Salads…definitely not boring

I overheard someone the other day saying that they found salads boring. This made me feel a little sad. With such a diversity of flavours and endless possibilities of combinations how can salads become boring? I thought the days of  salads comprised of iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato had long since passed. Seemingly not.

I have a simple formula for my salads: green leaf, 3 or more additions – ideally different colours and a dressing – preferably with one ingredient that is a fermented food. Often one ingredient that is hot e.g.roasted butternut squash

Different dressings I make:  (a splash of each in to a small jar and shaken)

Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), apple cider vinegar and olive oil

Tahini, apple cider vinegar and tamari

Peanut butter and apple cider vinegar

Avocado oil drizzle

Lime juice and olive oil

Here are a selection of the salads we have eaten over the last couple of weeks:

A                                                        B

A: papaya, roasted butternut squash, watercress, olives, tomatoes and olive oil and lime dressing

B: Beetroot houmous and chia seed oatcakes with avocado, tomatoes, olives and watercress

A                                                          B

A: Apricot, pomegranate seeds, mange tout, houmous, tomatoes, olives and rocket with avocado oil drizzle

B:Tomatoes, mange tout, yellow pepper, watercress and houmous – no dressing

A                                                         B

A: peas shoots, watercress, avocado, tomatoes and mange tout with olive oil, tamari and apple cider vinegar dressing

B: shredded carrots, red and white cabbage, hen and quail eggs, avocado, tomatoes and houmous with drizzle of olive oil

A                                                         B

A: rocket, watercress, avocado, apricot, roasted butternut squash with peanut butter and apple cider vinegar dressing

B: carrot sticks, houmous, mango, tomatoes, avocado, beetroot and avocado oil drizzle.

…definitely not boring!!

What is your favourite salad combination?

Raw cranberry sauce

No cooking involved.

Ingredients:

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300 g fresh cranberries    1 large orange        grated nutmeg

80 g muscovado sugar     1 tsp mixed spice

Method:

Peel and coarsely  chop the orange. Put the orange pieces and cranberries in to a food processor and blitz.  Add all the remaining ingredients  and mix thoroughly .

This freezes well. Delicious with hot turkey, pork and also with cheeses.

Mint and Feta whip

This combination of flavours tastes absolutely gorgeous and compliments many dishes – my husband enjoys it with burgers and I think it adds a new level to a salad. Unfortunately no picture does it justice ..so here goes:20160723_171433Ingredients:

200 g Feta cheese chopped in to small chunks

150 ml sour cream         2 tsp paprika

2 tbsp honey           Handful of chopped mint

Method:

Put all the ingredients in to a bowl and mix thoroughly until smooth.

Place in fridge until serving.

Cranberry salsa

I think the finest meal is one where you have the opportunity to have a multitude of different flavour combinations – probably why I love a roast dinner with all the extra trimmings.

A barbecue is one such opportunity – a plate can be laden with a multitude of little bits of this and that.

This is one such dish.

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Ingredients:

1 large white onion – finely chopped             Zest and juice of 2 limes

1 large green pepper – finely chopped          600 g of cranberry sauce

Mint – large handful chopped          Coriander – large handful chopped

Method:

Put all the ingredients in to a large bowl and combine thoroughly.

 

This salsa is perfect with meat, fish and salads – an all round great accompaniment.

I put the salsa in to the empty cranberry sauce jars. It will last for at least a week in the fridge (if not devoured beforehand!)

Smoked mackerel, Greek yoghurt,  cucumber,  spring onions and dill

This only took a couple of minutes  to prepare…my favourite sort of meal😀

Serves 3 as a main dish with new potatoes. Would serve 4 – 5 as a starter.

Ingredients:

Large handful of spinach and watercress for each person

4 spring onions – chopped

Large piece  (10-15 cm) cucumber chopped in to cubes

Greek yoghurt

3 smoked mackerel fillets – skinned and flaked

Handful of dill – chopped

Pomegranate seeds to garnish.

Method:

Put prepared onions,cucumber and mackerel in a bowl and add 3-4 heaped tbsp of yoghurt. Mix together. Add most of the dill – keep some back to sprinkle over as a garnish.Serve out on to watercress/spinach  and top with dill and pomegranate seeds.  New potatoes complement this dish very well 😀

 

Guacamole 

The perfect companion for a chilli con carne.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 large ripe avocado – coarsely chopped

10 plum tomatoes – finely chopped

4 spring onions – finely chopped

Juice of half a lemon

3-4 drops of tabasco sauce

Method:

Put all the prepared ingredients in to a bowl and mix gently.

 

Quail eggs and halloumi salad

So many people still think a salad consists of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber.  Glances of pity are thrown in the direction of my husband when he states we had a salad for lunch!!

This delicious salad was simply a combination of soft boiled quail eggs, chopped avocado, chopped plum tomatoes and grilled halloumi sitting on a bed of watercress 🙂