Category Archives: Salad

Baked Cheesy Avocado With Chimmichurri Tomatoes And A Spicy Egg

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I defy anyone not to like avocado cooked this way!

This is one of my favourite brunch or supper dishes. I happily sit down to have this while the boys are having a gluten laden meal!

I usually make up a big batch of chimichurri dressing and have it in the fridge for a couple of days, great over barbecued chicken and steak! I’ve popped my chimichurri recipe below if you want to give it a go.

Serves 2.

 Ingredients

4 medium tomatoes, deseeded and diced

2 tablespoons chimichurri dressing

2 small avocados, sliced

50g Parmesan, finely grated

salt and pepper

a little oil or ghee

a pinch of chilli flakes

3 eggs, 1 beaten

Method

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees centigrade. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Take the avocado slices, dip them in the beaten egg and then into the Parmesan.

Lay on the baking sheet and once they are all coated, pop them into the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese is crispy.

While the avocado bakes, mix the chimichurri dressing and tomatoes, spoon onto your serving plate.

Heat the oil or ghee in a frying pan and once hot, add the chilli and cook for 30 seconds.

Crack the eggs into the pan and fry until the white is set and the yolk is still runny.

Lay the baked avocado over the tomatoes and top with the eggs.

CHIMICHURRI DRESSING

25g parsley leaves

25g coriander, leaves and stalks

140mls olive oil

2-3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 clove of garlic

salt and pepper

Process all of the ingredients to form a paste.

Spinach and Lentil Salad With Apple and Persian Feta

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Another favourite salad that is surprisingly filling thanks to the lentils.

You can use tinned lentils if you prefer, probably two tins, drained and rinsed well.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

100g dried brown lentils

200g baby spinach leaves

1 Granny Smith apple, finely sliced

100g Persian marinated feta

4 tablespoons oil from the feta

zest of a small lemon

2 teaspoons lemon juice

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped roughly

Method

Pour the lentils into a pan and cover with at least double depth of water.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 35-45 minutes until cooked through but not squishy.

Drain in a colander and then run cold water over them to cool down quickly. Set aside to drain completely.

Make the dressing, combine the oil from the feta, lemon juice, rind, salt and pepper.

Plate up the salad, spinach followed by lentils, apple and then feta.

Drizzle over the dressing and then sprinkle with the fresh dill.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

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In the good old days I loved tabbouleh made with burghul but since Coeliacs I’ve had to adapt and the family with me, most of the time!

Quinoa is a great alternative and really goes well with the fresh flavours. I do use large quantities of herbs, the weights given are for leaf weights, not the stalks! If you aren’t a huge fan of parsley or mint, just play around with the herbs until you get it the way you like it.

Serves 6. We often have tabbouleh with beetroot falafels and Greek yogurt. The boys have flat breads too.

Ingredients

180g white quinoa

500mls water

50g mint leaves, finely shredded

50g fresh parsley leaves, finely shredded

3 spring onions, finely sliced

4 large tomatoes, deseeded and diced finely

juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

Method

Measure the quinoa into a medium pan, add the cold water and cover with a lid, bring up to the boil and then simmer for 14mins. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing the lid.

Tip the quinoa into a sieve and run cold water over it to cool, allow to drain completely.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and allow to sit for 30minutes to allow the flavours to develop.

Serve with beetroot falafel.

Chickpeas with Chorizo

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 These are lovely as a side dish or part of a tapas meal.

I like the chickpeas to be really crispy but if you prefer them a little softer that works really well too, just cook the onion and smoked paprika first and then add the chickpeas to warm through followed by the cooked chorizo.

Serves 2-4.

Ingredients

60g piece of chorizo

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika

1/2 red onion, finely sliced

1 x 420g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

salt and pepper

A little chopped parsley to garnish

Method

Heat a frying over a high heat.

Add the oil and once hot fry the chorizo on both sides. Remove and set aside.

Add the smoked paprika, onion and chickpeas, stir regularly until the chickpeas are crispy, return the chorizo to the pan and heat through, check for seasoning, garnish with  a little parsley and serve.

Salade Nicoise

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My version of the French classic, so good even my boys eat it all, including the anchovies!

The anchovies have a little soak in the milk to reduce the saltiness and make them more palatable to the boys, a thirty minute soak and then dried on paper towel is ideal.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

425g tin tuna in olive oil, drained

8 anchovies in oil, drained

60mls milk

4 eggs, hard boiled, halved

8 kalamata olives

1 teaspoon baby capers in vinegar, rinsed

160g snow peas, string removed, cut in three lengthwise

3 spring onions, topped and tailed, finely sliced

200g mixed lettuce leaves

DRESSING

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper

Method

Prepare the dressing, combine all of the ingredients and set aside.

Layer the anchovies in a small bowl and pour over the milk, give them a wee swirl and then set aside for thirty minutes.

Remove the anchovies and dry on kitchen towel, discard the milk.

I tend to layer the salad, keeping a few pieces from each ingredient back, toss gently and then top with the reserved pieces.

Dress the salad and serve.

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Pearls

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Now, I’m not into molecular style cooking. It doesn’t lend itself to a busy household and my lack of patience and skills!

However, last week I managed to find some balsamic vinegar pearls in an iconic Perth European food supplier. I couldn’t say no! They also happened to have some amazing fresh mozzarella so clearly Caprese salad had to be on the menu.

If you can’t find pearls, drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over after the oil.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

250g fresh mozzarella ball, drained and dried on kitchen towel and sliced thinly

4-6 large tomatoes, sliced thinly

6 basil leaves, torn

a little extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground pepper

1-2 teaspoons balsamic pearls

Method

Layer the tomato, a piece of basil, slice of mozzarella in a dish and repeat until all the cheese is used.

Drizzle over a little olive oil and season with pepper.

Sprinkle over the balsamic pearls and serve.

Garlicky Broad Bean and Halloumi Salad

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Broad beans were a much maligned veg in my house until we had this salad with Tarragon Chicken pieces.

If you can get your hands on some really good halloumi the saltiness combined with the garlicky beans is a winner.

I use frozen beans, they are so  handy loitering in the freezer. I don’t dress the salad as we have juicy chicken with it but a simple vinaigrette would work well.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

500g frozen broad beans

2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

30mls olive oil

200g haloumi, drained and dried,  sliced 3-5mm thick

250g mixed salad leaves or rocket

Method

Take the broad beans and blanch for 30seconds, cool under a running tap.

Take each bean and peel off the outer skin, set aside and repeat.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the garlic and once fragrant add the beans and fry quickly.

Set aside and add the haloumi slices to the pan, fry until golden.

In your serving bowl, lay the mixed leaves on the base, top with the warm broad beans and add the haloumi slices.

Serve immediately.

Sunshine Salad

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This salad evolved from trying to get the boys to eat more veggies, to begin with they were allowed to choose one item not to eat in the salad, fortunately now they eat it all!

Serves 6 as a side dish.

Ingredients

1/2 a head iceberg lettuce

large handful baby spinach leaves

1 carrot, peeled and grated or finely julienned

4 large tomatoes, cut into wedges

3 large mushrooms, finely sliced

1 Lebanese cucumber, finely sliced

1/2 head of broccoli, broken into florets and blanched

2 avocados, sliced

2 nectarines, sliced

3 hard boiled eggs, quartered

Dressing

2 tablespoon sour cream

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 lime, juiced

salt and pepper

Method

I layer the salad in the order of the ingredients.

Mix the dressing ingredients.

Spoon some dressing over the salad and serve the remainder on the side.

Mushroom and Black Pudding Salad

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Black pudding is not normally gluten free, it should contain barley, however, my fab butcher has sourced this delicious pudding with buckwheat, happy days!!!

I love this for a late breakfast or lunch and a couple of eggs with it would make it perfect.

If you want a couple of eggs, use a large pan and cook the eggs in the pan at the same time as the mushrooms, saves on washing up!

I don’t think this salad needs a dressing, the pudding and mushrooms add enough flavour, maybe just a little salt and pepper to taste?

This serves 2.

Ingredients

2 thick slices of black pudding, gluten free

12 chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced

handful spinach leaves

handful mixed salad leaves

1 avocado

Method

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat.

Once hot, crumble the black pudding into it and using the back of the spoon, squish down to break it further into crumbs.

Once the black pudding begins to release it’s fat, move the pudding to the side and add the mushrooms to the pan, fry until golden.

Plate on a serving plate with mixed leaves, mushrooms, spinach, avocado and top with black pudding to warm the avocado and let the spinach wilt a little.

Pink Coleslaw

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In a house full of boys it is sometimes nice to have a little bit of pink at the table.

Great with barbecued food and anytime a salad is needed, this is also a handy recipe for using up egg yolks!

If you don’t have a mandolin just grate the carrots and beets on the largest grating setting.

If you would rather use jarred mayo, just add the whole grain mustard to it before stirring through the veg.

To make it vegetarian use an egg free mayo alternative.

Serves 8-10.

Ingredients

1/2 large cabbage, outer leaves removed

2 carrots, peeled and topped and tailed

2 beetroots, peeled and topped and tailed

1 red onion, peeled and topped and tailed

2 egg yolks

10 mls white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

225mls  sunflower oil

3 tablespoons whole grain mustard

Method

Take the stem out of the cabbage and slice very finely, place in a large bowl.

Using a mandolin, finely cut the carrots and beetroots into matchsticks, add to the cabbage.

Finely slice the onion, add to the bowl.

In a small bowl. Whisk the egg yolks, vinegar, Dijon mustard and a little salt.

Slowly add the oil, whisking all of the time.

Once you have a thick mayonnaise, add the whole grain mustard and combine.

Mix the mayonnaise through the vegetables and serve.