Want to spruce up your salad recipe bank? Anne Ager shares a whopping five to choose from, taken from the Reader's Digest Archives
Preparation: Approx 15 minutes
Arrange salad greens on four small plates; sprinkle with chopped pepper. Spread Tapenade on the toast and place at random on each salad. Trickle dressing over each salad.
Middle Eastern Rice Salad
Preparation: Approx 20 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook the rice in boiling salted water, to which you have added the saffron, until just tender. Meanwhile prepare the dressing: Mix the olive oil with the lime juice and garlic. Drain the cooked rice; rinse under warm water, and drain once again. Stir in the dressing, while the rice is still warm. Allow to cool. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
My Caesar Salad
Preparation: Approx 25 minutes
- 1 Cos lettuce, washed and shaken dry
- olive oil
- 1x50g can anxhovy fillets
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire suace
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- few drops Tabasco
- 1 tsp coarse grain French mustard
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 3 slices white bread, cut into small cubes
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp "shaved" Parmesan cheese, or 3 tbsp grated Parmesan
Tear Cos lettuce into pieces, place in a large salad bowl. Put 5 tbsp olive oil into a small bowl; add oil from anchovies. Chop anchovy fillets and add to oil, together with Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Tabasco, mustard and seasoning to taste. Fry garlic in 4 tbsp olive oil for 2 minutes; add bread cubes and fry until crisp and golden.
Meanwhile boil eggs for just 45 seconds. Quickly crack par-set eggs and scoop into the anchovy dressing; beat well. Add the croutons to the lettuce, together with the Parmesan cheese. Spoon over the prepared dressing, toss together, and serve immediately
Tomato and Ham Salad with Crunchy Leeks
Preparation: Approx 15 minutes
Slice the tomatoes thinly and arrange on a shallow dish; scatter the ham strips on top. Mix the olive oil with the orange juice, golden syrup, seasoning to taste and orange rind. Spoon the dressing evenly over the tomatoes. Deep fry the leek strips in hot oil for 1 to 2 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain thoroughly on absorbent paper; sprinkle over the salad and serve.
Apricot and Almond Salad
Preparation: Approx 45 minutes
Arrange the quartered apricots on a shallow serving dish. Sprinkle with half the liqueur, and the crushed biscuits. Beat the Mascarpone cheese with the orange juice, remaining liqueur, and the icing sugar. (Add extra sugar to taste, if required.) Trickle the flavoured Mascarpone over the apricots. Cover loosely and chill for 30 minutes before serving.
I have hunted around the shops and markets to find out what is new in the way of interesting and exciting salad ingredients. Here are what I consider to be my best discoveries.
Frozen salad herbs
Small cartons of shake-and-use herbs are now available from the freezer cabinet. There is a wide selection of single herbs, but my own favourite is the special blend of salad herbs, which includes basil, chives and parsley.
Bottled salad dressings
A tangy orange and coriander dressing quickly transforms a simple tomato and onion salad. A creamy pesto dressing, made with olive oil, basil, pine kernels and Parmesan, is exceptionally good on pasta salads. For a simple serving suggestion try spooning it over halved hard boiled eggs or slices of peeled avocado.
Shaped like small courgettes, these little avocados have no stone, and can be cut into neat slices for use in salads (with or without their skins).
Sun-dried tomato bread
Many supermarkets are now producing their own version of this delicious Italian bread. It is one of the very best breads to use for salad croutons: Cut the bread into small cubes and shallow fry in light olive oil until crisp and golden. Add warm to a salad, just before adding the dressing.
Add a simple crunch to your salads
Just crunch a handful of tortilla or bagel chips into the salad before tossing with your chosen dressing. Available from most supermarkets.
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