Grilled mushroom and green pepper salad with a basil vinaigrette (perfect for a weekend braai)

Cape Town is experiencing a heat wave at the moment, and this is as good an excuse as any to hand over the braai tongs to the man (or woman) in your live, and escape the hot kitchen. I love South African summer and, after another scorching day in Cape Town, there are few things as perfect as ending the day with an ice cold glass of chenin blanc and a braai whilst watching the sun set over Falsebay.  Perfect late summer evenings like the past weekend just reminds me again of how privileged I am to live in SA with our moderate climate (minus the heat wave of course) and fantastic wine.

Currently our favourite steak cut is rib-eye. It’s soft, juicy and absolutely succulent! I rubbed the steak with a dash of olive oil and NoMu’s Coffee Rub. NoMu ( makes the best rubs I have ever tasted and is locally produced and preservative free. It also tastes fantastic, of course, and I have included their rubs in everything from steak to chicken pie! I am not going to go into detail about braaiing a steak-there are many excellent websites and blogs that cover that topic, and usually my participation in the braai goes as far as prepping the food.  What I do want to tell you about, is the salad.  In this heat (and keeping low carbs in mind), there is no other alternative except a salad. This salad recipe is also vegetarian, and filling enough to serve as a main meal with crusty bread and cheeses.

For this salad, I roasted mushrooms and green pepper over the coals, and added them to a bed of mixed lettuce ,rocket, fresh, plump tomatoes, cucumber, parmesan shavings topped with a basil and chive vinaigrette.

Salad recipe:

6-8 mushrooms, grilled over coals on a skewer and halved

half a green pepper (any colour will do), cut length wise in thick strips and across into large blocks, grilled over coals on a skewer until roasted

bunch of mixed lettuce, including rocket, shredded

1 tomato, cut into wedges

1/3 cucumber, cut into slices

1/4 cup parmesan shavings

handful olives

whatever other ingredients you would like to add to make the perfect salad

Mix or layer all your ingredients in a large salad bowl, and add your mushrooms, peppers and parmesan last. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.

Basil and chive vinaigrette:

50 ml red wine vinegar

25 ml olive oil

25 ml balsamic vinegar

6-7 leafs basil, finely chopped

3-4 springs chive, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients together and mix very well. Drizzle over the salad just before serving.

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