One of the wonderful things about summer cooking is that meals can be decided at the last minute and quickly cooked or just assembled.
I am a big fan of salads, I love contrast in food and with salads it is easy to have a variety of textures and flavours that work together in one dish.
Salads are easily put together out of ingredients on hand and while recipes are not necessarily adhered to there are a few guidelines that are worth following:
- Aways dry your lettuce after washing it, drying keeps the leaves crunchy and enables the dressing to coat rather than running off.
- When making your own salad dressing remember that most use a ratio of 3:1 oil to vinegar.
- Season the vinegar before you add the oil as it is easier to dissolve in vinegar.
- Different flavoured vinegars will add variation to your salad. As well as white wine, red wine and balsamic try raspberry or sherry vinegar. While I recommend making your own vinaigrette, I have discovered Peplers black raspberry vinaigrette and I am almost drinking it!
- Always use a good quality oil, it makes all the difference to the final flavour.
- Roasted vegetables are great in salads, just take care when handling pumpkin and kumara that it doesn’t turn to mush.
- Finely sliced brown onion can be soaked in hot water briefly to soften the flavour. Don’t soak too long however or you will also lose texture.
- Keep a small supply of nuts and seeds on hand, lightly toasted they add instant texture to a salad.
Salads with Meat or Fish
Chicken Grape and Almond Salad
Fragrant Chicken Salad
Prawn, Avocado and Noodle Salad
Thai Chicken Salad
Asian Duck Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad
Cranberry Bacon and Avocado Salad
Lamb, Beetroot and Feta Salad
Chicken, Bacon and Spinach Salad
Warm Spicy Lamb Salad
Warm Chicken Salad