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7 Summer Salads from Around the world

7 Summer Salads from Around the world

When the weather starts getting warmer, there’s nothing better than a big bowl of fresh salad to leave you feeling refreshed and healthy. Salads can be seriously tasty meals, and long gone are the days of boring iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato concoctions. Even if the British summer is being sluggish to arrive, kick start that summer feeling in the kitchen and nourish your body with these delicious, colourful summer salads.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

vietnamese-salad

First stop, Vietnam. The fresh and crunchy ingredients in this salad are teamed with the light, fragrant flavours of south east Asia. It’s also bursting with the colours of summer. Stick a straw in a fresh coconut and pretend you’re relaxing on a boat with views of Halong Bay.

What you’ll need
2 organic chicken breasts
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
2 dozen sugar snap peas, cut into strips
1 red pepper, finely sliced
1 small cucumber, deseeded and finely sliced
1 medium carrot, cut into strips
A handful of spinach

Chicken Marinade
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ long red chilli, finely sliced
120ml water
1 tsp palm sugar
A pinch of sea salt

Dressing
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tbsp. sesame oil

Marinade the chicken for a minimum of four hours or ideally overnight for the best flavours. Place the marinated chicken and 120ml of water on a baking tray and cook for approx. 20 minutes in a preheated 180°C oven. Check to make sure it has cooked all the way through. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, chop all of the salad ingredients, and place into a bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, and drizzle over the salad just before serving.

Greek Feta Salad

feta-cheese-salad

The secret to a great, Greek, summer salad is keeping it simple and fresh. Whisk yourself away to the Greek islands with this tasty Mediterranean dish. Season with Greek extra virgin olive oil, and either balsamic vinegar or plenty of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

What you’ll need
½ red onion
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
10 smallish, sweet tomatoes
½ tsp caster sugar – optional
1 cucumber, chilled
25 kalamata olives, preferably stone-in
1 tbsp capers, drained or rinsed if packed in salt
1 tsp ouzo or pastis – optional
3 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves picked and roughly chopped, or a generous pinch of dried oregano
150g feta

Slice the onion as thinly as possible. Whisk the vinegar with half the oil and stir into the onion. Leave to soak for at least 20 minutes. Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks, sprinkle with the caster sugar and a good pinch of salt, and leave for 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, roughly chop the cucumber into chunks and arrange on a platter. Add the tomatoes, onions, olives and capers. Whisk the rest of the oil into any liquid remaining in the onion bowl, along with the ouzo, if using, then use this to dress the salad, along with most of the oregano.

Crumble the feta on top, and sprinkle with the remaining oregano to serve.

Caribbean Salad with Honey and Lime Dressing

salad-pineapple

Transport your senses to the Caribbean with this tender salad featuring fresh pineapple, orange segments and dried cranberries. Top with grilled chicken, prawns, or black beans for a vegetarian alternative.

What you’ll need
500g of salad leaves
1 pineapple, cut into small cubes
400g can of mandarin orange segments, in water
170g dried cranberries
Handful of fresh corriander, chopped
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
4 teaspoons chia seeds
4 teaspoons sesame seeds
400g of cooked chicken, prawns or black beans

Honey Lime Dressing
60ml honey
60ml apple cider vinegar
30ml lime juice
120ml canola oil
2 tablespoons finely diced onion
A pinch of salt

Place salad leaves, pineapple, mandarin orange segments, cranberries, corriander and spring onion in a large bowl. Mix all the dressing ingredients together until smooth, drizzle over salad and sprinkle with chia and sesame seeds. Top with black beans, chicken or prawns.

Italian Summer Salad

salad-italian

Italian food is all about simplicity and the best flavours come from good quality ingredients. Make this salad as big or as small as you want it and accompany with homemade pizzas for the ultimate taste of Italy.

What you’ll need
500g salad leaves of your choice
½ cucumber, chopped
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 sweet pepper, lightly chopped
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
100g of feta or parmesan

Dressing
2 tbsp grated parmesan
120ml extra virgin olive oil
60ml red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 clove garlic
Generous squirt of honey
Fresh pepper

Blitz the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth, seasoning to taste. Once ready to serve, chop and arrange the salad in a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing.

Pipirrana

salad-pipirrana

There are many different versions of this tasty salad which is known as being inexpensive to make in the southern regions of Spain. Spanish field workers would have only added olives, tuna and eggs on special occasions, however these are now commonly added to the salad and is a popular summer dish.

What you’ll need
1 sweet green pepper
½ sweet red pepper
1 cucumber, peeled
2 medium cloves garlic
2 ripe salad tomatoes
½ white onion
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp sherry vinegar or substitute red wine vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
12 pitted black olives, drained

Chop and mix all the ingredients in a large bowl before adding the oil and vinegar. Cover and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. Popular additions to this basic version include seafood, fresh lemon instead of vinegar and mint or cumin to add a bit of zest.

Salade Nicoise

salad-nicoise

This salad is famous around the world but its origins are rooted in the beautiful French city of Nice. There is no exact recipe for this dish so ingredients can be varied slightly depending on availability. Serve with freshly made bread and a good glass of wine.

What you’ll need
1 crisp lettuce heart
225g cooked French beans
115g tuna
60g small black olives
a few stuffed green olives – optional
thin strips of de-seeded green pepper
8 anchovy fillets
a few thin onion rings – optional
340g firm tomatoes, quartered
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

Dressing
40g mustard – preferably Dijon mustard
80ml white wine vinegar
350ml rapeseed oil
A pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Place half the dressing in a shallow bowl then toss in the lettuce leaves together with the beans. Arrange small pieces of the tuna along with the other ingredients on the top of the lettuce. Place the tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs on the top around the bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining vinaigrette dressing and serve.

Thai style beef salad

chinese-cabbage

While you might not be lounging in a hammock on a white beach with views of lime stone rocks protruding from the sea, this beef salad will help you pretend you are. For the full effect, team with an ice cold Thai beer.

What you’ll need
2 x 150g sirloin steaks
1 tbsp. vegetable oil, for brushing
a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ head Chinese leaf lettuce
2 ripe tomatoes
2 banana shallots or 4 small shallots
½ cucumber, chopped and deseeded
3 spring onions
A handful of fresh basil leaves
A handful of fresh coriander

Dressing
2 tsp palm sugar, substitute golden caster sugar if unavailable
1½-2 limes, juice only
90ml fish sauce
2 bird’s-eye chillies, finely chopped
4 lime wedges, to serve

Brush the steaks with oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a ridged griddle pan until smoking, then add the steaks and fry for 3-6 minutes on each side. Chop all salad ingredients and add to a large bowl. For the dressing, disolve the sugar in the lime juice before mixing the rest of the ingredients. Slice the steaks and add to the salad before drizzling with the dressing.

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