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.
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)
- 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.
Then I roasted these until crisp.
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.
I also griddled some sweet peppers that were lying in the fridge.
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.
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.