Thursday, February 20, 2014

Vegetable Salads

Because it is so hot here in summer we love to eat salads, but I also love cooked vegetables and don’t want to miss out on them, so the obvious thing to do is make salads from cooked veggies!

For a long time now I have been making salads with roasted root vegetables like potato, sweet potato and red onion and also pumpkin, but I have only fairly recently discovered the joys of chargrilling brasiccas, namely broccoli and cauliflower….wow, what a taste sensation! Chargrilled Brussels sprouts are wonderful also (once tasted you will never steam or boil them again!) but not usually available in summer....well not where I live at any rate.

Grilled and roasted vegetable salads make an interesting and delicious side dish to go with  barbecued, grilled or roasted meat or, with a few ‘extra’ bits, can be a stand alone meal.

This broccoli salad recipe comes from Yotam Ottelenghi’s book, “ Ottelenghi, The Cookbook." I urge you to give it a go, it is a simple yet stunning combination of flavours.

Ottolengi's Chargrilled Broccoli with Chilli and Garlic 

2 heads of broccoli
115ml olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
Toasted almond flakes or thinly sliced lemon
Salt and pepper

Separate the broccoli into individual florets (leave stem on). Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Throw in the broccoli and blanch for 2 minutes only. Using a slotted spoon transfer the broccoli into a bowl of iced water to stop it cooking and keep it a lovely vibrant green. Drain into a colander and allow to dry completely. Toss the broccoli with a couple of tablespoons of the oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Place a ridged griddle pan (or BBQ plate) over high heat and leave it to get very hot. Grill the broccoli in batches until it is charred all over - don't cram the pan. Transfer to a heatproof bowl.

While grilling the broccoli place the rest of the oil in a small saucepan with the garlic and chilli and gently warm them until the garlic just begins to turn golden. Be careful not to burn the garlic or you will have to start again as burnt garlic is very unpleasant. Pour the oil, garlic and chilli over the broccoli and toss together. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish with almonds or lemon just before serving. If using almonds I suggest serving with a wedge of lemon on the side.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Emma's Optional Extras

Crispy fried proscuitto
Crumbled feta

There is a multitude of cooked vegetable salad recipes on the internet so, if you are in a bit of a funk about what to serve with your steak or chops tonight, have a look at the vegetables in your fridge (or pantry for spuds and onions) and google that ingredient + salad are bound to find an interesting way to serve it. Or you could just make something up! I think it's important to add a bit of green to a salad and baby spinach, rocket and soft herbs are all useful for this. A basic dressing of olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice with a pinch of salt and a hint of honey or sugar works well with most salads.

Do you have any fabulous veggie salad recipes to share?


  1. I don't have the recipe but Carolyn makes an amazing brussels sprouts salad!

  2. Oooo, I might have to see if she will share! Thanks Crystal.