James St recipes: Easy four-step salads - Caprese Salad and Pink Grapefruit, Fennel and Parmesan Salad
THIS week's rising temperatures has also seen the demand rise for fresh, tasty salads in our restaurants.
No one wants to spend time cooking when you could be enjoying the sunshine, so this weekend we have two flavoursome salad recipes that you can prepare in only four steps, with no cooking required.
First up, a fennel salad. Fennel is such a misunderstood vegetable, and normally reserved for long cooking and served as an afterthought with a piece of grilled salmon.
However, Fennel is a wonderfully versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw and is a great addition to a fresh citrus fruit salad, like the recipe below.
The second dish is a caprese salad, a personal favourite of mine as it reminds me of being on holiday in Italy. This summer staple requires good quality ingredients for an intense flavour burst.
For more information, or to book an experience at the Waterman Cookery School, visit www.cookinbelfast.co.uk.
Pink Grapefruit, Fennel and Parmesan Salad
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
60ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 heads of Belgian endive, halved lengthwise, cut lengthwise into thin strips
1 head of butter lettuce, leaves torn
250g thinly sliced fresh fennel bulb
3 small pink grapefruits, segmented
Parmesan shavings for garnish
1. Start by whisking the vinegar and honey in large bowl to blend.
2. Next, whisk in olive oil and season the dressing to taste with a little salt and pepper.
3. To the bowl, add the endives, butter lettuce, and fennel and toss in the dressing to coat.
4. Finally, top your salad with grapefruit sections, then Parmesan cheese, and it's ready to serve.
2 large tomatoes per person
1 ball of mozzarella or burrata
5 leaves of basil, fresh
small handful of rocket leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Start by slicing the tomato thinly and in a bowl dress lightly in olive oil.
2. Next slice your mozzarella thinly and dress lightly in olive oil and place on top of the tomato.
3. Next, with the basil and rocket, drizzle with olive oil and place on top.
Burrata is a great alternative to mozzarella and is much younger and less firm or you can use the little balls of mozzarella slightly torn and mixed in with tomatoes. With the tomatoes today there an abundance of varieties in the supermarkets and you can use a mix, ensuring that they are ripe. In the restaurant we always dress our leaves not by pouring over the olive oil, but by mixing the leaves in a bowl with a little oil as this ensures that all the ingredients get coated.