I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a sizzling hot Christmas throughout South Africa, so with that in mind I thought I’d share 3 sumptuous salads to play nicely with your Christmas roast and braai.
My philosophy is: keep the side dishes light by making inspired salads. This way, there will be more space for roast potatoes and dessert!
Caprese tomato salad with herbs and Parmesan infused olive oil
Delicious as a starter with toasted bruschetta. Mouth-watering served alongside roast lamb or rare roast beef.
1 kg assorted baby tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 c (250 ml) basil leaves, finely chopped
½ c (125 ml) mint leaves, finely chopped
½ c (125 ml) Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 T (30 ml) red wine vinegar
+- 3 T (45 ml) parmesan infused olive oil.
+- 400 g bocconcini, halved
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Toss all the ingredients together and season to taste.
Mediterranean aubergine salad
Not quite a salad but a light and refreshing side dish. Roasted baby aubergines and smoked paprika chickpeas with homemade tzatziki, fresh coriander and pomegranate rubies. A flavour explosion! Amazing with roast lamb, rare roast beef or chicken.
+- 12 baby aubergines/eggplants
olive oil for drizzling
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1 x 400 g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 T (30 ml) honey
1 t (5 ml) smoked paprika
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 T (30 ml) red wine vinegar
handful of coriander leaves
½ c (125 ml) pomegranate rubies
1 small Mediterranean cucumber, seeds removed, grated and salted
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 c (250 ml) Full fat yoghurt
2 T (30 ml) finely chopped mint
zest of 1 lemon
2 ml ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Place the baby aubergines onto a greased baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season. Roast for +- 25 minutes.
Place the chickpeas in a greased baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and honey. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and season. Roast for 15 minutes.
Soak the sliced onion in the vinegar.
Tzatziki: squeeze the excess liquid out of the cucumber. Combine with all the remaining taztziki ingredients. Season to taste.Arrange the roasted aubergines, chickpeas and sliced red onion onto a platter, dollop with tzatziki and sprinkle with pomegranate rubies and coriander.
Nectarine, speck and Chevin salad
This combination is to die for. I love the smokiness of speck but you can replace it with black forest ham or Prosciutto. Creamy chevin, smoky ham and sweet and juicy nectarines served with peppery wild rocket and grassy olive oil – simply gorgeous! Serve with roast turkey, gammon, roast pork, duck, chicken or corned beef. This also makes a delicious starter.
6 ripe nectarines, pips removed and cut into wedges
80 g Speck, Prosciutto (this is not smoky though) or Black Forest ham
100 g chevin goats cheese
80 g wild rocket leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground salt and pepper.
Gently wrap sliced of ham around each nectarine wedge. Not necessary to wrap them all. Arrange onto a platter with crumbled goats cheese and rocket. Season and drizzle with olive oil when ready to serve.