PLUM, HEIRLOOM TOMATO, CHICKPEA AND ROASTED ALMOND SALAD
By Flora Manson
2/3 cup (100 grams) raw whole almonds
1/3 cup (80 milliliters) hot water
1 1/2 teaspoons ras el hanout
1 teaspoon avocado oil
A half jar of Brindisa Nacaricco Garbanzo Chickpeas or 1 can of well drained regular chickpeas
3 medium ripe plums, medium to large
2 large heirloom tomatoes, the best tomatoes you can find!
1 spring onion (scallion)
2 good handfuls of rocket (arugula)
3/4 cup (100 grams) garden peas
5-6 sprigs tenderstem broccoli (broccolini)
2-3 sprigs of fresh mint
1/2 cup (125 milliliters) good olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Squeeze of half a lemon
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (thyme, oregano and sage)
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
Sea salt flakes and black pepper to taste
STEP 1: ROAST ALMONDS
This makes more than you need for the salad, but they’re great to snack on. Place the almonds in a bowl and pour in the hot water and salt. Leave for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 180fan/200C/400F. Drain the almonds and return to the bowl. Drizzle over the oil, add the ras el hanout and mix to coat. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes, until richly brown and gloriously crunchy. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
STEP 2: ASSEMBLE DRESSING
In a cup or small jug, mix all dressing ingredients well until homogenous. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Set aside.
STEP 3: PREPARE THE SALAD
For the broccoli, peas and chickpeas: Drain the chickpeas well in a colander. Chop the tender stem sprigs into bite size pieces and place in a pot with the garden peas (if frozen). Cover with hot water and blanch (simmer for 3 minutes), then drain using the same colander as chickpeas and shock with cold water to stop cooking. Place all in a bowl and mix with around 1/2 of the dressing. Set aside.
For the plums and tomatoes: Halve the plums, and then slice into 3rds or 4ths, depending on their size. Set aside. Slice the heirloom tomatoes in half, then cut into thin slices and scatter with a few pinches of salt to bring out their flavor.
Then, slice the spring onion vertically into very thin slices, Roughly chop the cooled almonds, allowing some larger pieces in amongst smaller. We love a variation of textures!
STEP 4: ARRANGE THE SALAD
On a large platter or big bowl, scatter with two good handfuls of washed arugula. Arrange the salted tomatoes on top, then scatter half of the mint and half of the spring onion on top. Arrange the dressed broccoli, peas and chickpeas on top, along with the plums, remaining mint and spring onion, then scatter the almonds on top - at least half of what you prepared, but as many as you like! Drizzle with the dressing and serve*.
*If you’re making this salad in advance, wait until serving to dress with remaining dressing.