Today The Global Table is testing a recipe from ‘Franschoek Food’, a stylish new cookbook by South African food and lifestyle writer Myrna Robins.
The book, delectably illustrated with photographs by Ryno, shares some of the best recipes from chefs, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs in this beautiful Western Cape wine-growing region, which is very Gallic in character.
There are signature dishes from several top restaurants, such as the delightfully fresh summer salad from Genot Restaurant, at the Klein Genot Hotel, which we are trying out today.
Strawberry, asparagus and feta salad
Ingredients for the salad
1 pillow pack (about 150g) mixed lettuce leaves; 200g fresh strawberries; 1 bunch green asparagus, blanched and sliced; 1/2 English cucumber, sliced and seeds removed; About 6 plum tomatoes, cut into matchsticks; 1 punnet (about 175g) mangetout; 200g Danish feta, cubed; 125ml fresh mint leaves.
Ingredients for the hazelnut and lime dressing
70g roasted hazelnuts, skinned; 30ml honey; 30ml white wine vinegar; zest and juice of one lime; 250ml olive oil; a pinch of salt.
For the dressing, blend all the ingredients together and set aside.
For the salad, arrange the ingredients to your preference or make a base of the salad leaves, and scatter over the remaining ingredients, finishing with the mint. Drizzle over the dressing and toss very gently.
The Global Table verdict
This salad not only looks exquisite but the selection of ingredients for both the salad and dressing makes for a tantalising
combination. I used French beans instead of asparagus, as I could not get my hands on any at the time of making the dish, but did not find this combination lacking whatsoever. Hazelnuts also eluded me this week and so i settled on roasted almonds slivers instead.
Lastly, matchstick slices of tomato sounded far too finicky for my liking so I simply tossed in a handful of mini plum tomatoes which I had halved. I will definitely be making this salad again as it is a feast for the eyes and makes for a refreshing variation on the salad theme.
‘Franschoek Food’ is published by Struik Lifestyle and retails at R340. – Louise Liebenberg