• Lockdown Larder: Salads

    It’s quite interesting looking back at my Instagram posts as there is a real absence of any salad posts.  You might ask, “why would a pastry chef post photos of salad?”.  You would be right in questioning this, but at the same time, if you have looked at my Instagram posts during lockdown, you will notice that the nature of the posts have changed somewhat.  This is not to say that there aren’t a fair number of baking posts, but there are also a number of non-baking posts as well.

    The main reason I have not posted salad posts, despite the warm weather in April,  is that my Lynwood & Co vegetable box has had a distinct lack of salad ingredients.  This is not to say that I haven’t had the odd lettuce, cucumber or tomato, but certainly in the last few boxes there has been a lack of salad ingredients.  You will be glad to hear that the absence of such ingredients has not deterred me.  I have, in fact, made a couple of delicious salads which I share with you below; salads which will be made time and time again in the future as for Jo an my taste buds, they are simply scrumptious.  I did make a third salad, using a new recipe, during lockdown, a cauliflower salad, but this hasn’t made the cut as compared to the other two salads, it was just not up to scratch.

    The first salad mentioned, is the last one I made, a roasted butternut squash and feta salad from Framed Cooks.  I have adjusted the oven and cooking times slightly, but if you prefer you can go with the suggested temperature of 225/230 degrees Celsius and a cooking time of 45 minutes.  For me, this would have ended up with rather scorched butternut squash.   While I had feta and pistachios in my fridge and cupboard, respectively, I am sure that the salad would work equally as well with goat’s cheese and toasted pine nuts.

    Roasted Butternut Squash and Feta Salad (Source: Framed Cooks)

    Ingredients

    • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • Juice from ½ lemon
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
    • ½ cup shelled roasted pistachios
    • Handful of lamb’s lettuce or pea shoots

    Method

    • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
    • Put the butternut squash into a mixing bowl and add the olive oil along with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Toss. Transfer the butternut squash to a non-stick baking dish in a single layer and roast until tender, about 30 minutes (check by piercing with a paring knife or fork – it should go in easily).
    • Once cooked toss the butternut squash with the lemon juice and honey.
    • Place the lamb’s lettuce or pea shoots in a serving bowl. Top with the roasted butternut squash, feta and roasted pistachios.

    The other salad, I made, is aptly called “favourite broccoli salad” by Cookie & Kate, as this has become one of Jo’s and my favourite salads, so much so that I have made it twice in recent weeks.  The recipe is as follows:

    Favourite Broccoli Salad (Source: Cookie & Kate)

    Ingredients

    Salad

    • 1 medium size broccoli, broken into florets and then thinly sliced and then roughly chopped
    • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds, toasted
    • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
    • ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
    • ⅓ cup dried cranberries

    Honey mustard dressing

    • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced
    • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

    Method

    • Toast the sunflower seeds.  Pour the sunflower seeds into a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the seeds are turning golden on the sides, about 5 minutes. Pour the toasted seeds into a large serving bowl.
    • Add the chopped broccoli, onion, cheese and cranberries to the serving bowl. Set aside.
    • In a small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients (olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic and salt). Whisk until the mixture is well blended.
    • Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until all of the broccoli is lightly coated in the dressing. The flavours develop better if you leave the salad for a while before serving.
    • Leftovers will keep well for 3 to 4 days in the fridge, covered.

    I am not sure if there is anything else I can add to this post, other than to say, give these a try.  I am sure you will love them.  If I try any other salads, which I feel are worth sharing, I will add them to this post.