Here in New Zealand the weather is finally warming up and we haven’t had to light a fire for two whole weeks! And while that could all change as it’s not quite summer yet, spring has definitely arrived and our thoughts are turning to shorts and salads. So with that in mind, here are two hearty and tasty salads that are great for entertaining and easy to pack for barbecues and picnics.
These salads can be made a day in advance because the flavors will develop over time. Leigh has had broccoli salad leftovers in her fridge for three days and it still tasted great. Because they last so well, they’re great to have on hand during those summer months when we seem to be entertaining more regularly.
The first salad is a broccoli salad. Feel free to add other ingredients such as seeds, nuts or dried fruit (or omit) depending on your tastes.
3/4 cup mayonnaise (can use either regular or light versions)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Approximately 2 large heads of broccoli
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 small red onion, diced finely
1 cup grated Edam cheese (or any cheese you have handy)
6 slices of bacon
Mix together all dressing ingredients and set to one side.
Chop the heads of broccoli into small bite size pieces, discarding the main stalk. Cook the bacon and when cooled chop into pieces. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, add the dressing and gently toss till everything is coated. Chill till needed.
Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Before starting this blog we never realised just how many shades of brown a lot of our baking is, so these colourful salads have been great fun to photograph!
Our second salad is a Chickpea and Pumpkin Salad. This salad is great served at room temperature and has a lovely herb and tomato dressing.
We use canned chickpeas because they are quick and easy. The amount of oil in the dressing is flexible. When we use sun dried tomatoes in oil we often don’t add any additional oil, just don’t drain any of the oil off the tomatoes. However if you are making a big salad or find the dressing overpowering, add more oil to thin out the dressing and to make it go that bit further.
Chickpea and Pumpkin Salad
Small handful coriander/cilantro leaves
2 stalks mint
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup oil (or use sun dried tomatoes in oil and add some of that oil)
Salt and pepper
1/2 a pumpkin peeled and chopped into bite sized bits.
1 400 gram can of chickpeas
Toss pumpkin in a small amount of oil and roast at 200 degrees celsius (390 degrees fahrenheit) till cooked through (about 25 min), set aside to cool.
Place all the dressing ingredients into a food processor, or similar and process together. Adjust seasoning as required.
Drain and rinse chickpeas and combine with cooled pumpkin and dressing. Chill if not eating straight away, but best served at room temperature.
Thanks for the recipe Karla!!