The best thing about the weather warming up (well, one of the best anyway) is the start of BBQ season. A dinner of grilled meat and a salad goes down well with us Good’s. While most of the tribe would be more than satisfied with a salad of chopped lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber with a simple dressing, I feel the need to mix it up a little. And this year I want to branch out further into the world of salad…. of course I have a whole Pinterest board to inspire me too!
My first new salad of the season was a basic Caprese salad with avocado found here. This really is a super simple salad. Due to making this early in the season before I had even thought about planting basil (I really must get on and do that now!!) I used mint instead. Admittedly this does change the flavour somewhat but, as a mint lover I was happy with that. I also switched the fresh mozzarella with bocconcini, which are really just small mozzarella anyway and matched the cherry tomatoes I used. Of course this is an appealing salad for someone who grows rocket like weeds. Having said that I enjoyed it more than the rest of the family – Mr Good thought there should definitely be cucumber in it and the girls decided it had far too much green stuff. Oh well, I thought it was great.
Next up I was on the hunt for a Asian coleslaw recipe to showcase my gorgeous red cabbage. Sadly, I didn’t photograph the end result, but I want to share anyway because it was totally delicious. I took it to a friends place for a BBQ and got lots of lovely comments on it. The recipe I chose got the nod because of the very simple dressing found here. I did my own thing on the salad ingredients, using my red cabbage, carrots, snow peas and cucumber all finely sliced along with lots of fresh mint leaves, left whole.
The final recipe, easy roasted vegetables, isn’t technically a salad, but is still great with grilled meat especially if the weather is a little cooler. My photo is of the pre-cooked vegetables, just squint and imagine them all a bit darker, a bit wrinkly and beautifully caramelised and you get the final product.
As you can see this is a complete rainbow of vegetables, chopped, mixed together and added to a roasting dish with some garlic, thyme and balsamic vinegar. Then roasted! This was a winning dish for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are so many veggies in there the kids are sure to take a shine to a least one. Miss Three adored the mushrooms (should have added lots more) and the broccoli and Miss Five scoffed the capsicum and had a good go at the zucchini. I couldn’t get enough of the really dark, sticky veg that had cooked around the sides and bottom of the dish, yum! Secondly, the balsamic vinegar gave everything a sweet caramalised flavour which was especially great on the mushrooms and red onion. Thirdly, it was a cinch to prepare and the kids loved helping. And lastly, the left overs turned into a yummy roasted vegetable risotto, but would have been equally good in a pasta sauce or on pizza with some feta and fresh rocket.
I have many more salads to try over the Spring and Summer, but in the meantime tell my your favourites.