Enjoying summer with salads and fresh herbs
Mixing just a few ingredients to create a healthy meal that also tastes great – that’s the art of making salads. Ideally they’re prepared with fresh and regional products directly from farmers or local markets. Lettuce and vegetables develop their typical and intensive flavor when they come fresh from the field. Chef Markus Backers from the Romantik Hotel Bel-Air in Echternach (Luxembourg) relies not only on freshness and quality but prefers a colorful mix:
“Rocket is my first choice in the summer, since it’s wonderful when combined with other international flavors, such as passion fruit, avocado or lobster.”
Swiss chard, head lettuce and frisée are also excellent main ingredients for summer salads. Herbs create the right amount of flavoring in the colorful mix of leaves. It doesn’t have to be exotic. Local varieties like mint, pimpernel and fenugreek refine any salad without much effort. Spicier herbs like wild garlic are ideal when mixed with sweet ingredients such as melon, pineapple or mango and turn an appetizer into a main course. In general, the trend in salads and herbs has moved towards tradition and regionalism in recent years. Stinging nettles, nasturtium or good old radishes, once a standard in grandma’s kitchen, are increasingly found in modern recipes and turn even simple iceberg salads with tomatoes and cucumbers into an exquisite meal. When the ingredients are high-quality, no heavy dressings are needed to add flavor to the dish. A simple mix of oil and vinegar, refined with a splash of fruit juice, brings summer freshness to any salad, making it not just aromatic and tasty but also really healthy.
Colorful Summer salad
For 4 persons
For the Salad:
1 head lettuce
1 frisée lettuce
125 g rocket
125 g Swiss chard leaves
Wash the lettuces and tear them into bite-sized pieces.
Fry the scampi and arrange them on the lettuce leaves.
1 small red chili pepper
150 ml mango puree
30 ml orange juice
50 ml apricot juice
20 ml lemon juice
30 ml saffron vinegar
20 ml tarragon vinegar
90 ml tart olive oil
salt / pepper
For the vinaigrette, dice the mango pulp and finely chop the chili. Mix both into a consistent mass with all the other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
To create a summery, edible salad garnish, use cocktail
tomatoes, chicory leaves, leek sprouts and nasturtium or