Traditional Christmas, 144pp.
by The Australian Women’s Weekly
Bauer Media Books, Sydney, 2015
Cooking on pages 32–33
I know it’s not Christmas, but Australians often celebrate a mid-year christmas in June or July when it’s winter in our part of the world. Cherries aren’t in season now in Australia, but they’re available all over France where we are now. And besides the recipe says when cherries aren’t available, use baby beets (or beetroot as we say in Australia).
Anyway, this is a two-in-one cookbook that I checked out of the library for inspiration. Half the book focuses on traditional holiday recipes for starters, mains and desserts. Flip the book over and there is the Modern Christmas collection of recipes.
I’m not so sure the offering shared on pages 32–33 is strictly traditional. I bet I didn’t eat feta (in my opinion, that’s the proper way to spell it) cheese until I was in my 20s and living in Egypt. So let’s see how it turned out.
Cherry, walnut and fetta salad
125g (4 ounces) mesclun
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh chives
1 cup (125g) seeded fresh cherries, halved
½ cup (50g) walnuts, roasted
100g (3 ounces) fetta, crumbled
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 tbsp tarragon vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
i tsp dijon mustard
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
Make lemon dressing. Whisk ingredients in a small bowl until combined; season to taste.
Place mesclun, chives, cherries, half the nuts and half the fetta in a large bowl with dressing; toss gently to combine.
Serve salad sprinkled with remaining nuts and fetta.
When cherries are not in season, use quartered canned baby beetroot instead.
How it played out
I made this as written, using cherries from the very tail end of Australia’s cherry season and a mixture of lettuce leaves I had on hand. I toasted the walnuts in a cast-iron skillet over a medium–high heat, and was very pleased to find a bottle of tarragon vinegar in the back of the cupboard.
Sensational, sensational, sensational. I guarantee you I’ll be making this regularly next cherry season, and often in between using the suggested baby beets.
Seriously, it’s delicious to the max and looks like Christmas on a plate.
P.S. Sorry about the limited variety of pics. I had photos of the all the ingredients before making, but cyberspace grabbed them and I can’t find them, so these will have to do for now. Besides, you all know what they look like. 🙂