Summer Salad

Summer Salad

An easy salad made by combing the best of summer’s ingredients:

– Blanched asparagus
– Slices of strawberries
– Toasted almonds
– Rocket or mesclun
– Lemon juice and goat’s cheese

Toss together and enjoy

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Beetroot and Lentil Salad

Beetroot and Lentil Salad

From Community. I was missing some of the leafy herbs, and I cheated by using canned beetroot, but the great thing about salads is that you can usually get away with messing with the ingredients a bit. I have included the original recipe in full below, so you can see how it’s supposed to be done.

Ingredients:

  • 300g lentils
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 eschalots, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ½ cup dill fronds
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 200g aged cheddar
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves

Pickled beetroot:

  • 6 beetroots (750g)
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 3 whole cloves

Method:

  • To pickle the beetroots, scrub and clean the beetroots well. Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot. Stir and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours until the beetroots are tender. When cool, peel the beetroots and cut into 2cm cubes.
  • Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and cook for 20-25 minutes or until just tender. Drain.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the eschalots, garlic, sugar and cumin and sauté until tender and starting to brown. While the lentils are still warm, stir through the eschalot mixture, along with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Finely chop the parsley, dill and coriander. Break the cheddar into rough bite-sized chunks.
  • Spoon the lentils onto a plate and top with the pickled beetroot. Scatter over the spinach leaves, herbs and cheddar. Finish with a drizzle of oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Lemon Ginger Honey Sides

Lemon Honey Ginger Sides

This “recipe” was born of some veggies that needed using up, and the desire to have a change from boiled or steamed. I marinated slices of carrot, capsicum and red onion in Shott’s lemon-honey-ginger flavouring for five minutes (mixing together some lemon, honey and ginger would do the trick too). I kept the carrots in one bowl and the capsicum and red onion in another. I then made cradles out of tin foil, giving a wall a centimetre or two high (just to protect the oven tray – baked honey is tough to get out!).

I gave the carrots a head starting, putting them into one “cradle” with the Shott juices, placing it on a roasting dish, and roasting them for about ten minutes. I then added the capsicums and red onions in their own cradle and roasted for another ten minutes. Voilà!

Tuna and White Bean Salad, with dill dressing

Tuna and White Bean Salad

I use those little cans of flavoured tuna for this, which is great because you can try different tuna flavours for a different twist on this salad.

Ingredients:

• 1 large red potato, diced
• 3 eggs
• 120g green beans, cut in half
• 200g canned tuna
• 400g canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 red salad onion, finely sliced
• ⅓ cup olive oil
• 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 2 teaspoons diced dill
• 2 tablespoons diced parsley or coriander
• Salt and pepper

Method

• Boil potato in lightly salted water for about 12 minutes, until tender. Drain.
• Boil eggs for about 9 minutes to hard-boiled. Drain and remove shell.
• Steam or boil beans for about 2 minutes, to crisp and tender. Drain and cover with cold water. Set aside.
• Drain tuna and break into chunks.
• Combine potatoes, roughly chopped eggs, beans, tuna, cannellini beans and onion in a bowl and toss gently.
• In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, dill and parsley or coriander with generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and stir through.

Polenta Chicken Caesar Salad

Polenta Chicken Caesar Salad

From Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals. As with most things I post here, you can be a bit flexible with the ingredients – salads can be a bit of a free-for-all, so consider the ingredient list as more of a guide. The salad dressing is delicious; I often make it in bulk to use it in other salads.

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 400g skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 heaped teaspoons polenta
  • Olive oil

Salad:

  • A ciabatta loaf
  • A clove of garlic
  • 2 red chicory
  • 4 slices smoked pancetta
  • 2 romaine lettuces
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large red peppers
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • A punnet of cress

Dressing:

  • A clove of garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 40g Parmesan cheese
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 4 heaped teaspoons natural yoghurt
  • A splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • A bunch of fresh basil

 

Method:

  • On a large sheet of paper, toss the chicken with salt, pepper, the paprika and polenta.
  • Fold over the paper, then bash and flatten the chicken to roughly 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin.
  • Cook in a frying pan with oil, turning after three or four minutes, until golden and cooked through.
  • Cut four thick slices of ciabatta, place on a griddle pan, and remove when nicely charred on both sides.
  • Place the dressing ingredients into a food processer and blitz until smooth. Season to taste.
  • Rub the toasts with a halved garlic clove and cut into fingers.
  • Quarter the chicory and add to a griddle pan with the pancetta to char for a couple of minutes.
  • Roughly slice the lettuces and arrange over a large service board or platter.
  • Scatter the ciabatta, halve the tomatoes and slice the peppers, and add to the board.
  • Toss the chicory in a splash of balsamic vinegar and arrange on top.
  • Slice the chicken, lay it around the salad, and drizzle with the dressing. Crumble over the crispy pancetta and snip over the crests.
  • Shave over a little extra Parmesan to finish, if you like.

Zucchini Chips (gluten-free vegan)

Zucchini Chips This recipe, and the accompanying dipping sauce, is from Fork and Beans, a gluten-free vegan baking site. There are many ways you could spin the coating for the zucchinis; I’ve listed a few substitute options. The dipping sauce is made from sunflower seeds instead of cashews, so nut allergies aren’t a problem – joy for all! (Note that the sunflower seeds need to be soaked overnight – take this into account when you’re planning to make this recipe).

Zucchini Chips – Ingredients:

• Three medium zucchinis, sliced lengthwise into chips • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • 1 panko crumbs, breadcrumbs, or ricecrumbs • ½ cup hemp seeds, flax seed or cornstarch • 2 tablespoons dry quinoa, cous cous, or small-grained rice

Zucchini Chips – Method:

• Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. • In a shallow dish, whisk together the last three ingredients and set aside. • Place the sliced zucchinis into a large bowl, drizzle in the oil, and gently massage the oil into the zucchinis until all the pieces are coated. • Taking a few zucchini sticks at a time, place into the shallow dish and completely coat with the crumb mixture on all sides. • Place on the baking sheet. • Bake for 15 minutes and the flip the chips over. Bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Make the dipping sauce while the chips bake.

Sunflower seed herb dressing – Ingredients:

• ½ cup sunflower seeds, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed. • ½ cup water. • ¼ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk • 1 garlic clove, peeled • 1 teaspoon yeast • 1 tablespoon fresh dill • 1 teaspoon dried parsley, or a tablespoon fresh parsley • 1 teaspoon dried chives, or a tablespoon fresh chives • ¼ teaspoon onion powder • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder • Salt to flavour

Sunflower seed herb dressing – Method:

• Place the first five ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Add the herbs and blend on pulse until just mixed in. • Serve with the chips, and enjoy!