Friday, 28 June 2013

Summer Salads

Having a few days off this week meant I could cook up something I've never made before in the kitchen. I'm lucky enough to get on ridiculously well with my lovely Mummy and, thankfully, she's a big food lover too - especially when it comes to a lunch time salad.

I decided to do my own version of a Panzanella salad (Italian Bread Salad) and a feta, caramelised onion and pinenut salad. Both of which I absolutely love!

All you need for the Panzanella is:
3-4 slices of a-few-days-old sourdough bread, ripped into chunks
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar (or balsamic)

First of all, you need to soak the bread chunks in the olive oil and red wine vinegar for at least half an hour if possible.

While the bread is soaking up the oil and vinegar, prepare the onions, tomatoes and cucumber in a separate bowl.
After the bread has soaked in the oil and vinegar, pop it on a medium to low heat, stirring regularly. The crunchier the bread chunks the better!

After 4 or 5 minutes, or when the bread is golden and crispy, scatter on top of your ready prepared tomatoes, cucumber and onions and throw a few olives on for good measure. 

If you want a dressing for the Panzanella all I did was a mix a little garlic, dijon mustard, white wine vinegar and pepper up to drizzle over.

All you need for the feta salad:
1 onion
1 handful of pinenuts
3-4 tsp brown sugar
Mixed leaves

For the caramelised onion and pinenuts - heat a little oil in a frying pan on a medium to low heat. Throw in your sliced onions and fry until softened (not browned). After a couple of minutes, stir in the sugar, coating the onions. When the onions are caramelising, throw in the pinenuts. Turn the heat as low as possible and leave for a few minutes to allow the pinenuts to soften and brown a little.

The rest is simple. Throw the mixed leaves in the bottom of a bowl, allow your onions and pinenuts to cool a little before throwing on top of the leaves then crumble a bit of feta on top.

Dressing wise, I just drizzled a little balsamic glaze over the top for extra flavour.


It went down a treat and like the greedy little piggies we are, we polished off the lot.

N xo

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