Summer Salad Favourites

WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh

PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson

 

 

Summertime is Salad time!

 

 

The days are longer, the sun is out and all our meals lean on the light side… which is perfect because it’s these few months that we are at our most active. Outdoor entertaining is at its peak so I am going to share with you five of my favourite salads that will go perfectly with any meal you are making this month.

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Israeli Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 medium or 6 small Israeli cucumbers, chopped small
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped small
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Watermelon Salad

Ingredients

  • One small red onion diced
  • Two juicy limes
  • 1.5 kgs watermelon (sweet and ripe)
  • 250 gm feta cheese
  • One bunch fresh flatleaf parsley
  • One bunch fresh mint (torn)
  • Four tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 grams pitted black olives or green olives
  • black pepper

Method

  1. Peel and halve the red onion and cut finely add to a bowl lime juice.
  2. Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into approximately 4cm triangular chunks.
  3. Cut the feta into similar sized pieces and put them both into a large, wide shallow bowl.
  4. Tear off sprigs of parsley so that it is used like a salad leaf, rather than a garnish, and add to the bowl along with the torn mint.
  5. Add onion and juices over the salad, add the oil and olives, then using your hands toss the salad very gently so that the feta and melon don't lose their shape.
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Roasted Cauliflower & Hazelnut Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into small florets (660g in total)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large stick of celery, cut on an angle into 0.5cm slices (70g in total)
  • 30g hazelnuts, with skins
  • 10g small flat-leaf parsley leaves, picked
  • 50g pomegranate seeds (from about 1/2 a medium pomegranate)
  • 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220˚C/200 ˚C Fan/Gas Mark 7.
  2. Mix the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, ½ a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Spread out in a roasting tin and sit on the top oven shelf for 25-35 minutes, until the cauliflower’s crisp and parts of it have turned golden brown. Transfer into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool down.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 170˚C/150˚C Fan/ Gas Mark 5. Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and roast for 17 minutes.
  4. Allow the nuts to cool a little, then roughly chop them and add in the cauliflower, along with the remaining oil and the rest of the ingredients. Stir, taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

 

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Fresh Pea Salad

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh peas, shelled
  • 1 small red onion, sliced finely
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 mint leaves
  • 10 green or purple basil leaves
  • 80g salted ricotta, grated roughly

Method

  1. Blanch the peas in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes, then drain and refresh in iced water.
  2. Remove the cold peas from the water and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add the onion, olive oil and vinegar — you should just be able to taste the vinegar but it shouldn't be too strong.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Toss through the mint, basil and ricotta and serve immediately.

 

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Sweet Corn & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 200g Quinoa
  • 180g toasted sweetcorn
  • 200g cooked broccoli
  • 1 Avocado diced
  • Tablespoon chopped chives
  • Small handful of chopped smoked almonds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 60mls lemon dressing

Dressing

  •  50 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 10mls lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Mix all together in a bowl.


Method

  1. Cook the quinoa to packet instructions.
  2. Blanch the broccoli in salted water until just cooked and refresh in cold water.
  3. You can use fresh sweetcorn if you like but frozen will also work if you like. Toast it straight in a frying pan, frequently turning till it has a little colour. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix all ingredients together in your lunch container and season with salt and pepper to taste, add lemon dressing just before eating