Monday, 20 February 2012

Three Simple Salads

Have you ever been asked to a barbecue and thought it polite to ask "is there anything I can bring?" only to hear the dreaded reply: "no nothing really, just a salad." Just a salad! Yeah right. That person obviously has no idea how much work can go into making a salad. While he/she is turning sausages on the barbie (how hard can that be?), you're racking your brains for tasty combinations, chopping vegetables and whisking dressings, hoping all the while that it doesn't wilt before the sausages are ready.

Here are a few salads that might just get you out of trouble next time you're asked to "just throw a salad together".

Red and Yellow Pepper Salad
from Jill Dupleix's Simple Food
Serves 4

2 yellow and 2 red peppers
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons black olives, chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
few basil leaves

Heat the oven to 220 degrees C. Place the peppers in a foil-lined baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes, turning once or twice, until scorched.

Remove the peppers from the oven and place in a bowl, Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for about 10 minutes. Peel away the skin and remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into thick strips.

Arrange the pepper strips on a serving plate. Combine the olives, olive oil, sea salt and pepper, and drizzle over  the top, Scatter with basil leaves.

Grilled Zucchini Salad
from Jill Dupleix's Simple Food
Serves 4

6 zucchinis, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, halved
chopped dill

sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat a griddle pan on high. Brush the zucchini with oil and grill until lovely bar marks appear and they are cooked through. Grill the lemon until marks appear and it is caramelised. Arrange on a platter.

Whisk the dill, olive oil and lemon juice together and season well. Pour over the zucchini.

Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad
Serves 4

1 continental cucumber
4 large tomatoes (red and yellow if you can)
8 small radishes
50g feta
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Cut all the vegetables into bite-size pieces. Crumble over the feta. Whisk the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper together and pour over the salad.

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