Braai Slaai – The Leftfield Lettuce Bomb

Braai Slaai – The Leftfield Lettuce Bomb

March 16, 2015

Quivertree Publications

authors books braai chef cookery food lifestyle Reuben Riffel

Blog post written by Tudor Caradoc-Davies. So Braai – Reuben on Fire is quite clearly a braai book, but just because the man (arguably SA’s most poplar chef) is an avowed carnivore doesn’t mean that he doesn’t get excited about … Continued

Blog post written by Tudor Caradoc-Davies.

So Braai – Reuben on Fire is quite clearly a braai book, but just because the man (arguably SA’s most poplar chef) is an avowed carnivore doesn’t mean that he doesn’t get excited about fruit, veg and excellent slaai. (Salad to you souties and other non-Afrikaaners).

Enter the Leftfield Lettuce Bomb, a salad so unexpected and flavoursome that it gives anything meaty on your plate a run for its money. Best of all, it features that most underrated of lettuce varietals, the Iceberg. Think of it as Extreme Makeovers: Garden Harvest edition.

Combining a nice thick wedge of iceberg with smoked buffalo mozzarella, roasted grapes (c’mon of course Reuben was going to braai something in a salad) and a garlic-thyme dressing, it hits the spot for several reasons.

Reuben says, “Criss-crossing at will between fresh and cooked, warm and cold, sweet and savoury, this salad represents a combination of flavours and textures that I enjoy. Take the ridiculous freshness of a wedge of iceberg lettuce and use it as your base. Add to that smokey mozzarella and grapes just slightly heated over the coals (it gets even better if you use grapes that have just started to go soft from the sun). What you get is crunch and freshness from the iceberg, a layer of soft marshmallow-like smokey mozzarella giving you texture and flavour and then the fresh sweetness and warmth from the grapes contrasting with the chilled salad and the acid of the dressing. Trust me, this is a little unusual, but worthy of your time and it works beautifully. The Puglia smoked mozzarella is the secret here: gooey and flavourful.”

lettuce-bomb

The Leftfi eld Lettuce Bomb

[Iceberg wedge salad with smoked buffalo mozzarella cheese, roasted grapes and garlic-thyme dressing]

Serves 1-2

½ iceberg wedge (Break off the outer leaves and only keep the crispy ones. Slice off the bottom of the iceberg so it doesn’t roll around the plate.)
1 small bunch seedless red grapes
1 small bunch seedless green grapes
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme, leaves finely chopped
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp red wine vinegar
½ smoked mozzarella ball (about 60g)

1/ Grill the grapes on a fine grid over medium heat until the skins start to burst and they have grill marks. Cool in a refrigerator if possible.
2/ To make the dressing, mix together the garlic, thyme, olive oil, honey and red wine vinegar.
3/ To serve, place the iceberg wedge on a plate and place the grapes on and around it. Tear the mozzarella and place on and around the grapes and drizzle with dressing.

braai-cover-mock-up1Braai – Reuben on Fire is available as an ebook only. Click here for details.

The quintessential South African cooking style, Reuben takes you on a roadtrip through his past from hunting and cooking pigeons on the farms of Franschhoek as a kid, to his travels. In Braai – Reuben on Fire, he challenges you to lift your game above the simple tanning of a chop and burning of boerie.

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