It’s so handy to be able to throw a salad together at short notice – I try to keep some baby gems and a cucumber as a permanent feature of my vegetable drawer – that way you’ve got the basics, and then you add whatever else if lying around.
I love salads that are (mostly) made up of all the same colours, so I’ll give you my basic version here, and my list of possible additions in the NOTES section
- a large bowl
- a whisk, if you have one, if not, a fork will do the job.
- tablespoon or so of really good oil – I use my posh Olive Oil for this.
- a sprinkle of Garlic salt (I always have garlic salt for sprinkling on tomato sandwiches, just like my Dad used to do )
- freshly ground black pepper
- juice of half a lime, or a small lemon
- Teaspoon of dried herbs of your choice ( I like Italian herbs in this) Or fresh ones if you’ve got them, obviously.
- 1-2 little Gem lettuces sliced up
- 10cm piece of cucumber, skin removed, and sliced into quarters
- stick of celery, finely chopped
- Any suitable fruit that’s available – apple (thinly sliced into matchsticks) Avocado, in chunks; nectarine or peach, in season, chopped.
- Put the oil, lime juice, herbs, Garlic salt and pepper into the bottom of the bowl
- Whisk together until they become emulsified – the mixture will change colour
- Add the vegetables in this order: celery, cucumber, fruit, leaves
- You can now leave the bowl like this until you’re ready to serve, then all you have to do is mix it all together thoroughly – you’ll know it’s done when all the contents have a light sheen of the dressing.
- Taste a bit and adjust the seasoning if you need it.
- Once it’s mixed, serve as soon as possible.
- The great thing about this salad is that if you put the ingredients into the bowl in the right order, it will sit happily for up to an hour before mixing and serving. All you have to remember is to put the leaves in last.
- In the summer time, I love to add peaches or nectarines. Consider grapes, orange segments too..
- Radishes, finely julienned carrots, spring onions, beetroot etc. are all excellent additions.
- If you’re adding tomatoes, little baby ones cut in half are probably best, otherwise remove the seeds from larger tomatoes, unless they’re very firm.
- A really large bowl is ideal for this, but remember, even if you don’t have a huge bowl – try thinking outside the box – what about your mixing bowl? Or the bowl from your Kenwood? Or the cover of a cake box? Once the salad if fully mixed you can transfer it into a lasagne dish or similar for serving