Tomato Basil and Mozzarella Salad

Is there anything more exquisite than a Caprese salad? 

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No.

The key to this simple salad is to try and get the freshest ingredients you can find. Assorted fresh, local tomatoes are optimal, find some freshly grown basil, and definitely, definitely don’t skimp on the mozzarella. 

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Toss

-Assorted tomatoes, roughly chopped
-Torn fresh basil leaves
-Fresh mozzarella, or even better –Burrata cheese, torn

Drizzle 

Good quality, extra virgin oil

Finish 

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

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Kale and Tahini Rainbow Slaw

Toss

-Thinly sliced black kale (sometimes called black kale or lacinato kale)

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-Carrots (spiralised or peels)
-Thinly sliced red cabbage
-Radishes, cut into julienne slivers
-Thinly sliced fresh red chilli

Drizzle

Whisk a loose vinaigrette of tahini, (if you can only get thick tahini, thin it out with some cold water)  lemon  juice, a dash of olive oil, and some honey salt and pepper.

Top

Black and white sesame seeds, chia seeds.

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Roasted Tomato and Quinoa Super Seed Salad

For this recipe, you’re going to make your own sundried tomatoes but quickly, and in the oven. Start with about a dozen campari tomatoes, or another type, smallish to medium sized (not as small as cherry tomatoes) and halve them. Arrange them on a baking sheet, on some greaseproof paper, flesh side down. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, brown sugar and olive oil and allow to roast in the oven at medium-high temperature for at least an hour. Let as much of the moisture as possible leave the tomatoes so that they take on a shrunken and slightly blackened appearance. You can also dice some small shallot onions, into rounds and roast them along with the tomatoes.

Toss

-Some heaped handfuls of fresh rocket leaves
-The roasted tomatoes and onions, cooled off
-1/4 to 1/2 cup of cooked black or red quinoa, cooled off
-Sprouted mung beans
-Crumbled soft feta

Drizzle

Lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper

Sprinkle

Any seeds you’ve got in stock, pumpkin, sunflower, chia work best.

Finish

Crispy salad onions. (An absolute favourite of mine, and a compulsory pantry item. Find them near the salad dressing in most decent grocery stores or with the condiments in Asian grocery stores.)

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Pimp my Greek Chicken Salad

The ingredients for this salad are best arranged in stripey layers inside a large shallow bowl or serving platter. Even if you switch up some of the ingredients it’s good practice with this salad to pick ones that are brightly and differently coloured for optimal “wow” factor. 

Arrange

-Israeli couscous (also called “pearl” or “giant” couscous) cooked in boiling water, drained and kept warm in a covered pot if possible
-Feta cheese crumbled
-Cherry tomatoes, halved
-Cubed chunks of chicken, marinated in Moroccan harissa paste* and grilled
-Sliced red onion
-Chopped cucumber tossed with fresh mint leaves
-Chopped black olives

Drizzle

Olive oil & lemon juice and season with salt and pepper

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*If you can’t find harissa paste, you can make your own using tomato paste, and a combination of your favourite herbs and spices. Make sure it’s spicy!

 

 

Cretan Dakos Salad

I’m pretty sure Dakos salad is going to be the next big thing. It’s a bit like a Greek style Panzanella, using dry barley rusk crackers as croutons. 

Toss

-Sliced cucumbers
-Some gorgeous vibrant tomatoes
-Rusk Bread (Swedish Krisprolls is a good brand to use and are found easily in the cracker section of the grocery store) broken up into large chunks.
-Mixed leaves (spinach and rocket work well)
-Thinly sliced red onion
-Feta (but for this recipe I used fresh mozzarella instead, and that was also very very delicious)
-Some finely chopped flat leaf or curly parsley

Drizzle

-Extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Add

If you like, you can add some dried black olives, or even some capers

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Japanese Yuzu Slaw with Radish and Mango

Pile

Thinly sliced/julienned:
-Mango
-Radishes
-Assorted brightly coloured bell peppers
-Mangetous or sugar snap peas
-Spring onions

Drizzle

Japanese Yuzu*, sesame oil, honey, tiny splash of soya sauce

Top

Black or white sesame seeds

*Yuzu extract is the tart tasting juice of a Japanese citrus fruit –it’s been described as a sour mandarin. It’s not the easiest to find, unless you’re in an Asian grocery story. Otherwise you can use a combination of juices from oranges, lemons and limes. Try and get that mix of sour, tart and a little bit sweet.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Freekeh Tabouleh

A classic Tabouleh salad consists of bulgur wheat, loads of parsley, tomatoes and cucumber. It’s always delicious. But don’t be scared to jazz it up by replacing key ingredients and adding some luxurious treats. 

Toss

-1 cup of cooked freekeh (quinoa, couscous, or bulgur are all good for the base) rinsed and refreshed with cold water and sufficiently cooled off
-One large bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, rinsed and roughly chopped
-One whole head of cauliflower, cut into medium-sized florets, drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and slow roasted for 45 minutes (or more) at medium-high heat until golden brown and shrunk down to half the size. Make sure it’s sufficiently cooled down before introducing it to the parsley — you don’t want the parsley to wilt!
-Halved cherry tomatoes or chopped large tomatoes, guts removed
-Sliced or choped red onion

Drizzle 

Olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and a teeny tiny sprinkle of ground coriander.

Top

Pine nuts* toasted in a frying pan with a small knob of butter until golden but not burnt.

*Chinese pine nuts are rounder in shape and most commonly found in grocery stores, they’re cheap as far as pine nuts go. However, if you are ever in a specialty Middle Eastern food shop and you have a chance to take out a second mortgage to purchase some Lebanese pine nuts, go for it. They’re a longer oval shape and beautifully luxurious.

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Kale and Toasted Almond Couscous Salad

Toss 

-One cup of cooked couscous (quinoa is a decent replacement if couscous isn’t your thing)
-Very finely sliced raw kale (curly or leafy)
-Chopped cucumber

Drizzle

Olive oil, lots of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a tiny tiny bit of honey, salt and pepper.

Top

Flaked almonds, dry toasted in a frying pan*, drizzled with honey, sprinkled with sea salt, some fresh mint leaves and a light sprinkling of chia seeds

*Be sure to watch your toasting almonds like a hawk. It only takes 3 seconds for the almonds to go from perfectly golden to tragically burnt. 

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Grilled Asparagus Panzanella Salad

A Panzanella salad is a rustic Tuscan dish made with torn chunks of semi-stale bread, tomatoes, basil, and red onions. It’s mainly a summer salad, but by adjusting the ingredients, it can be enjoyed year-round! 

Toss 

– Assorted tomatoes (as many colours as possible) roughly chopped into large chunks
-Thinly sliced red onion
-Roughly chopped asparagus, seasoned with salt and pepper, grilled on a griddle pan or sautéed lightly in a frying pan with some olive oil until slightly charred
-Torn basil leaves
-Some rustic bread (like sourdough) torn or cut into big chunks and lightly toasted in a frying pan with some olive oil

Drizzle 

Mix together a light vinaigrette using extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar (sherry or cider vinegar will do as well), a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper

Season with salt and pepper

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