Happy Friday y'all. I was driving home from town mid-morning and already starving as this heatwave has me up and having breakfast at 6am. All I could think about was food and all I wanted was salad. And thus half way out the Waterford Road, the idea for today's blog post came to me.

I admit I'm slightly more salad obsessed than most, but I think this weather has us all in the same salad-craving boat. Who knew us Irish folk would be struggling with temperatures in the early 30s and searching for refreshing drinks and salads to keep us sustained. But the real struggle is to find salads that are hassle free to prep, meaning less time in the kitchen and more time in the sunshine. Challenge accepted. Today, I got my stop watch out and made all three of these salads in less than twenty minutes Eighteen minutes and thirty seconds to be exact and that included Insta-Storying each step. Honestly, I used a stop watch!!

These are good served on their own or alongside your barbecue. I've gone for a Lentil Salad with Avocado & Feta, a New Potato Salad with Scallions & Chives and lastly a Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Basil. Yum, yum and yum.

Instead of writing up each recipe individually, I've written up a step-by-step guide to making all three in order of the most time effective way to prepare each element. Hope that makes sense. My two top tips are to get your ingredients out on the work top and to boil your kettle before you start! I made these for two people but multiple the ingredients if you are cooking for more than that. It shouldn't add too much time as the prep is minimal.

Keep reading for the ingredient list and my step-by-step guide for how to make all three of these delicious salads in less than 20 minutes. Stop watches at the ready!!

Ingredients For All Three Salads

Lentil Salad with Feta and Avocado

1/3 cup green lentils

1 ripe avocado

50g feta cheese

1/2 red onion

2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Small handful of fresh mint

Small handful of fresh parsley

1/2 lemon

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinger

New Potato Salad with Sour Cream, Scallions & Chives

4-5 new potatoes

2 scallions

5-6 chives

4 tbsp sour cream

Buffalo Mozzarella & Tomato Salad with Basil

1 large ball of buffalo mozzarella

7-8 small tomatoes

7-8 sunblushed tomatoes

Small handful of basil leaves

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper for all three salads

Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Start with the Lentil, Avocado & Feta Salad by getting your green lentils cooking. Rinse them in a sieve and add them to a pot of boiling water. I used 1/3 cup of lentils to 2/3 cup of boiling water. Bring the water to the boil and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the lentils are al dente. It's quicker if you boil your water in a kettle. Move on to the next steps while they are cooking.

Step 2: For the Potato Salad, get your new potatoes cooking. Wash them and cut them into small quarters so they cook quicker. Place them in a saucepan with boiling water and a pinch of sea salt and allow to cook for about 10 minutes or until tender. You want them cooked but not turning to mush.

Step 3: While your lentils and potatoes are cooking, start getting the rest of the salads ready. Start with your Green Lentil Salad. Take an avocado and scoop the flesh out, cutting it into small pieces. Add to a bowl. Add about 50g of crumbled feta cheese, 2 tbsp pomegrante seeds and half a red onion, finely chopped. Finely chop your mint and parsley and add it to the bowl.

Step 4. Next make your dressing for your lentil salad. Add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and the juice of half a lemon to a small bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt and some black pepper and mix well. Set to one side.

Step 5. For your potato salad, using a scissors, finely chop your scallions and chives and place them in a bowl.

Step 6. Next move onto your third and last salad: the Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato salad. Take a ball of mozzarella and tear it into smaller pieces and place the torn mozzarella around a serving plate. Next take 6-7 small tomatoes and cut them in half and place them around the mozzarella. Next take 6-7 semi-dried tomatoes and place them around the plate. Finely chop your basil leaves and toss them over the mozzarella and tomatoes. Lastly drizzle a little balsmaic vinegar and exta virgin olive oil on top and season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. That salad is now done!

Step 7. Check your potatoes and when they are done, add them to your scallions and chives and using the back of a spoon smash them up a little. Add around 3-4 tbsp sour cream and a generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper and mix well. Tip into a serving bowl and top with some chopped chives. Your second salad is now done.

Step 8. Check your lentils and when they are done (they should be al dente) drain them using a sieve and run them under cold water to stop them cooking and cool them down. Add them to your avocado and feta mix. Add your dressing and toss to combine. Tip into your serving dish and that's your third salad now done.

Serve immediately, or cover and keep in the fridge. Enjoy xx

#salads #mains #recipes

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DESIGNED BY Frances Walsh 

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