Bill Granger’s Pea, Mint and Feta Salad

Serves: 4

This is one of Bill Granger’s signature dishes and he deserves it to be.

Amazing.

We have had mixed success with some of his dishes, though a good Bill Granger dish is a great one and this is definitely a salad that is great.

It looks simple – because it is – though the whole thing comes together wonderfully.

If you need a side to pair with that piece of lamb you’re doing on the BBQ, this is definitely a salad you should try.

Amazing.

Ingredients

200gm frozen peas
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
40gm shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
1 large handful fresh mint leaves
60gm baby English spinach
90gm Feta cheese, crumbled

Method

  1. Blanch the peas until cooked – boiled water or microwaved – until they are tender and bright green. Refresh immediately in cold water, drain and set aside.
  2. In a small pan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over a medium heat: add the onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, vinegar and honey and season with the salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the peas, onions and pistachios and pour over the dressing. Add the mint, spinach and gently toss to coat with dressing.
  5. Top the salad with the feta cheese and serve.

Brussel Sprout Salad with Bacon, Apple and Buttermilk Dressing

Serves: 4

As far as slaws go, this is a total winner.

You’ll reach for more and more.

Served along-side really anything that benefits from a slaw – chicken, pork, whatever – it is just wonderful.

Our favourite party trick is serving salads at BBQs that blow people away.

With little effort, this slaw is definitely part of that party trick and one I would commend to you, any night – or BBQ or lunch or whatever – of the week.

Don’t be fooled. It is excellent.

Enjoy.

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil
4 bacon rashers (about 280gm) rind removed and roughly chopped
12 large Brussels Sprouts
3 golden shallots, thinly sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into matchsticks
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped to serve
Shaved Parmesan to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the bacon and fry, turning occasionally, until crisp: 6 – 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  2. Shave Brussels Sprouts with a mandolin into a bowl. Add a good pinch of salt, shallots, apples and half the lemon juice. Toss to combine and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the mayonnaise and buttermilk, remaining lemon juice and season: drizzle over the salad and toss well. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. Scatter the bacon, chives and Parmesan. Season again and serve.

Tobie Puttock’s Roast Cauliflower with Chickpea Salad

Serves: 4 as a side

This is an excellent salad.

A bistro-quality, this-is-excellent, Tuesday-night-just-got-better salad.

It is another Tobie Puttock recipe and it is super simple: like all things cauliflower, not only does it taste wonderful roasted, with a crispy, charred, nutty flavour, though it is satisfying.

Potatoes play no role here.

We love to cook new recipes every time we cook, though having a repertoire of interesting, wonderful salads to whip-up every time we just want a grilled piece of steak, is definitely a thing for us.

This salad makes the cut.

Honestly, get onto it.

Ingredients

1/2 large cauliflower
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp, hulled tahini
2 tbsp low-fat plain Greek-style yoghurt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp warm water
Good handful of mint leaves, torn
Good handful of continental parsley, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Use a small, sharp knife to remove the florets from the cauliflower and discard the core. Place the florets in a large bowl and season with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, a good pinch of both salt and pepper and the chilli flakes. Spread over one of the prepared baking trays and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until the cauliflower is becoming dark around the edges and crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, scatter the chickpeas and garlic cloves over the other lined tray. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive and shake the tray to combine. Roast for 20 minutes or until golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  4. Squeeze the roasted garlic flesh into a bowl, discarding the skins. Mash the garlic with a fork and then add the cayenne pepper, tahini, yoghurt, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and water and stir to combine. Adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  5. Divider the cauliflower and chickpeas among serving plates, drizzle with the dressing and scatter the mint and parsley on top. Serve.

BLAT Salad

Serves: 6

I am a complete sucker for a BLAT.

Bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato on toasted Turkish bread any Saturday morning and you’ve won me. Eggs have no role here.

Which of course means that if you can have a BLAT salad… at dinner… with a steak.

Well, that is sort of that mind-blown territory.

So without further adieu, this is not only a BLAT salad, but a seriously cracking great salad you must try with any steak, pork or chicken you are considering this week.

Amazing.

Ingredients

200ml Olive Oil plus extra
200gm rindless smokey bacon
200gm white bread cubed
Handfuls of cos lettuce, torn
500gm cherry tomatoes, halved
4 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 avocados cut into wedges
2 tsp garlic powder

Buttermilk dressing

130ml buttermilk
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small lemon, juiced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped chives

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 100c. In a large frypan, cook the bacon until crisp. Break into pieces, transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven to keep warm.
  2. Strain the bacon fat, wipe the pan clean and return the strained fat to the pan and bring to a medium-heat. Combine the cubed bread with the garlic powder and a few splashes of olive oil and fry in the bacon oil until golden and crispy.
  3. Drain the bread on paper towels.
  4. For the buttermilk dressing, combine the ingredients.
  5. Combine the lettuce, tomato and avocado in a bowl. Add the bacon and fried bread and lightly toss to combine. Drizzle with the buttermilk dressing.

Martha Stewart’s Pea Salad

Serves: 4

We had an amazing Bill Granger Pea Salad last week and inspired, I was looking up pea salads we could serve this week along with some spicy lamb meatballs we we’re having for dinner.

This recipe came up a lot.

I used Parmesan rather than Cheddar and I cooked and then refreshed the peas rather then letting them de-thaw in the salad in the fridge for 4 hours… something you are most welcome to do if you wish.

The reason I’ve typed it up of course is that is a fantastic salad.

So much so that the next day, I did a double batch for a BBQ pool party and everyone loved it. Even kids.

Get onto this!

(Note: we cook our greens in the microwave; a dash of water in a microwave dish and you have crunchy, crisp greens without the need to boil or broil… In typing up this recipe, I haven’t prescribed how to cook the peas and however you do it, enjoy.)

Ingredients

1/4 cup (low fat) egg mayonnaise
1/4 cup (low fat) sour cream
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
500gm frozen baby peas
1/4 cup, packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
60gm, Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
120gm smoked bacon

Method

  1. Cook the bacon in a large frypan over a medium heat until browned and becoming crispy: around 10 minutes. Drain well on paper towel and then julienne.
  2. Cook the peas until warmed through; refresh in cold water.
  3. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream and vinegar in a large bowl; season generously with salt and pepper. Fold in the peas, onion and parsley.
  4. Refrigerate until needed and gently fold in the Parmesan and bacon just before serving.

Almond and Broccolini Salad

Serves: 6

Yum.

Our eldest boys, Oliver and Tom made us dinner the other night.

Meatballs with halloumi and pine nuts… and this dish on the side, found by Oliver after some very diligent online research.

It’s really good and definitely something for a summer BBQ.

Well done boys.

Ingredients

2 bunches broccolini, ends trimmed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup currants (or raisins)
2 tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
1 tsp grated lemon zest

Method

  1. Blanch the broccolini in boiling water until the stems are tender-crisp; 2 minutes or so. Refresh in ice water and set aside.
  2. Transfer broccolini to a serving platter. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice; sprinkle with currants, Parmesan cheese, almonds and lemon zest.

Roast Salmon, Bean and Potato Salad

Serves: 4

Salmon, green beans and potatoes pair beautifully and this classic and particularly simple Jamie Oliver number is yet another great example of why.

And it is even better cold the next day for lunch.

Pencil this in for next Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night.

(Note: I have changed the name of the original recipe – it was just a bit too ‘Jamie’ – as well as adapting the ingredients and method slightly.)

Ingredients

4 x 200gm salmon fillets
Extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, juiced and zested
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 clove of garlic, crushed
250ml fat-free natural yoghurt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
450gm baby potatoes, boiled, quartered and let to cool slightly
250gm green beans, cooked and left to cool slightly
1 bunch watercress
1 sprig fresh mint
1 sprig fresh basil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c.
  2. Rub the salmon pieces with a little oil, lemon juice and zest (saving some for the dressings), salt and pepper. Place them on a piece of baking paper and bake on a baking tray in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
  3. Combine the crushed garlic and the yoghurt and season with salt and pepper, a little lemon juice and the cayenne pepper.
  4. Dress the potatoes and green beans in a little salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest and olive oil. Toss together with the watercress and herbs and divide among four bowls.
  5. Break the cooked salmon up and place on the dressed beans and potatoes. Serve with a spoonful of the yoghurt on-top.

Parmesan Dressing

Serves: 4

Salad is one of our favourite fall-back meals.

And the boys love nothing more than homemade sausages, some chargrilled eye fillet and a green salad… with one of the rotating salad dressings we like to make.

The rotation gets a little bigger with this one from Curtis Stone and its simplicity – and the parmesan – are what make it such a no-brainer for a throw-together grilled chicken salad.

I recommend adding this little number to your repertoire.

Ingredients

2 tbsp red wine vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 eschalot, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped thyme
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Season and drizzled over your next salad.

Deb’s Layered Salad

Deb’s Layered Salad

Serves: Hundreds

Christmas – specifically the catering of it – is a truly unique time.

Exciting, once-a-year, stressful, often unidirectional and lonesome (at least from the cook’s perspective), always worth it. We over-cater, we stress about dry turkeys, we snap when asked why we do or do not serve cranberry with our turkey/ham/chicken/whatever.

Best stuffings are argued and yet, when the time comes, it all tastes pretty bloody good, it is all greatly appreciated and the stress of the morning is forgotten in the malaise of the afternoon.

One of the greater stresses is changing your tradition or having it changed for you. We each have a vision of Christmas and if you don’t do prawns or BBQ, you don’t do prawns or BBQ.

Last year, we had a big family Christmas at Nat’s parent’s place. The kids, kid’s of kids, dogs, the whole shebang. The Ashes are a pretty relaxed bunch and they serve up some pretty awesome dinners; and yet it was with trepidation that I tried to merge what I could of my Christmas lunch with their tradition.

Top of my worries was this salad.

How could it go with my stuffed turkey breast, truffle mash or famous stuffing? I don’t do the simple, salad and meat Christmas and there was no way this salad could make sense to me.

Well, last year, my tradition changed!

To include this salad.

BOOM! It is awesome. Christmas awesome.

It is exactly what is great about Christmas. It tastes like Christmas.

It is utterly outrageous and that is the point.

Deb – Nat’s mum – throws some interesting culinary curve-balls and I should have known from her potato bake and cauliflower mash that she had it sorted.

I am a doubter no more.

My only worry is trying to convince you yo try it. Hopefully my admission of wrongful doubt will help.

BOOM!

Ingredients

Iceberg lettuce, shredded
Baby peas, blanched
Button mushrooms, sliced thinly
Eggs, boiled, grated
Spring onions, thinly sliced
Cheddar cheese, grated
Sour cream and whole egg mayonnaise, equal parts combined
Bacon, julienned and fried
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Baby tomatoes, chopped

Method

  1. In the biggest bowl you can find, layer it all. Again and again.

Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad

Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad

Serves: 8

You want a healthy, tasty chicken salad right?

Who doesn’t?

It is one of my top searches for a weeknight meal or a Saturday lunch.

You want your back covered?

Nat’s got it!

With this awesome, super healthy, utterly moorish number: something I would make en-masse and ready to serve as a lunch or a snack all week.

240 calories per serve. 240!

Nat and this salad are genius.

Ingredients

1kg chicken breast
1 cup chicken stock
⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
⅔ cup reduced-fat sour cream
½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tbsp dried tarragon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups celery, diced
1 ½ cups, red seedless grapes, halved

Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 230c.
    2. Arrange the chicken in a baking dish in a single layer and pour the stock around the chicken. Bake until cooked through, around 30 – 35 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle and then cube the meat.
    3. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts on a baking sheet until slightly golden; around 6 minutes. Allow to cool.
    4. Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, tarragon, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the celery, grapes and the cooled chicken and walnuts. Stir to coat and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Serve on a bed of salad: lettuce, tomato, avocado, diced red onion, cucumber, whatever!