Salad Days

As the festive season gathers momentum, it’s always nice to have some old favourites tucked up your sleeve to add to your table, or to toss together to take as a shared plate…

These 3 salads, are my most requested recipes – mainly for their taste, but they have the added advantage that they are easy to prepare and are goodkeepers – perfect for lasting over a few meals over Christmas, or to keep in the fridge when Baching or just holidaying at home…

Corn and Bean Salad

Colourful Corn and Black Beans

This salad has the advantage that it is made from pantry ingredients, so has year-round appeal and as it’s also very colourful, it brightens up the table.

1 can whole kernel corn

1 can black beans

½ red onion diced finely

½ red pepper (Actually any colour, but red looks more styley) diced

Salt and Pepper

Zested rind of 1 lime

Juice of 1-2 limes (you can use that lime juice in a sachet – which I do if there are no limes in my fridge)

A couple of table spoons of EVO (extra virgin olive oil)

You can add a finely diced red chilli too – to give it a bit of va-va-va-voom…

Mix together in a bowl (non-metallic) and taste.. add more lime juice or EVO if you think it’s needed.

Fabulous Fennel

I may have mentioned that Fennel is one of my favourite ingredients. I grow it, and we eat it year-round. Cooked, it adds a mellow background flavour, while raw, it has a fabulous crunchy texture that stays crunchy…. Pairs beautifully with pork, chicken or fish…

Fennel and Spinach Salad

1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs

Juice of a lemon

Couple (maybe 3) of Tablespoons of a good mayo

Packet of mini spinach leaves

Handful of pumpkin seeds

S&P

Finely slice the fennel bulbs – I use a cheapie mandolin from the supermarket, but if your knife skills are good, you can just slice it.  Once sliced, plunge into cold water with the juice of half a lemon added. At this stage you can leave the fennel until you’re ready to assemble the salad.Once ready to assemble, drain the fennel and mix with the remaining lemon juice, mayo and S&P.  spread the spinach leaves over a flattish bowl; dollop the fennel artistically over the top and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top. If you had any fennel fronds you can chop finely and sprinkle them as a garnish.

Fennel Salad topped with Salmon

Fennel and orange Salad

1 large or 2 med Fennel Bulbs  Finely sliced(see above)

1-2 oranges, peeled, pithed and also finely sliced.. Save any juice that escapes

Zest and juice of 1 more orange

1 Tbsp of white wine vinegar

A good slug of EVO (extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Salt and plenty of pepper

Packet of rocket leaves

Arrange the rocket leaves on large flattish dish.  Mix orange juice, vinegar, EVO and salt and pepper well… toss fennel and orange slices in a bowl and pour over dressing.

Spread the orange and fennel slices over the rocket and pour over remainder of dressing.

You can also add pumpkin seeds to this for extra crunch.

If you haven’t tried Fennel before I urge you to give it a go, add it to your cooking repertoire.. 

Orange makes a perfect pairing with Fennel

Enjoy!

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