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On the menu –

Salad of Basil Lettuce, Bresaola, Toasted Pine Nuts and Parmesan Crisps

Salmon with Rasta Sauce and White Polenta

Honey & Walnut Semi-Freddo

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I never think of salad combinations as being recipes, but I suppose they are really. This salad uses most of the ingredients in Pesto which we all know complement each other perfectly, and adds cured beef – Bresaola in Italy and Cecina here in Spain. The salad leaves of course are grown on the farm. If you have a plot on which to grow your own vegetables, look out for seeds for Basil Lettuce, the large leaves are milder in flavour than the usual sweet basil, so perfect for salad. It is very happy in the summer heat, but you do have to keep cutting it to encourage the large tender leaves. of course a smaller amount of sweet basil leaves can be used with salad leaves if basil lettuce is not available.

SALAD OF BASIL LETTUCE, BRESAOLA, TOASTED PNE NUTS & PARMESAN CRISPS

Mixed salad leaves – one third of which want to be basil lettuce or a sixth if using sweet basil

Cured beef – Bresaola or Cecina – 25 grams per person

Pine nuts – 1 heaped teaspoon per person

finely grated parmesan cheese

extra virgin olive oil

fresh lemon juice

freshly ground black pepper

Make the parmesan crisps. Heat the oven to 180 centigrade.

Line an oven tray with baking paper then using a small round pastry cutter, spoon the grated cheese into the centre and pat down with a teaspoon to make even depth discs.

Bake for 7-10 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Remove from the oven and let cool before removing the discs from the paper. When they are completely cold they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.

Toast the pine nuts. Use a thick based shallow pan on a low heat and keep moving the nuts around until an even golden colour. Toasting the nuts really brings out their flavour. This can be done several hours in advance.

Put the salad leaves in a large bowl and dress with the olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper. Toss well.

Add the pine nuts and toss again.

Put onto individual plates and lay over strips of the cured beef.

Decorate with the parmesan crisps.

Next post the main course

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