Spring arrived in Istanbul a few weeks ago and we are already heading full speed towards Summer. While in Southern Turkey the skin-warming sun lures people into the sea for the first time this year, in Istanbul we are celebrating the sun’s return by letting sweet and plump, bright red strawberries melt in our mouths. All the while the Spring showers, turning the Black Sea region into a bright green wonderland, are responsible for the abundance of delicate and rich greens on display at our weekly farmers market. Trying to refrain oneself from those treats would almost be an insult to this country’s fertility. Thus, happily volunteering to pay tribute, mint, parsley, dill, thyme, basil and other greens pile up in our kitchen every week. We’ve become quite creative in terms of putting the various herbs to use, though sometimes we just can’t keep up and the delicate little plants wither away. To use up all of the leftover herbs in due time I came up with this little rainbow salad. Instead of the usual lettuce I put in bol bol (Turkish for plenty of) fresh herbs resulting in a feast for the eyes and fireworks for your taste buds. I wouldn’t even mind having this salad two days in a row.
Rainbow Salad (serves 1)
Nigella seeds are famous for their taste as well as their healing properties. They are anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory and aid digestion. Consumption also promises relief of flatulence.
2 hands full of fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, purple basil, dill and mint)
1/2 hand full of fresh sprouts of your choice (I had some sprouted unhulled / browntop millet seeds on hand)
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/4-1/2 avocado, depending on your personal tolerance level
optional: some goat milk feta
juice from 1/2 lemon
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp nigella seeds
pinch of Himalaya salt
pinch of sumac
freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop up herbs. Cut bell pepper, avocado and feta cheese into small cubes and put in a bowl together with the herbs. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Afiyet olsun!