You’ve all heard the saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same”, right? Well, I do believe it’s true. You change jobs; you change size; you change partners; you change your taste in music; you change countries; you change hair cut/colour; you change your wardrobe. But despite all these changes, some things about you stay the same – the irreducible things that make you who you are.
To prove my point, here’s a little game for you: A couple of posts ago, I shared with you the story of my and Nick’s wedding vow renewal on the beach at Cape St Francis. I also might have told you that this was in fact my fourth wedding ceremony and over the course of those four ceremonies, a lot has changed – but a lot has also stayed the same. To brighten your Monday morning (and fulfil a dare made be Marisa to share these!), I am posting a few pictures of each of the four ceremonies below. Look closely – what’s changed? What’s stayed the same? (To skip to the recipe, scroll directly to the bottom of this post.)
CEREMONY 1 – HOME AFFAIRS, PORT ELIZABETH
CEREMONY 2 – BELVIDERE MANOR, KNYSNA
CEREMONY 3 – LAS VEGAS
CEREMONY 4 – CAPE ST FRANCIS BEACH
Spot the differences? OK some are more obvious than others…. I no longer live in the same country as when I had my first ceremony, nor do I do the same job. By the third ceremony I no longer had my mother (and shortly after the fourth I also lost my father). I have gained two fantastic nephews since the first ceremony and also (mysteriously!) a couple of extra kilograms But some things have not changed at all. I wore the same dress for this year’s renewal as I did ten years ago. I am still best friends with both my fabulous bridesmaids and they both came to the beach ceremony (in fact, one of them is the only person who has been to all four ceremonies!). And most importantly of all, the groom has remained constant in all four ceremonies.
Something else that has changed yet stayed the same is my love for salads. Like all kids, I was not a huge fan of most vegetables and my father aided and abetted this by refusing to eat salad because lettuce was inherently dangerous. (Oh, how he would have loved to live to see the current E-coli outbreak in Germany – which would have proved his long-held beliefs!). Suffice to say, my mom faced an uphill battle and a family of greenery-dodgers. But then there came a change. One day back in 1981 at Cranzgots restaurant in Plett, my mom decided to pick up some cheese salad together with our takeaway pizza order. It was a brave move, but I reckon she thought that nobody would be able to resist the lure of the thick tangle of grated cheddar and mozzarella on top of the salad; and that in making a grab for said cheese we might actually snag some leafy bits too. She was right. Slowly but surely, the Cranzgots cheese salad broke down my resistance and soon I could not get enough salad as long as there was cheese on top: it was the think edge of the wegde.
For many years my very fixed idea of salad was iceberg lettuce, onion rings, cucumber slices, tomato wedges and cheese – nothing else would do. These days you are far more likely to find me experimenting with asparagus and halloumi cheese; or chickpeas and feta cheese; or baby spinach and pine nuts – but the fact remains that I love salad. So when I was browsing through this blog’s review of Bocca di Lupo restaurant, the one thing that caught my eye was a salad, of course. There was no recipe, but the description so intrigued me that I immediately set about creating my own. I added no black radish (which the restaurant does) but other than that, it seems a fairly faithful recreation – and I have to say I loved it. There is a lot of flavour going on here (sweet, salty, earthy, tart) as well as a lot of texture but it all comes together on the tongue in a happy marriage. So to speak
about 16 medium radishes
half a large celeriac bulb
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley
80g Pecorino cheese
arils from 1 small to medium pomegranate
Fleur de sel or Maldon salt
Wash, top and tail the radishes. Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, shave into thin slices. Roughly chop the parsley and use the vegetable peeler again to shave the Pecorino cheese. Lastly, peel the celeriac and using the vegetable peeler, shave into thin slices.
In a wide, shallow dish, toss together the shaved radishes, celeriac, parsley and cheese. Scatter the pomegranate arils on top and drizzle with truffle infused oil to taste. Season with salt and serve.