Summer of salads
“To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist - the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know how much oil one must mix with one's vinegar.”
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
And what would be a salad without a good dressing? Boring!
Dressings can be light or thick, traditional or contemporary. And all add character to seasonal veggies or festive leftovers.
Dressings for crisp seasonal greens should be light enough to just coat the leaves. There should be enough to create interest but not so much they wilt. Even a squeeze of lemon juice will enhance the appeal of greens. Add it just before serving.
A classic vinaigrette has a ratio of one part acid — for example vinegar or lemon juice — to three parts oil. For me, the olive oil must be good New Zealand extra virgin.
It’s those hearty salads of chunky diced capsicums, pasta, root vegetables or cooked meats that are better married with thicker dressings such as traditional mayo — maybe spiced with a little wasabi or chilli — or modern vinaigrettes containing a handful of chopped herbs or seeds and spices.
Whatever your salad combinations, keep them cool. Store in the refrigerator up until just before serving. Or carry in a well-chilled chilly bin if taking outdoors. This helps prevent those nasty bugs and bacteria growing and multiplying.
A tasty treat with left-over Christmas meat leftovers. Get the recipe
A family favourite to which other ingredients — such as prawns, cheese, chorizo or diced cooked meat — can be added. Ripe apricots or nectarines could replace the peaches. Get the recipe
Can be prepared several hours in advance. Add diced cooked meat if you prefer. Get the recipe
Chilled Chinese noodles
Add sliced hard-boiled eggs, cooked shrimp or diced ham, if preferred. Serves 6-8.
250g Chinese egg noodles
1/4 cup each: thick soy sauce, sesame oil
2 tablespoons each: red wine vinegar, brown sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
- Cook the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water according to the packet instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well. Place in a bowl.
- Combine the remaining ingredients and stir into the noodles to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.