With the wondrous fresh bounty in our veggie plots, markets and shops, it seems a no brainer that we make the very most of summer ‘s fresh ingredients with some simply delicious main course salads – add a few slices of sushi grade salmon or a local soft goat cheese and summer never tasted do good.
Salmon sashimi salad with quinoa and miso dressing
150g red or white quinoa
60g baby Asian salad leaves
12 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
100g podded Edamame beans
1 small avocado, peeled, stoned and cut into wedges
400g sashimi-grade salmon fillet*
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
a handful of chives, snipped
chive flowers, optional
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Place the quinoa in a small saucepan with 300ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently, uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the grains are al dente and water absorbed. Set aside to cool in the pan.
Make the dressing. Place the mirin, sake and caster sugar in a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring until it reaches the boil. Simmer for 1 minute, then set aside to go cold. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until evenly combined.
Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and stir through the salad leaves, radish slices and edamame beans. Add half the dressing, stir well.
Season the salmon fillets and sprinkle with the sesame seeds, pressing lightly into the flesh. Drizzle with a little oil. Heat a dry frying pan until hot. Add the salmon and cook for 30 seconds each side until just charred on the outside. Cool for 10 minutes and then thinly slice.
Arrange the quinoa salad on plates with the seared salmon and avocado wedges. Scatter over the chives and chive flowers (if using) Drizzle with the remaining dressing to serve.
- Sashimi grade salmon is available from some good quality fishmongers. Ask your supplier and explain what you are using the fish for as it needs to be super fresh. Also if it is designed specifically to made into sushi it will come as a long thin fillet, ideal for slicing.
BBQ’d Korean chicken Noodle salad
500g skinless chicken thighs fillets
200g dried green tea soba noodles
2 carrots, trimmed
1 cucumber, seeded
1 nashi pear
100g bean sprouts
2 little gem lettuce, cut into wedges
a handful coriander leaves
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tablespoon clear honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoons gochujang*
a few micro herbs, to garnish, optional
Cut the chicken into 2cm pieces and place in bowl. Combine the marinade ingredients, pour over the chicken and stir well. Marinate for 2 hours.
Cook the noodles by plunging them into a pan of boiling water. Boil for 4 minutes until al dente. Drain, refresh under cold water and pat dry.
Cut the carrot and cucumber into long thin julienne. Peel, quarter and core the nashi pear and cut the flesh into thin batons. Combine the carrot, cucumber, nashi and bean sprouts. Set aside.
Make the dressing. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Place in a bowl and stir in the remaining dressing ingredients. Set aside.
Preheat the griddle pan until hot. Thread the chicken pieces onto metal or bamboo skewers and griddle for 3-4 minutes each side until charred and tender. Rest for 5 minutes.
Arrange the noodles in bowls and top with the salad, scatter over the micro herbs, if using. Drizzle over the dressing and serve with the skewers of chicken on the side.
- Gochujang is a red chilli spice paste with a sweet, spicy flavour. It is widely used in Korean cooking and is available from specialist food stores or online.
Marinated buffalo mozzarella with orange and fennel with basil oil
4 x 150g balls buffalo mozzarella
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-4 oranges, depending on size
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small head fennel, trimmed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
75g Niçoise olives, pitted
60g picked watercress leaves
60g basil leaves
150ml extra virgin olive oil
a few edible flowers, such as primulas or nasturtiums, to garnish, optional
Place the mozzarella balls in a bowl. Finely grate the zest and squeeze the juice of 1 orange into a bowl. Stir in the olive oil and season to taste. Lightly toast the fennel seeds and bash with a pestle and mortar. Add to the marinade and pour over the mozzarella. Set aside until required.
Make the basil oil. Wash the basil leaves in cold water. Then blanch the leaves in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and immediately refresh in iced water. Drain again and dry really well with paper towel. Place in a liquidizer with the oil and a little salt and puree until really fine. Strain the oil through a fine sieve (reserve both the basil pulp and oil, separately).
Peel and cut the remaining oranges into then slices. Shave the fennel into fine slices using a mandolin (or sharp knife) reserving any fronds. Remove the mozzarella balls from the marinade and strain the juices into a bowl. Stir the lemon juice and honey into the marinade to use as the dressing.
Arrange the mozzarella on plates with the shaved fennel, orange slices, olives and watercress leaves. Drizzle over the marinade dressing, basil oil and some pepper. Serve scattered with fennel fronds and edible flowers, if using.
- Tip: what to do with the basil pulp. There is still a good flavour in the basil pulp so add a little salt and pepper and toss through pasta.
Carpaccio of courgette, melted goat cheese and lemon with warm honey
2 large courgettes
60g baby spinach leaves
a handful fresh basil leaves
21/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs fresh lemon thyme or savory, chopped
200g goat cheese
4 tablespoons clear honey
4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
25g Parmesan, shaved
Using a mandolin, very thinly shave the courgettes lengthways. Arrange the slices on 4 serving plates, overlapping them to fit, if necessary. Take the courgette trimmings (there will be side
pieces left) and grate then on a box grater. Arrange the grated courgette in the centre of each plate. Top with the spinach and basil leaves.
Grate the lemon zest and set aside. Squeeze the juice into a bowl and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spoon about half of the dressing over the courgette carpaccio, set the rest of the dressing aside.
Preheat the grill to medium. Slice the goat cheese into rounds (if not bought as individual rounds) and arrange on a piece of oiled tin foil, on baking tray. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and scatter over the reserved grated lemon zest, chopped thyme or savory and some black pepper. Warm under the grill for 30 seconds or so until just starting to soften.
Meanwhile, warm the honey in a small saucepan until it just starts to bubble. Remove from the heat.
Carefully slide the warm cheese onto the courgettes and scatter over the spinach and basil leaves, pine nuts and shavings of Parmesan. Pour the remaining lemon dressing over the top and finally drizzle the salad with the heated honey. Serve.
Seared tuna salad with crisp flatbreads and aubergine salsa
2 flat breads or flour tortilla
1/2 teaspoon baharat spice*
4 x 125g tuna steaks
100g Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons tahini paste
2 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced into wedges
50g rocket leaves
1 medium aubergine, trimmed
1/4 red onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 small garlic clove, crushed
125g cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
grated zest and juice 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasse
sea salt and pepper
sunflower for deep frying
Roll the flatbreads up and cut into thin slices to form strips about 5mm thick. Heat about 5cm of sunflower oil in a deep frying pan until hot (check by frying ne strip of bread, it should sizzle as soon as it enters the oil). Fry the bread strips, in batches over a high heat for 1-2 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel, transfer to a bowl and add the spice mix and sea salt. Toss and set aside.
Heat a ridged griddle pan until hot. Cut the aubergine lengthways into thin slices about 5mm thick. Brush the slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Griddle for 4-5 minutes each side until charred and soft. Let cool and then dice the flesh.
Meanwhile, place the diced onion in a bowl, add the vinegar and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain.
Combine the diced aubergine, infused onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, mint and lemon zest. Season and stir well. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, pomegranate molasses and season to taste. Stir about half through the salsa.
Preheat a griddle pan until hot. Season the tuna fillets and sear over a high heat for 30-60 seconds until cooked to your liking. Rest for 5 minutes.
Beat the Greek yogurt and tahini together until smooth and season to taste.
Spread a little tahini on plates and top with the aubergine salsa, tuna fillets, rocket leaves and crisp flatbreads. Drizzle over the remaining dressing and serve..
- Baharat spice is a Middle Eastern/North African spice mix traditional used to flavour meats. You can buy it online or from specialist food stores.
© Recipes Louise Pickford
© Photographs Ian Wallace
First published by Food & Travel magazine August 2018