If you are still entertaining with BBQ’s during this prolonged spell of good weather that we are enjoying why not add these simple but delicious salads to the buffet table? Not every guest will want to fill up on meaty dishes alone so it pays to have a few interesting salads available.
Black Eyed Bean Salad - with peppers, spring onions, dill & parsley
This recipe can be found in Sabrina Ghayour’s brilliant book Feasts, I take no credit for this wonderful dish!
2x 400g cans black eyed beans
1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and finely diced
5 spring onions, thinly sliced from root to tip
30g of dill, finely chopped
30g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, diced into small cubes
3 tbsps red wine vinegar
4 tbsps olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, mix well and leave to rest for 20 minutes. Mix well again before tasting and adjusting the seasoning to your liking then serve.
This is an Iranian salad from the city of Shiraz. It is bright and zingy with the addition of pomegranate seeds. I like to add crumbled feta to this to give that sharp, salty bite but I will leave that up to you and just give the original recipe which is delicious as it is.
6 ripe vine tomatoes, halved and cored
1 red onion
1 tsp of sea salt flakes
juice of 1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper
2 heaped tsp of sumac
200g pomegranate seeds
Finely dice the cucumber and tomatoes in to similar size cubes. This is important as it effects the aesthetic of the salad and as people tend to eat with their eyes you want to present the salad in its best light. Add to a large salad bowl.
Peel the red onion and cut it in half from the top down. Remove the tough ends and finely slice in 3mm strips all the way along. Now dice these strips into half moon shapes, again about 3mm wide. Add the onion to the cucumber and tomato in the bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil and stir through to give everything a good coating. Season with the salt and pepper, pour in the lemon juice and give everything a really good stir once more. Sprinkle over the sumac and the pomegranate seeds and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. This salad is best served chilled so only bring it out when you are ready to tuck in.
This is a lovely, creamy and sharp dish that goes very well with BBQ foods. The recipe is from Heston Blumenthal so you are in good hands!
35g wholegrain mustard
1 tsp capers
25g cornichons, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp flat leaf parsley leaves
4 sprigs tarragon, leaves picked
Salt and black pepper
Peel the celeriac and use either a mandolin or very sharp knife to cut into fine slices. Cut these slices into even finer shreds.
Place the shreds into a bowl and add the mustard, cornichons, capers and lemon juice. Chop the tarragon and parsley and add to the bowl.
Stir in the mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper.
Toasted Pine Nut and Basil Pasta Salad
This is one of my favourites, I love the combination of basil and pine nuts but vary the recipe with the seasons. It works very well with spinach, wild garlic and wild mushrooms too however you probably won’t be barbecuing when they are in season.
150g dried pasta shapes
Small bunch of basil – 30g or so
30g pine nuts
Salt & pepper
Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions – usually 10-12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove the pasta from the water and place in a sieve to steam dry (try not to sluice the pasta back through the water you cooked it in as you will just make it starchy and sticky). Allow to steam dry completely, you don’t want any water on the pasta.
Toast the pine nuts in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until they just turn golden. Keep an eye on them so that they do not burn. 2-3 minutes.
Finely chop the basil.
Put the dry pasta in a bowl, add the basil and tip in the toasted nuts. Drizzle with olive oil and give everything a good stir. Add more olive oil if necessary. Season with salt & pepper, taste and adjust if necessary.