Side salads needn’t be a sad looking lettuce, cucumber and tomato combo. Jazz up your sides with these summery recipes along with a few tips and tricks.
Yes, raw courgette can be delicious thing! Using a potato peeler, peel the 2 raw courgettes into ribbons and put in a large bowl. Squeeze over the juice of a lemon, 2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle over a large pinch of salt. Add a handful of chopped fresh dill and give it a good mix (being careful not to break up the courgette ribbons). Once everything is nicely dressed, pour out onto a large platter and dot with chunks of goat’s cheese. Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and serve.
Raw broccoli slaw
Eating raw broccoli may seem odd but it’s no different than eating raw cabbage in a slaw and it’s very tasty. Prepare a head of broccoli by cutting it into bite-sized florets and discarding the chunky stalk. Pop in a large bowl with a quarter of a finely sliced red onion and put to one side. In a small frying pan, over a medium heat, infuse 1 clove of bashed garlic clove in a tbs of extra virgin olive oil until it starts to sizzle slightly. Take off the heat, discard the garlic clove and put the oil to one side.
In a smaller bowl make the dressing by whisking together 150g of Greek yogurt, the juice of half a lemon, 1 tsp of cider vinegar, 1 tsp of Dijon mustard and the warm garlic oil until combined. Season well with salt and pepper before pouring over the raw broccoli.Mix together along with a couple of handfuls of flaked almonds. Pour into a bowl, season and dust with smoked paprika. Finish with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve.
Mango and mozzarella
Mango and mozzarella make excellent bedfellows and a refreshing summer salad. Start by making the dressing by mixing the juice of a lime, 1 small garlic clove crushed and a tbs of extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Chop the mango into chunks and finely chop 2 spring onions, fresh coriander, half a deseeded red chilli and mix them together in a large bowl along with the dressing.Wash and chop 1 gem lettuce and add to the other ingredients and mix well. Drain 2 balls of mozzarella and tear into pieces with your fingers and add them to the salad. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes.
Not quite ready for raw broccoli and exotic fruit in your salad? Try adding a bit of texture by sprinkling over a handful of seeds or some chopped nuts. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and pine nuts are a good option as they’re mild in flavour but add a nice bit of bite. You could also try including grains and pulses to make your salads more substantial. Chickpeas and kidney beans work well as do grains such as couscous and rice. Freshly chopped herbs can be a fragrant addition along with flavoured oils used in dressings. So, jazz up those side salads and have a party why don’t you!
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