Simple Summer Salads
Cheer up your salads this summer with a few of our favourite ingredients, tips and ideas…
Jewelled Salad with Pomegranate, Crispy Bacon & Mozzarella
An exquisite marriage of sweet and sour, the edible seeds of a pomegranate are a true gift from nature. Bursting with juices, sprinkle a handful of their magical seeds over your salad or dish to add some real lip-smacking goodness.
It’s also reassuring to know that these pink orbs are one of the richest foodstuffs in antioxidants on Earth, and are used across the world to stave off a variety of ailments – just what’s needed in the depths of winter.
For quick preparation, de-seed in water – the edible seeds will float to the surface.
Low in calories, high in flavour and goodness, the radish is a succulent, spicy entity, delicious eaten raw, with dips, or mixed into a host of dishes. Buy fresh, with leafy greens still attached, which make fine salad additions in their own right. Or better still, grow your own – one of the fastest growing treats you can try; ready in as little as 4 weeks.
Rightly back in favour in the UK after a couple of centuries’ absence, curly, peppery rocket leaves add real flavour to a salad and put many a tasteless, watery green leaf to shame!
Orange, Beetroot & Watercress Salad
Most of us take our oranges as a snack or lunch accompaniment – quite understandable too, as there’s no other fruit that offers such glorious fleshy scrumptiousness and sense of wellbeing. But it’s also an amazing ingredient in a host of dishes.
Full of essential vitamins and minerals and oh-so-easy to grow, sweet and crunchy broad beans are as delicious raw as they are cooked, though it’s best to stick to the smaller, younger beans if going for the former.
Broad beans are also one of those foodstuffs that are really easy to grow, and from April onwards, a glut can be yours with very little effort indeed. Try adding young beans to potato salad, or older beans to simply anything.
Beetroot, Fennel & Lentil Salad
A super-duper food and then some, beetroot is a real cleanser of antioxidants and a transformer of many a dish. A piece pickled and served on the side adds a meaty edge to any salad, whereas thinly sliced and layered with feta brings its fleshy, intense qualities singing to the fore.
Perhaps less well-known is its qualities as a slow-release energy food. Boasting a high content of natural sugars, a portion of beetroot will keep you going far longer than tea, coffee, fizzy drinks or chocolate, plus, it’s purple! What’s not to like?!
Commonly called salad onions, these are ‘regular onions plucked from the ground early, resulting in a sweeter taste that can be eaten raw without them dominating your taste buds for the next week. We’d put them up there with the key ingredients that the average salad just can’t do without.
One of the easiest things to grow and usable in almost every field of cuisine, the bigger the bulb, the more intense the flavour, so it’s often best to go with small-bulbs in salads and save the larger ones for hot dishes.
UK growing season: May to September
If this piece has left you feeling inspired, then why not view our Salad Recipe page for a fantastic selection of healthy and tasty salads.