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Summer berry salad with marjoram vinaigrette

The art of tapas is old and very delicate. Some consider tapas to be the ultimate in dining, as the chef has one bite to wow the guest. Everything from the flavour to the texture and the visualization of the food has to be perfect. More than that, tapas serves as a very important aspect of Spanish culture. It is the opportunity for folks to relax and unwind after a day of work over a small bite, with either friends or coworkers. It gives the nation an opportunity to build strong relationships and bonds over a glass of beer and excellent food in a very informal setting.

This is a fruit salad that cannit make up its mind if it wants to be a dessert or a salad. The fruit is sweet and bright popping with flavour. The dressing adds a lovely tart and herbed tones to the fruit salad which is completed by the lightly sweetened cream. You can use a variety of fruit in this salad but the core should be berries.

Barrafina is a tapas-style Spanish restaurant located in Soho, London. It is a no-frills, no-reservations restaurant that is always packed and has earned a Michelin star. But the food and recipes are unpretentious but delicious. The recipes are simple, for the most part, but pop with flavour. This book goes beyond the traditional collection of recipes, it has anecdotes and stories about the cuisine to keep you engaged. This is a cookbook that I will be cooking from often.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


For the cream:

1/2 cup fresh cream

2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

2 drops vanilla extract

For the vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Juice of 1 lime

2-3 drops of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon dried or fresh marjoram

For the salad:

1 pack blueberries

1 pack of strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 pack raspberries

2 pears, quartered and seeds removed

1/2 cup grapes

2 mangoes, Alphonso preferred, peeled and chunked

A few mint leaves

Mix the ingredients for the cream and beat with an egg beater till you have soft peaks. Store in the fridge till needed. You want the cream to be lightly sweet so the fruit shine.

Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

To serve, add a teaspoon of whipped cream to a small plate and spread it out in circles with a spoon into a spiral pattern. Top with 3-4 chunks of mango in the centre. Arrange the blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, pears, and grapes around the mango is a haphazard but decorative pattern. Drizzle two teaspoons of the vinaigrette over the fruit. Top with a teaspoon dollop of the cream and a garnish of a few mint leaves. Serve immediately.

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