As ‘Salad Season’ is HERE, I’ve got some quick new recipes and salad tips for you! It’s especially handy to have some fast ones up your sleeve for when the Sun graces us and you suddenly decide to invite half of the neighborhood round for a BBQ or a picnic in the park. Salads are often seen as boring and unsatisfying, so i’ve got lots of ideas for you below on how to make a salad special. They’re a great way of getting creative and using up what you’ve got and you can instantly wow guests with a sprinkling of nuts or seeds, dried of fresh fruit or just some fresh herbs from your windowsill.
The best type of salad is a crunchy, crispy one, oozing with different flavours and textures. A refreshing mixture of light yet hearty. If you need a little crunch, chop up some nuts and toss them through. I also like to play up my salad based on the weather. If it’s a chilly day, I will up the warmth ‘factor’ and throw some roasted veggies into the mix or toast some nuts and seeds to throw on top or even a just-cooked, just-right, oozing boiled egg. And when it’s a really hot day and I’ve got the BBQ going, grilling some avocado or a peach to work into the mix is a great addition!
It’s rare that I ever really follow a recipe when I’m throwing together a salad as I like to use up whatever I’ve got first. But here are some of my go-to’s for making a great salad when you might not have all of the ingredients:
- DRESSING TO GO – Always have a salad dressing ready to go. This can be a simple mix of extra virgin olive oil, lemon & apple cider vinegar. Or if you’ve been spanking a pomegranate for a nice fresh salad topping, keep the juices and add to your dressing.
- QUINOA OR LENTILS – I’ll usually cook a big pot of quinoa and keep it chilled in the fridge so I can bulk up any salad. Or stock up on a few BPA free tins of cooked lentils.
- FRESH HERBS – Invest in a few fresh herbs for your windowsill. Lovely fresh herbs like mint, coriander and parsley instantly bring life to a tired salad. I don’t know about you but I always struggle to keep basil plants alive! Rosemary, chives, oregano and thyme are especially easy to keep thriving.
- EGGS – Cook some boiled eggs. Just like the quinoa, I usually have some eggs ready in the fridge to top any salad.
- CRUNCH – Dry toast some nuts or seeds in a pan to bring out their flavour. My current favourites are hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and cashews but use whatever you’ve got!
Need a few salad recipes up your sleeve for your next party or perhaps something for dinner tonight and extra for lunch tomorrow? Try these simple quick ones:
Sesame Lime Chopped Salad
Greek Style Pasta Salad
Carrot & Apple Slaw
Halloumi & Courgette Ribbons Salad
Herb & Pak Choi Salad
For lots more salad inspo get your hands on my cookbook ‘Eat Happy’ or head to my website www.melissahemsley.com
Come and say hello on my Instagram and share your recipe pics with me @melissa.hemsley