A salad with some BBQ’d meat is one of the quickest and easiest meals you can have.
Yesterday, we had some great friends over for an easy BBQ dinner and I threw this salad together. A salad doesn’t need to follow a recipe, and can use literally whatever ingredients you have in the fridge. There are just a few key things that take a salad from good to amazing:
- A combination of cooked and raw vegetables. This gives the salad an extra dimension. Common veggies that I will include in a salad are roast pumpkin, blanched broccoli or beans and grilled zucchini.
- Some crunch, and I’m talking more than just the crunch of carrot or lettuce – some form of nut or seed, preferably toasted works really well.
- Fruit. Some people will disagree with putting fruit in a salad, but I love the sweet pops that you get in a salad that has fruit. Apple, pear, pomegranate, stone fruit and mango all work really well.
- A well balanced dressing. Think sweet, salt, acid. The dressing is what brings the whole salad together and while many people believe that salad dressings are unhealthy, that is often not the case, and when made from scratch they can be a great way to add some essential fats to the salad in the form of quality oils.
- Protein. This can be some form of cheese, legume, nut or seed, or if you’re looking for a more substantial salad, a meat, chicken or fish.
Before making this salad, I knew I was going to use lettuce, some of the tomatoes from our garden, roast pumpkin and feta. As a started putting it together, all the other ingredients were just what was in the fridge, and in the end it came together to be quite the delicious salad.
When making your next salad, don’t over complicate it, use what you have on hand and follow my five tips above (or this recipe) and you’ll take your salads to the next level.
Serves 4-6 as a side
- 250g pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes, roasted
- 1 tbs EVOO
- 4 large handfuls of mixed lettuce leaves
- 1 large handful of rocket leaves
- 2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 12 green beans, blanched and cut in half
- 1/2 an avocado, cut into cubes
- 50g feta cheese
- Seeds of 1/2 a pomegranate
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbs white wine vinegar
- Leaves of 2 thyme sprigs
- Handful of basil leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the chopped pumpkin into a small bowl, add olive oil and mix to coat. Place onto the tray and cook for ~35 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool.
- Top and tail the beans and place into a small bowl. Cover with boiling water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Run under cold water to refresh, cut beans in half.
- Make the dressing by placing all ingredients into a jar and shake well to combine. Set aside.
- Place lettuce leaves and rocket into a large bowl. Top with chopped tomato, pumpkin, beans, avocado. Just before serving, dress salad and gently toss to combine. Top with pomegranate seeds, crumbled feta and toasted almonds.