Ribbon Summer Salad - perfect for the Summer!
Summer is here!!! I have been looking forward to sharing this Ribbon Summer Salad recipe since Laura asked me to write these recipes for Studio 70 last year. I had to wait till the time was just right for summer cucumbers, kohlrabi and fennel. This beautiful, ribboney salad with toasted nuts is a riff on a recipe I once saw with cucumbers, melon and pistachios. I decided to try it last summer with some less expensive nuts and it became a firm favourite, it’s very filling and great as an accompaniment to some grilled or steamed fish or halloumi. You can also substitute part of the cucumber for a couple of new summer courgettes when the season for them comes, treat them exactly the same.
Also, we had kohlrabi in our Locavore veg box last week and I must, must implore you to eat it raw! Peeled in thin strips like this it is sweet and complex. Anyway, read on for the simple recipe for a delicious non-leafy summer salad.
Serves 4-6 people as a side or a generous portion for 2 people as a main (with some bread to soak up the dressing)
1 and a half cucumbers (2 if smaller)
1 bulb of fennel
1 small kohlrabi
A squeeze of lemon juice
60 grams toasted walnuts, crushed
8 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
Half a teaspoon chilli flakes
Half a teaspoon smoked paprika
A generous teaspoon of honey
A teaspoon of salt
Pepper (about 10 turns of the mill...roughly a teaspoons worth)
1. Make the dressing, combine olive oil with the apple cider vinegar and add chilli flakes, smoked paprika, honey, salt and pepper in a clean jam jar with a lid and shake vigorously. Best to make this first so that the flavours can develop/mingle while you prep the veggies and nuts.
2. Toast the walnuts, put them on a tray in a 190 degree oven, letting them come up to temperature with the oven. They will take about 10-15 mins depending on your oven. They are ready when you can smell the toasted walnuts in your kitchen. Leave them to cool a bit.
3. Peel the skin off the kohlrabi. Wash the cucumbers. Peel any particularly tough outer bits off the fennel bulb, but don’t be too harsh.
4. Chop the fennel in half and slice each half into slices as thin as you can get them. Don’t worry about the core, that is edible too just make it thin! Avoid the very end of root, that’s dried out, though.
5. Now for the fun part? Using a vegetable peeler peel strips off the cucumbers until there’s as little as to nothing left. You will get lots of watery, wispy ribbons of cucumber.
6. Repeat this process with the kohlrabi, peeling ribbons off it, going round and round until it’s gone, when it’s smaller feel free to improvise on the size of the strips. Make sure to squeeze a bit of lemon juice on the kohlrabi to prevent it from browning.
7. Add all the veggies to a bowl and mix with half of the dressing. You can transfer the salad to a platter if you like, it can really look quite decorative.
8. Crush the walnuts, use a heavy bottomed pan for this (or chop them if you like!). Scatter them across the salad.
9. Finish off with a drizzle of the remaining dressing.
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Sofie is a member at Studio 70 and writes a monthly food blog here. She loves making and sharing food with the people she loves - for her, it is the ultimate expression of kindness and care.