The garden and my efforts to grow our own food was a bit of a disaster this year, the huge ginormous slugs won the fight and managed to chew their way through a large proportion of my salad leaves, peas beans and even the hydrangea nearby. The rain was its ally and as it fell for days and days on end, they (the slugs and snails) even climbed up my back doors as if taunting me!… I’m over it now though.
Despite my great visions of having salads from the garden all summer, my home grown haul amounted to a meager serving of peas and beans, some strawberries, a few spring onions and while the crop of tomatoes are still on their vines, they have had so little sun, I’m not holding out for too much flavour. The chillies have done really well though which excites me no end and I’m looking forward to a nice supply through to the end of the year.
So in the end, my local shops got most of my business and it’s not that I mind, it’s just that i did have higher hopes for the summer salads we could enjoy. Oh well there is always next year. In the meantime read on for some delicious filling salads which are great on their own or served with some grilled fish or meat.
Whipped Goats Cheese and Pear Salad with Walnuts
100gr of Water cress and Lambs lettuce or your other favourite leaves
1/2 ripe pear sliced lengthways (peel and poach in some acidulated water if not ripe)
30gr walnuts toasted
1 oz goats cheese mashed with a tbsp of mixed chopped herbs (Chives, Basil, Flat Leaf Parsley)and a tbsp of olive oil
Assemble leaves on the plates, tuck the pear slices among and sprinkle over the walnuts. Place small spoons of the goats cheese onto the plate and top with I tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of honey drizzled over the salad.
Easy peasy but so delicious and full of goodness of good fats, omegas, vitamins and minerals.
Raw Broccoli Salad with Toasted Hazlenuts and Oil Vinaigrette
1 Head of Broccoli cleaned and but into small bit sized pieces
4 oz hazlennuts toasted and skinned
2 carrots grated
2 Tbsp each of flat leaf parsley, basil, mint
4 oz cherry tomatoes cut on their equator
100 ml rapeseed oil
1 tbsp Whole Grain mustard
Blend all the ingredients in a blender until you have a nice emulsified mix. (This will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks if you don’t use it all in the one go)
Toss the broccoli in the vinaigrette and leave to rest for about 30 minutes to infuse the flavours and tenderise the stems.
Just before serving add the hazlenuts, tomatoes, carrots, herbs, toss and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve and enjoy.