If the thought of salad leaves you feeling devoid of joy, you may have been doing it wrong. I’ve included two of my go-to recipes to prove that a well-constructed salad can be both easily thrown together and surprisingly satisfying.
Recipes, photography and styling by Elisabeth Chieng of The Gluten Free Table.
Firstly, I want to share my simple heirloom tomato salad. Topped with basil, drizzled with olive oil and dotted with luscious strands of buffalo mozzarella, this salad screams summer. Imagine yourself, bathed in the warmth of a setting sun, just before it dips below the skyline. The aroma of freshly torn basil and oven toasted sourdough dance through the air like a perfect pairing. And in your hand, a glass of your favourite pinot noir. This delightful scene playing out in your mind’s eye, is the summer I have been waiting for.
Tomato and mozzarella salad
1 cup torn sourdough (optional)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 ripe heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup natural applesauce (no sugar added)
1/2 cup fresh basil sprigs
1 shallot, finely chopped
350g fresh mozzarella cheese, preferably buffalo
Quality extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread the torn bread on a baking tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and toss to coat then bake for roughly ten minutes or until the edges are brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Slice the tomatoes into 1cm slices and arrange them on a serving tray along with the cheery tomatoes. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper then add the chopped shallots. Chop or tear the basil and scatter on top of the tomatoes. Distribute the croutons on top and then place the torn mozzarella around the platter.
Drizzle the mozzarella with extra virgin olive oil and and finish with a sprinkle of salt and fresh ground pepper.
Beetroot and whipped goats cheese salad
1 kg beetroots
2 tbsp olive oil, to drizzle
300g dry puy lentils
1 medium red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup dried currants
1 cup (200 g) soft goats’s cheese, crumbled
1 large handful sprouts or microgreens
1 cup oven roasted walnuts
Sweet Lemon Dressing Ingredients
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 pinch sea salt
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Scrub and trim the beets then then slice into wedges, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender and edges are slightly browned.
While the beets are roasting, cook the lentils. Rinse in cool water then place in a sauce pan. Cover with 3 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add a pinch of sea salt and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.
To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk with a fork until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Place lentils, beets, onions, currants and micro greens in a large serving bowl, drizzle with dressing and give it a good stir then top with crumbled goat’s cheese and roasted walnuts.