Salad to a picnic? That’s too elaborate, some might say. However, salads are super easy to prepare and nutritious! Sure – a fork and a plate will need to be carried around with you on your day out – but how much better would your lunch be out in the sun with some crisp and fresh leafy goodness? Gone are the days of having a picnic with ready-made supermarket sandwiches and run-of-the-mill plastic tray salads trapped in artificial air!
For this flavourful dish, mixing leaves with roasted vegetables, such as peppers, tomatoes and courgettes, transform a mere side salad into a main course. Best done with a vegetable peeler, Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings make an elegant garnish for this salad and add unique umami flavour coupled with saltiness to the subtlety of lamb’s lettuce and the slight bitterness of rocket. Tuck in – and don’t forget your fork!
For 4 portions
1 mid-sized courgette
150g mini vine tomatoes
1 large red pepper
70-100g lamb’s lettuce
75g Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings
Olive oil, approx. 1 tbsp. for the salad, and extra for the roasted veg
Juice from ½ lemon
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
What you’ll need:
Large kitchen knife
Baking tray with non-stick baking foil
Vegetable peeler (to use for the Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Large salad bowl for serving
- Preheat oven to 180°C (fan or fan with grill, middle-rack)
- Wash the vegetables. Cut the courgette in half and then each half lengthways. Cut the pepper into large strips and remove all seeds. Put all vegetables, including the mini vine tomatoes, on a flat baking tray covered with non-stick baking paper. Drizzle olive oil over the veg and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until soft with some browning (if you prefer the veg to develop blackened edges, use the fan and grill option on your oven, but make sure to not burn the food too much).
- In the meantime, wash the lettuce and rocket thoroughly. Take the block of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a regular vegetable peeler and carefully shave off bits to add to the finished salad later.
- After 30-40 minutes in the oven (grill option reduces the baking time), let the vegetables cool off. Then slice them into smaller strips.
- Arrange the salad by carefully adding the baked veg strips to the salad leaves. Add juice from half a lemon, drizzle some olive oil on top (the veg will already be oily, so don’t overdo it), use sea salt and black pepper to taste. Finally, add the Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings. Feel free to round off this salad with a balsamic vinegar drizzle.
- If you plan to take this salad along to a picnic or barbecue, don’t add oil, vinegar and juice yet. Instead, combine them in a small airtight container, glass jar or bottle and add the sauce just before serving, otherwise the salad leaves will wilt too rapidly.
(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)