Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Best Spring/Summer Salads

Salads can be healthy, satisfying meals on their own or perfect accompaniments to main dishes. Whatever sort of salad you're after, Taste have got a great selection of salad recipes guaranteed to please. Here are our favourites…


Ingredients (serves 6)
600g butternut pumpkin, deseeded, peeled, cut into wedges
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs honey, extra
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 x 150g pkt baby spinach leaves
1 x 75g pkt toasted pine nuts

1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss until the pumpkin is well coated. Place in a single layer on the lined tray. Bake, turning once during cooking, for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with the sesame seeds. Return to oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the seeds are lightly toasted. Remove from oven and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
2. Combine the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, mustard and extra honey in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the pumpkin, spinach and pine nuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and gently toss until just combined. Serve immediately.


Ingredients (serves 6)
200g sourdough baguette, cut into 1cm cubes
olive oil cooking spray
6 rashers rindless bacon, chopped
1 large cos lettuce
50g parmesan cheese, shaved  

Caesar dressing
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, chopped
4 anchovies, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil

1. Make Caesar dressing Place egg yolks, mustard, garlic, anchovy and vinegar in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add oil until dressing thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Preheat oven to 200°C. Arrange bread on a large, flat baking tray. Spray with oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss bread pieces gently to coat, spraying with more oil if necessary. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden. Set aside to cool completely.
3. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add bacon. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until bacon is crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel.
4. Tear lettuce leaves into 3cm pieces and place in a large bowl. Add bacon and croutons. Pour dressing over salad. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Top with parmesan. Serve. 


Ingredients (serves 4)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 x 400g cans brown lentils, drained, rinsed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
80g baby spinach leaves
650g chicken breast fillets, trimmed
1/2 cup reduced-fat tzatziki dip, to serve

1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add lentils and red wine vinegar. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until lentils are heated through. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in spinach. Season with pepper.
2. Wipe frying pan clean with paper towel. Add remaining oil to the pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side or until just cooked through. Transfer to a board. Stand for 3 minutes.
3. Thickly slice chicken. Add to lentil mixture and toss to combine. Spoon salad into serving bowls. Serve with tzatziki.


Ingredients (serves 4)
4 single chicken breast fillets
2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthways, thinly sliced diagonally
1 bunch baby pak choy, leaves separated, finely shredded
110g (2 cups) trimmed bean sprouts
1 bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked
125ml (1/2 cup) sweet chilli sauce
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1 x 100g pkt Chang's Crunchy Noodles

1. Bring a large deep frying pan of water to the boil over high heat. Add the chicken and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Drain. Transfer to a plate. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, combine the cucumber, baby pak choy, bean sprouts, coriander and mint in a large bowl. Whisk together the sweet chilli sauce and lime juice in a small jug.
3. Finely shred the chicken. Add the chicken and noodles to the cucumber mixture. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss until well combined. Serve immediately.

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