The perfect meal on a hot Summer’s day, especially when the ingredients are straight from the vegetable garden! These recipes are perfect as they are very quick and easy to prepare, as well as being light and delicious and include :
- Warm Chicken Salad
- Bean There, Done That Salad
- Warm Potato Salad with Mustard Mayonnaise
- Green Salad with Vinaigrette
- Gorgonzola and Pear Platter
- Prawns with Seafood Sauce
Warm Chicken Salad (serves 4)
With many thanks to one of my favourite TV chefs, Ian Parmenter, from his book ‘Consuming Passions’. This is equally delicious served cold.Slice 2 skinned chicken breasts into thin strips and marinate in 1 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1 dsp chilli sauce for at least 1 hour.Fry chicken pieces in 1 tbsp olive oil over a high heat for 1 minute. Do not overcook. Remove chicken pieces to a warm place.
In the same pan, stir 1 finely chopped clove garlic, 1 finely sliced red capsicum, 4-5 spring onions sliced into bite-sized pieces, 200g snow peas and 100g unsalted cashews for a few minutes, then toss in chicken.Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves on a large serving plate. Sprinkle with the juice of 1 lime or lemon and 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander.
Bean There, Done That Salad (serves 4)
Another ‘Consuming Passions’ recipe! Super quick and easy and a meal in itself, which is perfect if you haven’t much time or energy!!!Drain 1 large can tuna and 1 can white beans and put both tuna and beans in a bowl.
Add 1 finely sliced red onion, 3-4 tbsp chopped fresh basil, 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1.5 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp rinsed capers, freshly ground pepper and lastly, 1 tbsp plain low fat yoghurt and toss the salad well.
Line a serving bowl with lettuce leaves, top with the salad and garnish with 2 tomatoes chopped into wedges. Serve with crusty fresh bread!
Warm Potato Salad with Mustard Mayonnaise (serves 6)
This is the recipe I have always used for potato salad, as it is very quick and easy to prepare and always delicious, whether eaten hot or cold! It only ever lasts one sitting, as it’s always demolished first go, no matter how many potatoes you use !!! This recipe comes from a book called ‘Luncheons’ by Ann Creber.Cut 1kg potatoes (peeled or unpeeled according to your preference) into bite-size pieces, and steam till tender. It is much easier to pre-cut the potatoes before cooking than trying to slice steaming hot potatoes! Place in a large bowl.Mix together 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup cream, 1 tbsp coarse-grained mustard and freshly ground pepper. Toss the potatoes in the sauce until well coated. Allow to stand till barely warm, then serve.
Green Salad with Vinaigrette
This is our standard daily lunchtime salad and the ingredients vary according to what we have in the garden or fridge!Wash, spin and tear a variety of lettuce leaves and rocket or baby spinach leaves and place in a bowl. Before I had a salad spinner, I used to put the salad leaves in a pillow case and whirl it round my head! The salad spinner is a lot easier!!!
Add diced cucumber and/or diced capsicum, cherry tomatoes, blanched snow peas, sliced avocado, olives, carrots, fresh herbs (basil, thyme, parsley)… basically whatever you feel like.
Make a vinaigrette from extra-virgin cold pressed olive oil and balsamic or white wine vinegar (or even lemon juice) in a ratio of 3:1. So, 3 tbsp oil to 1 tbsp vinegar! Add 1 clove finely diced garlic, 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp coarse-grained (or Dijon) mustard and shake well in a jar. Toss the salad in the vinaigrette just before serving or serve separately, especially if you think that all the salad may not be eaten. It keeps better in the fridge without the dressing on it!
Gorgonzola and Pear Platter
Very simple! Cut a Rosemary and Garlic Focaccia and a pear into slices. Top each bread slice with gorgonzola cheese and a pear slice. Divine!!!Prawns in Seafood Sauce
I have always made this seafood sauce for as long as I can remember, so long in fact that I cannot remember its source!!!When we were living inland, I would always make this sauce before a trip to the coast, where we would feast on prawns and fresh bread rolls! When our ‘children’ were teenagers, I remember going to pack all the ingredients into the car, so I could make the sauce when we got there, only to discover that the large bottle of brandy was completely empty, when I knew we had had at least half a bottle the previous day! And no, the little darlings hadn’t drunk it! They’d rubbed down the coat of the old horse, who looked ‘cold’! Lucky old Rowie!!! If, like me, you discover the brandy cupboard is bare, I have substituted rum or whisky on other occasions and they all taste good!
Mix together 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 3 tsp tomato sauce, 1 tsp brandy (Yes! That’s all I needed!!!), a few drops of Tabasco sauce to taste, a pinch of curry powder, 1 tsp lemon or lime juice and 2 finely chopped shallots. It’s that easy! And it tastes divine on prawns! I often double the recipe, especially when presented with a huge tub of sweet bay prawns, freshly caught that very morning from Bermagui, as we were recently! Thank you, Louise and Peter!!!We had a delicious anniversary feast to celebrate our first year here in Candelo, much of it straight from the garden!Here is a photo of our first anniversary meal!Happy Holiday Feasting!!!