So it finally feels like the summer is properly here, and like millions of others, when the warm weather hits, I make a conscious effort to eat lighter dishes, and that means one thing…salad.
Growing up in the 80's/90's a 'salad' used to consist of iceberg lettuce, rounds of cucumber, quartered tomatoes and if you were lucky a spring onion or two! Not hugely exciting, tasty or overly inspiring - which is no doubt why when I think of a salad these days I tend to think it's going to be pretty boring.
The people at Florette challenged me to create an exciting salad for this lovely weather, and I couldn't wait to give it a go.
I have to feed a very hungry husband every night, and when I told him we were having a salad for dinner, he didn't look too enthused.
So, my aim:
-a salad which is exciting
-a salad which will fill up hungry husband and,
-a salad which isn't too expensive
When it comes to choosing a salad leaf/leaves it is quite a simple choice for me - I like sweet and crispy leaves, and avoid anything peppery as I really hate rocket. When I say hate, I mean with a vengeance: I can smell it a mile off, and avoid it at all costs!
I chose Florette's new Sweet Crispy pre-washed bag which cost me £1.00 in Tesco. It has a mixture of Little Gem, Green Romaine, Radicchio, and Green Batavia leaves.
So now I'd decided on the base of my salad I had to decide on the bulk and key flavours. I wanted to include some meat or fish to bulk it out so I decided on a budget version of the classic 'Salad Nicoise'.
- 1 tin of tuna mixed with mayo, salad cream, splash of malt vinegar, s&p
- sweet/crispy salad leaf bag, washed
- 2 medium eggs, hard boiled
- 100g green beans, steamed
- 50g mange tout, steamed
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- 200g new potatoes, boiled and halved
- salt and pepper croutons
- parmesan shavings
- finely chopped mint to garnish
The great thing about a salad like this is that you can pop in whatever is in your salad box in the fridge. You could pimp it up with a tuna steak or chicken breast if you have a bigger budget than me - the tinned tuna worked well though, and acted like a dressing once combined.
The best thing about salad for me is it's the perfect excuse to enjoy a warm crusty roll, or thick door stop wedge of your favourite bread on the side.
Not your standard iceberg, cucumber, tomato mix!
Salad Nicoise - Lucy style!
I served my salad with big wedges of lemon to squirt all over it, and my favourite low fat garlic/herb salad dressing on the side.
It was truly delicious, and hubby was raving about it - so I think I achieved my aims...
more exciting than the salads from my childhood…check
and it only came in at around £2.00 per portion, so very reasonable…check!
What's your favourite salad? Do you go for a classic like Nicoise or Ceasar? Or do you like to mix it up and go for something a little different?
Let's hope that this lovely sunshine is here to stay, and we can enjoy loads more salads in the garden over the next few months.
Disclaimer: I was asked by Florette to use a bag of their salad leaves to create a fun and exciting salad in exchange for some Florette goodies as a thank you.