3 Beautiful Summer Salads you need to Save

The best salads are as easy on the eye as they are on the stomach. These 3 salads are visually such a feast and such a pleasure to make. I literally feel like an artist at work in the various acts of shaving, draping and drizzling.

Whether you’re looking to increase your uptake of greens or getting summer ready, adding a daily salad to your routine can have great benefits to your health. One way to make it easy is to always ensure your crisper is stocked with the basics. Lettuce, carrots, cucumber, red onion, cherry tomatoes. And when you’re doing your grocery shopping, pick up something extra and different to add to your salad to make it interesting. Baby fennel, candy striped beetroot and figs are what I used in these salads to take the ordinary to something magical.

Baby Fennel, Radish and Mint Salad

This gorgeously light summery salad belies the delicious punchiness of the flavours. I love the fresh and unusual flavours of the aniseedy baby fennel and the radish. I first came across it on Sam Linsell’s, Drizzle and Drip website. It’s a great addition with fish or chicken.

You will need:
2 baby fennel bulbs (white and light green parts only)
about 3/4 cup small radishes
handful of fresh minth leaves chopped. Keep some for garnish
2 Tbsp lemon juice (1 lemon more or less)
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

The trick here is to slice your fennel and radish very thinly. Use a mandolin or a really good straight edged sharp knife. Add your chopped mint, lemon juice, salt, generous pepper and olive oil. Toss lightly but not too much to prevent it getting watery. Lay on a bed of butter lettuce to serve and garnish with fennel tops and mint leaves.

Fig and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad

This one is from the stable of Jamie Oliver. He calls it the sexiest salad ever. And it really and truly is. It’s got all the qualities of sweet, creamy and salty. Red fig blooms rest amid bright white creamy mozzarella and drapings of finely sliced cured meat. Drizzle this with sweet honey and you could literally swoon over this salad.

You will need:
4 ripe figs or more
4 slices very thinly sliced cured meat like beef parm, macon or spiced beef. The spiced beef in my photo is too thick but I really wanted this salad that day and that is all I had on hand at the time.
a ball of buffalo mozzarella cheese torn apart into several pieces
1 bunch of fresh green or purple basil
extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon
1 tablespoon runny honey

Slice the figs in a criss-cross but not quite to the bottom. Then, using your thumbs and forefingers, squeeze the base of the fig to expose the inside. It will bloom open which looks rather pretty and it allows your dressing to get right into the middle of the fig. Place the figs on a base of lettuce leaves of choice on a plate. Weave and drape around your slices cured meat, scatter in the buffalo mozzarella and rip over your basil leaves. Mix 6 tablespoons of oil, half the lemon juice, honey and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper together in a bowl and drizzle everything with this dressing. Then add some extra honey after, just because…

Pro Tip: You could use smoked salmon instead of the meat. It would be smashing!

Candy Striped Beetroot and Peach Salad

Candy striped beetroot is just the prettiest veg in town. I discovered them at @picknpay a while back and tried them shaved raw into a salad. The candy striped beetroot is sweet with a beetroot flavour but very mild and not overpowering at all.

You will need:
2 candy striped Beetroots peeled and sliced thinly with a vegetable peeler
2 peaches or nectarines sliced into thin wedges
1/4 julienned English cucumber
handful of mint leaves, rocket and basil

Lemon juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1 clove crushed garlic
salt & cracked black pepper
Shake it up in a jar and dress lightly.

Arrange all of this on a plate with your rocket at the bottom. Shake up the dressing ingredients in a jar and pour it over lightly. This is a very versatile dressing and there will be enough left over to use again.

Add some grilled chicken to this salad to make a light meal of it.


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