My Salad Days project continues and today I have two salads for you. My first salad, a Courgette, Parmesan and Hazelnut Salad could not be simpler. Like all dishes which are incredibly simple, however, it relies entirely on good quality.
Begin with the freshest, crispest courgettes you can get your hands on. I like to pick them fresh out of the garden literally moments before I use them, which means there's usually a few flowers I can use as well. I also like to use the the little baby ones that are literally no bigger than your index finger, though they grow so quickly there's usually a few slightly larger ones as well. If you happen to have different varieties and colours of courgettes/squash at your disposal use them too.
To put the salad together, cut your courgettes (as many as you like) as thinly as you can - a mandoline is really useful if you have one - and go for a variety of shapes. I cut some into rings and some into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Place the courgettes in a bowl with plenty of shaved parmesan and roasted hazelnuts. Squeeze over some fresh lemon juice and a generous slosh of the best extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on. Hazelnut oil or walnut oil would also be great alternatives. Season generously with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss everything together gently to combine and transfer to a serving dish.
PS - Don't you love this gorgeous bowl made for me by my lovely friend, Clare Strange
My second salad today is a Green Bean, Spinach & "Falafel" Salad with a Harissa Dressing.
This was another incredibly simple salad to put together. I happened to have some mixture leftover from a batch of these Pea, Feta & Quinoa Fritters, so I rolled it into teeny, tiny fritters and fried them until crispy. You could just as easily use some falafel mix instead. While they were cooking, I blanched some green beans, then tossed them together with some baby spinach leaves and diced cucumber. Nestle the little fritters amongst the salad leaves and beans. The dressing is a simple combination of 2 tablespoons of harissa with 1/3 cup of natural yoghurt - if necessary thin with a little water if necessary to achieve a "dressing-like" consistency.
This dish delivered all the things I love in a good salad - some protein from the quinoa and feta, great texture contrasts from the crispy fritters, crunchy beans, and soft velvety spinach, and finished off with a great dressing that packs a real flavour punch. This salad makes a complete and satisfying meal on its own.
As I mentioned earlier, these are salad number 4 and 5 in my Salad Days, 28 days of salad project. What's that you ask? Well, I've said it here a dozen times or more ... I love salads. A big bowl, substantial salad is hands down my favourite meal any time of the year. Such is my love of salad, that I'm challenging myself to come up with a different salad every day for the month of February - that's 28 days of salads - and I plan to share as many of them as I can with you. I'll also be doing some flashbacks to some of my favourite salads I've shared in the past.
What's more, I'm giving you the opportunity to share some of your favourite salads with me too. Have a favourite salad you'd like to share? Simply link up your salad recipe using the linky tool at the bottom of this post. The linky will be open all month, and you can join in any day or every day, and link as many recipes as you like. Feel free to grab the Salad Days badge from the sidebar to include in your post if you'd like to. There's really no rules around linking up, other than please, use your manners and link your post back to this one. Linking old posts is fine too, just please edit them to include the back link. Thanks for sharing your favourite salad with us.