Feeling fresh and healthy with summer salads
As another miserable August drags on, we cannot help but wonder what happened to summer. Did it get lost on the way over this year? God forbid the same thing happening to Santa Claus this winter (yes, we are thinking about Christmas already.) It is safe to say that Manchester has enjoyed a grand total of 6 entire days of sunshine this year, and the rest of the time it has looked miserable as Morrissey’s lyrics. Be that as it may, we stay chipper, and keep eating summery food in the hopes that it might help the weather change its mind. After all, it doesn’t matter if it’s pissing it down outside, we refuse to eat hot pot in August.
“They make lovely light lunches, seasonal starters or perfect accompaniments to BBQ’s and brunches alike.”
“Spoiler- we spent five whole English pounds on 5 tomatoes, at that price they needed to taste like heaven on toast… but honestly they did not disappoint.”
So, what’s on the indoor-alfresco menu? This week with give you some fool-proof recipes for summer salads. No more do salads have to be a boring choice when you’re having a good day, but instead delicious meals in their own right. They make lovely light lunches, seasonal starters or perfect accompaniments to BBQ’s and brunches alike. As you may have noticed, last week’s post went live without a recipe, so this week we thought we would make it up to you and give you three delicious dishes to get your summer juices flowing.
The rémoulade is a fantastic dish which can be treated much like coleslaw. Sling it in sandwiches or on crusty bread or dollop it by the side of some zesty white fish. The heirloom tomato salad is an absolute winner too. It is important to pick lovely juicy tomatoes for this dish for best results. These tomatoes are pricey to say the least, especially when bought from über healthy vegan/organic health food shops like Unicorn in Chorlton. Spoiler- we spent five whole English pounds on 5 tomatoes, at that price they needed to taste like heaven on toast… but honestly they did not disappoint.
“The produce is beautiful quality, and we love the excitement of opening a box and seeing what you’ve been given.”
We understand that anchovies aren’t everyone’s kettle of fish, so feel free to remove them, it’s just as delicious. Finally, the duck and orange salad marries two flavours that have stood the test of time. Topped off with toasted hazelnuts and an Asian inspired dressing, this salad really holds its own as a starter or even a main meal with extra duck.
Summer is a time of plenty and the season for some of the best ingredients gown here in the UK. T and more recently G are proud enthusiasts of Abel & Cole. They are totally organic veg box company which offer a delivery service once a week of seasonal vegetables, fruit as well as meat, fish and other groceries. We both sign up to the vegetable boxes, and we couldn’t sing their praises enough. The produce is beautiful quality, and we love the excitement of opening a box and seeing what you’ve been given. Of course, you can cater your boxes, but we urge you to go blind and let Abel & Cole choose for you. It is a fantastic challenge for any budding cook to put yourself to the test at each midweek dinner to come up with something new. For example, Kholrabi which is used in the summer remoulade, meant nothing to T before her delivery last week, and man is she glad she knows what this ugly little vegetable is capable of now.
Fingers crossed for a little sunshine on the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend so we can enjoy these dishes with a little cup of summer. Failing that, shall we just bugger off and go on holiday?
See you next week,
1 bulb of fennel
1 red kohlrabi
1 bunch of chicory
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. Greek yoghurt
1tsp. Dijon mustard
3 tsp. white wine vinegar
Juice and zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper
Handful finely chopped dill
In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard and vinegar and combine. Zest the lemon into the bowl, add the juice and season well. Chill this mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes. Using the Julianne blade on your food processor, blitz the vegetables or cut into long thin strips. Squeeze out the excess liquid with your hands or a muslin cloth and add to the bowl of dressing. Toss gently and serve with lemon wedges and a sprinkle of dill.
Heirloom tomato salad with anchovies
1k of tomatoes, various sizes shapes and colours
½ red onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp. good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tin of anchovies, drained of their oil
A large pinch of sea salt and a crack of black pepper
1 heaped tbsp. of capers
Slice the tomatoes and arrange them on a board. Drizzle with olive oil ( or you can use the anchovy oil if you so wish), and sprinkle with the onion and capers. Arrange the anchovies on top, being sure to tuck some under the layers of tomato. Cover with a generous pinch of flaked sea salt, black pepper and dress with basil leaves.
Duck and orange salad with toasted hazelnuts
2 medium duck breasts, skin on
100g whole hazelnuts
½ an avocado
For the dressing
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. siratcha
1 fresh garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp. orange or lemon juice
To start, roast your seasoned duck breasts at 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Take it out and arrange to cool.
In a frying pan, toast your hazelnuts over a medium heat until they begin to brown. Be extra careful not to burn them, and keep them moving in the pan as much as possible. Leave them to cool. Arrange your watercress and avocado on a platter. Skin the orange, remove the pith and slice thinly with a sharp knife. Arrange this on the salad too.
To make the dressing, combine the ingredients in an empty jam jar, apply the lid and shake vigorously. Slice the duck thinly, and don’t panic if it’s a little pink… it should be. Arrange the duck on the salad and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Finish with the dressing and serve.