A Special Treat for St Patrick’s Day

St Patricks Salad-2

I often get asked how I keep coming up with new recipes all the time. And the thing is, I love to play around in the kitchen.

In fact it would be harder for me NOT to try new ideas.

Mostly the process goes something along the lines of this.

1. I have an idea.
2. Cook and test it on my family.
3. If we love it, I make a shorthand note of the recipe in my Evernote.
4. If we have ideas for improvement, I’ll tweak and test again.

Then when it’s time to prep recipes for the blog or whatever new project (book or program) I’m working on, I dig into my notebook and choose the best ones.

Simple.

It’s rare for me to love a recipe and not want to share it straight away. But this week I have something really special!

An idea I’ve been keeping to myself for a whole year… Since St. Patrick’s Day last year, in fact.

Being married to an Irishman, St Patrick’s Day is always something special in our house.

Even more so since we were married two years ago on the 16th March. Nothing like having your wedding anniversary the day before paddy’s day to make it easy to remember!

And here it is! My St Patrick’s Salad.

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St Patrick’s Salad

So I made this salad for dinner last St Patrick’s Day because I had a bumper crop of basil on hand and I wanted to make dinner something really green. I can’t remember for the life of me now what we ate it with! Although something tells me it was sausages.

The great thing about raw broccoli in salads is you don’t need to worry about wilting and they can improve with some time. So feel free to make this one a day ahead and keep in the fridge.

enough for: 2 as a side
takes: 15 minutes

1 bunch basil, leaves picked
2 tablespoons lemon juice
large handful grated Parmesan
1 head broccoli

1. Place basil in a food processor with lemon juice and 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Whizz until you have a chunky paste. Stir in parmesan. Taste and season with salt and possibly more lemon. If it looks a little dry add more oil.

2. Finely chop broccoli by hacking through it by hand. I like to leave some chunky bits and have others finer but it’s up to you.

3. Toss chopped broccoli in the basil dressing and you’re good to serve.

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Variations

short on time – whizz the broccoli in the food processor before making the dressing.

no food processor – just finely chop the basil by hand and stir with the remaining dressing ingredients.

dairy-free / paleo / vegan – replace cheese with nuts such as cashews, pine nuts or brazil nuts.

carb lovers / more substantial – toss in some cooked grains like quiona or brown rice OR some torn bread (if you have some Irish soda bread that would be prefect!). OR why not serve it on a bed of mash and really make your Irishman happy.

more protein – serve as a side to grilled pork sausages or chops. Or roast chicken OR lamb cutlets OR pan fried black pudding if you really want to be Irish. Or toss in some halved boiled eggs or some cooked chicken. Also good with some drained canned tuna or salmon.

different herbs – if basil isn’t in season where you are, feel free to substitute in flat leaf parsley.

can’t do raw broccoli? – it really is lovely but feel free to toss chopped steamed broccoli in with the dressing instead.

different veg – this pesto-like dressing is also brilliant with shaved zucchini, steamed asparagus or cauliflower. Also thinking it would work on shaved cabbage.

Do you celebrate St Patrick’s Day?

I’m guessing there hasn’t been much raw broccoli in your Paddy’s day past! But you never know. I’d love to hear how you celebrate in the comments below.

Big love,
Jules x

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