My green and yellow salad was inspired by this lovely little film made on Fire Island by artist Julia Warr about her friend Maia Helles. A Russian ballet dancer that she met on a plane four years ago and of whom she is convinced that the benefits of a daily exercise regime has helped to keep "resolutely independent, healthy and as fit as a forty year old" despite the fact that the film was made to celebrate her 95th birthday!
I must have watched this at least twenty or thirty times since first finding it over here. Maia is my new role model...she is so cute and I love her little house...and hope to be just as fit when I'm 95!
She shares her secret for long life... "simplicity, work and enjoyment..." I think it could also be down to her diet including "a few greens and a few yellows"...
My friend Maia from julia warr on Vimeo via
Here is how you make my Maia inspired Green and yellow goats cheese salad with a walnut, wild rocket and watercress pesto.
Ingredients for two people:
- Four generous handfuls each of organic wild rocket and watercress
- One small yellow sweet pepperBlack olives
- Two handfuls of walnut halves
- One clove of garlic
- Good virgin olive oil
- Fresh lime juice
- Goats cheese
- Wash the pepper then cut in half and remove the seeds. Slice finely and place in an oven-proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in a moderate oven until soft and beginning to get little golden brown edges.
- Wash the salad leaves and divide half onto two serving dishes and the remaining half into a blender.
- Chop the walnuts, peel and crush the clove of garlic and add both to the blender along with some black olives.
- When the peppers are cooked remove from the oven, drain and place on top of the salad leaves pouring the olive oil into the blender along with the other ingredients.
- Add a good squeeze of lemon/lime juice and blend to a coarse pesto. Adding more juice or olive oil if necessary.
- Cut some slices of goats cheese and place on top of the salad leaves. I used Kidderton Ash goats cheese a that's handmade in Cheshire. It has a lovely mild flavour and is suitable for vegetarians.
- Add a few black olives to the salad and then top with a big dollop of the pesto...mmm...
True to my inspiration Maia, I kept this salad simple. I'm so glad that I wasn't tempted to add anything else.
The watercress and rocket leaves brought a lovely peppery heat that meant I didn't need to use black pepper. The peppers added warm sweetness and the salsa a lovely nutty dressing that thanks to the olives didn't need any extra seasoning. All these ingredients balanced amazingly with the smoky, ash coated goats cheese...
I will definitely be making this again...and using the pesto in other dishes ...
...and watching "My Friend Maia" a good few more times too...
I'm linking over to No croutons required using lovely black olives for the April antipasto challenge.