Avocado and cucumber salad

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I was lucky enough to have two weeks of fairly decent summer when I was in Sweden in August. So I seized the opportunity to cook as many summery dishes I could think of. This delicious salad is cool and soothing – perfect with a BBQ after a day at the beach. But just as nice now in the beginning of autumn when we can’t quite let go of summer just yet.

Recipe courtesy of one of my favourite food blogs; Smitten Kitchen.

 

Avocado and cucumber salad, serves 4

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

1/2 cucumber, washed and chopped into chunks

1-2 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 large avocado, pitted and diced

2 tbsp mayonnaise (homemade or Hellman’s)

1/2 lime, juice only

hot sauce (I used Tabasco)

salt

chopped coriander or parsley to garnish

Combine cucumber, spring onions and avocado in a bowl. Whisk together mayo, lime and seasonings, adjusting to taste. Drizzle (or in my case, mix) salad with dressing and garnish with herbs. 

 

New potato salad with asparagus and wild garlic pesto

IMG_1431It’s not peak season for wild garlic anymore (sob) but I have been slightly too busy lately to be able to post on the blog regularly. I’m hoping to redeem myself with this delicious (and super easy) recipe and higher posting frequency going forward.

If you don’t happen to stumble on some fresh wild garlic in an usually shady part of the woods you can use blanched frozen wild garlic too, or bookmark the recipe for next year.

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New potato salad with grilled asparagus and wild garlic pesto, serves 4

450 g new potatoes

200 g asparagus

1 batch wild garlic pesto

salt, black pepper

Make the pesto. Boil the new potatoes in salted water. Drain and leave while you fry the asparagus on a griddle pan until semi-soft. Cut each stalk into 3-4 pieces and cut the potatoes into chunks. Toss with pesto in a bowl and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve with various barbecued meats or this lovely pork fillet.  

Pancetta salad with blue cheese dressing

salad

I love a good salad in the summer but I want it quite substantial. Just vegetables usually doesn’t cut it for me. I saw Lotta at Två små kök present a similar salad on Instagram and craved a similar version immediately.

Instead of Lotta’s bacon I used pancetta that I prefer to bacon in general cooking. But for breakfast bacon is always the winner.

Pancetta salad with blue cheese dressing, serves 1

1-2 handfuls mixed salad leaves

5-6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 avocado, cut into pieces

4-5 thin slices pancetta

a good chunk of mild blue cheese, such as gorgonzola

100 ml creme fraiche or soured cream

1 tbsp mayo

Fry the pancetta in the oven until crisp; 10 minuted at 200C.

Mush up the cheese with a fork in a bowl and stir in the soured cream or creme fraiche. Add the mayo and try to get rid of any lumps. Season. 

Place lettuce, tomato and avocado on a plate. Chop the pancetta and scatter over the salad and drizzle with plenty of dressing. 

Halloumi salad with new potatoes, watercress, tomatoes and lime vinaigrette

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I can really crave certain foods, like sushi for example. Or a blue sirloin with bearnaise sauce. And most recently; fried halloumi. There is something utterly satisfying with the chewy, salty Cypriot cheese.

Last time I craved halloumi I also wanted a salad and potatoes and it resulted in this great salad based on this delicious Delia recipe for a starter with halloumi. I really loved this salad and although I was (very) happy to eat it on its own it would also work really well with say barbecued chicken skewers.

Halloumi salas with new potatoes, watercress, tomatoes and lime vinaigrette, serves 2

250 g new potatoes, cooked and cut in half

1 bag watercress

1 halloumi

a handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 red onion, sliced and marinated in lime juice

Vinaigrette:

1 lime, zest and juice

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp chopped coriander

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and black pepper

Mix the vinaigrette. Slice the halloumi and dry each piece with kitchen roll. Fry on high heat in a little oil until golden brown on both sides. 

Distribute water cress, new potatoes and cherry tomatoes on two plates. Remove the onion from the lime juice and divide between the plates. Drizzle with vinaigrette and place the fried halloumi on top.

Baked Jerusalem artichoke salad with Parma ham and parmesan

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Salads when the weather’s hot is a must, but despite the warmth I am still as hungry as usual, so for me a salad needs to be filling. I also like contrasting textures and temperatures. Something needs to happen in a salad for me to really enjoy it.

That’s why I like this salad, it has the warmth element of soft baked Jerusalem artichokes, pepperiness from the rocket, saltiness from the parmesan, umami from the ham and some zing and sweetness from the dressing with lemon and honey. Really tasty – and filling!

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Baked Jerusalem artichoke salad with Parma ham and parmesan, per portion

4-5 Jerusalem artichokes

3 slices Parma ham

2 handfuls rocket

Parmesan shavings

Dressing:

4 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, black pepper

Wash the Jerusalem artichokes and cut each into four wedges. Place in a roasting tray and drizzle with rapeseed oil and season. Bake in 180C until soft about 30-40 minutes depending on the size. Leave to cool slightly. 

Whisk together the dressing and season with salt and pepper. To plate the salad, start with the rocket, then the artichokes, Parma ham and drizzle with dressing. Finally top with plenty of Parmesan shavings.

Chicken thighs with asparagus couscous

I know that a lot of people prefer the fillets when they buy chicken, but I have always prefered the darker meat. Which was perfect at home when I grew up. If he had a whole roast chicken, my dad would have the breasts and my mother and I the darker meats like thighs, wings and drumsticks.

Chicken breast is good for ceratain dishes, but it feels like people in general have forgotten about the other cuts. A shame… But good for me I guess. My favourite part of the chicken is the thighs, and they are really cheap in comparison. And juicier (it is almost impossible to end up with dry thighs) and it also has more flavours.

Last week we had this really nice, but oh so easy to make, dish for supper. Fried marinated chicken thighs with a delicious couscous salad, containing marinated red onions and fried asparagus, served with sweet chili creme fraiche (it goes so well with chicken).

Chicken thighs with asparagus couscous, serves 2

4 chicken thighs

4 tbsp garlic marinade (I used a store bought one)

300 ml vegetable stock (boiling water + concentrated stock)

couscous

a bunch of asparagus

1 red onion

1 lime, the juice

olive oil

rocket

creme fraiche

sweet chilli sauce

Pour the marinade in a ziplock bag and add the chicken. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. Fry the chicken on high heat to brown, then transfer to a roasting tray and fry in the oven. 200C ,20 minutes.

Pour the hot stock into a bowl. Add enough coucous to nearly soak up all the water. Add some olive oil. Wait for a minute. Mix with a fork.

Cut the onion in half and slice thinly. Place in a bowl, add lime juice (or lemon) and some olive oil. Leave until everything is ready.

Break the ends off the asparagus, cut into small pieces, diagonally, and fry until soft in olive oil on medium heat. Re-use the pan used for frying the chicken.

Mix creme fraiche with as much sweet chilli sauce as you prefer, add salt.

Take out the chicken from the oven and let it rest while you finish off the salad. Mix the couscous with the asparagus, onion and the marinade for the onion. Put it on a large plate and add rocket. Serve with the chicken and the sauce.