Category Archives: Salad

Farmer’s Market Simple Summer Salad

You Might Be Thinking "How Can A Salad Look So Decadent?!"
You Might Be Thinking “How Can A Salad Look So Decadent?!”
Beetroot, Kale and Mozzarella Salad In All Its Glory
Beetroot, Kale and Mozzarella Salad In All Its Glory

This is a really, really easy salad. It’s just a ‘throw-everything-together’ kind of a recipe. Just a bit of chopping and massaging… Yes massaging. To be honest though, most nights during the week I tend to eat really easy dishes like this as it’s hard to find time to cook something complicated from scratch after a long day at work.

I bought most of the ingredients at the Temple Bar Farmer’s Market last weekend. The beautiful black kale and fresh beetroot are from McNally’s organic farm, the delicious apple balsamic vinegar is from Llewellyns Orchard,  the Irish buffalo mozzarella is from Toonsbridge Dairy (if you follow this blog you’ll see I use it ALL the time, that’s because it is the ambrosia of the Gods). I also got some macadamia nut oil from my local health food shop, The Hopsack (which is a real gem by the way), to massage the kale. Kale has a gorgeous texture and there’s no need to cook it if you massage it with a little oil. This softens it a little and you’ll visibly notice the colour become more vivid , I think it vastly improves the texture and flavour. You can use whatever oil you like but macadamia is packed with healthy fats and had a beautiful, subtle, nutty taste that’s perfect for salad dressings.

All in all this is a very easy, healthy and delicious salad, so get to it and whip it up!

Lovely Farmer's Market Ingredients
Lovely Farmer’s Market Ingredients

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale

1 large raw beetroot (okay I suppose you can use the cooked prepackaged ones if you must)

1 ball of fresh mozzarella

Balsamic vinegar

Macadamia oil (or other mild tasting oil like rapeseed)

Pistachios

  1. Rinse the kale. Remove the stalks/ribs of the kale (you can’t eat these, or at least without difficulty) and slice the kale into fine ribbons. In a bowl massage a tablespoon of oil into the kale leaves for about a minute.
  2. Wash the beetroot well and remove the roots. Slice finely on a mandolin and mix into your bowl of kale.
  3. Tear up your mozzarella and scatter on top. Drizzle with balsamic oil.
  4. Roughly chop your pistachios and scatter on top of the salad.
  5. Enjoy!
Slice The Kale Finely Into Ribbons... Hardly Rocket Science
Slice The Kale Finely Into Ribbons… Hardly Rocket Science
Massage The Kale Seductively With Some Macadamia Oil
Massage The Kale Seductively With Some Macadamia Oil
Slice The Beetroot Finely On A Mandolin
Slice The Beetroot Finely On A Mandolin
Throw Everything In a Bowl
Throw Everything In a Bowl

Dig In And Feel Virtuous

Carrot, Clementine and Mixed Seed Salad

Delicious Carrot Salad
Delicious Carrot Salad

The sun is finally shining…. Hurray! I actually didn’t need to wear a big woolly coat at all the last few days and even managed to forgo my morning porridge for fruit and yoghurt. This is big news as for the the last 6 months in Ireland I may as well have been living in Antarctica. The excitement of the approaching summer has me craving fresher, lighter dishes in the same way that in winter I crave warm, hearty stews.

This salad is incredibly quick and easy to make, it only takes a few minutes but I find myself making it a lot as an easy side to go with lunches or dinners, any leftovers are always good in a sandwich or wrap the following day too. Make sure to try out this easy, tasty recipe and leave me a comment to let me know how you get on!

Carrot, Clementine, Mixed Seed & Raisin Salad
Carrot, Clementine, Mixed Seed & Raisin Salad

Ingredients:

3 large carrots

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp mixed seeds (I used sunflower and flax)

2 tbsp raisins

1 clementine

  1. Wash and peel the carrots and then dry them off. Take a vegetable peeler and peel the carrots lengthways in long ribbons.
  2. Peel the clementine  and then take the skins off the segments and roughly chop.
  3. Pop the carrot ribbons into a serving bowl and stir in the apple cider vinegar, seeds, raisins and clementines until evenly coated.
  4. Taste and add a little more apple cider vinegar if necessary. (Sometimes if I want it sweeter I add a squeeze of clementine juice also).
Carrot and Clementine Salad
Carrot and Clementine Salad

Fig, Mozzarella and Honey Salad

Fig and Mozzarella Salad
Fig, Mozzarella and Honey Salad
Quick, Simple and Delicious Fig and Mozzarella Salad
Quick, Simple and Delicious Fig and Mozzarella Salad

Every now and then you make a super quick dish for dinner out of the few ingredients lying around your kitchen, and it ends up being so good people think it must have taken more time and effort than it did. I love those dishes. This salad was prepared in literally less than 5 minutes, maybe it was 3 minutes. I had a ball of Toonsbridge Buffalo Mozzarella in the fridge that I had picked up in the market that weekend, a few figs (you could use peaches, apricots, plums or any other soft fruit or berry that you have handy) that never got used in a dessert I was planning, and the rest of the ingredients were just stuff I would always have lying around in my fridge and cupboard.

I wasn’t even planning on blogging this, as it was a spur of the moment dish, but I put a picture of it up on instagram, and people seemed to like it so much, that I thought I would share it on my blog, so sorry for less photos than usual! I had this as a main for dinner, but it would also make a great, stress-free starter for a dinner party. Just double up the ingredients as you need. I highly encourage you to make this, I have yet to eat another meal that took this quick to make, but tasted so mouth-wateringly delicious!

Fig, Mozzarella and Honey Salad
Fig, Mozzarella and Honey Salad

Ingredients (Serves 1 as a main course):

1 ball fresh buffalo mozzarella

3 fresh figs

1 handful of mixed dark green salad leaves

1 tbsp flaked almonds

1 glug of balsamic vinegar (I used Llewellyn’s Irish Apple Balsamic which had a lovely sweetness to it)

1 tsp honey

  1. Put a dry frying pan on a high heat, add almonds and toss until golden, about 45 seconds (they burn quickly so be careful)
  2. Toss your leaves in a glug of the balsamic vinegar until they are just coated.
  3. Cut two of your figs into quarters and lay them out over the leaves. Quarter the third fig only half way down so they fig is still attached together, place this in the centre of your salad.
  4. Roughly tear up your ball of mozzarella and scatter over the salad, place one chunk of mozzarella within the fig in the centre of the salad.
  5. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and drizzle with the tsp runny honey. It’s that easy!
So Juicy and Delicious
So Juicy and Delicious
Enjoy this Super Quick Salad
Enjoy this Super Quick Salad

Beetroot and Camembert Salad

Beetroot and Camembert Salad
Beetroot and Camembert Salad
Healthy and Delicious
Healthy and Delicious

Salads don’t need to be boring, limp and tasteless! You can put anything you want into a salad, and this one I love as it has some of my favourite things in it. I made this for a party not too long ago and it was really popular. I’ve been using my training for the Cork half marathon as an excuse to indulge in carb heavy dishes, but after a few weeks of hamming it up with pasta dishes, toasties, risottos and home made pizzas I think it’s time to get back into the swing of fitting in a few salads a week!

This is a really delicious salad though, and you definitely don’t feel cheated of an indulgent meal! The beetroot and cranberries add some lovely colour, the Camembert cheese adds a lovely silky soft texture and taste, and the walnuts give a nice little bite.

This literally takes 5 minutes to prepare, all that’s involved is a little chopping and tossing and it’s done. This makes a lovely lunch or a side dish for a party.

Ingredients:

4 cooked beetroots (You can buy them in all supermarkets cooked and vacuum packed)

1 wheel of Camembert cheese

1 large handful of walnuts

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

1 large bag of salad leaves (dark leaves such as spinach and rocket work best, avoid iceberg lettuce)

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1. Chop the beetroot into bite sized chunks, let any excess water from the beetroot drain away.

2. Chop up the Camembert into small chunks.

3. Mix together the beetroot, salad leaves, walnuts, cranberries and Camembert into a bowl and loosen it with a little olive oil.

4. Sprinkle a little remaining walnut and cranberry on top and season lightly with salt and pepper. Done!

Chop Up Beetroot and Camembert
Chop Up Beetroot and Camembert
It's That Quick To Make!
It’s That Quick To Make!

Smoked Paprika Squash Salad

Smoked Paprika Squash Salad
Smoked Paprika Squash Salad
Ready to Eat
Ready to Eat

This is my new favourite salad. As we’re coming in to the warmer (marginally warmer in Ireland) months, we tend to gravitate towards lighter meals, but salads don’t need to be the boring lettuce and tomato variety! This one is packed with flavour and texture, and can be eaten as a main with some crusty bread.

I made a home made mayonnaise laced with smoked paprika, roasted peppers and a little bit of chilli and it really gave tonnes of flavour to the roasted squash. I added roasted peppers to the salad itself also and used some of the fruity oil they come preserved in to dress the leaves. I also toasted a little pan of pumpkin seeds which added a little crunch.

This is a really good, tasty salad. I made it for a party recently and it went down a treat! You really must make your own mayonnaise though, there is no comparison between the home made kind and the jellyish shop bought kind, and it is surprisingly easy to make. You can make twice the amount you need and keep a little jar in the fridge for sandwiches. Two jobs done in one go!

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash

1 jar of roasted red peppers

1 bag of mixed salad leaves (I used rocket, baby spinach and watercress)

1 large handful of pumpkin seeds

salt and pepper

Smoked Paprika Mayo:

1 egg yolk

150ml to 200ml oil (you can use the oil from the jar of roasted peppers, nut oil or sunflower oil… avoid olive or other strong tasting oils)

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp chilli flakes

3 roasted red peppers blended into a paste

1. Put your oven on 180C and allow to preheat. Peel and chop your squash into equal sizes to allow it to cook evenly. Throw into a roasting tin, add a little mild tasting oil and salt and pepper and allow to roast away (around 45 to 55 minutes)

2. For the mayo add the egg yolk to a bowl and whisk in the mustard. Very slowly and little bit by little bit whisk in the oil. This is so easy to make, but if you add all the oil at once it will never come together, so add the oil very slowly. When it all has been added in and you have a nice smooth texture, then whisk in the paprika, chilli and blended peppers. Add more paprika or chilli to taste.

3. Take your pumpkin seeds and dry fry them on pan for less then a minute. Make sure to stir them constantly as they burn very quickly. Once they start popping and become nice and crispy then set aside.

4. When the squash is cooked (and make sure it is soft all the way through, nothing worse than undercooked squash), stir in enough mayo to coat all the squash. Add the rest of the jar of the roasted red peppers, the salad leaves and most of the pumpkin seeds. Stir together and add more of the oil from the roasted red peppers to coat the salad leaves if needed. Sprinkle the remaining seeds on top and serve with crusty bread.

Stir in Paprika and Chilli to the Mayonnaise
Stir in Paprika and Chilli to the Mayonnaise
Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise
Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise
Ready to Eat
Ready to Eat