IT'S THE WEEKEND: Food and drink - Salad recipes to put the crunch in your summer

South Wales Argus: TASTY: Lime zest beetroot Caerphilly  pecan salad with mixed leaves and a lime and honey dressing TASTY: Lime zest beetroot Caerphilly pecan salad with mixed leaves and a lime and honey dressing

Salads are the quintessential summer food to enjoy in these July days as the sun is hot and evenings are long. Crisp dishes packed full of colour, fresh flavours and healthy, seasonal ingredients are perfect for a light meal, so try layering up the flavours and textures to create irresistible meals that you’ll love all summer long.

Tenderstem brocolli, Rye Kernel and Tarragon Salad

Recipe by www.tenderstem.co.uk

This salad is based on the Nordic diet, which focuses on grains, especially rye, and a characteristic love of aniseed flavours, hence the use of tarragon. This recipe uses traditional Västerbotten cheese but you can also use feta cheese, which is widely used in modern Scandinavian cuisine.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes (plus overnight soaking)

Cooking time: 25 minutes

You will need:

For the salad:

300g Tenderstem

150g Västerbotten (or you can use Feta cheese)

100g rye kernels/grain, boiled

3 small spring onions, roughly chopped

1/2 red pepper, finely sliced

Handful of chopped fresh tarragon

Salt

Pepper

For the vinaigrette:

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1/4 red chilli, finely chopped

What to do:

Soak the grains for 24 hours, then boil until just tender (about 22 minutes). Drain and leave to cool (alternatively you can use ready-to-eat quinoa.)

Mix together all the ingredients for the vinaigrette.

Blanch the Tenderstem in boiling water until just tender (around 3-4 minutes.)

Add all the salad ingredients, including the Tenderstem to a bowl and crumble in your chosen cheese. Season. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad just before serving.

Grilled chicken can be added for a meatier salad.

Tip: If you can’t get hold of whole rye grains, you can substitute with boiled wheat berries, quinoa or other preferred grains.

Lime Zest Beetroot, Caerphilly & Pecan Salad with Mixed Leaves, Lime & Honey Dressing

Recipe by www.lovebeetroot.co.uk

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 5 minutes

You’ll need:

for the dressing:

Juice 1 lime

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tsp honey

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the salad:

80g bag Fresh & Naked leaves

180g lime zest beetroot, cut into wedges

100g caerphilly cheese, crumbled

50g pecan nuts

What to do:

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lime juice, mustard and honey. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking as you go, until the dressing has emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Divide the leaves between 2 plates, and scatter over the beetroot and caerphilly.

Add the pecans to a small frying pan and set over a medium heat. Toast for a couple of minutes until they smell lovely and nutty. Tip on to a board and roughly chop, then scatter over the salad.

Finally, give the dressing a final whisk and drizzle over the salad. Serve immediately.

Tip: lime zest beetroot can be purchased from Waitrose during the summer, or choose a different flavour from the infused beetroot ready-to-eat range, which is available in major retailers and includes honey and ginger and pink peppercorn.

Pink Lady apple, Sweet Eve Strawberry, Chicken and Walnut Salad, with Quinoa and Pink Peppercorn Dressing

Recipe by www.pinkladyapples.co.uk

Light and easy to digest, this deliciously nutritious and flavoursome salad will set you up nicely for a summer afternoon run. It’s brimming with a colourful variety of ‘rainbow’ foods, each colour containing different ‘superfood’ phytochemicals and antioxidants which support the immune system, help prevent cancers and heart disease and boost both mood and metabolism. The runner’s new best friend, quinoa, gives an extra bang for your buck, providing not only a low fat, sustaining carbohydrate but also all eight of the essential amino acids, fibre and important minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and iron. The pink peppercorns too, have a purpose greater than their fragrant, sweet and delicate flavour, they can also fight against infections and relieve muscle stiffness and aches.

Serves: 4 as a starter (2 as a main course)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

You’ll Need:

25g walnuts

70g quinoa

2 free range skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 small Pink Lady apples, unpeeled, cored and sliced

200g Sweet Eve strawberries

75g bag of watercress

For the dressing:

1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 heaped tsp pink peppercorns, lightly crushed in a pestle and mortar

Pinch of salt

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C (fan) gas mark 4. Lay the walnuts on a baking tray and lightly roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.

Cook the quinoa according to the pack instructions. When cooked, transfer to a sieve and rinse with cold water. Set aside to drain completely.

Lay the chicken breasts out on a large chopping board and, using a heavy rolling pin, bash them to flatten them out. Rub the chicken all over with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan to hot and griddle the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked through. Set aside to rest while you prepare the salad.

In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.

Gently turn the Pink Lady apple slices over in a little of the dressing to prevent them going brown.

Wash the strawberries and remove the stalks. Slice thinly.

Slice the chicken breast.

With your hands, toss the watercress together with the quinoa and a tablespoon of the dressing, then arrange on a large flat serving plate, or divide between individual plates. Scatter over the apple slices, the strawberries, the walnuts and the slices of chicken. Drizzle over the remaining dressing and serve.

Prawn, Shallot, Tenderstem brocolli and Freekeh Salad

Recipe by www.tenderstem.co.uk

Freekeh has become a popular grain due to its ease of preparation and great nutritional qualities. This makes a deliciously simple supper full of goodness and flavour.

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

You’ll need:

150g freekeh or bulgur wheat

1tbsp butter

8 shallots, peeled and quartered

200ml vegetable stock

200g tenderstem broccoli

150g cooked tiger or king prawns

Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped

1 lemon

What to do:

Soak the freekeh or bulgur wheat in cold water for 5 minutes, drain and rinse under running water, allow to drain well. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the shallots and sauté over a medium heat for approx 5 minutes until softened.

Add the freekeh and vegetable stock, simmer gently for 10-20 minutes, the freekeh needs a little longer and has a slightly chewy, nutty texture and taste.

Add the tenderstem, cover and cook for a few minutes, turn the heat off and allow everything to steam under the lid in the residual heat for another 5 minutes, then leave to cool a little.

Stir in the prawns, parsley and a good squeeze of lemon juice, season to taste.

Tip: Delicious served with a spoonful of natural yoghurt or crème fraiche and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts.

Shallot, Cucumber and Tomato Bread Salad

Recipe by www.UKshallot.com

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 5-7 minutes

You’ll need:

½ cucumber

2 Romano peppers

12 cherry tomatoes

6 Echalion (banana) shallots

2 slices of ciabatta/ focaccia

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

100ml good olive oil

8 basil leaves

What to do:

Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthways and remove the seeds with a teaspoon. Cut into bite sized chunks about 1cm squares. Cut the peppers into the same sized pieces as the cucumber. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.

Cut the shallots in half-length ways, remove the ‘leaves’ of the shallot, then cut into bite sized pieces of about 1 cm squares.

Cut the bread in to bite sized pieces, place on an oven tray with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper then bake at 200c for 5-7 minutes or until just toasted then remove.

Slice the peeled garlic very, very thinly, place into a bowl and add the vinegar and oil.

Place all of the ingredients in to a mixing bowl and mix together well. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add some finely shredded basil. Then place in to a serving dish.

Sophie Michell’s Sweet Eve Strawberry, Fig and Rosewater Salad

Sophie says: “This is a vibrant, healthy, stunning salad full of modern flavours. The fennel, radish and mint really make the Sweet Eve strawberries and pomegranate pop. Perfect on its own or served with a grilled chicken breast to make a low fat lunch.”

Recipe by www.sweetevestrawberry.co.uk

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: n/a

You’ll need:

For the syrup

100g caster sugar

100ml water

1 tsp rosewater

To serve

500g Sweet Eve strawberries

4 figs

200ml of greek yoghurt

What to do:

Firstly make the syrup by combining the sugar and water. Bring it to the boil and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Then take off the heat and add the rosewater. Cool completely.

Next, take the strawberries and hull them, leave them whole and arrange on a platter or large plate. Quarter the figs and arrange prettily on top. Finally, sprinkle over the rosewater syrup. Serve with the greek yoghurt on the side.

Sweet Eve Strawberry, Mango, Pistachio and Marsala fruit salad

Recipe by www.sweetevestrawberry.co.uk

Serves 4 people

Preparation time: 15 minutes

You’ll need:

200g Sweet Eve strawberries

150g shelled pistachio nuts

2 ripe mangoes

2 ripe peaches

Caster sugar for sprinkling

A small glass of Marsala, or sherry, or 4 tbsps rosewater.

What to do:

Hull and finely slice the strawberries. Toast the pistachio nuts until slightly browned and releasing their aroma (be careful not to burn the nuts). Finely chop the toasted pistachio nuts.

Peel and finely slice the mango, finely slice the peaches and place into 4 individual serving bowls. Mix in the strawberry slices and sprinkle a little bit of caster sugar on each serving. Pour a little Marsala, or sherry or rosewater on each portion.

Top each serving with toasted pistachio nuts.

Tenderstem broccoli, Horseradish, Pink Lady Apple and Toasted Hazelnut Salad

Recipe by www.tenderstem.co.uk

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 1 minute

You’ll need:

50g natural yoghurt (Yeo Valley is best)

25g creamed horseradish sauce

1 tbsp Rapeseed oil

20g toasted hazelnuts

1 Pink Lady apple

16 stems Tenderstem broccoli

1 tsp Rapeseed oil

A pinch of sea salt

100g Watercress

What to do:

Place the yoghurt, horseradish sauce and 1 tbls of rapeseed oil in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Crush the hazelnuts into chunks and set aside.

Core the Pink Lady apple and slice thinly.

Heat 1 tsp of rapeseed oil in a medium sauce pan until very hot and then add the Tenderstem. Immediately cover with a lid and shake it well to turn over the florets.

Cook on full heat for 30 seconds and then shake again.

Cook for a further 30 seconds and remove from the heat. The Tenderstem should have crisp, golden brown bits and be vibrant green. The texture should be al dente. If it is still not gone golden return to the heat in 15 seconds bursts until it is ready.

Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and toss one more time.

Place a pile of watercress on each plate, lay the Tenderstem over the top and sprinkle the apple and hazelnuts over the top. Dress generously with the horseradish, yoghurt sauce and serve whilst still hot.

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