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  • Writer's pictureMerrow Savouries

Longer salad days...

As we write this article, it is a glorious warm sunny afternoon and our family are having a barbecue later.

Tom has marinated salmon fillets in a harissa paste, there are sticky honey and mustard chicken thighs, homemade burgers, sausages from the butcher and vegetable kebabs. Going to be yum…

At this time of year many of our menus include salads, dozens of different ones– but when it is ‘just family and ‘we are off duty’ - we like to keep those salads really simple but deliciouis.

Here are a few more of our simple and very quick ideas that you may like to try (Each idea serves about 4)

  • White Cabbage and Dill Coleslaw – shred equal amounts of white cabbage and carrots. Add lots of chopped fresh dill (the dried stuff wont work!) and about 8 small chopped cornichons or a single larger gherkin. Mix with a crème fraiche and a healthy dollop of a good mayonnaise. Check for seasoning! The salad may not need additional seasoning because of the gherkin – but to your own taste.

  • Simple Waldorf Salad (a far simpler version than served in the glorious Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York or even in Fawlty Towers) - chop 4 celery stalks and 2 red apples into similar size pieces. Add a handful of walnuts or roasted peanuts. Mix through with mayo or for a lighter option - with Greek yogurt or crème fraiche. Good with a quiche.

  • Carrot and Ginger Salad – grate about 440g of carrots. Add about 140g sultanas. Make a dressing by mixing 325ml of natural yogurt with the grated rind and juice of both a lemon and an orange. Grate a thumb size piece of fresh ginger or a piece from a jar of stem ginger in syrup. Pour dressing over the carrots and sultanas. Just before serving top with generous handful of your favourite nuts or even ‘salad toppers’ – a great invention that we used to stock up on every time we visited a farmer’s market but now is found in supermarkets.

  • Courgette and Fennel Salad – For something a little different -Use a mandolin to thinly slice 2 courgettes and a medium fennel bulb. Add 4 chopped spring onions. Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice into a clean jam jar, seasoning and a good pinch of caster sugar. Shake well with the lid on tightly!! – Pour over the courgettes, fennel and spring onions. Decorate with the fennel fronds.

  • New Potato Salads – Golly we could write pages on variations of potato salad – but one favourite is simply to boil them (preferably Jersey Royals) until just tender. Meanwhile melt butter in a microwave or in a small pan. Allow the potatoes and butter to cool a little and then pour the melted butter over the potatoes. Add lots of chopped fresh chives and mint or the love it or loathe it, coriander (although not everyone in our family likes the taste of ‘soap’ with their potatoes!) Alternatively, add finely chopped red onions and celery to the cool potatoes and stir through with a good mayonnaise. Or back to the dill and gherkins – add these 2 to new potatoes with chopped red onion.

All these dishes can be prepared in advance. So now your only choice is to serve fresh or to serve cold from the fridge - nice and fresh with barbecue meats. Maybe even with a crisp glass of rosé.

Hope these help.


Sue and Tom

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