This is a real taste sensation, fresh fruity and refreshing British strawberries, thirst quenching watermelon and cherry tomatoes, summery pea shoots and baby leaves tossed with crumbled feta shaved parmesan, toasted pine nuts then finished with sea salt flakes mixed with vanilla seeds and a white balsamic dressing for an incredible finale.
- 350g/12oz strawberries, hulled, halved or quartered if large
- 400g/14oz watermelon, peeled, deseeded, cut into 1cm/1/2inch dice
- 150g/51/2oz cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 100g/31/2oz mixed baby salad leaves to include pea shoots and lambs lettuce
- Small handful Thai basil/ordinary basil, leaves stripped from stems
- 16 mint leaves
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- 100g/31/2oz feta cheese, drained, crumbled into small pieces
- 40g/11/2oz piece parmesan, cut into shavings with a vegetable peeler
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways, seeds scraped from pod
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Little freshly ground black pepper
Add the strawberries, diced watermelon and tomatoes to a bowl. Add the salad leaves, tearing any larger pieces into bite size, basil and mint leaves. Sprinkle over the lime zest, feta, parmesan and pine nuts.
Mix the salt flakes with the vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk the balsamic vinegar and oil with a little pepper together for the dressing then add vanilla salt and dressing to the salad to taste and toss together. Serve immediately.
Vanilla salt also tastes great sprinkled over grilled seabass fillets, steak or for the more adventurous types add a little sprinkle of this to vanilla ice cream. Don’t throw away the scraped vanilla pod, add it to a jam jar and top up the jar with caster sugar, screw on the lid and leave for a week for the vanilla to flavour the sugar then sprinkle over hulled strawberries, add to homemade strawberry jelly, meringue or shortbread.