I’ve never really subscribed to the ‘a few good things done perfectly’ style of cooking. If a few things is good, well EVERYTHING IN THE FRIDGE must be great. This doesn’t always work – but for this salad it does. When I first made this about a month ago it was a panzella (Italian bread) salad that I added heaps of other stuff too. Then I dropped it all on the ground on the way to the party I’d made it for. That was a bummer, but now it has been REBORN with EVEN MORE INGRIDIENTS (but no bread). I really like silverbeet in salads cause it’s like kale’s cheaper, more laid-back brother. I love kale, but I respect silverbeet.
Serves 12 - 15
1 Bunch Asparagus
1 punnet (500g) ‘Tomato medley’ (different coloured tomatoes, cheap in summer but all other times you can use 2 punnets of cherry tomatoes instead)
2 Cans butter beans
½ Red Onion, finely diced
Half a bunch of silverbeet, green bits only, roughly chopped.
3 cloves of garlic, crushed (or cut up as fine as you can)
1 Bunch of basil
¼ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Handful of shaved parmesan
Cut up the basil as fine as you can, and mix it with enough olive oil to cover it (you want more ‘basil oil’ than ‘oily basil’). Add the garlic and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Slice the zucchini lenthways so you’ve got long thin slices (about 1cm thick). Slice the asparagus in half lengthways. Put a frypan or wok on the stove and let it get hot. Throw the zucchini and asparagus in (without oil) and dry fry them until a little bit charred and cooked through. Set aside to cool.
Slice the tomatoes in half, and mix together with the red onion, butter beans, silverbeet, and some olive oil, salt and pepper. When the zucchini and asparagus are cool, add them to the tomatoes.
Toast the pepitas in a hot pan, moving them around constantly so they toast all over, be careful because they burn very quickly.
Cover the salad with the basil oil and stir through. Top with parmesan and pepitas (still hot is good but not important) and serve.