Bean, Avocado and Radish Salad (4)

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I love this so much I have eaten it for lunch 3 days in a row! It is simple and quick to make and quite substantial. I toss it in an apple cider vinaigrette and sprinkle microgreens over the top.

1 X 15 oz can of cannellini beans

1 avocado – diced

1 largish red radish

1 tbsp. red onion – finely chopped (or more, if you like)

Small handful of microgreens

Place first four ingredients in a bowl, toss with apple cider vinaigrette (1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar – dissolve mustard in the vinegar – and 3 tbsp. olive oil).

Sprinkle microgreens over the top.

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Egg and Bean Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette (4)

Originally this was an eat up what is in the fridge salad and I had no intention of writing about it but it tasted good – so nice in fact that it was gone before I thought about taking a photo! I had a head of romaine lettuce which needed using and some left over cannellini beans. There were a couple of hard-boiled eggs as there often are in the fridge and I had part of a red onion. My apple cider vinaigrette is a little softer and sweeter than a regular dressing and apple cider has health benefits and is now my go-to dressing.

I head of romaine lettuce – chopped

2 hard boiled eggs – sliced and chopped

1 can of cannellini beans – rinsed and drained

1/8 to 1/4 of a red onion (depending on how much you like raw onion) – finely chopped

Compose a salad with the above ingredients and toss with apple cider vinaigrette (below)

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Whisk together the mustard and vinegar until smooth.

Add oil and whisk until dressing is emulsified

Pour over salad and toss,

 

Catharine’s Brunch (per serving)

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Staying with friends and lingering over a late breakfast is a rare treat. Catharine served us this versatile dish – can be a healthy dish for brunch if you add scrambled eggs, a dinner party appetizer or a light lunch. The dressing is a kind of mayonnaise but so easy to make unlike real mayonnaise where the oil has to be dripped in slowly and there is the possibility of curdling.

I am giving the ingredients per person:

Handful of arugula

2 slices of smoked salmon – cut into small pieces

1/2 an avocado – diced

Compose the ingredients on a plate

Dressing (makes more than needed)

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 tbsp. coarse mustard

2 pinches sugar

5 fl. oz olive oil

Whisk egg yolk, vinegar, mustard and sugar together then add the oil a little at a time and continue whisking all the while.

Put little blobs of dressing around the plate.

Tomato and Avocado Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette (4)

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Growing up in England in the 60’s and 70’s the idea of a salad was a far cry from the salads of of today. The English salad was a handy dish because it was cold. It was sometimes served on Sunday evenings after the woman of the house had slaved over preparing Sunday lunch for the family often when the man of the house decided a few pints at the local pub was in order and he returned home only in time to take his place at the head of the table and demonstrate his carving skills. On Sunday evening a no-fuss meal of salad might be provided and of course it was a good way of using up the cold, left-over meat from lunch. A salad could also be left for the man of the house to eat if his wife had to be out in the evening. Said man didn’t have to heat  anything up as he was left a plate with some lettuce and slices of tomato, hard-boiled egg, cucumber and beetroot from a jar and a couple of slices of cold meat. The dressing was Heinz Salad Cream – still to be found today and, indeed, when there was talk of this product being discontinued a nostalgic furore ensued – today Heinz is still making Salad Cream!

When I came across mention of this vinaigrette the combination of flavors instantly appealed and the dressing didn’t let me down when I tossed tomato slices and chunks of avocado in it.

2 x beef tomatoes – sliced and each slice cut into quarters

1 x avocado – diced

For the dressing:

3 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 largish garlic clove – grated

1 tbsp. of chopped basil

Place the dressing ingredients in a largish bowl and whisk together so that they emulsify.

Add tomatoes and avocado and toss well together.

 

Citrus Sprouts Slaw (4)

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Wonderfully healthy and crunchy salad with an orange mustard dressing.

8 oz. Brussels sprouts – thinly sliced

2 carrots – grated

4 oz. celery root –  peeled, sliced and cut into small pieces

2 tbsp. red onion – finely chopped

Handful of raisins

Combine the above ingredients in a salad bowl and toss well with the dressing

Orange Mustard Dressing

Juice and pulp of 1 orange

1 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well before pouring over salad.

 

Jo’s Coronation Chicken (4)

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Coronation Chicken is a perfect summer salad invented by the founders of the famous Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. It caught on in England and I remember my mother making the dressing with mulligatawny soup, mayonnaise and a little curry powder and it was considered quite exotic and served over cold rice with cucumber as a garnish. My take on Coronation Chicken is much lighter and it is accompanied by fruit instead of rice – a perfect summer lunch. I added chicken broth to the mayonnaise and whisked it until smooth, then added a blend of spices. Because the sauce was only lightly curried I served it with mango chutney on the side. Would be nice for a picnic.

 

2 chicken breasts – poached (I poached mine wrapped in aluminum foil in a little chicken broth)

12 black seedless grapes – halved

Handful of raisins

1/4 tsp. each of cumin, curry powder and garam masala

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tbsp. chicken broth

Almond slivers – just a few to sprinkle over the top

Garnishes – melon slice(s), green grapes, mango chutney

When poached chicken breasts are cooled cut into bite-size pieces and place in a serving dish with the grapes and raisins.

Place spices in a small bowl, add mayonnaise and chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Pour over the chicken mixture, stir well and top with almond slivers.

Serve with the various garnishes.

 

Honey, Mustard and Scallion Dressing

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The addition of scallions/spring onions to the dressing adds a subtle but noticeable flavor and is worth trying. I put all the ingredients in my food processor which made the dressing very creamy and the scallions gave off a stronger flavor than if they were just chopped.

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 bunch of scallions (about 6)

Place  ingredients in food processor in order they are listed. Make sure the scallions get well processed.

Makes 1/2 cup.