MY FAVOURITE SUMMER SALADS
I don’t know about you, but something about Summer just makes me crave a vibrant nutrient packed salad and I have 3 on repeat right now that I just had to share with you.
#1 - Inspired by Jennifer Aniston
Apparently, Jen ate this salad for TEN YEARS on the set of friends, so you know it has to be good! I saw this recipe circulating on social media and it was filled with everything I love, and it was a total success. This salad has been my Summer Go-To for the last two summers.
This salad is a not only refreshing but it’s packed with protein from chickpeas, so if you prefer a meat free lunch, this works as a great alternative or if you’re wanting to up the protein, you can add your protein source of choice as you go rather than preparing all together so it stays fresher for longer.
I’m really not a ‘measurement’ kind of girl, I find it too complicated, I just make my salads based on approximately how many days I’ll be eating.
When I make this salad, it stays in my fridge for four lunches and does not go soggy! If you’re like me who loves removing the “what shall I eat today” out of my day, then this salad is for you. You can make a smaller version by halving all of the ingredients. I also love this to keep in the fridge and serve as a side salad in the evening.
Chickpeas (1 tin)
Quinoa (I use the Merchant Red and White Quinoa) for efficiency (1 pack)
Small red onion (1)
Cucumber (½) - I de-seed my cucumber
Pomegranate seeds (I use approx ½ a pack)
Nuts of your choice (I use walnuts, Jen used pistachios - pecans would also work) (1 handful - and cut them fine so they go throughout the entire salad)
Red pepper (1)
Fresh mint leaves
Fresh parsley leaves
Feta cheese (I use approx ½ a block of feta cheese and cut finely or you can use the cubed feta and use as much as you desire)
Olive oil (1-2 TBSP)
White wine or balsamic vinegar (Optional) - (1TBSP)
Microwave your quinoa for a quick 30 seconds and add to a large salad bowl and allow to cool (I prefer to warm it slightly so it’s softer)
Dice all ingredients - red pepper and onion should be finely chopped
Finely slice your mint and parsley
Drain your chickpeas well
Pour all ingredients together and use salad spoons to mix well
Add your dressing (you can either add this now, or add when you serve)
#2 - Everything is peachy!
If you love a fruity salad, these next two are for you. I’d love to say I created this recipe on my own, but I didn’t! I always try to look for new recipes but sometimes it’s time consuming. I usually stalk my friend @emthenutritionist on Instagram for my inspiration, but this week during my online food shop I came across a new favourite recipe hub - Waitrose Recipes! What I loved most about this was I could add the ingredients directly to my basket unlike other grocery websites where you have to go and search for them (which can be annoying as you often forget and have to keep coming back to the recipe page!).
I made half of this and it served me for one large salad. Due to the moisture in this salad I didn’t want to make too much more and risk the rocket going soggy from the peach juices. So my advice would be to make this one as you go along, it takes less than five minutes!
Chickpeas, Spinach and Quinoa Pouch (300g)
Olive oil (2 tbsp)
Balsamic Vinegar - (1 tbsp)
Wild rocket (2 handfuls / 30g)
Italian Mozzarella (150g)
Yellow Flesh Peaches - Sliced (2)
Pecans - Roughly chopped (or you could use walnuts) - (20g)
Heat the grain pouch according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, whisk together the oil and balsamic vinegar with a pinch of salt. (Allow the grains to cool otherwise the mixture of temperatures is a little unusual)
Slice the peaches - try to opt for ripened peaches otherwise they may be a little hard and difficult to cut as well as eat
Layer your rocket over the grains, followed by your torn mozzarella and sliced peaches.
Spoon over the dressing and serve immediately.
#3 - Watermelon sugar Hi!
I am obsessed with watermelon and feta salads with a sprinkle of mint during the Summer, but I also love halloumi, so when I saw this recipe I just had to try it and I can confirm it’s a solid 10/10.
I’m not sure how long this would last in my fridge, I’d say max 2 days vs 4 like recipe #1.
Cherry vine tomatoes - cut in halves
Watermelon chunks - 450g (I didn’t measure mine)
Merchant Gourmet Red & White Quinoa (this is a staple in my pantry)
Mint Leaves (½ 25g pack - finely sliced, reserving a few whole leaves)
Olive Oil - (5 TBSP)
Unwaxed lime, Zest + Juice
Halloumi, Sliced (250g) - Again use however much you desire and never let anyone tell you there's too much halloumi in anything - you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
Sumac - ¾ tsp (I’ll be honest, I’ve never tried/used this, and I’m not sure what taste I was looking for, but don’t stress yourself out going to different supermarkets looking for it).
Balsamic Vinegar (Not in the original recipe but I added a touch for extra zing)
Put the cherry vine tomatoes in a bowl with the watermelon chunks and pouch of quinoa; toss together. Add the mint to the bowl, along with the olive oil and the zest and juice of the lime; season.
Slice and pan-fry the halloumi in 2 tsp olive oil until golden, then stir half through the melon mixture. Spoon the salad onto a platter, then top with the remaining halloumi and mint leaves. Sprinkle over the sumac and an extra drizzle of olive oil, if liked.
Bon appetit! Let me know how you get along with these!