I’m back with another post on Light Meal On Monday. Last Monday happened to be my birthday so there was definitely no light eating on that day, hence did not post a light meal.
About two months back we met our long time friends Rachana & Mohit after a long interval of 7yrs. It was our first social interaction at a family level after moving to Mumbai. I was in no mood to cook as I was on a cooking spree ever since we moved to this city and insisted Rachana to meet outside for a lunch so that she also gets a break from the kitchen along with me and we all could chit chat without the baggage of cooking and feeding our families.
Rachana asked us to come over to her place, so that we all could sit together for a longer time and promised me that she would not cook at home and order food from outside. But sweet dear Rachana did not keep up with her promise and cooked a few things at home other than ordering a few things from outside. I must tell you all that she is an amazing cook and a lively host.
Amongst all the things that she made at home was this fresh salad bursting with flavours. We all loved it and I made it a point to call her up later and ask for the recipe. She was indeed sweet and candidly shared the salad recipe in detail with me. Other than that she also shared her quick tip or her little secret for getting a good flavour of mustard in the salad.
She gave me a rough idea of what veggies she adds and insisted that she adds a little amount of any fruit variant, to bring some change to her regular salad and also that, she prefers to use a less creamier cottage cheese or paneer.
I have always used crushed mustard or mustard sauce to add the mustard flavour to the dressing I make but Rachana’s method is very clever and indeed innovative way to add a mustardy note to the salads and I never thought of doing that. She uses filtered mustard oil to the dressings which adds a prominent and a natural mustard flavour. I simply loved her tip and definitely gonna use it more frequently.
Here’s my take on Rachana’s salad with my choice of veggies and fruit. What I can promise you is that the salad is too good and will frequent your kitchen, once you have tried it.
Ingredients For Salad
1/4cup of American Pear finely sliced
7-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
150gms cottage cheese, small cubes
10-15 Arugula leaves
2 cups of lettuce, torn and kept in ice water for 15-20mins*
7-8 basil leaves
1 cup of boiled pasta, I used shell shaped
a few sprigs of microgreens, I used Sunflower Microgreens
2tbsp Feta Cheese, crumbled**
Ingredients for Honey-Mustard-Lemon Dressing
juice of 2small lemons
4 small garlic cloves grated
2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil/EVOO
1tbsp Mustard Oil
1tsp black pepper
1-1/2 tsp salt or as per your taste
Mix all the ingredients under the heading of dressing and whisk them.
Add all veggies, fruit and cottage cheese.
Add the boiled and cooled pasta.
Crumble the Feta Cheese and add to the salad.
Add the basil and arugula leaves.Remove the lettuce from the ice cold water into the salad bowl..
Toss them lightly and pour the dressing. Mix gently and serve immediately.
*Dipping the lettuce in ice cold water makes it crispier.
** Feta Cheese also is salty so the salt needs to be added carefully in the salad.