|Beetroot, bean and goats cheese salad|
Having had two weeks as a family at home over Christmas and New Year and now having the luxury of having a further week away together, we have been having barbecues every lunch time and sometimes every dinner time too. The hubster is honing his manly Aussie steak cooking skills and I am delighting in not having to cook at all! Win-win!
Although the kids are a bit fussy about salads (two out of three like lettuce and cucumber with a french vinaigrette while the third has to be bribed to eat anything green at the moment), us Big Kids are loving having salads. Here are some of our favorites and our favorite dressings or SORCE as Little Bun calls it.
Green salad with a twist:
Cos lettuce, chopped dill, cucumber, snow peas, raw broccoli
Lettuce, snow peas, chopped carrot, raw sweet corn, chopped tomato
Spoon 3 tablespoons of olive oil (walnut oil is also lovely) into a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar (I use malt, balsamic or caramelized balsamic vinegar). Mix together with a spoon until it all combines together and no longer separates. Drizzle over salad.
Pine nut, spinach and kumara:
Fresh spinach leaves, cooked and cooled sweet chunks of kumara or sweet potato, toasted pine nuts, feta cheese and beetroot are optional additions. Add a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic or caramelized balsamic vinegar.
My sophisticated friend Jo makes this salad frequently and it always is delicious and terribly posh.
Sweet chilli, tomato and lentil salad:
A tin of rinsed drained brown lentils, chopped tomato, chopped coriander, half a chopped onion, juice of a lemon and sweet chilli sauce (to taste). Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Beetroot, bean and goats cheese salad:
One tin of rinsed and drained five bean mix, French goats cheese (half a packet of the one Aldi sells is enough), several slices of tinned beetroot chopped up into slices, juice of half a lemon (add more if needed or less if you want a milder tang), a splosh of olive oil, chopped dill to garnish, salt and pepper to taste.
Green pea, mint and feta salad:
lettuce, snow peas, cucumber, garden peas blanched in boiling water (just pour boiling water over them and let them boil for a few minutes, then drain and add them to the salad), chopped mint, chopped feta cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. The beauty of this on is that the hot peas melt the feta and give a lovely creamy sauce. This one a friend made for a barbecue and it was delicious!!
Potato salad with dill and homemade mayonnaise:
boiled chopped potato, half an onion chopped finely, chopped dill and home-made mayonnaise. Spoon several tablespoonfuls in to the potato onion and dill and mix in. Chill in the fridge until needed.
A variation of a German lady I know is to add gherkins chopped up to the salad which gives it lovely tang too.
Crack into a blender two eggs and add 1 teaspoon of caster sugar, 1 tablespoon of malt vinegar, 1 teaspoon of mild mustard (I use Dijon , half a teaspoon of salt and a few shakes or grinds of the pepper mill. Blend for 30 seconds then, while the blender is still running, slowly pour in half a pint (250ml) of oil. I prefer to use plain vegetable or sunflower oil, however olive oil is also pleasant. I find canola oil isn't agreeable either for frying or for mayonnaise but use whatever oil you're used to using and prefer the taste of. When it's nice and thick in consistency, it's ready to use. Taste test to see whether it needs more salt or pepper and add accordingly.
Home-made mayonnaise keeps well in a container for several days in the fridge but use quickly as it does contain raw egg.
Variations: to make aioli, just add several cloves of fresh minced garlic to the mayonnaise.
To make lemon mayonnaise, just add lemon juice to taste.
Broccoli, almond and bacon salad:
Florets of raw broccoli, chopped toasted almonds, fried bacon bits, half a red onion finely chopped. In a bowl separate, add several spoons of home-made mayonnaise and a teaspoonful of caster sugar. Stir well mix into the salad.
Quarter, core and finely slice two apples (or more if you're hungry). Coat them with lemon juice. Add two stalks of finely sliced celery, leaves and all, chopped walnuts and a quarter of a red onion finely sliced. In a separate bowl, mix lemon juice with several dollops of mayonnaise Add enough so that you can taste the lemon but not too much to make it too acidic. Mix the mayonnaise in to the salad, season to taste and serve.
Baby cos lettuce quartered length ways and piled over it on the plate add cooled diced boiled potatoes, cooled blanched green beans, finely sliced and chopped red onion, boiled eggs halved length ways, chunks of tinned tuna, several anchovies per plate, cherry tomatoes halved, black olives. Drizzle French vinaigrette over the top.
What salads are your favorites for summer? You can find more delicious salads and other things that have caught my eye on my Pinterest Board Delicious Things.