We don’t know about you, but we’re craving zingingly fresh, healthy dishes. Summer is the perfect time to rediscover flavours, and salads are the perfect dish to let your ingredients to shine. We’ve gathered six ideas that will make your summer salads tastier than ever – easy to make at home and pack for a healthy seaside picnic.
Ditch those supermarket salad bags and venture outside to eat amongst all that summer has to offer (even if you have to bring a blanket to keep you warm…)
DIY Salad Bar
You know how kids love choosing their own toppings for pizza? Set up a salad bar so they can do the same with these healthier options. Here are some nutritious and affordable ideas:
- Beds: lettuce, rocket, baby spinach, pesto-covered fusilli pasta
- Vegetables: cherry tomatoes, sliced yellow pepper, grated carrot, chunks of avocado, sliced cucumber, cubed beetroot
- Goodies: chicken, ham, prawns, chickpeas, cheese, nuts, and smoked tofu
- Toppings: seeds, olives, fresh basil, chopped parsley, olive oil, pesto, and of course salt and pepper!
If you know your couscous from your quinoa, why not try these new grains on the block:
- Freekeh: Pronounced free-kah, this grain has a delicious smoky flavour that adds depth to summer salads.
- Barley: With a texture like pasta, try using this ultra-fibrous cereal as a base for salads.
- Giant couscous: Yes, it’s couscous, but it looks like little pearls! Add some lemon juice when you cook it for extra zing.
- Buckwheat (sometimes called kasha): This is actually the seed of a fruit, but you cook it like rice. Perfect if you’re wheat or gluten intolerant.
- Farro: Big in Italy, this grain takes a bit longer to cook but holds its shape well if you’re making a salad in advance.
Spring Roast Salad
Do you always find yourself with leftover roast vegetables after Sunday lunch? Perfect –why not add them to your next salad?We think sweet potato and butternut squash are particularly delicious. No leftovers? Just cube them up, toss with some oil, and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
You can easily perk up with a few flavoursome additions and make it a summertime salad staple. Here are two deliciously simple ideas to start you off:
Try our honey mustard mayo recipe– simply stir 5 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice for a sweet, hot and sour dressing.
Why not give our harissa mayo a whirl?Just mix 5 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon of harissa paste (or more if you like things spicy)to add an instant kick to your salads. Hot stuff!
Go against the grain and incorporate some raw food into your salad to create new textures.
- Cauliflower and broccoli: Chop the florets up small and discover how delicious these brassicas are in a salad. Make them extra specialby stirring inyour favourite pesto.
- Kale: it’s everywhere at the moment, but did you know you can eat kale raw? Discard the stems and use the leaves instead of lettuce or rocket.
- Mushrooms: Slice up raw mushrooms and add to a salad with a splash of balsamic vinegar and handful of toasted pinenuts.
- Beetroot: Peel and grate some beetroot to add a blast of colour and hit of vitamins to your salad.
- Parsnip: Peel the parsnip then use your peeler to create thin white ribbons. Tastes fantastic if you mix with grapefruit or orange.
Make It Mexican
Recreate the flavours of your favourite taquitos, burritos and tostadas in a summer salad. On a bed of lettuce or spinach, add black beans, chunks of avocado and tomato, grilled chicken thinly sliced red onions, fried tortilla pieces and fresh coriander. Serve with a lime wedge, salt and pepper and plain yoghurt or cream cheese.¡Buenprovecho!