Summer salads to savor this weekend

FOOD

Hi, isn’t the weather lovely. I know that it is almost July but today and hopefully the sun is splitting the sky. As I write this, the air is filled with the smell of freshly cut grass and smoky Barbeques. The summer is finally here now, and I hope that it has lasted.

I find that the sun brings out the best in food. I can appreciate a fresh raw chilled tomato so much more when the sun is shining, and like many people, I find it hard to eat big dinners in the summer time. Today, I thought that I would share some lovely simple summer salad recipes with you. These are full of flavour, easy to prepare and delicious.

Caprice salad

This is my modern take on a Caprice Salad, a classic dish that is simple to make and delicious to eat.

Ingredients

Buffalo Mozzarella cheese

Fresh plum tomatoes

Freshly picked basil leaves

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Olives

Freshly baked bread

Irish butter

Method

All you have to do is blend a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil leaves together to make a tasty dressing, then simply slice the cheese and tomatoes and serve with olives and fresh bread. Drizzle the basil dressing around the plate and use as a dip for your beautifully fresh ingredients. This salad is a perfect accompaniment for cold sliced ham or beef.

Healthy salad Nicoise

This is a lovely recipe if you are a fan of tuna. There is a little work to it but really worth it.

Salad Nicoise

Ingredients

200g new potatoes, thickly sliced

2 medium eggs

100g green beans, trimmed

1 romaine lettuce heart leaves separated and washed

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

6 anchovies in olive oil, drained well

197g can tuna steak in spring water, drained

2 tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise

Method

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the potatoes and the eggs, and cook for seven minutes. Scoop the eggs out of the pan, tip in the green beans and cook for a further four minutes. Drain the potatoes, beans and eggs in a colander under cold running water until cool. Leave to dry.

Peel the eggs and cut into quarters. Arrange the lettuce leaves in two shallow bowls. Scatter over the beans, potatoes, tomatoes and egg quarters. Pat the anchovies with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil and place on top.

Flake the tuna into chunks and scatter over the salad. Mix the mayonnaise and one tbsp. cold water in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the salad and serve.

Watermelon salad

Watermelons are the perfect summer fruit, big, juicy and full of flavour. They are great to eat on their own or why not try this combination as an alternative.

Watermelon Salad

 

Ingredients

Bluebell fall’s Goats cheese

Watermelon

Cucumber

Chopped fresh mint leaves

Honey mustard dressing

Red onion (finely diced )

Method

Simply dice the watermelon and cucumber, crumble the goat’s cheese and mix all the ingredients together at the last minute to get the perfect salad.

Crunchy chicken salad

Another classic salad that is perfect for summer eating or any time of the year at all.

Crunchy Chicken Salad

Ingredients

2 skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp. mild or medium curry powder

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. mango chutney

1/2 lemon

1/2 cucumber, sliced into sticks

50g bag watercress

2 tbsp. toasted flaked almonds

Method

Mix the chicken with 1 tbsp. oil and the curry powder. Heat a large non-stick pan and cook the chicken for five to six minutes, on each side until golden and cooked through, then cut into strips. Whisk together the remaining oil and mango chutney with a good squeeze of lemon juice. Then, in a large bowl, toss all the ingredients together and serve with crusty bread.

There are so many different salads that you can make for a lovely evening summer meal. Coleslaw, fresh meats, cheeses, fruits and breads are all easy to prepare. Why not get out a blanket and have a picnic in your back garden! Go on, you never know how long our summer is going to last, so make the most of it while you can.

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