Summer salads
Home South Africa|February/March 2021
So much more than just a bowl of leaves, these fresh dishes will add a cool touch to a hot day!
Johane Neilson

Chicken and poppy seed salad

This salad is a great way to use leftover roast chicken. Feel free to add your choice of fresh salad ingredients such as cucumber, radishes, thinly sliced apple...

Serves 2 as a light meal

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

• 400g mini chicken fillets

• 15ml olive oil

• 100g mixed baby spinach, watercress and rocket

• 1 celery stalk, chopped

• ½ red onion, finely chopped

DRESSING

• 125ml French-style mayonnaise

• 60ml milk

• 5ml brown sugar

• 45ml apple cider vinegar

• 5ml Dijon mustard

• 15ml poppy seeds

1. Beat all the ingredients for the dressing together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Mix the chicken with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan until hot and fry the chicken until golden-brown on the first side before turning the pieces over in the pan and browning all over. Once cooked through, allow to cool slightly.

3. Cut or shred the cooked chicken into smaller pieces and mix the salad dressing through; also add any pan juices. Now mix the salad leaves, celery and onion and finally add the creamy chicken. Mix lightly and serve immediately. Tip Toasted almond shavings are an optional extra.

Kale and brown rice salad with dried cranberries

The finely shredded kale and Brussels sprouts add a lovely texture to this salad. The kale can be replaced with spinach if preferred.

Serves 6 as a side dish

Preparation time: 15 minutes

• 1 bunch kale, thinly shredded

• 200g Brussels sprouts, thinly shredded

• 250ml cooked brown rice

• 250ml pecans, coarsely chopped

• 50g (about 200ml) pecorino shavings

• 250ml dried cranberries

DRESSING

• 125ml lemon juice

• 125ml water

• 60ml Dijon mustard

• 2 spring onions, finely chopped

• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

• 15ml honey

• salt and pepper to taste

• 250ml olive oil

1. Shake all the salad dressing ingredients together in a flask with a screw cap until thick and creamy.

2. Place the kale in a mixing bowl and pour over half of the salad dressing. Now mix well with your hands for a minute or two. The lemon juice in the sauce softens the coarse texture of the kale slightly and improves the flavour.

3. Add the rest of the salad ingredients and leave to stand for another 15 minutes. Pour over the remaining salad dressing just before serving.

Baby marrow tartlets with mint salad

These tartlets make a lovely starter, or they can be served as a side dish with a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.

Makes 8 tartlets

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

• 1–2 baby marrows, thinly sliced

• zest of 1 lemon

• 15ml olive oil

• salt and pepper to taste

• 1 roll (400g) puff pastry

• 60ml cream cheese

• a little beaten egg (optional)

SALAD

• 125ml edamame beans, blanched

• 125ml peas, blanched

• 60ml fresh mint

• 5ml olive oil

• 5ml garlic flowers (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mix the baby marrow with the lemon zest, oil, salt and pepper.

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