Summer salads

The heat is on in Australia and we’re dusting off the salad bowls and enjoying the fresh, crunchy vegetables of spring and summer.

It’s my favourite time of year – not just for the warmth and the sunshine, but also the fresh food.

I love the comfort foods of winter but I always feel healthier with the lightness of summer food and salad is my favourite way to eat vegetables.

Two of the all-time favourites – standards for all our family BBQs – are potato salad and my rocket/parmesan salad.

As promised in Wednesday’s 1 Astonishing Ingredient Makes Beautiful Turquoise Jewellery post, I’m sharing with you a potato recipe you can actually eat.

First let me fulfil last Monday’s promise in Paint a Picture – Are You Up For It?

In that post, I promised to update you on my September challenge Growing a Veggie Garden.

I’m happy to say this year has been our most successful, and while we will never make it to farmer status we are enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of our labours.

salad picture

The older Goddesses love collecting food from the vegetable garden. This is such a good activity for them. Find out why in 7 Reasons You Need to be Gardening With Kids.

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The Goddesses are loving the food garden produce

 

POTATO SALAD

I first started making this one about 30 years ago after tasting in on a cruise and asking for the recipe. This potato salad is the ultimate comfort food for summer. The secret is to keep it simple and not use too many ingredients. This has only four. Make sure you use a good quality mayonnaise – it really makes a difference.

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Four ingredients for a delicious potato salad

Serve 8 – 10

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 potatoes
  • 4 – 5 eggs
  • Good quality full egg mayonnaise
  • 2 -3 shallots
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD

  • Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes about 2 ½ – 3 cm (around an inch) cubes
  • Put into a pot of cold water and bring to the boil and cook for 5 – 8 minutes (the time will vary depending on what kind of potatoes you use and the size you cut them. Test frequently with a fork. You want them to be tender, but not soft).
  • When cooked, drain and rinse under cold water and drain again.
  • Meanwhile, boil the eggs for 8 – 10 minutes until hard. Rinse under cold water (to stop the cooking process) and leave to cool.
  • Place potatoes in large bowl.
  • Peel and dice eggs and add to potatoes.
  • Add about 2 tbsps. mayonnaise (be careful not to drown the salad)
  • Finely cut shallots and add to salad with salt and pepper to taste.

I think the biggest secret to success for any green salad is the dressing you use. I never buy store bought dressings as I can virtually taste the preservatives in them. Read on for my delicious rocket/parmesan salad and homemade dressing recipe.

TAMURIA’S ROCKET/PARMESAN SALAD

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Rocket/parmesan salad – note the beautiful Goddess grown nasturtium flowers on top. Check out 7 Reasons You Need to be Gardening With Kids

Serves 8 – 10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 –  15 minutes (for bacon)

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 grams rocket
  • 400 grams baby spinach
  • Large handful pine nuts – lightly toasted
  • 250 grams bacon – diced and cooked until crispy
  • 1 avocado – sliced
  • ½ cup shaved parmesan

Sometimes I add roasted red capsicum and/or sliced red onion depending on which family members (if any) are sharing this, as they all have different preferences.

I tend to toast the pine nuts and cook the bacon way in advance, sometimes the day before, and store everything separately until putting together at the last minute to serve.

TAMURIA’S SALAD DRESSING

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup virgin olive oil
  • 2tbls white wine vinegar
  • Pinch brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Pinch each of dried basil and oregano
  • 1 tbsp. lemon or lime juice
  • ½ tsp. fish sauce
  • Pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Pour all into an airtight container and shake well. Drizzle a little onto any salad.

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Happy eating and have a gleeful week, Tamuria