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The Salad With Many Faces
Greetings from the Bushveld. If you’ve ever had a Waldorf salad? You’ll know this one… here converted in the Bushveld style. Between SLR photography practice, visits to the Kruger Park and exploring our new area, we’ve been keeping busy. There have been some seriously hot days, hovering around 38° to 41°C (100 – 106° F) inside; definitely too hot to cook, but perfect bushveld salad weather.
This is an ever changing salad, to suite your taste buds or ingredients for the day, change accordingly. Digging deep into our collective memories has unearthed some old favorites, fondly remembered from childhood. I’ve been experimenting with updating some of these. Instead of relying on the usual “European” dishes like Salad Niçoise, Insalata Caprese and Greek salad, I thought I’d try to replicate some traditional flavors.
What’s notably missing is a real South African main-dish salad. I don’t think anywhere in Africa really has a salad culture. I haven’t come across traditional recipes for salads, haven’t found any in my books. The well-known South African salads like beetroot salad, carrot salad and curried beans aren’t main dish salads and are also fairly new, from the Dutch and Malay cuisines.
I must quantify here – when I say traditional, I’m talking about before the advent of European and Arabic influences. This bushveld salad is full of the flavors used in other classic South African dishes but these flavors are new to the continent – well, not older than 1652.
Layer ingredients 1 through 9 in a salad bowl. Pour the dressing (10) evenly all over the top. Watch the yummy sauce slowly sinking through the layers. Getting hungry yet? OK, just sprinkle the top with the grated biltong (11) and serve with fresh bakery rolls and a glass of something nice, well chilled, preferably from the fairest Cape.