodies)…..This looks like just the thing!

  • I love a big salad but now I’m craving a “big ass salad”. You did a great job making the most of all those lovely fresh vegetables.

  • that’s right, it’s a big one salad recipe, but i will eat it all, i love the salad, almost anytipe of salad 😀

    • They don’t get much bigger than this.

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