As we approach summer and barbecue weather, refreshing salads are becoming more enticing, so I wanted to share some of my favourite summer salads, that don’t take too long and are fresh & full of goodness. I try to predominately eat a vegetarian diet, so these recipes are vegetarian, but they can be adapted to suit vegans and meat eaters – just substitute dairy with vegan alternatives or add your preferred choice of meat! Remember, the more colourful the bowl, the better!

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Ribbons of cucumber, asparagus (using a potato peeler), sugar snap peas (I like to mix melted butter and Maldon salt in with these prior), sliced apple, walnuts and mozzarella pearls. Then drizzle over a lemon, EV olive oil, Cholula hot sauce, salt & pepper, white wine vinegar dressing. This is a super easy salad; requires barely any preparation/equipment and you more than likely have all the ingredients already.

Fresh As Ever

Quinoa, pomegranate, small chunks of cucumber, small broccoli florets (baked & seasoned in the oven is best), drizzle over blended homemade pesto (or store bought for ease – M&S is my favourite), and a sprinkle of extra pine nuts and basil leaves on top. I buy fresh basil plants and keep them in the kitchen and find myself adding it to so many meals!

Dark Green Health Queen

Sweet potato (seasoned with paprika, garlic, and chilli powder), almonds or pecan nuts, chopped kale, feta, with an EV olive oil, honey, salt & pepper dressing. The darker the leaves the more vitamins and minerals – kale and spinach have over 10 times more immune-boosting vitamins A and C than iceberg lettuce!

My Favourite – Japanese Inspired Edamame Mix

Brown rice, avocado chunks or slices, edamame beans, small broccoli florets, and I make a sauce with peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, mirin, minced ginger and sesame seeds. Avocado adds creaminess and includes several nutrients, healthy fats, and fibre.

I like to scoop up the salad with homemade baked chips – slice wholegrain/seeded tortillas into triangles, brush / spray with olive oil and bake in the oven at 180°C for up to 10 minutes.

Did you know?

  • The first representation of salad appeared in paintings on Egyptian tombs in 4500 BC.
  • The term “salad” comes from the Latin word for salt (“sal”) – in Roman times, salads consisted largely of salted vegetables glazed with an oil and vinegar dressing, thus the salt. The French eventually coined the term “salade”.
  • Iceberg was given its name due to being packed with ice to survive transportation in warm temperatures.
  • Arguably the most celebrated salad in the world is the Waldorf Salad, originally conceived by Oscar Tschirky, who worked at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the 1890s. Tschirky’s original salad contained apples, celery and mayonnaise. Today the Waldorf Astoria still serves a version containing sweet and sour apples, candied walnuts (added three decades later), celeriac and truffle (Oscar Tschirky also invented Eggs Benedict!).

www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-best-worst-salads

www.lovemysalad.com/blog/fun-facts-about-salad

www.willowbrookfoods.co.uk/interesting-fun-facts-about-salad/