I used to think of a salad as only a shredded iceberg, a few cherry tomatoes and maybe a slice or two of cucumber. But what I've discovered this summer is that veggies can make great salads too - and eating them raw ups their nutritional levels too.
So I've decided to round up three of my favourite salads that I made this summer. Here goes...
Nigella's Egyptian Tomato Salad
I made this for the 'Salad Days'-themed Forever Nigella that Dom at Belleau Kitchen was hosting. I'd often flicked past it, in Nigella Bites, mostly to get to the sticky toffee pudding, but having now made it, I'm so glad I did. Ripe, fuzzy, de-skinned tomatoes are sliced and left in a mixture of lemon juice, salt and olive oil with a scattering of basil (my substitution for chervil) at the end. Soft, refreshing and really delicious.
Antonio Carluccio's Asparagus Salad
Up until I'd made this, I had never eaten asparagus raw. And had I missed out. It's crunchy, full of flavour and the creamy Parmesan cheese settles the tart balsamic dressing which is drizzled all over the shredded green spears. Now I eat asparagus raw like this more than I eat it cooked!
Polpo's Courgette Salad
I'd read about this on the Recipe Rifle blog ages ago and it wasn't until I had a couple of courgettes that needed using up that I thought of making it. You really need to use a mandolin to get the courgette cut in fine slices, a knife just won't do the same job. And after a few minutes of it being dressed in the lemon juice and oil the courgette will go softer, somehow completely change its texture and tastes gorgeous. We eat this quite a lot now.
So if you open the fridge, gaze at your little gem lettuce and half a cucumber and sigh, give these salads a go...!