Spring is here in the Northern Hemisphere in all it’s sunshine and shower filled glory and our thoughts turn to lighter food and the salad starts to come into it’s own. As every gentleman should know that some fantastic ingredients come into season around now and these can make some fabulous salads.
Yes, a Gentleman should both eat and make salads! Not only for the health benefits but also for the taste. It is great to get that burst of fresh flavour into your life and indeed mouth. Enjoy these 3 very easy but different Spring Salads. – NB -Food Photos to be added soon.
Twisted Greek Salad
The basic Greek Salad is a classic accompaniment of meals across the Mediterranean. It is dish that will always be ordered with almost any meal if I am in Greece. It is simple to make and goes with almost anything. I have made a few changes to this tried and tested stalwart to give it a bit of zip and ready for spring.
6 x Salad Tomatoes
1 x Medium Cucumber
4 x Radishes
200g of Cheese – you can use the classic Feta or for the twisted version Manchego
1 x red apple
Optional – Pitted Olives
Lemon Juice – 1 whole Lemon
Salt & Pepper
Oregano (preferably fresh)
Dried Chilli Flakes
This is one of the easiest Salads to make as all you need to is chop the ingredients place the in a large bowl, dress them and then toss the salad and serve.
First, chop the cucumber into cube sized pieces. Next chop the radishes, after top and tailing them, into quarters and into the bowl. Core the apple and then chop into similar size pieces as the cucumber. Dice the cheese into similar size pieces as the apple & cucumber. Finally, chop the tomatoes, once again into similar size pieces, then mix up all the ingredients gently.
Suited Chef Tip – When chopping tomatoes a serrated blade works a treat, unless your knife is razor sharp.
This is not a pre-mixed dressing but one added as you go. Firstly, pour over the Olive Oil, make sure it is a really good lash of it, be generous. And the Juice of one whole Lemon and salt and pepper to taste, then add your fresh Oregano about 8-10 small leaves if fresh and two good pinches if it is the dried variety. Mix the whole lot well but Gently. Just before serving sprinkle a few (and I mean a few) chilli flakes over the top and a handful of olives.
Lamb or a good meaty fish such as Tuna or Swordfish
Warm Spring Greens
This warm salad is a vibrant green and a wonderfully different set of tastes and textures, topped off with my legendary classic french dressing!
1 pack of Asparagus
1 pack of Spring Onions (Scallions)
1 medium pack (about 150g) of Fresh Peas
4 small Bok Choy
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lime Juice of 1 Lime
Salt & Pepper
White Wine Vinegar
You will need to blanch most of the ingredients, So firstly get a large bowl with cold water and place that to one side. Then get a pan of Boiling water on the go whilst you prepare the vegetables.
Firstly, the asparagus, break the woody ends off. This should be easy by just gently bending at the junction and they should snap easily. Next the Bok Choy, all you need to do is remove damaged leaves and then slice off the tip of bottom of the vegetable.
Then place the asparagus, bok choy and Peas into the boiling water. Whilst this boils for the next 2 minutes, you can clean and dice the Spring Onions.
Once the 2 minutes are up remove all the items from the boiling water, draining them. Then place them immediately into the bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Then remove and drain and place with spring onions into your serving dish.
Now for the Dressing. Using a smaller bowl but not too small as you will be whisking the dressing. Place a good healthy amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil into the bowl, think like you are pouring a glass of wine! Add the juice of one lime, a teaspoon of Dijon Mustard, a teaspoon of honey, one large clove of chopped garlic, then salt and pepper to taste. Finally the White Wine Vinegar, this is where most people go wrong they over vinegar! So think shot glass of the stuff and no more, you can add to it if you think the taste doesn’t come through. Then whisk vigorously so the ingredients combine and emulsify.
Pour the dressing onto the greens, toss all together and then serve immediately.
Chicken or Pork, preferably with a little spicy marinated one.
Salty Sweet Salad
This one I discovered through a great friend, I have adapted it slightly but it is one of my favourite spring/summer salads. You would think it wouldn’t work but boy does it! It is also remarkably simple.
1 Medium Watermelon
400g of Greek Feta
1 large packet of Rocket (Arugula)
A Handful of Blueberries
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
Fresh Black Pepper
Take a large bowl and then dice the Feta cheese into about thumb sized pieces placing them in the bowl. Then chop your watermelon into similar sized pieces.
Suited Chef’s Tip – If you want the best way to chop Watermelon then watch the expert here.
Then finally add the rocket. The dressing like the first one as you just add the ingredients to the bowl and then toss. Firstly add the Olive Oil, I would suggest 3 good glugs, the juice of the Lemon and a good few twists of Black Pepper. There is no need to add salt as the Feta is very salty and extra salt will just draw the water faster from the Watermelon.
Toss and before serving sprinkle the handful of Blueberries on the top. You will need to serve this immediately.
This will serve 6-8 as a side dish, so if there is less of you, just halve the ingredients as this salad does not hold well.
As a side salad for a Barbecue
Enjoy your Spring & you Salads!