NOW that summer is here, it’s almost impossible not to write about salads and summer vegetables. There are so many delicious varieties coming into season over the coming months that we can really look forward to being spoiled for choice when it comes to vibrant, fresh flavours.
This is one of my favourite vegetables. Boiled in salted water, it goes well as a side dish with a cheese sauce or hollandaise. It can also be wrapped in bundles with streaky bacon.
The long green fleshy pods are at their best before they become too fibrous and stringy. I love dropping them into hot water for just two or three minutes before transferring them to a hot pan with butter, salt and pepper for a little sizzle. This works really as a side dish at your barbecue.
The star anise flavour that fennel offers makes for a great summer sensation. Roasted is one option but personally I prefer cutting fennel very finely on a slicer, placing it in a bowl, adding chopped coriander, lime juice, olive, salt, pepper and then mixing it all with your hands. This makes a lovely salad to go with white fish.
Who doesn’t like Basil? That kind of cinnamon flavour makes it ideal for making a pesto and the fragrance and flavour just livens up so many summer dishes. I love putting it into mashed potato with butter and cream – tastes so good.
Radishes are small edible root vegetables with a hot mustard-like taste to them. They are great in salads and their fresh, crisp crunch add something really special to a salad.
These are just some of the summer veg that I look forward to working with and using in dishes, and after so many bad winter days I really think there’s a great feeling when eating these vegetables. If you don’t believe me, try the recipe below and tell me that you don’t taste summer!
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Poached salmon, in-season veg with sundried tomatoes and boiled egg
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 x 150g portions of cooked poached salmon (can also be roasted if preferred)
400g mixed lettuce leaves
2 fennel bulbs (thinly sliced)
2 bundles of asparagus cooked (cut in half)
2 handful of cooked french beans
1 cup of picked fresh basil
Half cup of thinly sliced radish
1 cup sundried tomatoes
4 boiled eggs
Salt & pepper
1. Combine all vegetables, lettuce leaves and sundried tomatoes into a bowl.
2. Add lemon juice and olive oil as your dressing.
3. Mix together with your hands.
4. Season to taste
5. Evenly place the salad into four large bowls
6. Place a piece of poached salmon on top of each salad
7. Cut the boiled egg in half and place one half on each side
8. Finish off with a small drizzle of olive oil.
This is great with freshly cooked chicken breast as an alternative to salmon