It may not be obvious, but it’s officially summer and time to tuck into all those lovely leaves and fresh colourful salad favourites.
A salad in November might be just a bit on the side, but in July it’s a fantastically easy, nutritious main dish.
Barbara Crick, who runs Emsworth Cookery School from her home, says: ‘It’s this time of year when people really want to make the most of their allotments and gardens or get good value for money by buying seasonal produce.’
As well as the most popular salad ingredients, like rocket, tomatoes and cucumber, she suggests a wild rice salad, with regular white rice, darker wild rice, spring onions and cranberries.
‘Or how about a coronation potato salad instead of coronation chicken? Boil the potatoes and mix them with half mayonnaise and plain yoghurt and mix in curry powder,’ suggests Barbara.
She also says making a dressing is quick, easy and better than buying expensive ready-made products.
‘Use three parts oil to one part white wine vinegar and then just add herbs – fresh basil, thyme and parsley. Or a good oil for children is rapeseed oil as it has omega 3 and 6. That’s what you find in fish, which is a bit of brain food. Brilliant if they’ve got exams.’
There are plenty of other options for a taste of the summer, like this garden salad from lovebeetroot.co.uk
Summer garden salad of traditional beetroot, radish, celery, leaves, spring onions, with smoked trout fillets
· What you’ll need:
For the horseradish cream dressing:
3 tbsp creme fraiche
3 tbsp greek yogurt
1-2 tbsp horseradish sauce, to taste
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Small bunch chives, snipped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
· For the salad:
3 generous handfuls of mixed salad leaves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 packs traditional cooked beetroot, sliced
A bunch of radishes, sliced finely
A head of celery, sliced finely
A small bunch spring onions, finely chopped
4 smoked trout fillets
· What to do:
1. Make the horseradish cream dressing by mixing everything in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
2. Toss the salad leaves in a little extra virgin olive oil and divide between four dishes. Scatter over the beetroot, radishes, celery and spring onions.
3. Finally, top each with a trout fillet and a generous dollop of dressing. Serve immediately.