Zucchini Carpaccio with Parmesan

Today we bring you another beautiful yet simple salad, Italian in style, featuring zucchini and parmesan. The zucchini is marinated in oil and lemon juice then placed on a bed of rocket with slivers of parmesan. The salad is then scattered with a toasted breadcrumb mixture of onion, olives and feta. Perfect. Easy. Delicious.

Similar recipes include Grilled Zucchini and Fennel, Zucchini, Lemon and Dill Salad, and Salad of Zucchini and Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Zucchini Salads and all of our hundreds of Salads. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Caprese Salad | Insalata Caprese

This is one of the most awesome Summer Salads, and, better still, it takes just a minute to two to prepare. Of course it is awesome, it originates from the Italian island of Capri, and you can just feel the summer sea and breezes in this salad. So simple – great tomatoes, sweet basil and fresh mozzarella. In Italy it is usually served as an antipasto, not a contorno (side dish).

The salad was created in the 1950s at the Trattoria da Vincenzo as a light lunch for regulars. They’d order a just-picked tomato and fresh fior di latte (cow’s-milk mozzarella — no buffalo on Capri). The salad has evolved on the island to include a few leaves of rughetta (wild arugula) and a pinch of dried wild oregano, both local products. Elsewhere in Italy it takes the form of just tomato, mozzarella and basil.

The dressing is always only a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Vinegar is thought to destroy the delicate flavour of the cheese and is never used in Italy. Because this salad is so simple, top-rate ingredients are necessary – floury tomatoes, rancid oil and rubbery processed mozzarella are unacceptable.

In fact this is so good that it is worth making double the amount, and using the remainder to pile onto flatbread, garlic toast or just on slices of fresh beautiful bread. Or turn it into another classic Italian salad by adding cubes of dried or crispy baked bread.

Similar dishes include Salad of Rocket and Radicchio with Parmesan, Ensalada, and Marinated Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato.

Browse all of our Tomato Salads and all of our Italian recipes. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Horse Gram Lentils (Kollu) with Feta and Tomatoes

Such a bang of wonderful flavours

Horse Gram is one of our more recent discoveries. Well known and used in rural India, it has not found its way into other cuisines. You will need to buy it at your local Indian grocer, or perhaps online.

It is a special lentil, full of protein, and will hold its shape well when cooked. This makes it ideal for salads. Its earthy tastes makes it pair well with ingredients like beetroot, walnuts and pomegranate molasses. It contrasts well with crisp greens and mild acidic or sharp tastes like onion, sumac, rocket, baby spinach, lemon, and preserved lemon.

In today’s salad we use the sharpness of feta, onion and vinegar, the beautiful flavour of semi dried tomatoes, and pomegranate molasses in this salad. Do search your Indian grocery for this lovely lentil. You can also use Matki (moth beans) instead, or use a mix of both.

The recipe douses the lentils with vinegar, onion, salt, pepper, garlic and oil as soon as they are cooked. When warm, they soak in the flavours and aromas properly. Feta, lots of herbs and semi dried tomatoes are mixed in at the end. The result in such a bang of wonderful flavours.

Read more about Horse Gram (aks Kulthi Bean). It is easily purchased in Indian shops.

Similar recipes include Caprese Salad, and Horse Gram Vadai.

Browse all of our Horse Gram recipes and all of our Salads. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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A Collection of 30 Salads for MID SPRING

Mid Spring is still capricious – as I sit here writing a thunderstorm passes, leaving us as quickly and as unexpectedly as it came. At last we don’t need the heating on at all, and doors and windows can be opened during the warmer parts of the day. The bird life is wonderful, and the garden looks a treat.

Salads still have some substance for the cooler days of this season, but they are definitely getting lighter. Grains are there but fresh Spring produce creeps in – Asparagus, Broad Beans, Pomelo, for example. Light salads appear on the table.

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Crushed Potatoes with Roasted Tomato and Roasted Eggplant | Aloo Baingan Bharta

I love a good mashed potato, don’t you? The English standard is potatoes mashed with milk or cream and lashings of butter and generously seasoned with salt and pepper. But France makes theirs a little differently. Where the English use floury potatoes, the French use waxy potatoes. In India, it is more usual to crush potatoes rather than mash them. Such a good idea, leaving texture in the dish while incorporating spices and herbs.

So I tend to collect mash potato recipes. This one has its origin in Vivek Singh’s (from Cinnamon Kitchen) book Curry. It is so simple but packs a punch of flavours. I adjusted it to our flavours. It is a variation of Aloo Baigan Bharta.

Similar recipes include Simple Indian Potato Crush, Garlic Potato Mash and Potato Pallya.

Browse all of our Potato recipes and some other Mashes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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A Collection of 30 Salads for Early Spring

Early Spring sees the arrival of Spring rains and windy weather. While the beginning of Spring can still be cold, there are also glorious sunny days with mild temperatures. Gardens begin to bring a bounty of colour. And Spring vegetables arrive – greens, peas, broad beans, asparagus – all delicious.

Salads still have some substance for the cooler days, but begin to get lighter. Grains are there but fresh Spring produce creeps in. Light salads might appear on the table. Certainly salads are more common than during the depths of Winter.

Check out some of our other collections:

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Çoban Salatası | Turkish Shepherd’s Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Olives and Feta

Çoban Salatası or Choban salad (Turkish for Shepherd’s Salad) is a Turkish salad consisting of finely chopped tomatoes (preferably peeled), cucumbers, long green peppers, onion, and flat-leaf parsley. The dressing is made from of lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.

It is another take on the ubiquitous global Tomato and Cucumber Salad. The lovely twist to this one is the finely chopped ingredients, the tang of lemon, and the peeled tomatoes. It is rare that I peel tomatoes, but for this salad I break my own rule. Today we only had large olives in the pantry, but normally I would use smaller ones.

Similar recipes include Caprese Salad, Tomato Salad with Lemon, Tomato Salad with Parsley Oil, and Warm Tomato Salad.

Browse all of our Tomato Salads and all of our Turkish dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Fig and Roasted Onion Salad

Mid Summer to Early Autumn are peak time for figs. Boy, do we look forward to that time. And even luckier that we have a green grocer 30 – 40 mins drive from us, who stocks figs from the first moment of ripening until the last fig of the latest fig variety falls from the tree. We make the trip if there are no local ones, to grab some and indulge (they are not cheap). Also, there is a Pick-Your-Own place we visit at least once during the season, especially if we want to make jam (fig jam is my favourite jam).

This is an Ottolenghi recipe – we have been working with all of his Salads from his book Plenty More. It pairs figs with hazelnuts, which we have used before – it’s a great pairing. He also adds the sweetness of roasted onions to the salad, and it’s a great innovation. That sweetness of the onions and figs bounces off the bitterness of the radicchio and watercress. (Add some purslane too, if you have it.) Not only does the salad look terrific, it works well flavour-wise too.

A great fig should look like it’s just about to burst its skin. When squeezed lightly it should give a little and not spring back. It must be almost unctuously sweet, soft and wet. Once you’ve managed to find a fig that meets all these criteria, I guarantee a heavenly experience. – Ottolenghi

The Salad is best made directly before serving. It makes a great entree (starter dish), and also a fantastic salad for bring a plate lunches with the girls, or BBQ family gatherings.

You might like to try some more fig recipes. Try White Fig and Rocket Salad, Figs with Blue Cheese, Baked Figs with Thyme, and Figs with Rosewater and Almonds.

Browse all of our Fig recipes, and all of our many many Salads. All of the Ottolenghi dishes that we have tried are here. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Beetroot, Avocado and Pea Salad

There is so much good stuff in this “almost superfood” salad that it makes you feel very healthy and conscientious indeed. Served as it is, it can be a very substantial meal – just scatter a few roasted hazelnuts and/or chunks of creamy goat’s cheese over the top, and you need nothing else.

Did you know that I grew up calling beetroot, red beet? That name seems to have disappeared in Australia, although a quick search on google confirms that at least some people, in some parts of the world, retain that name. I wonder if it came from my mother, whose family contained many German immigrants. Perhaps it is a European thing.

The star of this dish is indeed the blanched then quick-pickled beetroot, and its contrast with the slightly bitter pea shoots. Rather than the hour-long boil or bake, eating beetroot raw or quickly sauteed or blanched is a healthy  and very delicious alternative. The beetroot retains a bite or crunch that adds textural layers to a dish. Everything can be prepared in advance for this salad, kept in the fridge, and combined at the last moment.

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

Similar recipes include Slightly Pickled Beetroot Salad with Mustard, Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad with Rocket, and Beetroot Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing.

Browse all of our Beetroot Salads, and all of our other Beetroot dishes. Our Avocado dishes are here. Browse all of Ottolenghi’s dishes from Plenty More. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Salted Cucumber Salad

The Danish love to salt their cucumbers, removing the water inherent in this summery vegetable and infusing the flesh with salt and lemon juice. It is a delightful dish, and interestingly it is perfectly suited to the extreme heat of Australian Summers as well as the cool Summers of those far Northern regions.

Similar recipes include Cucumber, Feta, Mint and Dill Salad, Cucumber Salad with Capers and Ricotta, and Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard.

Browse all of our Cucumber Salads, and all of our many Salads. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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