Please meet Jim and Jane Vella from Sydney Australia. Jim orginally from Bingemma and Jane from Mgarr in Malta emigrated to Australia in 1954. Together they established a vegetable market garden and young plant nursery which has grown into a thriving family business. Almost every day they enjoy a traditional Maltese style garden salad with ingredients picked fresh from their garden like this wonderful salad. The fresh flavours are amazing, the sweet cos leaves and the bitter radicchio is very refreshing and the herbs...yummmm
Wash and cut the carrot, onion, cucumber, capsicum, lettuce and endive. Pour the dressing over the salad, and season with the black pepper. Gently toss the salad (with your hands) to ensure a nice even coverage of the dressing. Then add the chopped tomatoes, avocado, mushrooms and the sprigs of thyme and stir through the salad. At the last moment before serving - gently tear the basil leaves over the top.
Tips from the author
Jane says the secret is to replace salt with fresh herbs. It's much healthier. And, always add the tomatoes near the end so they stay intact and present better. Jim's big tip is not to cut the vegetables too small - keep them chunky so you can taste the fresh flavours. And for the dressing, use just a tablespoon of olive oil and a few drops of vinegar - "toss it through with your hands!
This salad makes four big serves to enjoy! Jim likes his salad with some cheese or ham on the side along with a slice of fresh crusty bread.