Once a limp, tired affair, the boring aside to the main dish, salad is now firmly centre stage, easily providing a mouthwatering lunch in its own right. With Spring heralding the first crop of peas snapped freshly from their pods, and crisp lettuces, there are a myriad ingredients to pep up your salad.
Here is a run down of the top 4 fabulous salads:
1. Cumin-roasted carrots and goat’s cheese. The effect of roasting on carrots is not to be underestimated. The humble carrot will be transformed into a candied wonder, with the addition of cumin and a drizzle of honey before roasting. They can then be partnered with tangy goat’s cheese, which will slowly melt over the carrots, oozing deliciousness. Simply add black pepper, lemon juice, dill and sea salt.
2. Green salad. It’s simple, effective and unfussy, lending it a centre stage role in the salad hierarchy. Try crisp lollo rosso lettuce, or curly frisee, and a scattering of fresh, early gem lettuces to provide a delicious crunch. To bring out the flavours, add a tasty vinaigrette using extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar and a dash of Dijon mustard. The beauty of this salad is its versatility, as it also works particularly well as a side salad accompaniment to fish and chicken.
3. Salad Nicoise. One of the world’s great salads, combining the Mediterranean flavours of anchovy or tuna, with fresh broad beans, eggs, tomatoes, cucumber and black olives. Add capers and freshly torn basil with in season sliced Jersey Royal potatoes to complete this amazing creation.
4. Insalata caprese. An absolute classic in its simplicity, the insalata caprese comprising of buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, is hard to beat. The trick is to choose the best quality, creamy buffalo mozzarella, and on the vine tomatoes so ripe, they’re fit to burst. Drizzle with a good olive oil and shred basil leaves over the finished salad. Add some twists of fresh, black pepper. It’s both satisfying and nutritious.