You know those weekends when you really overdo it? Well I just had one. I’m talking steak upon steak, pastries left right and centre, cheese, macarons, crepes filled with heaps of melted cheese and delicious ham, and snacks at every opportunity (that’s not to mention the sheer amount of wine and cocktails consumed, too). If you read my last post then you’ll know why, and you might even think ‘hey man, it’s ok’, I mean after all I was in Paris. Could I have conducted my diet any differently? Non non, most certainly not.
Travelling back on the Eurostar late Sunday night, my bag weighed down by food stuffs and wine, I realised the weekend’s eating habits couldn’t continue unless I was ready to ‘let myself go’, as they say. But being a foodie, actively dieting is probably the worst thing I can imagine. Sure, I do it from time to time when I’ve really gone loco (I once gained 7lbs in 3 (tasty) days on a trip to Amsterdam…), but in reality those kind of eating plans just won’t do. What will do however, is grabbing a big bowl, throwing in a crazy amount of ingredients and creating what my mamma has always referred to as a really busy salad. Eating this makes me feel good and keeps me satisfied. Carnivores, avert your eyes.
Fennel and Artichoke Salad with Pear and Rocket
Serves 4 or 2 generously
This salad doesn’t really require exact amounts, it’s more of a handful of this and pinch of that kinda thing. Judge it by eye and tweak to suit your taste.
1 large fennel, sliced (reserve the leaves and add to the mix)
Handful of artichoke hearts, fresh or marinated, roughly chopped
Cooked couscous, around 150g
A few big handfuls of rocket
Handful of purple radish sprouts
Half a pear, sliced
Cucumber, seeds removed and sliced
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Sprinkle of pumpkin seeds
Some almonds, roughly chopped
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
Tablespoon of dill, finely chopped
Zest and juice of one lemon
Basil oil (if you have it, otherwise throw some fresh basil into the mix and use Extra Virgin olive oil)
Dukkah and sumac
First grill the fennel in a pan or skillet with a little olive oil until slightly crisp on both sides.
To make the dressing combine the lemon juice with a good glug of olive oil, season well and whisk to combine. Throw the rest of the ingredients along with the grilled fennel together in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Check seasoning and sprinkle over some dukkah and sumac.