It’s still hot and with plenty of salad ingredients available I thought I would look at a few unusual recipes. Salads are quick, easy and light, not to mention healthy and ideal for hot summer days, especially when you don’t feel like eating much! I have also added the quick and easy Coleslaw which can be made with red cabbage or apple to vary it and will keep fresh in the fridge for a week. Any of the recipes below would make an ideal lunch, go well at a BBQ or complement other dishes for an evening meal. I particularly like the combination of the watercress and pears, but I am not a big lover of Blue Cheese so I change this for Feta Cheese which also works in this recipe. I have added a few quick and easy dressings to try making your own.

Buen Apetito

Salad Dressings

Mix ingredients in a jar and shake.
Can store for a month in the fridge.

French Dressing

1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sugar

Berries Dressing

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
3 large ripe strawberries
(hulled and finely chopped)
6 raspberries roughly crushed
4 tbsp redcurrants
(stripped from stalks and lightly crushed with a fork)
4-5 tbsp blueberries

Lemon Dressing

1 lemon
50ml cold-pressed olive oil
100g rocket or similar green salad

Watercress, Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

6 handfuls watercress
1 handful of sesame seeds
6 handfuls rocket
225g Blue Cheese
3 pears sliced

Salad Dressing

Balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp salt and pepper
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Set the oven to 180ºC and spread the sesame seeds on a baking tray and toast for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Place the watercress and rocket in a serving dish. Add the crumbled cheese and the pear slices. To make the dressing add the salt and pepper to the vinegar and whisk in the olive oil. Spoon the dressing over the salad and toss carefully. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top and serve.

Roasted Little Gems

3 heads of little gem lettuce, outer leaves removed and cut into quarters through the stem
Extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
A sprig of thyme, stalks removed
200-250g fresh porcini mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed, cut into 5mm slices
Salt and black pepper
A squeeze of lemon juice
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, washed and chopped
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Place the quarters of little gem into a shallow roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil and season. Place in the hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly golden on the outside but still with some crunch in the middle. Fry the chopped garlic and thyme leaves in 2 tbsp oil over a high heat. As it becomes sticky, but before it starts to colour, add the porcini, cook for a few minutes, then turn over and colour the other side. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley. Place 3 pieces of the roasted little gem on each plate, divide the porcini mix on to the little gem. Serve immediately.

Caribbean Rice and Bean Salad

1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp allspice
225g long grain rice
8 spring onions
225g can chopped tomatoes
375ml vegetable stock
400g canned red kidney beans
Tabasco sauce
Heat the oil and add the chopped onions and garlic until softened. De-seed yellow pepper and chop then stir into the pan with oregano, thyme and all spice. Add the rice and stir well before cooking for 3 minutes. Add peeled and chopped spring onions and tomatoes and their juice and stir. Add the stock and bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the kidney beans then stir into the pan and simmer for a further 6-10 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid absorbed. As an optional extra add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce to suit your taste. Serve.

Mint Tomato With Cheese

4 beef tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
100g stoned black olives
200g goat’s cheese
Salt and pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
6 tbsp olive oil
1 teabag peppermint tea
Slice tomatoes and layer into dish. Chop garlic and sprinkle over tomatoes. Cut olives in half and add. Finally crumble goat’s cheese over tomatoes. Pour over lemon juice, add tea bag leaves to the olive oil and pour over tomatoes. Bake for 30 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. A great dish with BBQ’s or salads.


Large white cabbage
Small onion
2 large carrots
Salt and pepper
A dash of vinegar
Salad seasoning
Mayonnaise/Salad Cream
Slice cabbage into fine strips, chop onion into small cubes and grate carrot. Mixed all chopped vegetables together and add Mayo or Salad Cream depending on taste. Add seasoning, salt and pepper and vinegar. Mix until all veg is covered. Will last for 4 to 5 days in fridge.
To vary, try adding a hand full of sultanas or a chopped apple.