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Easy Summer Salads

Chicory, walnut, lardon and Roquefort salad

Ingredients:

4 small chicory bulbs
Smoked bacon lardons
1 apple
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
80g Roquefort, chilled
2 tsp finely chopped chives

For the dressing:
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp best-quality walnut oil
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serves 4

Cut the base off the chicory and remove any damaged outer leaves. Cut each chicory head in half lengthways and set aside. Fry the lardons until crisp. Halve the apple, remove the core and slice or dice finely.

To make the dressing, whisk the mustard, vinegar and water together, then trickle in the walnut oil and olive oil, whisking constantly. Season to taste with 2 pinches of salt and 2 pinches of pepper.

Mix the dressing with the chicory, walnuts, lardons and two-thirds of the Roquefort. Arrange on a large serving dish or individual plates. Scatter the remaining Roquefort over the salad and top with the chopped chives.

Beetroot and Parma ham salad

Ingredients:

Florette Duos Lambs & Ruby Chard
5-6 Beetroots (trimmed)
Olive Oil
50g feta cheese (crumbled)
Half fat crème fraîche
Fresh tarragon (chopped)
Italian cooked ham, torn into large pieces

Serves 2

Preheat the oven to 220ºC, gas mark 7. Wrap each beetroot in foil and place in a roasting tin. Bake for 30–40 minutes until tender.

Whilst the beetroot is cooking, mix together the cheese, 3 tbsp crème fraîche, 1 tbsp tarragon, 2 tbsp oil and seasoning in a bowl. Once cooked unwrap the beetroot and cut into quarters. Then toss together with the mixed salad.

Arrange the ham and salad on serving plates and top with the beetroot.

Chicken and grape salad

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts or leftover chicken
8 oz finely chopped celery
8 oz seedless grapes, halved
8 oz chopped walnuts
3 finely chopped spring onions
150 ml mayonnaise
1 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped
Salt and ground pepper

Serves 4

Either poach or sauté the chicken until cooked. Set aside and chill. Combine all the other ingredients and add the chicken when cool. Season and serve with salad leaves or rocket.

Warm trofie, green bean, potato and pesto salad

Ingredients:

350g trofie pasta
150g fine green beans
150g small new potatoes

For the pesto
½ clove garlic
1 big bunch of fresh basil
1 handful of pine nuts
1 good handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil

Serves 4

To make the pesto: Peel the garlic, then pound in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt. Pick, roughly chop and add the basil leaves, then bash to a paste (or pulse in a food processor).

Add the pine nuts (very lightly toast first, if you like) to the mixture and pound again, then stir in half the Parmesan. Drizzle in some oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.

Add most of the remaining cheese, then season to perfection with salt and black pepper. Have a taste, and keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.

Trim the beans and cut into two or three. Wash the potatoes and cut into quarters. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta for 8 minutes until starting to soften. Add the new potatoes and cook for 5 minutes more, then add the green beans and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.

Drain the pasta, potatoes and beans and return to the pan. Add the pesto and toss. Allow to cool before serving with chopped basil and extra parmesan.

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