Seasonal Cooking | Simple Beautiful Summer Salads

Sometimes we forget that simplest is bestest.

Elizabeth David Tomato Simply Dressed, Cucumber Simply Dressed

Elizabeth David is the best source of simple but utterly delicious salads. I love to read her books, and today I have taken the liberty of reproducing some of her beautiful salads.

Similar posts include 30 Great Salads for Early Summer.

Browse all of our Salad recipes and all of our Early Summer dishes.

Simple is Best



Raw Vegetables

Sliced very firm raw tomatoes, dressed with the minimum of oil, lemon and seasoning, sprinkled with finely chopped parsley.

Cucumber sliced very thin and dressed in the same way.

Elizabeth David Tomato Simply Dressed, Cucumber Simply Dressed

Radishes, washed, trimmed of excess greenery but left otherwise as god made them, rather than disguised as water lilies.

Radishes with Sea Salt

Raw Florentine fennel, the outer leaves removed, the heart cut into quarters, and sprinkled with plenty of lemon juice to prevent it turning brown. Or alternatively, cut into fine strips. Dress with oil, salt, lemon.

Fennel and Apple Salad | Autumn | Salads | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

Celery treated the same way.

Simple Celery SaladVery young broad beans, piled on a dish in their pods, to be eaten a la croque au sel i.e. simply with salt.

Raw red and green peppers, cut into the thinnest of rounds, all seeds and core carefully removed, dressed with oil, prepared in advance and perhaps mixed with a few black olives.

Sweet Peppers and Olive Salad

Raw carrots very finely grated, the red part only, the yellow core being discarded; the resulting preparation almost a puree, is mixed with a very small amount of finely chopped shallot, a little oil, lemon juice, salt and a pinch of sugar if necessary, depending on the quality of the carrots.

Carrot Puree Salad

Celleri-rave remoulade, [i.e.] peeled and washed celeriac, shredded on the special crinkled blade of the mandoline into match-sized strips, put straight into a bowl of acidulated water to preserve its colour; blanch a few seconds in boiling salted water, drained very dry, mixed with a thick [yogurt] mayonnaise very highly seasoned with salt, mustard and a good deal more vinegar than is ordinarily allowed.

A salad of cooked vegetables supplies the soft element of an hors-d’oeuvre; it may be potato salad, white haricot beans, beetroot, leeks, french beans. Boil them, in the case of potatoes and beetroots, in their skins. Keep them firm; drain them carefully. Always skin and season them while still hot with a dressing of oil, vinegar or lemon, salt, pepper; a little mustard if you like. According to taste add a little chopped shallot or garlic; parsley, chives or tarragon.

Potato Salad | Salads | Summer | Vegetarian | Life Time of Cooking

A rice salad, mixed with a few strips of sweet pepper, comes into the same category; again, keep the rice on the firm side; season while hot, not forgetting a little nutmeg and tarragon vinegar as well as oil, salt and pepper.

Rice and Sweet Pepper Salad



Tomatoes in Summer

Tomatoes are the backbone of Summer in Australia – can you imagine a Summer without them? I have some additional hints for making the most of them.

Flavour Maximising

If you grow your own tomatoes, never store them in the fridge or they will lose their favour.

You can boost the flavour of tomatoes by warming them gently in the microwave on defrost for a few seconds.

Make Sugo

March is the month when tomatoes are at their peak Buy tomatoes by the box full and emulate the Italian community that seeds tomatoes and makes traditional sugo to see out the winter. There are many ways to preserve tomatoes for the Winter months.

Easy Salad

Drizzle really ripe tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, and allow to sit for an hour. Eat them as is, and use crusty bread to mop up their juices.

Easy Pasta

Steep tomatoes as above using lemon juice in place of vinegar, and toss through just cooked, hot penne, using the juices and olive oil to moisten the pasta. Serve topped with parm1g1ano-regg1ano cheese.


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