It’s too darn hot and frankly who feels like cooking? My blogger friends have come to the rescue with some quick and easy summer salads you’ll be able to throw together in minutes.
There’s plenty of ideas here so why not indulge in some fresh seasonal produce which will do you – and the family – good.
Quick and easy summer salads
Just click the link to be taken straight to the recipe…
Smoked Salmon Nicoise with Marks & Spencer – Leanne at A Slice Of My Life
Smoked Salmon fillet combined with olives, tomatoes, Cannellini beans, fine French beans, Pembrokeshire Early potatoes and a honey and mustard based dressing, all whipped up in around 15 minutes. Less, if you’ve got a couple of already boiled eggs in the fridge.
INGREDIENTS: [serves 2]
For the salad:
50g fine French beans
80g Santa tomatoes cut in half
2g fresh parsley roughly chopped
150g smoked salmon fillet
50g tinned washed cannellini beans
2 fresh medium eggs
280g Pembrokeshire Early potatoes, washed and sliced
200g mixed leaf salad
For the dressing:
1tbsp olive oil
1tsp wholegrain mustard
Squeeze lemon juice
1tbsp white wine vinegar
pinch cracked black pepper
2g fresh basil
1tbsp clear honey
Whisk dressing ingredients and set aside.
Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch fine beans for three minutes before refreshing in ice cold water.
Cook potatoes until tender and allow to cool before slicing.
Soft boil an egg and cool in a saucepan under cold running water.
Once chilled peel egg and cut in half.
In a large mixing bowl gently toss tomatoes, the cannellini beans and the French beans, olives, potatoes, parsley & dressing.
Divide tossed leaves between two large bowls.
Flake peppered salmon on top and carefully place the soft boiled egg on top.
Leanne is a photographer, blogger and mother from the South Wales Valleys, blogging about her family’s loves, likes and life in general at www.asliceofmylifewales.com.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad – Cathryn at Cardiff Mummy Says
As Cathryn says, this recipe features super healthy butternut squash full of protein, iron and vitamin C. It also has plenty of feta, olives and pine nuts.
INGREDIENTS: [serves 2]
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp of dried sage, or a handful of fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 bag of baby spinach leaves
1 block of feta cheese, either cut into chunks or crumbled
a handful of pine nuts
a handful of black olives, sliced
extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to drizzle
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, gas mark 4.
Put the butternut squash chunks into a large roasting dish, drizzle with the olive oil, crushed garlic and sage, and roast for about 45 minutes, turning once mid-way through.
When the squash is almost done, steam the spinach leaves for a couple of minutes. You want them to be warm, not wilted, so be careful not to overdo it. Alternatively, place them in the microwave for around 30 seconds.
Put the leaves into bowls, add in the roasted squash and a handful of pine nuts (toasted if you wish, by dry frying them for a minute or so), the cheese, the sliced olives, the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Cathryn writes Cardiff Mummy Says is a lifestyle blog for parents living in Cardiff and beyond. She is the mother of three children aged six and under and a journalist and editor with more than 15 years of experience.
Cool Citrus Coleslaw – Debbie at My Boys Club.co.uk
I suspect the eating is a bit more adventurous in Debbie’s household as she says they have already enjoyed this summer’s slaw with jackfruit burgers, carrot and chickpea burgers, aubergine katsu curry, with mushroom quesadillas and as part of a family pizza night.
This Cool Citrus Coleslaw would be a great accompaniment to a traditional green salad or indeed any main dish.
Ieuan’s ‘fear of green’ is going to have to be conquered!
For the salad:
1/2 red cabbage
1 red onion
1 clove of garlic chopped
pinch of chilli flakes
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Finely slice the onion, shred the cabbage, grate the carrot and mix all these together
Add the chopped garlic and chilli flakes to the oil and lemon juice together and shake before pouring over the vegetables. Mix gently, but well.
Place in fridge for 30 minutes to let the flavours combine before serving.
Debbie’s blog www.myboysclub.co.uk is a family lifestyle, food and travel blog about enjoying life with her family of boys in North East England and on their travels.
Strawberry & Feta Salad – Wendy at Daisies & Pie
I recently posted about making the most of the strawberry season and Wendy’s salad certainly fits the bill nicely. This one looks as good as it tastes.
1 bag mixed salad leaves (such as rocket, watercress and spinach)
200g strawberries sliced into quarters
60g feta cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
Scatter the salad leaves onto the plates
Scatter over the strawberries and crumble over the feta cheese
Make up a quick salad dressing by mixing the balsamic vinegar with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle over a little dressing and serve.
Wendy’s blog www.daisiesandpie.co.uk is a family food, home and lifestyle guide for real people, offering lots of easy tips, cheats and timesaving ideas.
Avocado, Bacon & Chickpea Salad – Charlotte at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen
|Image credit: Charlotte Oates, Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen|
The UK has apparently gone ‘avocado mad‘ so it only seemed right to include this gem of a recipe from Charlotte. Plus we always stock up on Chickpeas when we go to Costco so the Husband will be pleased that we can make a small dent in my slight over-stocking.
Charlotte describes this as “a lovely combination of sweet cherry tomatoes, salty bacon, sharp lime and slightly bitter toasted sesame seeds, all pulled together by the super nutritious chickpeas.
It also has the benefit of being high in fibre keeping you fuller for longer and less likely to snack. Might keep me away from the Welshcakes!
INGREDIENTS: [serves 2]
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 rashers streaky bacon
60g cherry tomatoes (roughly 6)
juice of half a lime
Drain and rinse the chickpeas (1 can) and place into a large bowl. Season with salt.
Roughly chop the avocado into bite-size chunks. Chop the streaky bacon (2 rashers) into thin strips and cut the cherry tomatoes (60g) in half. Add the chopped avocado to the bowl of chickpeas.
Heat a small frying pan on a medium heat, add the sesame seeds (1 tbsp) and cook for a couple of minutes until they have just turned light brown, occasionally shake the pan to help them cook evenly (do not overcook the sesame seeds as it will give them a bitter flavour).
Once browned, remove the sesame seeds from the heat and add to the chickpeas and avocado.
Add the streaky bacon (2 rashers) to the pan and fry until cooked and crisp around the edges.
Towards the end of the cooking time, add the cherry tomatoes and fry for about 30 seconds to soften slightly.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the bacon and tomatoes to the chickpeas, avocado and sesame seeds.
Squeeze over the juice of half a lime and toss to thoroughly mix.
Charlotte’s blog www.charlotteslivelykitchen.com is a blog dedicated to her experiments with food, recipe creation and cooking delicious and (mostly) healthy food for her family.
Low Cal Chicken Salad Made In Minutes – Nicole at The Mum Reviews.co.uk
|Image credit: Nicole Edmondson|
A simple but tasty low cal salad you can put together in minutes. Ideal for those weekend teas when you’re rushing to sort out homework and ironing and have forgotten to get something out of the freezer again!
1 skinless chicken breast, pre-cooked
A large handful of broccoli or other leftover green vegetables
5 cherry tomatoes or half a normal tomato
1 spring onion or a sprinkling of normal onion
About 2 inches of cucumber
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
A sprinkling of chilli sauce to taste
Use your hands to pull the chicken breast into thin strips, then throw it in your salad bowl.
Add your green veg. It’s best to have smallish bite-sized pieces so you don’t have to make much effort once you’re eating.
Halve the cherry tomatoes (or dice your larger tomato) and throw that in. Dice up the spring onion – chuck it in. Dice your cucumber.
In a little bowl, vigorously stir together your fish sauce, lime juice and sesame oil. Then pour it over your salad and toss it up.
Sprinkle your chilli sauce on top if you’re into that sort of thing. You can also add salt & pepper, but fish sauce is already salty, so taste it first.
Nicole’s blog www.themumreviews.co.uk is a blog about doing stuff as a mum and then writing about it!
Stilton Cheese And Red Cabbage Salad With Apple – Eva at Captainbobcat.com
|Image credit: Eva Katona|
This looks fantastic, doesn’t it? Not everyone likes the pungent aroma and strong taste of Stilton but the crunch of the cabbage and the sweetness of the apple combine wonderfully.
1/4 red cabbage shredded
2 sweet apples cored and chopped
150g Stilton cheese crumbled
2 sticks of celery sliced
100g walnuts roughly chopped and toasted
3 tbsp of olive oil
freshly ground pepper to taste
Remove the outer layer of the cabbage before cutting and shredding it.
Slice everything and add them to a bowl. Chop the apples the last, so they don’t go brown. (Once they are covered in olive oil they won’t.)
Eva says that she never adds salt to this salad as the cheese gives a salty taste.
Serve with wholemeal toast and butter.
www.captainbobcat.com is written by former hotelier and travel expert Eva Katona. She writes about her journeys with her son, nicknamed Captain Bobcat and offers great advice on baby, toddler and family friendly travel.
Super Summer Salad – Hayley at Devon Mama
|Image credit: Hayley Jones|
Another gorgeous summer salad which is so much of a meal Hayley even suggests substituting it for your Sunday roast if you want to feel particularly virtuous.
For the salad
Sun-dried tomatoes (a handful)
Mixed lettuce leaves (whichever you have in the fridge!)
Half a red capsicum pepper
Half a yellow capsicum pepper
For the croutons
1 slice of white bread (slightly stale suits this to perfection!)
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Sea salt to taste
For the dressing
50ml olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I prefer white but regular is fine)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Making the croutons
Remove the crusts from your slice of bread and cube the bread into roughly 1cm cubes
Place your cubes into a container (I prefer a freezer bag for ease but anything with a lid is fine)
Add the oil and shake well to ensure complete coverage
Spread the bread cubes onto a baking sheet and sprinkle sea salt over them
Bake at 180º for approximately 10 minutes, checking and shaking regularly to ensure even coverage.
Remove, allow to cool and store for up to 1 week.
Assembling your salad
Rinse and tear the lettuce into small pieces and place in the bowl
Quarter your cucumber slices, halve the cherry tomatoes and thinly slice the capsicum peppers before mixing them together and adding them to the lettuce.
Place all your dressing ingredients into a bowl and stir well to mix.
Add your dressing to taste (you won’t need all of it) and using your hands mix with the salad to ensure even coverage.
Scatter feta cubes and garden cress over your mixed salad
Pat the sun-dried tomatoes lightly with a kitchen towel to remove excess oil and arrange these on the top
Finally, add your croutons and serve!
Hayley’s blog, Devon Mama is a parenting, food and lifestyle blog and Hayley describes herself as “a thirty year old mama, wife and recovering sleep addict”. Hayley worked as a company director prior to maternity leave but gave it all up after maternity leave to concentrate on raising her son – and blogging.
So there you have it – some wonderful quick and easy summer salads – and check out the girls’ blogs for more recipes and great advice by the ton.