This is the perfect salad to serve with a roast on a hot summer’s day when cooked vegetables would be simply too much to take. This takes a bit of prep so it is good for a Sunday lunch or for guests. This is enough for six people. It keeps a day in the fridge at a pinch.
Prepare your vegetables, put a large pan on the hob full of boiling water and have a large bowl of iced water to hand. You will also need a scoopy thing and a colander or paper towels.
- Handful of tender French beans, trimmed and cut in half
- Handful of asparagus stalks, cut into 4cm lengths
- Handful of tenderstem broccoli, cut in half
- Large handful of frozen peas
- 6 spring onions, chopped into 1cm lengths
- 6-8 radishes, sliced
- Half or whole sweetheart cabbage, tender inner leaves, thinly sliced
- Bunch of mint leaves, shredded
Boil your asparagus for 2 minutes. Immediately cool in the iced water, then drain and dry.
Boil your French Beans for 4 minutes. Immediately cool in the iced water, then drain and dry.
Boil your Broccoli for 2.5 minutes. Immediately cool in the iced water, then drain and dry.
Boil your peas for 1 minute. Immediately cool in the iced water, then drain and dry.
Mix all your vegetables in a large salad bowl. make a dressing:
- 6 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
Gently toss the dressing through the salad.
An easy, cruchy slaw with an interesting and unusual taste. Take roughly equal quantities of peeled
Coarsley grate or slice super fine into micro julienne strips.
- Chives or parsely
- Shallot (optional)
Chop the herbs and add to the root veg. with a spoonful or two of mayo – enough to combine but not smother the veg. You can add a grated shallot if you wish. Adjust the seasoning and serve. This is very colourful and crunchy. It doesn’t keep well – best to serve within an hour.
This is an easy lunch salad as long as you plan ahead with the bulgur wheat! You can us a variety of proteins for this to make it a more substantial dish, or you can use it as a side. For 2 portions (main) or 4 portions (side):
- 100 gm Bulgur wheat
- 400ml water
Simmer 15 minutes covered, turn off the heat and leave for 10 minutes. Meanwhile
- 1tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs tomato puree
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
Mix to make a dressing. When the bulgur is cooked, fluff it up. It should have absorbed all the water. Mix in the dressing and leave to cool.
- 2 dried figs or dates, chopped
- 2 spring onions chopped, or chives
- 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
- handful of mint leaves, shredded
- handful of parsley, chopped
- Optional – 1/4 cucumber cubed
Mix up with the cooked bulgur to make a salad. If you are serving this as a main course salad, you can top with:
- fried halloumi (vegetarian) or…
- Smoked mackerel fillets, or…
- Falafel (vegan), or…
- Grilled chicken breast, or…
- beef mince kofta, or…
- Lamb meatballs
and a few fancy lettuce leaves alongside. Pittas, yoghurt, hummus, Lebanese pickles all start to make this look like a feast.
Simple to make and flexible with main ingredients. Firstly make this awesome dressing which would go with other things too.
Boil 3 minutes. Add
Boil 2 minutes more. Drain, remove garlic skins and add to a blender (stick blender is best) with
- Juice of a lemon
- 2 tsp onion powder
- half a cucumber
Zap. Add the other half of a cucumber and zap again. You can experiment by adding herbs – tarragon, chives, etc but I am not sure that is necessary.
For the salad – you can swap vegetables around but I used the following:
- Red cabbage, cut into thin slices including the core so it stays together as a “steak”
- Sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
- Courgette, sliced
Fry in a hot pan until charred. Transfer to an oven 180C fan, season and roast 30 minutes. Less if your charring took a while. Take them out when soft all the way through, and cool for a bit. Meanwhile…
- Broccoli florets
- Chives chipped or spring onions in 3 cm lengths
In the same pan, add a bit more oil then toss the broccoli and chives around and char until bright green with charred bits. They should be still crunchy but not raw. Remove.
- Tofu (vegan) or halloumi (vegetarian)
In the same pan, sear until browned.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Lettuce hearts, quartered
Arrange the roasted and seared items with the fresh items in a tasteful display on your platter. Serve with the sauce.
You could also try asparagus, treated like the broccoli; button mushrooms left whole and fried with garlic and herbs in olive oil; swede or parsnip treated like the sweet potato.
This makes a warm salad which makes a great lunch. This serves 4 but can be adjusted.
- 1 large butternut squash
- Olive oil
Peel, de-seed and chop your squash into bite-sized lumps. Place in a roasting tin, toss in oil, season and roast for 30-40 minutes until soft. Toss halfway through so it gets a bit charred on all sides. Remove when cooked and keep warm.
Near the end of cooking time,
- 225gm couscous
- Same volume of boiling vegetable stock made with a cube or powder
Put the couscous in the stock and cover. Leave for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.
- Pack of halloumi
- Olive oil
Put a splash of oil in a frying pan and heat. Chop the halloumi into cubes about 12mm across. Fry the cubes in the oil over a medium heat, turning so all sides are tinged brown.
- Chopped parsley or coriander leaves
- Pomegranate seeds (frozen defrosted works too)
Assemble your salad tossing together couscous, squash, halloumi, parsley and pomegranate seeds.
Quick, easy, tasty. Goes well with lamb chops or steaks. Serves 4.
Heat the oven to 200C.
- Half a baguette
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 50gm butter (or more)
Melt the butter and mix with the garlic. Slice the baguette. Paint the slices both sides with garlicky butter, and place on an oven tray. Bake 15 minutes or until golden and crispy. Leave to cool slightly.
- 4 lamb steaks or 8 chops
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Salt, pepper and sprinkling of chopped mint
Season the meat and pan fry 3 minutes each side on a hot pan. Remove from the pan and let rest to continue cooking and firming up.
- 1 cucumber chopped into cubes
- 4 large tomatoes chopped into cubes (or quarters halved)
Pan fry in the juices 2-3 minutes each side until charred. Make a dressing by mixing the following:
- One lemon zested and juiced
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbs chopped fresh mint
Tear up the bread into chunks. Mix with the cucumber and tomatoes. Toss in the dressing. Add chopped parsley if you wish. Serve the warm salad alongside your lamb. Told you it was easy.