A few weeks ago, I found myself in a paradise. Surrounded by gentle hills, nestled among apple and plum trees, there was an old wooden house that we chose for our three-day-break from the city. The purpose of the little holiday was this: reconnect with nature and find a bit of inner peace.
Even beautiful surroundings, however, can quickly become a whole lot less appealing when the stomach is empty and rumbling. But we came prepared: the night before, we shopped, chopped, prepped and marinated various meats for the bbq that we planned to have shortly after arrival.
Once the grill is going, releasing bouts of fragrant smoke, the holiday can truly begin. But there’s no bbq without salads and sides, is there? And so I jumped to the salad section, trying to produce a salad that – while tasty and refreshing – can be prepared quickly, whilst the meats are sizzling on the grill.
My sister’s homegrown tomatoes, a bit of olive oil, a bit of onion, salt, pepper and the star of the show – ground ivy, aka Glechoma hederacea, my favourite wild weed for salads, soups and everything else you can think of. I picked some ground ivy leaves a few metres away from the terrace where we had our bbq – to the surprise on the faces of my fellow holidaymakers.
Ever tried ground ivy? It tastes a bit like parsley, with a hint of oregano, and maybe a bit of mint: with salads, soups, as an addition to bread, dips and sandwiches. It grows practically everywhere – check your backyard, there is a big chance it grows there!
Below a recipe for the Tomato and Ground Ivy Salsa that goes brilliantly with bbq. Happy cooking!
Tomato and Ground Ivy Salsa
2-3 ripe tomatoes
bunch of ground ivy (or parsley; or both)
1/2 onion / red onion / 2-3 spring onions
dash of olive oil
sprinkle of freshly ground pepper
pinch of salt
HOW TO MAKE?
1. If using, pick your ground ivy leaves. Choose the youngest ones for the best flavour. Wash them and dry in a salad spinner or paper towel.
2. Chop the tomatoes into small cubes, add to a bowl.
3. Chop the onion finely. Add to the bowl with tomatoes.
4. Chop the herbs finely, add to the bowl with tomatoes and onion.
5. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside so the flavours can mix nicely. Tastes best after at least 30min of rest.
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