Thursday, 7 June 2012

Sizzling Summer Salads

I love my salads in the summer - I find them refreshing, delicious and, better still, healthy. They make the perfect lunch or dinner in sizzling temperatures.

But however good your intentions are, it's very easy to get bored of the same old salad. When you're making rabbit food salads (lettuce, grated carrot and a bit of meat) then you're bound to long for a nice, thick doorstep sandwich, or perhaps even a Maccy D's.

So, here are some mouthwatering recipes to really get your salad creative juices flowing. No one could get bored of these!

Sam x

P.S This post is for the rather lovely Miss Allen, who apparently HATES salad. I'm here to show her just how yummy they can be...

Roasted Tomato, Chickpea and Halloumi Salad

vegetarian recipe, tomato, chickpea,
This recipe from Olive magazine is one of my summer evening faves. It's the perfect, Mediterranean-style dish - light, refreshing and tasty as hell.

½ small red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Olive oil
400g small tomatoes, halved
1 x 250g block halloumi, sliced
1 x 400g tin chickpeas
Flat-leaf parsley leaves


1) Heat the oven to 200C. Put the onion in a large bowl with the vinegar and 2 tbsp olive oil. Put the tomatoes on a shallow baking tray cut-side up and season well. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until roasted and starting to blacken slightly at the edges.

2) Grill the halloumi until golden brown on each side. Gently toss the chickpeas, parsley and tomatoes with the onion and dressing. Pile onto a platter and top with halloumi.

Hot Smoked Salmon Salad with a Chilli and Lemon Dressing

smoked salmon recipe
Salmon works so wonderfully well with chilli and citrus - they're the perfect summer combination and really pep up a salad. Try this for a healthy, yummy evening meal...

500g new potatoes, halved
200g pack asparagus tips
250g bag mixed salad leaves (including young beetroot leaves and watercress)
Bunch of both parsley and mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped
140g radishes, thinly sliced
8 hot-smoked salmon steaks, skin removed
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
For the dressing:
3 tbsp lemon juice
125ml olive oil
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 red chillies


1) Boil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes, or until softened, adding the asparagus for the last two minutes of cooking. Drain the potatoes and vegetables and allow to cool.  Next, whisk together the salad dressing ingredients, seasoning to taste.
2) Take a large bowl and toss together the potatoes, asparagus, salad leaves, herbs and radishes. Add two-thirds of the dressing, mixing through, then spread the salad over a large platter. Break the hot-smoked salmon into large chunks, then scatter over the top along with the spring onions. Finish by pouring remaining dressing over the top.

Jamie Oliver's Crunchy Raw Beetroot Salad with Feta and Pear:

I am a bit of a beetroot addict. I love the rich earthiness they add to dishes, and of course the vibrant colours. Try Jamie Oliver's unusual combination of beetroot, feta and pear for a unique summer salad that's bound to get your mouth watering...


Four beetroots, scrubbed, peeled and cut into fine strips
Three ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
Lemon oil dressing
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g feta cheese
A small bunch of fresh mint

1) Dress the beetroot and pear in a drizzle of lemon oil dressing (see how to make that here) and season to taste with salt and pepper - add a little more lemon juice if you need to.

2) Divide the salad between four plates, then crumble over the feta, sprinkle over the mint leaves and serve! Simple, but effective...

Grilled Halloumi and Roasted Pepper Salad

halloumi recipe
Red peppers and halloumi are two of my favourite foods in the entire world. So it goes without saying that I adore this grilled halloumi and roasted red pepper salad, which I found on Red online here...All you need to do is whip it up, close your eyes and pretend you're on a Greek island...

2 red peppers, seeded and cut into strips
1 x 250g packet halloumi, drained and sliced
6 tbsp olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1) Preheat the grill, then grill the peppers until their skins are roasted and blackened along the edges. Lightly season the grilled peppers.

2) Next, grill the slices of halloumi until lightly golden on each side.

3) Combine the grilled peppers and halloumi in a bowl, dress with the olive oil and lemon juice and garnish with parsley.

Nigella Lawson's Crab and Avocado Salad with Japanese Dressing
nigella crab recipe
Nigella's Crab and Avocado salad is a great one to whip up if you're not really a salad person - you'd be surprised at how much you enjoy it if you add interesting flavours, textures and a bit of meat!

2 tbsps mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
1/2 tsp wasabi paste
1tbsp rice vinegar
Few drops sesame oil
1/4 tsp table salt
1 long red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
200g crab meat
1 tsp lime juice
150g rocket salad
1 ripe avocado
1-2 teaspoons chopped chives

1) Whisk together the mirin, wasabi paste, rice vinegar, sesame oil and salt. Then scoop up about four teaspoons of this dressing and place into another big bowl, large enough to fit your salad.
2) Add the finely chopped chilli and then the crab meat to the bowl with your first lot of dressing, then mix thoroughly. Now, add the lime juice to the four teaspoons of dressing, tossing in the salad leaves before arranging on four plates.
3) Spoon a quarter of the crab mixture into a small ramekin, squishing down to get it all in, then tip it out into the centre of a salad-lined plate. Repeat with the other plates.
4) Using a rounded teaspoon measure, scoop out curls or humps of avocado and dot around on top of the salady bits. Spritz with a little lime juice. Sprinkle the chopped chives over the mounds of crab and enjoy!