It’s been hot in Melbourne the last days – extremely hot. The mercury has climbed to up to 44 °C, and it doesn’t want to budge! Now, when I said I was ready for summer, I certainly wasn’t expecting this! Come back, rain, I didn’t mean the things I said to you! Luckily, days like these are still the exception for finicky Melbourne weather, at least for several days in a row. But how to stay nice and cool when outside is a furnace and inside doesn’t have air con?
While hot weather like this makes your New Year’s resolutions to eat lighter easy, it is not always easy to decide what to eat on such a day. You usually don’t feel like much, but still, you need to live and provide your body the nutrients it loses while sweating!
The solution to this dilemma? My perfect cool summer salad – just right on days like this (or even just about any time of the year)! It is light and refreshing while filling, nutritious and wholesome! Spinach, watercress and cucumber provide vital micronutrients and fluids, while there’s protein for satiety from goat yoghurt and sheep’s cheese, complex carbs from chickpeas to get you through the day, and healthy fats from olives and avocado – now, if that doesn’t sound like it’s great for you! Moreover, this is also one of the most delicious salads I have ever experimented with! While the combination of cucumber, yoghurt and lemon is great by itself, fresh herbs from the garden like mint, basil, and parsley just take the flavour to the top!
1 large cucumber, washed and cubed
100 g spinach, silverbeet or kale, washed and roughly chopped
2 handfulls of watercress, washed and roughly chopped
1/2 Hass avocado, cubed
2 tbsp chickpeas
60 g fetta or chèvre
250 g goat or sheep yoghurt, strained
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
parsley, basil and mint to taste
Prepare the dressing in a large bowl out of yoghurt, oil, lemon juice, herbs and spices. Add cucumber, spinach, cress, olives, chickpeas and mix well. Finally, add the avocado and crumble the cheese on top.