The Vegetarian

 Cucumber Salad

1 common green cucumber - peeled lightly, and sliced
1 ripe tomato - sliced thinly (cross-ways to give circular slices)
1 small red onion - slice very thinly (again to give circular slices)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
salt and black pepper

Aim to slice all three ingredients (cucumber, tomato and onion) to give thin circles. You can use a mandolin if you have one, but a sharp knife is perfect.

Mix all in a large bowl, add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and mix. Taste and add further salt to taste.

Variations of this salad are seen all over the world. For a mediterranean flavour, add some feta cheese as well (note this will mean less salt should be added to the dish as the cheese will provide saltiness). If you don't like onion use less or even leave it out- it tastes great with just cucumber and tomato!

serves 2 as side dish.

I like to use roma tomatoes for this dish so that the tomato circles match the size of the cucumber circles... but as you can see in the photo.. sometimes you use what you have! - in this case I only had large tomatoes and onions  relative to the size of the cucumber... so I sliced the onion in half before slicing.

 Fennel and Mandarin Salad

1 small fennel
2 small mandarins (or other citrus fruit)
A handful of your favourite salad leaves
- e.g. rocket, lettuce, even bok choi works with these flavours.
5 of your favourite stuffed or pickled olives, sliced roughly
5 pecans or walnuts crushed.
2 teaspoons of sesame seeds
balsamic vinegar
sesame oil

Slice the fennel in half and then crossways to give thin circular slices. Peel the mandarins, remove as much skin as possible, and then slice into circular slices (removing any seeds).
Mix the fennel, mandarin, salad leaves and olives together. Sprinkle the crushed nuts and sesame seeds over the top and add a dash of balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of sesame oil.

serves 2 as side dish.

-in the picture i've used gotu kola and bok choi leaves and stuffed green olives.
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