Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A couple of salads

This week I have mostly been eating... salad. Honest. And there's no meat in it or pies or anything. The unseasonably warm and sunny weather has made slightly cooler, slightly lighter dinners seem appropriate already.  Barbecued meat would also be a winner, but I'm gardenless for another couple of weeks so that will have to wait.

Here are two really good, simple salads for a weeknight meal. Each recipe is enough for one, but they will easily double up or more.

Goats cheese, beetroot and watercress
This is a winning combination. Sweet, earthy beetroot works really well with creamy, tangy goats cheese. The cress adds a bit of crunch and pepperiness, and the dressing a fruity, sour note.

You will need:
50-60g soft-ish goats cheese (I used Chevre)
100-125g cooked beetroot (about half a pre-cooked vacuum pack. NOT pickled)
a big handful of watercress
a lemon
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 slices good bread for toasting (sourdough is ideal)

What to do:
Slice the beetroot and put it under a hot grill with the bread
Dress the watercress with the juice of half a lemon, a good glug of olive oil and some salt & pepper
Break up the cheese into small chunks
Turn the beetroot and bread to grill the other side
Toss the warm beetroot with the dressed watercress and cheese
Put on a plate with the toast, drizzle over olive oil and serve with the rest of the lemon to squeeze over.
Eat straight away.

Salmon, cucumber and watercress with yoghurt and dill
This is a rich, cool and creamy salad, quite fatty from the yoghurt and salmon. This is balanced nicely by the aromatic, fruity notes from the dill, lemon and olive oil, and by the crispness of the cucumber and cress.

You will need:
150-200g salmon fillet
half a cucumber
a big handful of watercress
a small bunch of fresh dill (half a small supermarket packet is about right)
2 tbsps greek style yoghurt
a lemon
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 slices good bread for toasting (sourdough is ideal)

What to do:
Season the salmon and wrap it in tin foil with a couple of very thin slices of lemon.
Bake the salmon in a hot oven until just done (this will depend on the size of the piece, about 10 mins or so).
While the salmon is cooking chop the dill very finely and mix it up in a bowl with the yoghurt, the juice of half a lemon, a good glug of olive oil and some salt & pepper.
Slice the cucumber into thin strips.
When the salmon is done leave it to cool a bit for a couple of minutes.
Toast the bread.
Toss the cucumber and watercress in the dill and yoghurt dressing.
Flake the salmon and throw it in with the dressed cucumber and watercress.
Plate it all up with the toast, drizzle over olive oil and any excess dressing, and squeeze over the last bit of lemon.
Eat straight away while the salmon is still warm.


Chef Chipmunk said...

Just wanted to say your blog is fantastic! Exactly what I was looking for; north based, well written, witty, lots of pictures, very frequently updated and a great mix of restaurants/cafes/recipes/general food musings! it's exactly what i'd want mine to be if i had the time (saying this, I have just spent about an hour reading all your archives so maybe I'm just lazy) Pleeeeease keep it up!

Pavel said...

Goats Cheese and Beetroot is classic, love it!

Dave said...

Chef Chipmunk - thanks for your kind words, really appreciate it. I've followed your blog in case you get the time to resurrect it. I share your fear of baking!

Pavel - cheers, don't think I'd ever had the combo before. I must have read several recipes for it though as the idea was firmly lodged in my head.

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