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Our Top 5 Super Tasty Summer Salads

Posted by Lorraine on 11th Aug 2016

Sun, summer and salads! The sun is shining at last which can only mean one thing, it is time to polish off the barbecue and get your friends round to soak up the summer vibes. No BBQ is complete without an array of salad choices to tantalise your taste buds. We have chosen our five favourite summer salads which are so tasty we’re sure you will be making them more than once this summer. We have the super healthy ‘Herby Quinoa, Feta and Pomegranate Salad’ and the fulfilling ‘Spicy Sweet Potato Salad’. Or you could chose to make the delicious Spanish ‘Chorizo and Tomato Salad’, ‘Spinach, Nut, Apple, Feta and Bacon Salad’ or a vegetarian ‘Halloumi, courgette green bean and tomato salad.’ Having a party and struggling to decide which recipe to make? Make a selection, we’re sure your guests won’t object!Herby quinoa, feta & pomegranate saladHerby quinoa, feta and pomegranate salad Inspired by; bbcgoodfood.comWe love this nutrient rich quinoa salad. Quinoa is naturally gluten free too and is packed with all nine essential amino acids so this salad is a great healthy option for all the family. The scattering of juicy pomegranate seeds and raisins plus the creaminess of the feta is a perfect combination. Its really easy to create too making it the perfect choice for the busy, health conscious out there.Preparation Time; 10 MinutesCooking Time; 15 MinsServes 2 or 4-5 as a sideMethod 
  1. Cook the quinoa following pack instructions – it should be tender but with a little bite. Drain well.
  2. Add the pine nuts or flaked almonds to a dry frying pan and cook for 3 minutes over medium-heat. Stir frequently until golden.
  3. When the quinoa is cool stir through all of the remaining ingredients and add plenty of seasoning.
Ingredients150g Quinoa1/2 Red onion, finely chopped43g Raisins or sultanas - We like to soak overnight in water to make them extra juicy.50g Feta cheese, crumbled100g Pomegranate seeds43g Toasted pine nuts or toasted flaked almondsHandful of coriander, flat leaf parsley and mint, roughly chopped - Add more to suit taste1 Lemon - Freshly squeezed1/2 Tsp sugarAuthor Notes; Looking for a healthy evening meal. Perfect served with lean grilled pork lion and green summer vegetables.Spicy Sweet Potato SaladSpicy sweet potato salad Inspired by; cleanfoodcrush.comSweet Potato is a fiber-rich root vegetable and hosts a wealth of health benefits, it is is one of the most nutritional veggies around. If its not included in your diet already then we suggest you start introducing it. Why not try this tasty spicy sweet potato salad, it tastes delicious and is simple to make too. A great, healthy choice for the summer season.Preparation Time; 15 minutesCooking Time; 30 minutesServes; 4Ingredients; 2 Sweet potatoes, diced1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil200g Cherry tomatoes (1 cup) sliced into halves1 Avocado, diced1/2 Tbs fresh lime juice (To coat avocado only)40g Black beans (1/2 cup) - rinse if tinned.63g Plain greek yogurt (1/4 cup) - We like Fage 0% greek yoghurt.1/2 Tbs favourite hot sauce - We like Franks Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce.1/2 Tsp ground cumin1/2 Tbs apple cider vinegar1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley, coriander, or chives (select your favourite)Sea salt and pepper to tasteMethod;
  1. Pre heat oven to 180ºC
  2. Toss the sweet potatoes in olive oil and place on a baking tray - cook for approx 30mins.
  3. Mix the yoghurt, hot sauce, cumin, apple cider vinegar and fresh herbs of choice together in a medium sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper. You can add more hot sauce to suit your taste.
  4. Mix the avocado in the lime juice.
  5. Gently combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix in the sauce.
  6. Serve immediately with fresh herb garnish or refrigerate in air tight container.
Chorizo and Tomato Salad. Inspired by; Jamie Oliver’s book – ‘Jamie Does…’This salad is so tasty. The key to this recipe is using ripe, sweet tomatoes and a good quality sherry vinegar. If you don't have sherry vinegar in your cupboard go and buy some, honestly, pop to the shops! This special ingredient really does make all the difference, plus you can use it to make lots of other delicious dressings too. We’ve made this recipe using red wine vinegar, it was fine but other attempts with sherry vinegar were even tastier. Great served for a family gathering with heaps of crusty bread on the side.Preparation Time; 15 minsCooking Time; 8-10 minutes.Serves; 3-4Ingredients;1 Raw chorizo sausage - 225g. Roughly sliced.270g Cherry tomatoes, halved3 Large ripe tomatoes. Roughly chopped.3 Spring onions, finely choppedFresh ground pepperSea salt - We like Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.Extra virgin olive oilSherry vinegar2 cloves garlic, finely slicedHandful fresh basil, finely chopped - you could also use parsley.Method;
  1. Cook the chorizo in a little olive oil, over a medium heat.
  2. Whilst the chorizo is cooking, place the tomatoes and spring onions into a bowl. Add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper, a lug of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar. Set aside.
  3. Once the chorizo is starting to go slightly crispy add the sliced garlic. Keep stirring and do not allow the garlic to burn, once you smell aroma of the garlic it’s ready. Add a splash of sherry vinegar to prevent it cooking more.
  4. Spoon the chorizo and a little of the flavoured oil over the tomato salad and add basil. Mix.
  5. Serve immediately.
Authors Note; If you're cooking with chorizo opt for wines that have a level of sweetness in them. A Shiraz or a Pinotage would be a perfect match for this dishSpinach, Nut, Apple, Feta and Bacon Salad. Inspired by; melskitchencafe.comAnother wonderful summer salad which can be enjoyed on its own with a glass of chilled white wine or great as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or a pasta dish. Although the preparation of the nuts takes a little more time than simply throwing some walnuts into the salad, it is worth making the extra effort. They add a sweet and spicy textured element to the dish. This recipe is guaranteed to be a summer favourite, a dish that you will make again and again.Preparation Time; 15 minutesCooking Time; 15 minutesServes 6Ingredients;Salad;450g Baby spinach½ Small red onion, chopped into long thin slivers.6 Slices of dry cured smoked bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces125g  Feta cheese (1 cup) diced or crumbled.90g Dried cranberries (3/4 cup)1-2 Apples, cored and thinly sliced  - We recommend breaburn or coxSweet & Spicy Nuts;100g Chopped walnuts (1 cup)75g Granulated sugar (1/3 cup)Pinch of cayennePinch of saltDressing: 60ml Red wine vinegar (1/4 cup)120ml Extra virgin olive oil (1/2 cup)1 Clove of garlic, crushed1-2 Teaspoons Dijon mustard1 Teaspoon sugarSalt & fresh cracked pepper to tasteMethod;
  1. Pre heat oven to 180ºC
  2. Add the ingredients for the dressing into a kilner jar, mix well. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Shake well before use. The dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.
  3. Place the walnuts in the oven on a baking tray for 8-10 minutes, keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Turn occasionally.
  4. While toasting the nuts, place the sugar, cayenne and salt in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the sugar mixture until it liquifies completely, do not allow it to bubble and burn. Add the toasted nuts to the sugar mixture, toss to coat. Let the sugared nuts cool completely.
  5. Grill the bacon until crispy.
  6. Place all the salad ingredients, bacon and cooled nuts together in a large bowl and pour over the dressing and toss. Serve immediately.
Author Notes; Looking for a more substantial salad lunch, try serving with grilled chicken breast seasoned with plenty of cracked black pepper and sea salt.Halloumi, courgette green bean and tomato salad.Halloumi, courgette and green bean salad Inspired by; realfood.tesco.comEarlier this month a friend served up this delicious halloumi salad at their summer BBQ. They grilled the halloumi and courgette over barbecue coals which added a lovely smokiness to the flavour. We have since made it for the family and used a griddle pan which still created a lovely chargrilled flavour. This is a great summer salad dish and was a hit with all the family. Its even tastier if you leave the dressing to marinate for a few hours prior to serving.Preparation time; 5 MinutesCooking Time; 5-10 MinutesServes 4.Ingredients;3 Courgettes, sliced into ribbons4tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil500g Halloumi cheese1/4tsp Chilli flakes90g Mixed tender leaf salad250g Green beans, blanched250g Baby plum tomatoes, halved15g Basil, finely chopped1 Small garlic clove, finely chopped1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegarMethod;
  1. Heat a griddle pan until hot. Drizzle the courgettes with a tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook for a minute or two until lightly marked on each side. Set aside.
  2. Slice the halloumi into 12 slices and sprinkle with the chilli flakes. Cook the slices in the hot griddle pan for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  3. Divide the salad leaves between four plates and top with the blanched beans and baby plum tomato halves. Add some courgette slices and 3 pieces of halloumi to each plate.
  4. Mix the remaining olive oil, basil, garlic and red wine vinegar together. Season and drizzle a little over each salad.
  5. Serve Immediately and enjoy.
Authors Note; If preparing this dish for young children who are not too keen on spice then we suggest grilling their portion of halloumi without the chilli flakes.
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