Salad days are here again
GREAT SALADS ARE the best thing about summer eating and it’s the time of year when we feel most enthused about putting effort into vegetables and leaves. Grilled or barbecued meats or chicken and fish always go down well with big bowls of salads.
Desserts can be fruit salads, chunks of pineapple, mango, mint and a bit of brown sugar or else a big pile of strawberries and sweetened vanilla cream. But if you do feel the urge to make something sweet, then this “no cook” dessert (below) will make use of summer berries and is a kind of hybrid cheesecake mix that you can really throw together in minutes and will look like you’ve made a huge effort.
The scallop ceviche is another no-cook recipe and it is lovely served in small shot glasses. Keep it chilled and then bring it out to enjoy as a starter that you can eat on the hoof. My husband doctored his with a good dash of Tabasco sauce which seemed a bit sacrilegious, but was tasty enough.
Any very fresh raw fish can be used instead of the scallops – salmon, or monkish and sea bass also work really well when “cold-cooked”.
I’ve also included a recipe for vinaigrette, which is one of my favourites. Make a double or quadruple batch and keep it on hand. Good vinaigrette is the savoury equivalent of toffee sauce. It would make old socks taste good, so it’s a great thing to have to hand.
Serves 6-8 in shot glasses
½ cucumber, de-seeded, peeled, very finely diced
½ red onion, diced
1 small chilli, de-seeded and diced
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper
Bunch coriander, very finely chopped
Splash olive oil
Mix together the cucumber, red onion, chilli, lime juice and season very well. Remove the little muscle that is attached to the scallop roe and discard the roe along with this little gristly bit. Very finely slice or dice the scallops and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Add the coriander and olive oil. Chill and marinate for about 30 minutes. This will keep for a few hours in the fridge but will probably need more salt as when chilled it will taste blander than at room temperature. Serve in chilled glasses.
Garlic roasted new potato salad
500g small new potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
1 tbsp chopped oregano or thyme
4 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely sliced