Posts Tagged salad
Pumpkins were one of the successes on our allotment this year, although we didn’t grow a gigantic prize winner we did get a lot of smaller, more edible types, I grew 2 varieties this year Bon Bon which was a small variety and Musquee de Provence. Actually after buying my seeds I realised both were classed as squash, but squash or pumpkin they are used in the same way and any kind of pumpkin or squash will work here. I decided to try a Bon Bon first, its only small so was easy to use up, I simply sliced and roasted it. On its own served as a vegetable it was great, a really good tasting pumpkin with a nice texture. Even though it was only a small pumpkin there was still enough for several meals so the next day I made up this salad, it was so good I made it the day after too!
I love pumpkin in salad it lends itself to any flavour dressing and adds some autumn richness, salads feel as they ought to be more substantial now the weather is colder. I used za’atar in my dressing. Za’atar is a middle eastern herb blend containing marjoram, oregano, sesame seeds, sumac and salt. As well as using it in salad dressing I like to scatter it over roasted vegetables. It’s also lovely sprinkled over hummus. Za’atar is a handy herb blend to have in your cupboard.
This salad is great for lunch with the pumpkin either warm or cold. It would make a great starter served on a large platter with the pumpkin still warm from roasting. The feta cheese is an option but if you want to cut some calories or make this salad more paleo/vegan friendly leave it out.
Roasted Pumpkin Salad with a Za’atar Dressing (serves 2)
- 100 grams spinach leaves, rinsed and well dried
- 1/2 a small red onion, diced
- 150 grams roasted pumpkin/squash
- approx 6 cherry tomatoes sliced into halves
- 30 grams feta cheese, cut into cubes (optional)
for the dressing
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp za’atar herb blend
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Roast the pumpkin by de-seeding the pumpkin and slicing, drizzle with olive oil salt and pepper and roast on 200 C, 400 F, Gas 6 for around 30 minutes until the pumpkin is tender,
- Place the spinach, onion tomatoes and pumpkin in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To make the dressing place all the dressing ingredients into a small jug and whisk quickly with a fork to combine the ingredients, stir until liquid becomes slightly thickened.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to coat. Serve the salad and place little bits of feta onto each salad, I don’t mix the cheese with the dressing as it breaks up.
Following the discovery that I could buy Meyer lemons here in the UK I found myself with said lemons and no idea what to make with them! I’m a terrible hoarder of my favourite things. Not a hoarder in the sense that have tons of stuff (I don’t!) but when I get something that I love I can’t bring myself to use it! So there I was with these lovely lemons and suddenly no recipe seemed to appeal to me as I didn’t want to use all my lemons! Before one gets the impression that I’m crazy I will get on with what I actually found to make! I had heard that Meyer lemons were so sweet the whole thing was edible! So this salad using the whole lemon, skin and all, was the perfect way to use one of my precious lemons without any waste!
It was lovely the day I made this salad, sunny and above 10 degrees, which possibly made me enjoy this even more! After a winter of soup this was such a treat as it was so summery and so healthy, it was the best salad I’ve eaten in a long time! It’s true you can eat the whole of a Meyer lemon! It’s a zesty and quite bitter (in a good way) salad. It certainly wakes up your taste buds and the spinach, feta and walnuts all balance it out adding their creamier, softer flavours. The more eagle-eyed of you may notice there are no walnuts in the picture! That is because I cut my finger while chopping the parsley for the salad and in my haste to finish so I could deal with the cut finger I forgot to add them for the picture!
It’s hard to find radicchio in all supermarkets, I get mine from the green grocer. I’m long aware of the difficulties in getting Meyer lemons in the UK so if you are unable to get a Meyer lemon a 1/4 of a pink grapefruit may make a substitute, although I haven’t tried that.
Radicchio and Meyer Lemon Salad (adapted from this recipe from Whole Living)
Ingredients (for 2)
- 1/2 a Meyer lemon, washed and chopped
- 1 small radicchio lettuce, sliced
- 1 shallot, chopped finely
- a handful of fresh spinach leaves, washed and chopped
- 1 heaped tbsp of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Meyer lemon juice (the other half of the lemon was enough for this)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 60 grams feta cheese, cut into cubes
- 30 grams walnuts, chopped
- Chop the lemon, radicchio, shallot, spinach and parsley. Add each to a bowl.
- Make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper together until combined. Add to the salad ingredients and mix well.
- Add the feta and walnuts and gently mix in to the rest of the ingredients.
- Serve immediately.
Time off work resulting in clearing out kitchen cupboards and finding some long-lost quinoa paired with a glut of broad beans concluded in this salad. I love quinoa, you know when you love something but completely forget to make it? That’s what happened to my long-lost quinoa, found behind 4 kinds of lentils and 3 kinds of rice, no mention will be made of how many bean varieties! I’m one of those shoppers that has to try everything! I have grown to love broad beans, growing up I hated them, they were invariably overcooked, grey and tough. Its only in the last couple of years since my Mother in law has started growing them that I’ve learned to appreciate them. When you look at them they are one of nature’s marvels, with that fuzzy, cosy pod protecting each bean. It was also a revelation when I thought to peel off the skin of each bean revealing a much brighter more tender green bean! The things you learn when you grow up!
This salad is quick to make and healthy too, quinoa is gluten-free and a good source of calcium and fibre. It’s great as a main dish, going well with grilled fish or meat. This is enough for 2 servings but if made in larger quantities it would also be a good make ahead take to work lunch, maybe add some feta – yum!
I used broad beans but edamame would make a great substitute.
Quinoa Salad with Broad beans
- 200 gram dried quinoa
- 100 gram broad beans
- 2 spring onions (scallions) thinly sliced
- few cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
- handful of spinach leaves, washed
- lime zest to taste
For the dressing
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. rice mirin
- Cook the quinoa according to pack instructions. When cooked drain and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile pod the broad beans and blanch in boiling water for a minute. Remove from the boiling water, drain and cover with ice-cold water to avoid further cooking. Slip each broad bean from its skin (I know this is tiresome but broad beans are so much nicer without that tough skin). Place the broad beans into a medium-sized bowl, large enough to fit the rest of the salad ingredients.
- Thinly slice the spring onions, chop the cherry tomatoes in half and place both in the bowl with the broad beans.
- When the quinoa is around room temperature or just a little warmer add to the bowl with the broad beans, onion and tomatoes.
- To make the dressing whisk all the ingredients together and immediately pour over the quinoa. Stir to combine.
- Add the spinach leaves and zest a lime directly over the salad, just a couple of scrapes with the zester will be enough. Give another quick mix.
- Best served at room temperature.
I am taking part in this years Urban Farm challenge, the challenge for May was foraging. Living in a city this is not a regular activity for me. I’ve picked wild blackberries but that’s about the extent of my foraging experience. The challenge here was to try dandelions, they are free and plentiful after all and I hear they are good for you. I must admit to dragging my heels on this challenge, nothing has ever made me want to try a dandelion! Cooking dandelions seems even less appealing to me so I decided to use the leaves in a salad. Lucky for me I have one rogue dandelion plant in my garden so I didn’t have to go far to forage! I tried to pick the smallest leaves as they are meant to be the least bitter. While in the garden I also picked some sorrel that I have growing and decided to use a chives flower in my salad, another first for me, I tend to just use the leaves of the chives and leave the flowers. By an amazing stroke of luck I also found some wild garlic growing next to the dandelion so that went into the salad as well! I added some mixed lettuce leaves and dressed it simply with olive oil and salt as I wanted to really taste the ingredients. There is no recipe here as it really was just picking leaves, scattering some chives petals and dressing lightly.
My verdict? Well I loved using the flower from the chives, amazing how strong the taste of onion was in those tiny purple tips. The wild garlic was wonderful, I wonder how long that has been growing under my nose? As for the dandelions, well I tried but they really were bitter and grassy! It was fun to take part and I wish Id had time to forage further, there were more foraging challenges but May escaped me and here we are already in June!
I love chickpeas any which way, cooked in stews and curries, cold in salad, even sprouted. This salad happened one evening when I realised I had no pitta bread to go with the falafel we were having for dinner. The tomato salad I was making now needed substantiating as it was now going to be the only thing to be served alongside the falafel, especially if I was going to try to keep my husband happy. Somehow I felt just falafel and tomatoes would be too healthy and not enough for my hard-working man! The can of chickpeas I saw in the cupboard was the answer. Happily we both liked this salad so much it has now replaced the pitta when we have falafel.
I admit the addition of kale goes in at the end only for me, that would be a healthy step too far for my green fearing husband! That is how I know that this salad also works with out the kale but it is better with it, my husband doesn’t know what he is missing! Spinach, if kale isn’t available, makes a good substitute. Chickpeas are a good source of fibre, low in fat and can help lower cholesterol levels so I’m so happy that my husband not only eats but likes this dish!
The tsp of chilli flakes make this fairly hot, use less if you don’t like so much heat.
Chickpea, Tomato and Kale Salad
- 1 can Chickpeas, drained
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, at room temperature, rinsed
- 3 Spring onions (scallions), trimmed, rinsed and sliced into small rounds
- 1 heaped tbsp Basil, rinsed and chopped finely
- a handful of Kale, rinsed and chopped into small pieces
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
- Sea Salt to taste
- Cut each cherry tomato in half and add to a bowl along with the chickpeas.
- Add the spring onions, basil and the kale to the bowl.
- In a jug mix together the lemon , vinegar and olive oil until blended.
- Add the chilli flakes and salt, mix in and pour over the salad.
- Toss together and season more if necessary.
This stores really well in a Tupperware in the fridge and the recipe can be doubled to make a good make ahead lunch to take to work, the kale leaf is robust enough not to wilt too much, in fact some may prefer it a day or so after it has softened a little.
Coleslaw reminds me of summer, of barbecues and sunshine. As a child my favorite coleslaw was from Kentucky Fried Chicken, yes I grew up in those days where fast food was a regular part of our diet! When I came to England one could get coleslaw but the disappointing overall taste was of mayonnaise. For years I didn’t eat it, before it occurred to me that I could make my own coleslaw! I tried lots of recipes and finally found one on the internet that replicated the KFC taste, it was good but a rather long-winded recipe and as the only coleslaw eater in the house, too much just for me. I recently had lunch in the Mexican restaurant, Wahaca. Alongside my meal was some coleslaw, well it was the best coleslaw I’d had for ages! It had the usual cabbage etc but had a spicy, smoky taste. I have no idea what was in it but a day later I was trying to make it for myself at home! Here is my version, it’s fairly hot, with only a little mayonnaise which is lighter on the calories. The taste I recognized in the Wahaca coleslaw was the hot and smoky chipotle. I’m lucky enough to have some chipotle powder that I bought on holiday in Florida. In the UK you can get a chipotle paste made by Discovery. To get chipotle chilli powder you may have to shop online.
Using a food processor to slice the cabbage makes this come together really quickly. Although as its such a small amount it wouldn’t take very long to chop and grate by hand. A little red cabbage looks nice in this but for such a small portion I wouldn’t rush to buy 2 cabbages!
Chipotle Coleslaw (makes approx 3 servings)
- 1/2 a small White cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 Carrot, grated
- 2 heaped tbsp Mayonnaise
- 2 tsp Cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Chipotle powder (if using paste use 1 tsp) this is quite hot, you may prefer to add less to taste
- Pinch of salt
- Add the cabbage and carrot to a large bowl.
- Add the mayonnaise and vinegar, stirring well to coat all of the vegetables.Add the chipotle, stirring well to combine.
- Add the Chipotle and salt, stirring well to combine.
Serve immediately or keep covered in the fridge, this will last for 2-3 days.
I have just taken part in Seasons Eatings, organised by the lovely Katie of Thyme for Cooking. Its a worldwide holiday gift exchange to spice up our holidays! The idea was that we sent a small gift of a herb, spice or food from where we live, with a recipe of how to use it to someone somewhere else in the world. I received a wonderful, generous array of wild rice, dried cranberries, some wild rice seasoning and spud seasoning (see picture above) from Kate in Minnesota. With the holiday season busy as it is I am only just getting around to my Seasons eatings post after Christmas. But that turned out to be a good thing as after the indulgent few days (weeks!) I’ve had I was craving something healthier and my new wild rice is perfect for healthy recipes!
I cooked the rice using the wild rice seasoning in the water. The seasoning contains salt, raspberry granules, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, orange peel and herbs. If you aren’t lucky enough to have this I’m sure you could use stock in your cooking water as an alternative. When looking for wild rice recipes I came across many salads, lots were creamy which didn’t appeal to me, I really just wanted the rice and cranberries to be the stars of this salad so I didn’t add to many other ingredients. I ended up with a lovely simple salad that I thoroughly enjoyed, Id forgotten how much I like wild rice! Thanks Kate for the lovely package and Katie for organising!
Wild Rice and Cranberry Salad (2 servings)
- 100 grams Wild rice
- 1 litre cold water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Spring onions, chopped
- 1 tsp Lemon zest
- 1 tbsp Flat parsley, chopped
- 30 grams Dried Cranberries
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Put the rice in a medium saucepan and pour over cold water. At this point add some stock or salt as you wish to the water. Bring to a hard boil, reduce heat cover and simmer for 30 minutes. I stirred a couple of times during cooking.
- After 30 minutes turn off the heat and leave to stand with the lid still on for 20-30 minutes until the rice reaches the desired texture.
- Meanwhile make the dressing by adding the olive oil and lemon zest together and whisking well.
- Drain the rice and place in a dish, adding the chopped spring onion, olive oil and lemon zest dressing. Stir gently to coat
- Add the parsley and cranberries, stir gently and season with pepper to taste.
I enjoyed this salad at room temperature with a mix of green leaves.
After a two week holiday of over eating unhealthy types of food I am in need of cleaning up my diet. All good things must come to an end! One of my favourite summer dishes is tomato salad. So easy, tasty and healthy. It goes with everything.
I first experienced tomato salad many years ago on a holiday to Greece. We were served the most delicious tomatoes and bread with every meal. This was back when mass-produced tomatoes in the UK had lost all flavour, thankfully, if you look carefully tomatoes have improved since then. I asked in one of the tavernas how they made the salad and was surprised to find only 4 ingredients, yep just tomatoes, local olive oil, salt and local oregano. This was also back in the day when you could bring litres of olive oil home in your hand luggage, which of course I did! If I can get it I like to use olive oil from the Kalamata region of Greece, its peppery taste takes me back to Stoupa every time!
I recommend having tomatoes at room temperature, the fridge kills their flavour! Any tomatoes will work, large or cherry just choose the ripest/reddest you can find, the cost doesn’t matter as long as they are good and ripe. If the basics range in the supermarket look redder than the organic, best of range then get the cheap ones! Even expensive tomatoes can be duds!
Tomato salad for 2 (easily doubled)
- 300 gram (11 oz) room temperature tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Pinch dried oregano (Greek if you can get it)
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Wash and chop the tomatoes into large chunks or is using cherry tomatoes chop in half, add to your bowl.
- Pour over the olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt, oregano and pepper.
- Stir gently and leave for a minimum of 10 minutes to let the flavours infuse. The salt will also draw the tomato juice out which is delicious for dipping bread into.
Serve with bread as a simple lunch or alongside grilled chicken or fish for a healthy main meal.