A little while ago, I vowed to put a bit more effort into my salads. I absolutely adore vegetables and for me, a big salad full of flavour and texture and colour is a my idea of a real treat. I suddenly found that if I didn’t actively go out in search of cool new pieces to salad with, that it would be the same old same old Lagos standard formula – lettuce, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes and sweet corn.
Snooze. It gets boring.
This salad is one which I put together from ingredients I found while I was out and about one day. I got huge, fresh aubergines at the Fruit and Veg Mart on Idowu Martins, juicy cucumbers from a random guy on the street who was wheeling a barrow piled high with them, and then the lambs lettuce and kumquats came from La Pointe Supermarket on Kofo Abayomi. Lambs lettuce is a dark green salad leaf with a soft texture and nutty flavour, very similar to baby spinach. Kumquats are dinky little citrus fruits, originally cultivated in China. The last time I had kumquats was in a kumquat mojito at the Ping Pong restaurant on the South Bank in London. Imagine my excitement when I spotted them in Lagos, winking at me. Hay haa-aay!
Try this salad with a very simple red wine vinaigrette. It is beautiful. Took the salad into work with me the next day for lunch and really enjoyed it. I had it with some grilled chicken of course, which I procured the next day. I love my veggies but I still need meat ;)…
For the salad:
6 – 10 kumquats
1 large cucumber
1 large aubergine
A can of kidney beans
For the dressing (not pictured):
A splash of red wine
A squeeze of lime
Salt and black pepper
- Wash and dry all the vegetables.
- Kumquats come with some sort of wax sealing on their skin to prolong their shelf life, so be sure to rub that of really well with a dish cloth or paper towel. Rinse again to make sure the wax is all gone and then cut each kumquat in half. Set aside.
- Slice the aubergine into rings, brush with a small amount of olive oil and then grill. I did these aubergines in my airfryer, but you can grill or griddle pan them as well. Once they’re cooked, set them aside.
- Cut the cucumber into long fingers.
- Now begin to build the salad.
- First put the lambs lettuce down in the dish you want to use
- Then add on the grilled aubergine and the cucumber distributing evenly.
- Throw on some kidney beans.
- Finally, fling on your halved kumquats.
- Now put all the dressing ingredients in a clean jar and shake, shake, shake. Drizzle over and enjoy.
Do you like salads? What interesting combinations have you tried? Do you have any secret treasure troves for good veg in Lagos? Do share!