Little salad bowls

With this beautiful hot weather we have been eating a lot of salad. Recently I have been plating up salads for people using individual tapas style bowls. These I “picked up” from Lidl in their Sol Mar Spanish Tapas dishes in the freezer, which come with some useful little brown tapas dishes.

The advantage of these over plating onto the main plates is that they take up less room and it’s easier from a portion control perspective. The advantage of merely creating one big salad is that in the family some people like some salad items and others prefer something else. I like tomatoes, but another member of the family prefers grapes in their salad.

Depending on what we have in the fridge and the cupboard will determine what goes into the individual salad bowls.

I quite like to add a base layer of houmus to mine, to which I then add a handful of mixed lettuce leaves. I add slices of “heritage” tomatoes, slices of radish, sliced pepper, pomegranate seeds and diced cucumber.

Other ingredients I have used include batons of cucumber, grapes, sweetcorn, mixed pulses, sometimes raw red onion.

I rarely add dressing, but if I do, usually I just add a drizzle of olive oil and some white wine vinegar.

Italian Salad

Sometimes simple food can be delicious and tasty.

This Italian salad I made for lunch comprises some slices of salami and cold roasted pork loin. I served it with some mixed  lettuce leaves and tomato, with ripped mozzarella dressed with basil leaves, olive oil and vinegar.

Red Pepper, Basil and Tomato Salad

A nice accompaniment to grilled meats is a salad. This recipe is one of my regular salads and is very simple to make. It consists of lettuce, halved cherry or small tomatoes and thinly sliced pointed red pepper. This time I also added some basil leaves.

I dress the salad with olive oil, white wine vinegar and ground black pepper.

Simple, refreshing with a hint of heat from the pepper (red and black).

Breakfast at Bloomsbury

I was recently up in London and stayed at the Ambassadors Hotel in Bloomsbury. I generally dislike having breakfast in hotels, as more often than not they are overpriced and though have extensive choice are not really value for money. For example a month or two back I stayed at the Thistle Barbican Hotel and breakfast (though included in my room rate) would have cost you £15.95. For that you would have to queue up unless you got up really early. Having sat down in the Thistle, if you were lucky, the waiting staff would bring you some coffee and toast. Then it was self-service for the cooked breakfast, which was not very inspiring.

So I was well pleased with breakfast at the Ambassadors Hotel in Bloomsbury. It was about the same price as the Thistle, but unlike that place, at the Ambassadors they served you your cooked breakfast at the table, and what an excellent cooked breakfast it was.

breakfast

Beautifully served, it consisted of an excellent meaty sausage, some very nice grilled bacon, a small bowl of baked beans, grilled (and skinned) tomato, mushroom, bubble and squeak, black pudding and egg. You had a choice of eggs (chicken or duck) and cooked to your liking, I had a poached duck’s egg. It was also garnished with lettuce, not sure about the lettuce.

There was quite a choice of other cooked items as well, such as boiled eggs and kippers.

Along with the cooked breakfast, there was also a (self-service) selection of toast, bread products such as croissant and panettone, fruit, yoghurt, juice, cold meats, cheese and smoked fish.

Overall I was well impressed and would recommend the breakfast, though still not sure about the lettuce.

A nice green salad

 A nice green salad

One of the things I like to have with a meal is a nice and simple green salad.

A few mixed leaves, maybe some tomato. Dressed with olive oil and white wine vinegar and some freshly ground black pepper.

Simple yet delicious and refreshing.

Pancetta Salad

Pancetta Salad

This is a variation on a salad I blogged about a month ago or so.

Take some mixed leaves, I like the peppery flavour of rocket in my salads so I used that alongside some sliced Romaine lettuce.

Place them on a plate.

Add some sun dried tomatoes, I use SunBlush as they are not as chewy as “proper” sun dried tomatoes.

Add some chopped cucumber, depending on how thick or tough the skin is, you can either leave or peel. I peeled as the skin on my organic cucumber was quite tough.

Dress with some extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar and black pepper.

Top the salad off with some pan fried (until crispy) pancetta bacon.

Serve with fresh bread.

BLT Salad

A salad variation on the classic BLT sandwich.

Take some mixed leaves, I like the peppery flavour of rocket in my salads. Place them on a plate.

Add some sun dried tomatoes, I use SunBlush as they are not as chewy as “proper” sun dried tomatoes.

Dress with some extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar and black pepper.

Top the salad off with some pan fried (until crispy) pancetta bacon.

BLT Salad

Serve with fresh bread.

Avocado Salad

This is a really nice salad, and very quick to put together.

In a frying pan cook off some cubed pancetta, though any smoked bacon will do.

Slice some Romaine lettuce (or use leaves from your favourite).

Cube some avocado.

Place the lettuce in a bowl, add the avocado and drained bacon.

Dress with some white wine vinegar, olive oil and ground black pepper.

Serve.