Barley and butternut squash salad

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Here’s one idea for an autumn/wintery salad. I eat salads all year round but when the winter comes I like to take advantage of autumn vegetables and see how I can make the most of them. I love butternut squash and barley, they are both very filling ingredients, they are versatile and perfect for salads! This salad is great because It can be made ahead and you can eat it cold or warm. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into long pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Cinnamon and honey
  • 250g pearl barley
  • 1 broccoli head, cut into medium-size pieces
  • A few slices of  Sun-blush tomatoes
  • Half pomegranate
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp small capers, rinsed
  • 15 black olives, pitted

For the Dressing:

  • 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard or Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Preparation:

1- Butternut squash : Preheat the oven at 200C. Place the sliced butternut squash in a tray with a splash of cinammon, olive oil and honey and roast for about 20 mins until caramelized.

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2- Barley: Boil the barley until tender for about 20-25 minutes in salted water, rinse and set apart

3- Vinaigrette: Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette

4- Broccoli: boil in salted water, I like my broccoli to be crunchy. A few minutes should do. Rinse in cold water and place it in the bowl.

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5 – Mix all the ingredients together plus the dressing and you’ve got your salad! Add or takeaway whatever you want.

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Barley and Butternut squash Salad!

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Autum salad – Pumpkin & Caramelised Onions Salad

It’s been two months since my last post and all I can say, like everybody says…It’s been a hectic couple of months! A couple of nights ago I had a lovely salad. I think the recipe is worth posting. It’s very easy to make and it’s so right for this time of the year. I needed to make something with the little pumpkins I bought a couple of weeks ago, and here it is. It serves two easily.

Ingredients:

– 1/2 butternut squash or 2 small pumpkins

– Rocket leaves (35g? half of the usual packet you get in the supermarket)

– 1/3 block of Feta cheese

– Handful of Walnuts

– 1 red onion, finely sliced

– 2 tablespoons brown sugar

– 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

– Pinch of Cinnamon

– Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C. Don’t peel the butternut squash, no need. Just cut them in centimeters place them in a tray with some olive oil add a pinch of Cinnamon. Roast until soft 20-25 mins. Meanwhile, add a splash of olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions and some salt and leave until soften at very low heat. When soft please add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook further 5-10 mins stirring occasionally until caramelized. In a platter add the rocket, cheese, onions, butternut squash and walnuts. Add a splash of balsamic, pinch of salt and a bit of olive oil if needed. Mix and enjoy!

Prawn And Avocado Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is originated in the Andean region of  Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia & Peru. It’s not very common in Venezuela, at least not in my area. It’s actually a seed rather than a grain. The first time I ate it was here in the UK and I must say It’s great in salads or as a simple side dish. Cold or warm.

I decided to go for this quick salad for tonight’s dinner. The original recipe doesn’t have roasted tomatoes but fresh ones.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of quinoa
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 350g raw prawns with tail-shells on
  • 250gr sherry plums tomatoes, cut in halves
  • Dill
  • 6 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, stoned, peeled and slived
  • 100g Rocket
  • Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 chilli finely chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

1. Cook Quinoa – Place the Quinoa in a pan and add two cups of water. Bring to boil on high temp. Lower the temperature to the lowest setting and let it simmer for 10mins. Set aside.

2. Cook the tomatoes- Place the tomatoes in a tray, add some salt, pepper, dill and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the over and roast for 20 mins at 250C

3. Add a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the spring onions,garlic, chilli and sweat for 2-3mins. Add the prawns and cook for another further 3 minutes, until the prawns are cooked through. Add some lemon & salt to taste.

4. Mix & toss all the ingredients together. Season with lemon, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

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Greens

Earlier this week we decided to go green and just had greens for dinner. By greens I mean Spinach and Cabbage & Green beans. It was a great dinner. We had leftovers hummus & everything worked just great with some bread.

Spinach & Parmesan – I found this kind of spinach in the Chinese supermarket. I am not sure what type it is but It is definitely not the baby spinach you get in every supermarket here in the UK. It tastes great! This is how I made it.

Ingredients:

  • Spinach
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Lime
  • Pepper

Place the spinach on a plate, shave some Parmesan cheese, drizzle olive oil & some lime juice & some pepper

Lemon Pointed Cabbage & Green beans I love this kind of cabbage. It’s so versatile and It’s great to have it as a side and It can be cooked in so many different ways. Here’s an idea.

Ingredients:

  •  Handful of green beans (Boiled)
  • The juice of 1 lemon, plus zest of lemon.
  • 3-4 cabbage leaves.
  • Olive oil
  • Handful almonds
  • Garlic – 2-3 gloves
  • Salt & Peppers.

1. Wash the cabbage, cut in strips of 1 cm.

2. In a pan heat the olive oil with the chopped garlic. Add the cabbage and some salt. Stir and sweat for a couple of minutes.

3. Add the green beans and the lemon juice and the zest. It is ready to serve on the plate & Drizzle with a bit more olive oil.

4. In the same pan, toast the almonds and add them to the greens.

Tomato Carpaccio with Raspberries & Mozzarella.

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This is a really light and refreshing salad. It’s amazing what you can come up with such little ingredients. This salad or carppacio as the recipe is called is a prime example of this.  I never thought raspberries and tomatoes could work so nicely together. Excellent as a starter or light lunch or summer dinner. I took this recipe off the Jamie’s magazine. I keep trying their recipes and they never disappoint. I’ve got given a subscription for my birthday two years ago, great source of ideas. This was just the perfect finish to a relaxing weekend.

Ingredients to serve 6:

  • 8 Heirloom Tomatoes. I used beef tomatoes & vine tomatoes.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.
  • 85g of Raspberries.
  • 2x125g mozzarella.
  • Small basil leaves. Just basil leaves, any size.
  • Raspberry vinegar. I only have raspberry & apple vinegar, another vinegar I think It could work nicely is sherry vinegar

1. Slice the tomatoes. Arrange them on a plate, season with salt and pepper and olive oil.

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2. Get the raspberries and add a drizzle of the vinegar and crush them with a fork.

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3. Top the tomatoes with the cheese & drizzle over the dressing & scatter the basil leaves.

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Enjoy!

Roasted Beetroot & Lentil Salad

Yet another salad in a space of a few days! I know but I love them specially in summer. Finally, after so much rain in England we’ve managed to get a couple sunny days this summer. This weekend was the first one with “nice” weather after really long. I took my wooden chairs and table outside and I am planning to keep them outside for as long as I want my summer to continue. Having dinner in my little backyard is one of the best feelings ever. BBQ last night to celebrate a sunny day and a lovely salad today after work to celebrate the summer evening. Happy days!

This salad is easy and it tastes refreshing. You can adjust the quantities and the ingredients as much as you want. I took it from the rte.ie website although I made a few tweaks to it.

Ingredients:

  • 400 g beetroot
  • 2 tblsp rapeseed or olive oil
  • 300 g green lentils
  • 150 g goat or feta cheese
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • handful each of flat-leaf parsley, chives and dill (I used basil instead), roughly chopped
  • couple of sun dried tomatoes

For the dressing:

  • 3 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tblsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and mashed
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

– Preheat the oven to 200°C and place in a roasting tin. Toss with the oil, some salt and place in the oven to roast for about 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the beetroot. If they are tender when you pierce them with a fork then they are ready.

– Place the lentils in a pot, fill it with water and bring the lentils to boil for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Add to the serving bowlImage

– In a mortar, mash the garlic and add all the ingredients for the dressing.

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Add the herbs, cheese, sun dried tomatoes and beetroot to the lentils together with the dressing. Toss to combine.

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Enjoy!

Aubergine & Feta Salad

 

There’s nothing better in summer than a fresh salad for a healthy dinner. As aubergines are in season at the moment I thought of giving this salad a try and Oh… I didn’t regret it. It uses just a few ingredients. The only part you need to be a bit patient is when cooking the aubergine as you have to wait for 20 minutes. The mint and the basil are key ingredients here and so it’s the pomegranate. I didn’t used to consider using pomegranate but since I tried sometime ago I can’t stop using it in salads. It transforms them and makes them special or so I think.  My sister was still at my place when I cooked this and she enjoyed it as much as I did.

 

Ingredients (For 2 people):

  • 1 Aubergine
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Dill & Basil ~ 1 tbsp each
  • Mint ~ less than a tbsp ~1/2
  • Pomegranate seeds (1/3)
  • 50gr feta or a bit more
  • Juice of 1 lemon

The first thing is to pre-heat the oven to 200C. Once I cut the aubergine in cubes, placed them in a roasting tray, tossed them with cumin, some salt & olive oil. The tray went straight into the oven.

In the mean time I chopped the herbs (dill, basil & mint) and add them to the serving bowl together with the seeds. Added the aubergine when It was ready + the feta cheese. Tossed everything together. Finally added the lemon juice and if needed a tiny bit more olive oil. Eat straight away.

Enjoy!