Chef Wendy

Scrumptious Salads

I have to admit I’m not big into leafy salads. 
So when it’s time to throw a salad together, I try to add as many interesting ingredients as possible and it ends up turning it into some sort of a mini meal. That being said, I also find I’m rather bored and fed up with the stock standard potato salad and if we have a braai, I try my utmost best to serve anything other than potato salad. Salads are actually fun to make, and the possibilities are endless – simply toss everything together and you will certainly end up with an amazing burst of flavour!

One of my favourite ways to bulk up a salad, if you are expecting a crowd over, is the addition of legumes such as chickpeas or lentils – most of us usually have a handy tin in the pantry cupboard. Simply rinse them off and toss them together with your other salad ingredients. Both chickpeas and lentils work really well with a good splash of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. But if you’re feeling a little adventurous, throw in some chopped fresh coriander and mint. Adding fresh herbs is great to lift all flavours in your salad!

This spicy mint and feta chickpea salad is an interesting combination of ingredients. Including chickpeas, tomatoes and green beans with a good dose of creamy feta cheese – the garam masala and paprika give it a delicious North African flavour.

Toasted nuts are also great to add to any salad – they add a delicious crunch as well as visual appeal and texture. Be sure to always lightly toast your nuts either in the oven or in a pan and allow them to cool completely before adding them to your salad so that they do not end up wilting your fresh salad leaves. A gentle toasting of the nuts helps intensify the ‘nutty” flavour as well as the crunch. This Tangy chicken, grape and pecan salad is by far one of my favourite salad recipes, and can be served as a meal in its own. Grapes and pecans are the perfect combination and both are in season at the same time.  

A summer salad would simply not be complete without some creamy avocado – the trick to preparing a salad in advance that uses avo is to lightly drizzle the avo slices either with some lemon juice or some of your Knorr salad dressing – the acidity of either of these will prevent your avo from discolouring. Another trick I have is adding the pip from the avo into the bowl and then removing it just before serving. This Roasted butternut, baby corn and avo salad is a definite crowd pleaser, I simply love the wonderful array of colours and I think it looks spectacular when presented in a blue salad bowl.

If you have a family who simply can’t get their heads around having a braai without a potato salad, try and push the boundaries a little. Prepare a warm bacon, blue cheese and spring onion potato salad. The combination of the tangy Knorr Creamy Blue Cheese Salad Dressing and the salty bacon is delicious and I can assure you they won’t complain! You can also substitute the baby potatoes with regular potatoes if you prefer. 

So sadly with the last few days of summer ahead of us why not try out some new and interesting salad recipes – we would love to know what interesting salad combinations you come up with!