Speedy summer salads – Panzanella salad and Crispy Kale, Mushroom and Rice salad

THIS week we have two speedy salads that are simple, but full of flavour. For me, making a salad is all about the dressing and my friends are always amazed at how quick and easy a dressing or vinaigrette is to make if you have the right staples in the cupboard.

The essentials are a good olive oil and a red wine, white wine or sherry vinegar, and a good balsamic vinegar which you can mix with oil, salt and pepper for a simple dressing.

Decent quality oils and vinegars can be expensive, but the taste is worth it. Although not to everyone’s taste, I also love capers and anchovies in a salad for a salty tang.

Panzanella salad (Serves 4)

  • 1 day–old baguette or ciabatta, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced
  • 350g peas
  • 1 handful mangetout or edamame beans, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 egg

Dressing:

  • 30g basil leaves
  • 25g mint leaves
  • 4 sprigs thyme (destalked)
  • 2 walnuts crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 150g parmesean, grated
  • 60ml olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juiced

Method:

Start by heating a little oil in a pan on a medium heat. Add the bread and cook on all sides until golden and sprinkle with sea salt. Remove from pan and leave on drying towel.

To make the dressing, blitz the basil, mint, thyme, walnuts, garlic and lemon juice to make a pulp. Then add this to the olive oil slowly and followed by the grated parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In the same frying pan add in the asparagus and toast lightly, followed by the edamame beans or mangetout and peas, these should be warmed with a bit of bite.

Remove from pan and add to salad bowl, toss with the bread, and then add in the dressing and coat.

Season with salt and pepper and serve with a runny poached egg.

CRISPY KALE, MUSHROOM AND RICE SALAD (Serves 4)

  • 100g brown rice, rinsed and cooked
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 300g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 175g curly kale, destalked and cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 handfuls of pine nuts, toasted and chopped

Method:

Cook off the rice by placing in large pot of water and bring to the boil, place lid on and simmer adding in the turmeric. Drain and leave to side once cooked.

Mix up the soy sauce and the chilli sauce in a large bowl, add the mushrooms and coat in the mixture. Leave to side.

Heat oven to 150C. Place the kale in a roasting tray and cover with the sesame oil and salt. Roast until crispy. Remove from the oven and leave to side.

Heat up coconut oil in the frying pan, add in the mushrooms and cook until browned. Remove from pan and leave to dry off on paper towel.

Now that everything is cooked, place the rice in the bottom of a bowl, add in the mushrooms and mix through. Top with the kale and season with salt and pepper. Scatter the pine nuts over the salad and serve.

Back to News & Recipes