Sensational Summer Salads
Ahhhhh there’s no denying it now – summer is here in the southern hemisphere and it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
When you’ve spent a solid day in the sunshine, the last thing you want to do is spend an evening slaving in the kitchen. Enter these fresh, light (and a little bit different) summer salads, perfect as a main with some crusty bread and good butter, or as a side at a BBQ or relaxed al fresco dinner. You’ll have to let us know which one is your favourite!
Pumpkin and Cannellini Salad with Haloumi and Kale
Just about everybody loves this sweet/salty combo of silky pumpkin and sharp, squidgy cheese – with a good dose of healthy kale and a tangy lemon dressing, you could eat it any time of day and never get bored!
500g pumpkin, sliced reasonably thickly, or cut into dice
250g haloumi, sliced
1 bunch kale, torn
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
1 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
Toasted pumpkin seeds
1. Heat a baking tray in a 200C oven for a couple of minutes, until hot. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to tray and add pumpkin, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 20-25 minutes until soft and golden.
2. While you’re waiting for the pumpkin, wash and then tear the kale into bite-size pieces. Dry and add to a large bowl with a tablespoon of the olive oil and a good pinch of flaky sea salt. Gently rub the olive oil into the kale until it starts to wilt, then arrange the kale in a serving bowl with cannellini beans.beans on a serving plate.
3. Pan-fry haloumi about 1 minute each side until golden brown. Add to kale and beans with the pumpkin (that you’ve let cool for about 10 minutes after cooking).
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle over maple syrup/honey, lemon juice, the rest of the olive oil and salt and pepper.
Greek-Style Risoni Salad
Such a good salad for feeding a crowd and for the more hearty appetites among us! Endlessly customisable with your favourite Greek ingredients – some fresh oregano would send it over the top!
- 1 box risoni, cooked according to packet directions
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper (be liberal with the salt!)
- 1.5 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup baby bocconcini, halved
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 Small lebanese cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives, roughly chopped
- 100g feta, crumbled
- 1 Large bunch basil, torn
1. In a large bowl, mix the cooked risoni with the red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Leave to cool. This will help the risoni absorb a little bit of the dressing.
2. Add the rest of your chopped veggies, and taste for seasoning. You’re likely to need a bit more salt, and a splash of vinegar.
3. Serve on fresh rocket and spinach with a cheeky couple of extra olives!
Japanese Potato Salad
For something a little left of centre, and if you’re looking for a change-up on a traditional potato salad. It’s super-easy to make, keeps well, and can be doubled (or tripled!) with no trouble.
4 large floury potatoes
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 small lebanese cucumber
1 small white or brown onion, thinly sliced
1/2 small carrot
1 egg, at room temperature
1 cup kewpie mayonnaise
1. Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes. Boil in salted water 15 minutes until soft. Drain and return the potatoes to the hot pan. Stir regularly over very low heat 2-3 minutes to dry the potatoes without burning.
2. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and season with salt and white pepper. Using a wooden spoon, roughly mash the potatoes, then whip vigorously for a few minutes until fluffy. Leave to cool to room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, peel the cucumber, leaving on a little peel for colour and texture. Cut in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Slice very thinly into half-moons. Combine the cucumber and onion and toss with a pinch of salt, then drain in a colander 15 minutes. Rinse off the salt under running water and dry on some paper towel.
4. Peel the carrot and thinly slice into half-moons. Boil in salted water 3-5 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside on paper towel to cool.
5. Bring a small pan of water to the boil. Add the egg and boil 8 minutes, then put under cold running water until cooled. When cooled, peel and chop.
6. Add the mayonnaise, carrot, cucumber and onion to the potato and whip vigorously with a wooden spoon. Stir in the egg. Is good either at room temperature or chilled.
Adapted from Adam Liaw.