Now that the hot weather is here the most important thing to have to hand, after SPF of course, are good salad recipes. I’m talking ones that are easy to make, with not too many ingredients and that taste summery, fresh and delicious all at once. Even better if they have an unforgettable dressing to go with them.
If you are bored of making the same salads every summer, it's time to grab your fresh vegetables, olive oil and a few more key ingredients and try some ones. I've rounded up some of my favourite recipes for you to get started. From a fresh take on a caprese salad, to a fancied up potato salad, to my favourite green salad. From a mexican style hallomi salad- because halloumi is a vegetarian's dream summer ingredient - to a refreshing watermelon salad, that makes for the perfect accompaniment to a smokey barbecue.
Keep scrolling for five great summer salad recipes to enjoy during this week's heatwave. YAY!
A new take on a Caprese Salad
Capreses salad is delicious. Arrange slices of creamy buffalo mozzarella with slices of ripe tomatoes. Add a few leaves of fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Delicious and hard to beat. For something a little different replace the tomatoes with ripe nectarines or peaches. Or go the extra mile and make this Nectarine & Buffalo Mozzarella Salad complete with a homemade dressing and toasted hazelnuts.
The Irish Essential: Potato Salad
A good potato salad is as essential to an Irish summer as is a rainy day at the beach. Keep it classic by mixing cold mashed potato with finely chopped red onion and mayonnaise making sure to season it well. For an alternative to mayonnasie use a honey and mustard dressing. Mix crushed new potatoes, with chopped scallion and chive and dress with a honey and mustard dressing. Season well. Make your own dressing by combining 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, and 2 tsp dijon mustard and mix well. If you want to go all out, try this New Potato, Green Bean & Egg Salad with Basil Pesto. The perfect way to add another favourite, hard-boiled eggs to the mix.
The one with Halloumi
Because any decent salad round-up needs halloumi. And because fried or grilled halloumi is a vegetarian's dream summer ingredient. Halloumi is great on its own. Just slice and brush with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Pan fry for about four minutes each side or until golden brown and beginning to crisp. Serve on a plate alongside your other salads and let people help themselves. For a real halloumi treat, push the boat out and make this Mexican style Halloumi, Black Bean and Avocado Salad.
The Green Salad
What makes a green salad good? Choose fresh leaves and dress the salad last-minute to avoid soggy leaves. Rocket, baby spinach and watercress make a good combination. Place in the centre of a serving dish and add fine shavings of parmesan on top. Toast pine nuts and add these too. For your dressing, keep it simple and use only a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a syrupy balsamic vinger. Dress just before serving and add a sprinkling of dried chilli flakes. As usual, season well.
The Fruit Salad
Be selective when adding fruit to savoury salads. Chopped apple offers crunch and sweetness. Nectarines and peaches are delicious with certain cheeses. Grapes work well with crunchy leaves and blue cheese. Watermelon and berries are not ingredients I would normally add to salads, but if you are in the mood to go all out, try this Watermelon, Berry and Quinoa Salad. The refreshing watermelon offers a refereshing contrast to smoky barbecue style foods. I love the mix of crunchy leaves, broccoli and nuts with the watermelon and the berries. More than suitable for this week’s promised heatwave. And so the leftover watermelon doesn’t go to waste, chop it into wedges and freeze them for a healthy homemade ice-lolly.