Though I am completely into eating seasonally I do not believe that food types such as salad need to be eaten at particular times of year; long gone are the days when a salad is simply a wedge of iceberg with some cheese and tomatoes. Nowadays there is a whole variety of salads that can be consumed at any time of the day or year.
I am a big salad fan, which I know sounds incredibly boring, but with such a vast range of vegetables it is easy to create something delicious and nutritious with minimal effort. I am so busy currently that I simply do not have time to slave over a hot stove, but I also want to stay healthy and keep those energy levels up. That is why simple, fast, hearty salads are often my go to meal.
Because of my fast paced lifestyle I am not a plan ahead kind of cook and usually get creative with whatever is in the fridge. However spending a Saturday afternoon in Borough Market meant that I was surrounded by plenty of inspiration and picked up some lovely fresh ingredients to play with.
Inspired by the lovely bright end of summer day I had just enjoyed, I wanted to make something that complemented the weather so I went for spiced aubergine and courgette (for a little depth and exotic spiciness), mixed peppers, mixed tomatoes, red onion and Florette Mixed Leaves (for some colour and crisp freshness).
For two people I used:
- 1 courgette (sweet potato also works well)
- 1 red pepper
- 1/2 an aubergine
- 1/2 red onion
- 3 multi coloured tomatoes
- 1 bag of Florette salad
- 1 clove of peeled garlic
- 4 hand-fulls of fresh coriander,
- 1 lime
- grated manchego
Disclaimer: I like to keep things loose in the kitchen so these are very much guidelines and not rules!
- Pre heat oven to 180
- Oil a baking tray – I use coconut but you can use whatever your prefer
- Chop aubergine and courgette to similar sizes sprinkle with cumin and smoked paprika for a little warmth
- Chop red onion and also add to baking tray
- Pop in the oven until tender (around 15 mins)
Whilst they were cooking I made a coriander pesto from the book ‘A Salad For All Seasons’ by Harry Eastwood, which was super simple but a nice accompaniment. I’ve got a little fancy lately and bought myself a Kenwood food processor, so all I had to do was simply:
- Add the coriander, garlic with oil and then give it a quick spin
- Drop in the pistachios, giving it another blitz
- Mix in the manchago and lime juice by hand
However, you can just as easily finely chop then mix the ingredients together.
- Take the courgette, onion and aubergine out of the oven once tender and leave to cool
- Meanwhile, chop up the red pepper and tomatoes
- Open the bag of Florette, pop in a bowl with the other vegetables, mix with a little oil then salt and pepper to taste
I served my salad up with some freshly baked bread from Bread Ahead, olives, hummus and, of course, the delicious pesto.
So there you have it, my take on a colourful end of summer salad. If this is not to your taste then you can also check out Florette Summer salads on their website for plenty more recipe ideas.
What is your favourite quick and healthy dinner? Do you have any recipes to share?
*Florette gifted me a bag containing vouchers for their salad, and the A Salad For All Season book however the recipe and all opinions are my own.