Saturday, October 28, 2006

In The Good Old Summer Time!

In a couple of weeks, I'm having a few friends over for a luncheon. With the warmer weather now upon us, I'm going to set up a long table outside underneath the shady trees where there's continual shade. Then the party will begin as we leisurely graze over the table laden with an array of various salads, special breads, antipasto platter, a fresh fruit platter, a variety of cheeses, a rich chocolate cake with whipped cream and, of course, many glasses of wine and champagne! If it rains...I'll attack that situation when faced with it!

Here are a couple of salad recipes for you to mull over.

White Bean & Chorizo Salad: In a bowl, toss 1 can of white beans, drained with 1 chorizo, finely diced, (grill the chorizo before adding to the salad), 1 small red onion, finely chopped, 1/4 cup finely chopped red capsicum/pepper, 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds. Add 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss well. Arrange lettuce leaves in bowl or 4 individual bowls and mound the bean salad on top. Scatter with pitted Kalamata olives and thinly sliced radish. Quarter 2 hard-boiled eggs and arrange them around the salad.

Asian Pork Salad: Dressing: combine 1/4cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoon light vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce in large bowl. Mix well. Cook some egg noodles, adding 250g sugar snap peas for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain well. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Cook 500g of pork fillet (cut into 1/4inch slices), 1 teaspoon grated, fresh ginger and 2 cloves garlic, crushed for 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until pork is cooked, but not over-cooked. Toss drained noodles, pea pods, 1 sliced red capsicum/pepper, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1 bunch shallots, chopped and pork with half of the dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with remaining dressing.

Marinated Mushrooms & Cauliflower: Clean and quarter 750g mushrooms. Cut 1 head of cauliflower into bite-size florets. Trim 5 celery ribs into 3inch lengths. In a large pot, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 5 cups water, 1/4 cup fresh oregano, 1/4 cup fresh basil and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer mushrooms to a bowl. Add cauliflower to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer cauliflower to the bowl with the mushrooms. Raise heat to high and boil liquid until reduced to 1-1/2 cups. Remove from heat, strain and whisk in 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, blending well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over vegetables. Add the celery and 500g black, pitted olives. Cover and refrigerate.



  1. Anonymous7:52 PM

    Or you could try "Mrs Crockets" (or is that Granny??) Coleslaw and Potato salads, yours sound nicer but mine are definitley easier.

  2. Nope...never use those pre-made bought ones, Peter! Tsk! Tsk!

    But, in saying that, I can understand you, being a guy, using them.

    My lunch guests would crucify me...if I didn't crucify myself first, that is! ;)

  3. Those recipes just look so summer perfect that I have copied them down and will be sure to try them very soon. The last one especially has my mouth watering! Thanks for sharing.

  4. You're welcome, Tanya...I hope you enjoy them. You can pickle capsicum (cut into about 1inch squares), onions, if large, quartered, slices of cucumber, unpeeled, broccoli, even using this simple method as well. They are all good to add to an antipasto. Green beans cut into 1/2 inch or so pieces can be used too, to add colour. If you wanted to add a bit of heat to them...a little dried chilli would be good, too.

  5. Anonymous12:26 AM

    Eeek, pre-made salads! However, I think it's a guy thing. Although I have a brother who is a wonderful cook and enjoys whipping up all sorts of goodies.

    If you don't mind, Lee, I'd like to pass these recipes on to him. He'll enjoy trying them out when they next entertain.

    Hope your al fresco luncheon goes well.


  6. I don't mind at all, Robyn...I hope he enjoys them. :)

    Yes, I'm with you...I never buy bought salads. When I had my little store in Hastings Street, Noosa, back in the eighties prior to my going to Hinchinbrook Island, I did, however, make salads for sale by container to the public. I used to have six different ones on display in large stainless steel bowls in my refrigerated display case every day. So, even if I don't buy salads, I used to sell a hell of a lot! lol

    I had a fruit/vegie and healthfood store and used to turn my product into various other modes. Soups, guacamole, cakes, muesli cookies, fruit name I did it! Whatever wasn't nailed down, I cooked and sold! ;)

  7. :::slurp:::: I love food porn. Or, so I call entries like these but your gloating about summer is killing me. Perhaps, I should live down under part of the year and here the other part so I can have a year-long summer. :-)

    P.S. I am so going to try that chorizo and bean salad. Sounds divine!

  8. Good to hear from you, Robbie! Yes, it is a good salad. I love chorizo!

    I just hope summer isn't too hot this year! We've had a mild start to it so far...I hope this pattern remains! Our winters here where I live are lovely...bit chilly early morning but the days are great. After spending a few years up in the 'tropics' and in hot, commercial kitchens...I love the colder weather! :) But it does sound like a good deal...half your time in the northern hemisphere and the other half Down Under! ;)