Spinach and rocket salad with oven-roasted tomatoes, avocado, capers, red onion and pan-fried gnocchi

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We eat so many salads in the summer and despite what some people think they really, really don’t have to be boring!  To be honest we rarely eat the same salad twice as it normally depends on what is in the fridge at the time…

I usually pop gnocchi in boiling water for a couple of minutes but this time I pan-fried it for a slightly different taste and texture.

(Serves 2)

  • 2 large handfuls of organic rocket
  • 2 large handfuls of organic spinach
  • Punnet of slow-roasted tomatoes (see previous recipe)
  • 1 bag of gnocchi
  • 1 ripe organic avocado – peeled, stoned and sliced
  • 1/2 red onion – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of capers
  • Handful of toasted almond flakes and pumpkin seeds
  • Generous drizzle of olive oil
  • Tablespoon of vegan pesto (I often make my own but Zest do a great one)
  1. Pan-fry the gnocchi in a little olive oil allowing to lightly brown on the outside
  2. Assemble the rocket, spinach, tomatoes, gnocchi, avocado, onion, capers, almond flakes and pumpkin seeds in a bowl
  3. Mix the olive oil with the pesto and drizzle over the salad
  4. Toss and serve

If taking this on a picnic then just take the pesto and olive oil separately and drizzle over at the last minute to avoid the salad leaves going soggy

 

Slow-roasted tomatoes

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I adore these tomatoes.  They’re really easy to prepare, will keep for a few days in the fridge and are great added to salads, served on toast with a drizzle of olive oil or thrown into a pasta sauce.

  • Punnet of organic, on-the-vine cherry tomatoes – Halved
  • 1 garlic clove – sliced
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Sprinkle of seasalt
  1. Assemble all the ingredients in an ovenproof dish and pop in the oven at 100°C and bake for about an hour
  2. If not eating immediately then they can be stored in the fridge in an airtight jar for a few days

 

Avocado, vine tomato and pine nut salad

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This is a really tasty salad that can be eaten on its own or shared as a side-dish.  Perfect BBQ  and picnic food although if taking for a picnic I would take the avocado oil separately to avoid soggy salad leaves!

(Serves 1-2 as a main or 4 as a side-dish)

  • Bag of mixed leaf salad (organic)
  • Punnet of on-the-vine cherry tomatoes (organic) – Halved
  • 1 large ripe avocado – skin and stone removed and sliced
  • Toasted pine nuts (you can toast them for a few moments in a dry, non-stick pan)
  • Avocado oil

Simply combine all the ingredients and drizzle with the avocado oil.

Warm new potato salad with mint and olive oil

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I absolutely love the taste of new potatoes.  The fresher and more locally grown, the better.  This makes a great side-dish for a BBQ or picnic (it’s delicious eaten cold too) and is really quick and simple to make and much lighter than the more traditional creamy potato salads.

(Serves 4)

  • Bag of new potatoes (organic)
  • Large handful of fresh mint
  • Generous drizzle of olive oil
  1. Boil the potatoes for around 10 minutes, until cooked
  2. Cool them under the cold water tap for a few moments (I tend to serve this dish warm, not hot to ensure that the mint stays crisp and doesn’t wilt)
  3. Serve with the olive oil, mint and salt and pepper
  • Sea salt and pepper to season

Samphire salad with lemon and olive oil

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Samphire grows wild along the marshy coastlines and estuaries of Northern and Western Europe and has a distinctive fresh and salty taste.  Not only is it delicious but it’s also really good for us  – it’s high in vitamins A, C and B and is a great source of folic acid.  I’ve even heard it recently described as the “next big superfood”.

Samphire season in the UK is fairly short (July to August) so do make the most of it whilst you can.   I’ve often had it either deep-fried or lightly boiled in restaurants but I bought some today and it was so fresh that I just served it raw with lemon juice (to balance out the saltiness) and a drizzle of olive oil.

This makes a great side-dish.

  • Generous handful of samphire, washed, roughly chopped with stalks removed
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all the ingredients and serve