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This colourful salad makes a tasty accompaniment to seafood, chicken or lamb, or it can be served as part of a Mediterranean starter selection with ciabatta bread or a French bread stick.
*Roasted red capsicum and onion salad: Deseed and quarter 4 red capsicums and put them in a roasting tin with 4 small red onions, quartered. Drizzle over 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil and season to taste. Roast in a preheated 200ºC oven for about 35 minutes, turning once, until the vegetables are tender and browned around the edges. Cool. If you like, peel the capsicums, holding them over the roasting tin. Whisk 2 tsp lemon juice with 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a salad bowl and season to taste. Add 125 g rocket or mixed red salad leaves and toss to coat. Pile the capsicums and onions over the top and drizzle over their cooking juices. Serves 4.
*Asian-style capsicum and Chinese leaf salad: Deseed and thinly slice 2 red capsicums (or 1 red and 1 yellow capsicum) and 1 fresh red chilli. Mix in a salad bowl with 150 g shredded Chinese leaves, such as pak choy. For the dressing, whisk together 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp canola oil and 1 tsp soy sauce. Drizzle over the vegetables and toss to coat. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds and serve. Serves 4.
*Herbalists recommend basil as a natural tranquilliser. It is also believed to aid digestion, ease stomach cramps and help to relieve the headaches that are associated with colds.
*Olives are a source of vitamin E, but they are usually not eaten in large enough quantities to make a significant contribution to the diet.
GI estimate not able to be calculated because the carbohydrate content is minimal.