It’s almost summer which means it is time for salads. There are masses of fabulous ingredients out there which will help you to create some terrific combinations. Use them as lighter starters or side dishes or go large and make them your main meal. The first three salads come courtesy of Shirlee Posner (eatsurrey.co.uk) and Secretts Farmshop in Milford.
Heritage beetroot salad with pomegranate molasses
This is the perfect salad to make with young tender summer vegetables. Secretts baby beetroots inspired me to write this recipe and it tastes as good as it looks. The vegetables to complement the beetroot used in this salad can be swapped and substituted depending on availability and I would make this with corn, fine green beans or baby runners too. I served this with a dollop of fat free Greek Yogurt sprinkled with sumac and a drizzle of oil. This would also work well with goat’s cheese, a selection of charcuterie or as part of a cold buffet.
5 medium cooked roasted beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped (use golden and red here if you like); 50g cooked broad beans; 150g cooked tender-stem broccoli, chopped; 2-3 fresh nasturtium or other edible flowers (optional).
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses; 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives (or other fresh herbs such as mint); 1 dessertspoon extra virgin olive oil; 1 dessertspoon red wine vinegar; 1 clove of smoked garlic, crushed; grated zest of 1 small un-waxed lemon; salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Place the vegetables together in a mixing bowl (apart from the flowers).
2. Spoon the dressing ingredients straight on the salad and mix well.
3. Place on a serving dish and decorate with flowers if you have them.
Secretts sells one of the best pomegranate molasses on the market from Lebanese food importer Mymoune. Dearer than those in supermarkets for sure, but taste is so superior its totally worth it! Since you only use it in small amounts anyway in my book, a good investment.
Chicken, Mango, Avocado and Sweet Chilli Salad
Eliza’s Tea Room kindly shared their delicious salad recipe with us. This mixture started life as a sandwich from British Sandwich Week and was so popular it was re-invented as a salad. So much so it is now going to be a regular on the specials menu during the summer. It’s easy to make, providing you have all the ingredients to hand.
2 handfuls Secretts mixed salad leaves, washed and spun to remove water; Juice of 1 lime; 2tsp of extra virgin olive oil ; salt and freshly ground pepper; 1 large roasted chicken breast, skinned and cut into chunks; 1 mango, peeled and sliced; 1avocado, peeled and sliced; 2 tbsp of Thai sweet chilli sauce.
1. Get a couple of bowls or plates ready to assemble the salads.
2. First prepare all the ingredients in the list leaving the avocado until last.
3. Put the salad leaves in a mixing bowl. Toss with lime juice and olive oil and seasoning then divide between the bowls.
4. Top the leaves with the chicken, mango and avocado
and then drizzle each with a spoon of chilli sauce. Serve immediately.
Add a spoon of Thai fish sauce to the dressing and garnish with chopped mint and fresh coriander leaves oe decorate the salad with some chopped roasted peanuts.
Roasted Salmon, Butternut Squash, Prawn and Asparagus Salad
This is a filling salad perfect for warm weather eating! It can be made in advance and is very transportable too (keep the dressing separate though until you need it).
300g butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks; 1 dessertspoon sunflower oil; salt and freshly ground black pepper; I clove of crushed garlic; 100g asparagus; I large fillet of salmon (approx 170g); 150g large cooked tiger prawns; 2 large handfuls of Secretts mixed salad leaves; 100g asparagus spears, lightly steamed; 8-10 small cherry or plum tomatoes, halved lenghthways.
1 dessertspoon sesame oil; juice of 1 lime; 1 dessertspoon low salt naturally fermented soy sauce; 1 dessertspoon coconut sugar; pinch Maldon sea salt; some toasted shredded coconut to garnish.
1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas 5 / 190C/ fan 170C
2. Place the butternut squash in a mixing bowl with the sunflower oil, seasoning and crushed garlic. Mix well so the squash is evenly coated and pour into a roasting tray. Place the tray in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.
3. Remove the squash from the oven and place the salmon in the tray and roast together for a further 15-20 minutes. Once cooked remove, set aside and cool.
4. While you are allowing the roasted fish and salad to cool mix the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
5. Now wash the salad leaves and spin. Divide the leaves between 2 salad bowls and drizzle with a little salad dressing.
6. Top the leaves with the roasted squash, cooked prawns, asparagus and flake the salmon using it to top the salad.
7. Scatter with asparagus, tomatoes and coconut then pour over the remaining dressing. Serve immediately.