Lettuce, Plum Tomato & Starfruit Salad

Lettuce & Plum Tomato Salad
Lettuce, plum tomato & starfruit salad

In our city, all roads seem to be leading to the grounds where the horticultural show is being held. That’s where I headed to yesterday and that is why this salad came to be. I had gone with the intention of getting lettuce and plum tomatoes and also to see if I could a variety of herbs. With flowers, I only wanted sweet peas. But I ended up buying fruit trees for an area we are in the process of developing. So sweet peas took a back seat but I did get two varieties of lettuce, one plum tomato plant, a zucchini plant and plenty of local produce from all over our state.

I loved the way herbs like mint and Asian pennywort were planted on bamboo hollows (picture above). The picture below also has lavender basil and plum tomatoes. Most of the herbs used in western cooking were on display. They will need a while to be ready. By March, I hope I can plant some cinnnamon and lavender basil, thyme and oregano. The future looks good!!

The salad that I made today not only looked attractive but it was delicious. And with fresh produce, can it be anything else? For the dressing I used honey from Nagaland that we had bought at the Hornbill Festival. It’s from rock bees and has a bitter-sweet taste as the bees feed on cane flowers. The lemon (about a dozen) came from a relative’s garden), the red tomato is a local variety and the plum tomatoes came from the plant that I bought. The starfruit was plucked this morning and the mint came from my potted garden.

Ingredients for the salad

A dozen lettuce leaves (both dark and regular green), wash and drain in a colander
1 starfruit, cut off the hard ridge and slice thin into stars
1 red tomato, cut into quarters
6 plum tomatoes, halved
6-7 green grapes, halved
A few sprigs of mint, leaves can be roughly chopped or left whole
1 red chilli, discard the seeds and cut into thin strips
The dressing:
2 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs honey
Salt to taste
1 clove of roasted garlic, crushed and chopped
Brassica and nasturtium blooms to decorate
Toasted nuts for an extra crunch (optional)

Tear off the lettuce into uneven bits and put them in a bowl. Add the rest of the salad ingredients and mix.
In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the dressing. Check to see if any adjustments have to be made. Pour the dressing over the salad and give it a good toss. Add the toasted and roughly chopped nuts, if using. Transfer to a serving dish and decorate with the edible blooms.

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