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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Best Crop of the Season: Herb Salad with Chevre & Beetroot Carpaccio

Last spring we went to Ireland on a short trip. We spent almost three weeks and boy, how quickly time flies when you are having fun! We met up with family and friends, taking millions of photographs and doing quite a lot of wining(no, not whining!) & dining  :)) There's absolutely no reason to whine about Ireland, apart from the high cost of living & unreliable weather, otherwise all is perfect - especially the food & eating out.

This salad is inspired by one great lunch we had with friends in the small town of Athenry, Co. Galway.  For  those who are not familiar with that part of the world or have never been to the west of Ireland, Athenry is 25 km east of Galway. Although I visited it only briefly during two not-so-sunny afternoons, I loved its vibe. It is vibrant, clean & has some great little spots to eat out. I was telling you some time ago about my epiphany about scones & lemon curd. This is a follow-up!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have waited for what seems like a long time for spring to arrive & to be able to buy the best greens of the season: spring onions/garlic, ramson aka wild garlic, crunchy radishes and orach.
In Romania we cook orach sour soup with beef stock & lovage, which is very nice indeed, but I had other plans for my favourite purple herb of the season. 

Herb Salad with Chevre & Beetroot Carpaccio in Sweet Mustard Vinaigrette

Type of cuisine: vegetarian/low fat/healthy

All quantities are given for two persons

a small bunch of wild garlic

1 spring onion

1 spring garlic

half a baked beetroot, cut into thin slices

8 slices of chevre

4 small radishes

For the vinaigrette you will need: 4 tbs of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp of Dijon mustard, 4 tbs of balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs of clear honey.

Mix and shake the liquids well.

Chop/cut/slice the herbs, the radishes, the cheese and the beetroot and place them on a dish.  Sprinkle the sweet mustard vinaigrette over and enjoy :)

You can serve with croutons, salty crackers, brown bread fried in cumin & olive oil or plain chips.

Couldn't have been easier and/or healthier - apart from the chips or the fried bread, that is :// - and it certainly brought back some memories of green Ireland, Galway, Athenry, and the New Park Hotel where we had lunch. You can click on the link and read their menu. Maybe you can steal some ideas and recreate some of the dishes for yourself...until you visit Athenry and have brunch/lunch/dinner on their premises - I recommend the experience!

New Park Hotel

Cross Street, Athenry,

Co. Galway, Ireland


Shopping is great in Ireland. I found that food is mainly organic and people focus more on quality & eco-friendly, free-range products. Milk, butter, beef, chicken and veggies all taste like the real thing - the way they were meant to taste! I fell in love with the place and we will certainly go back. Next time, maybe, we'll rent a small holiday apartment. That will give me the possibility to go shopping, cook indoors and experiment with different local Irish ingredients. 

I discovered this small, family-owned butcher shop which gave me great ideas. The staff was extremely friendly and let me take some snapshots. 

what a great idea!

men @ work :)
A fake door / painted mural

(I don't want to boast, but it was delicious) xx


  1. Ireland does look cheery and inviting through your photographs! I have always thought of the country as cliffs and sea and meadows; nice to see they care about food too! Love that salad; love beetroots and goat cheese and greens; in fact I am making it asap! when were you in the Middle East?

  2. I lived in Riyadh for more than 2 years. In my opinion, the best food isn't to be found in Riyadh, but in the small towns while crossing the desert. Nothing beats the smell of roast chicken w rice at dusk. I simply love Middle Eastern food.

  3. Looks very scrumptious meal... There are online food deals offered at cheap rates within our reach ...Cheers!!!

    Online shopping