Tuesday, 18 May 2010

a salad or three

I love Jamie Oliver for his no fuss approach. He gets stuck in and everything is doable. Everything looks delicious. You can sense the flavours wafting off the screen. On his latest 'Jamie does..' he 'did' France. Now I'm a sucker for everything French. I'm obsessed with the country and they know about food. Even the children from an early age. I doubt if you asked an English kid to point out an aubergine they would succeed and we are the ones with the weight problems not them. Think about it!

So a lovely rich little luxurious salad for lunch was his roquefort, bacon and croutons. This might be good for supper during the work week as it is not a wise idea to transfer into a tuppaware (the leaves would wilt, it's better fresh). http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/cheese-recipes/roquefort-salad-with-warm-croutons-and-l. I added a bit of avocado (because I had it) which actually acts as a brilliant balance of coolness against the saltiness of the bacon and strength of the cheese. I also used spring onions (because I didn't have chives). Never be afraid to substitute ingredients, don't panic if you haven't got everything. Make sure your dressing is lovely and thick. Mustard, extra virgin olive oil, cider vinegar and a pinch of sugar. One can go easy with salt as it already has enough naturally so just a dose of pepper. Serve with crusty bread. If you really want to be French, one portion is plenty!

The other two summery salads are very easy to make and are often better after they've had time to marinate, so they're perfect as a packed lunch. The only bit of work with the bulgar wheat is to put some boiling water over it (like cous cous) but that's it. You can dictate to how much bulgar wheat you want. I have a little bit more grain, as it's nice as a side dish. Easy easy, just chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, chopped spring onion. LOTS of chopped mint and coriander to give that flavour. A little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and a hefty squeeze of lemon juice. It needs that tangy punch. Very fresh tasting and very delicious and easy on the cash flow. If you are taking it in for lunch on it's own you could add some crumbled feta cheese to it and have with a wholemeal pitta. Done!

Chop chop salad is what it sounds like. Anything with a certain kind of crunch will work. You need chunks, not dainty slicing and dicing, so again it's so simple and quick. Ingredients that work best are carrots, celery, red pepper, cucumber, chicory, cos lettuce, red onion, spring onion. A big handful of herbs like coriander and parsley. It works best to be lightly covered (not drowned) in a thick dressing like the one from Jamie's recipe.

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