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It was my birthday last month, and though I chose not to share the day with a crowd, it was special because it was shared with my boys. We have a favourite place to visit on special occasions, and this year was no different. We had missed going there on Mother’s Day, so opted to have lunch there on my birthday. The place is Newman’s Nursery, a nursery in the foothills that also boasts the most gorgeous little café boasting great coffee, a seasonal menu and mouth-watering desserts.

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We arrived there just before midday, and after a short stroll decided it was time for a light lunch. We ordered a child’s tasting plate for Theo, a steak for us to share, and a winter leaf salad as a side. To my surprise, the salad came adorned with the common Cape sorrel, or soursob, the sight of which is all too familiar. Our yard, our neighbour’s yard and the entire suburb are covered in them throughout winter, though I have made it my business to weed them out and our yard is now soursob free.

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But it was when my dessert arrived also adorned with the yellow flower, I was offended. I took a photo and uploaded it to Instagram with the comment, “Can’t say I’ve ever eaten soursobs before, but there’s a first time for everything” to which my friend replied, “I have. My dad used to put them in a salad he called idiots salad… I have no idea where the name came from. It was pretty good…” Of course, I had to have the recipe! She messaged me a few weeks later. “In my father’s words…

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Onion, raw potatoes, cilantro would be good, lettuce we used leaf lettuce from the garden when I was a kid, sheep showers you won’t be able to get this I don’t think, vinegar or lemon or lime juice. Salt and pepper. Could put bell peppers I suppose.” Without further ado, I foraged in our garden for soursobs, lettuce, coriander and nasturtiums and the result was this very pretty winter leaf salad. It was fresh, and crisp and tangy, and I have to say, I won’t be so shy about eating weeds in future!

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Forager’s Salad {aka Idiot Salad}
This is your classic poor man’s salad, or ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ salad. I have renamed it ‘Forager’s Salad’, because everything that we found growing freely in our garden went in!

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
½ red onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly (I leave this out)
1 baby Cos lettuce, washed and leaves torn
¼ cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, lightly packed
Handful sour sob leaves and stems plus a few flowers for garnish*
Handful young nasturtium leaves plus a few flowers for garnish
1 red capsicum, diced (optional)

Dressing
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
For the dressing:
Combine ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously until emulsified. Set aside.

For the salad:
Combine potato, lettuce, sour sob, coriander, and nasturtium leaves in a large bowl. Toss with a little dressing, decorate with nasturtium flowers and serve.

Note: *Make sure that you use only soursobs that you are certain have not been sprayed or poisoned.

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #redhotcentre!

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