Another delicious salad that I love, and that is the perfect accompaniment to barbecued meat, is a beetroot salad I’ve been making for years (if not decades!). This recipe was originally shared with me from the wife of a very good friend’s cousin.
Back when we were teenagers with driving licences and too much time on our hands, my friend Helen and I would race around the country on a whim, visiting wherever we thought was a good idea on that day! One day we decided to go and visit (unannounced – I now realise how irritating we must have been!) Helen’s cousin and wife in Southend-on-Sea. They were so welcoming to two crazy teenage day-trippers and gave us a meal that included one of the most delicious salads I have ever tasted. I LOVE beetroot, and it also includes cheese (which is something of an addiction for me) and garlic – yes please! Helen’s cousin had married a Russian lady and she said she’d brought this recipe with her from Russia.
What is so great about this salad is that its really yummy the day after, spread thickly on a piece of crusty baguette. The only thing is, it’s so delicious it may not last until the day after!
Grate equal parts of cooked beetroot and cheese (I like to use a mature cheddar) and mix with a couple of spoonful’s of sour cream and crushed garlic (I’d suggest two cloves of garlic for every four cooked beetroots). It really is that simple!
We’re at the height of barbecue season (yes, even in the rain – we’re British!) and while meat plays the staring role in most people’s barbecues I find the supporting role of the salad to be just as important. So my next couple of posts will focus on delicious salads that go perfectly with your barbecue.
Last month one of my lovely regulars, Pam, gave me a couple of homegrown loquats the day before I was due to host a family barbecue. The loquat is a tangy plum-like fruit originally from China and Japan but it’s increasing in popularity in the UK – and as Pam has proved they can be grown in Wimbledon!
Loquats make delicious jams and jellies but I decided to use them in a summer salad. I sliced the loquats and layered them along with pieces of serrano ham and slices of goat’s cheese on top of a bed of baby salad leaves and I have to say this salad was just beautiful as a side dish to the delicious burgers and sausages we feasted on. You may also want to try my potato salad recipe for a refreshingly zingy side!
At the weekend I got a really bad craving for homemade potato salad. I have no idea why, but something in me wanted homemade potato salad and so that’s what I was going to have! So I based my whole meal around the potato salad and I didn’t let myself down.
To make the potato salad I boiled new potatoes and then chopped them into bite-size pieces. I added chopped red onion and mayonnaise with a squirt of fresh lemon juice.
It was so hot I decided to enjoy said potato salad with tuna steaks and a salad of lamb’s lettuce, radishes, cucumber and tomatoes dressed in olive oil and the juice of the other half a lemon. I cooked the tuna steaks on a high heat for around six minutes, turning after four minutes and squirting with the remaining lemon juice. The fresh salad and tuna steak felt light and right with the potato salad.
For pudding I wanted something equally as summery, indulgent but also not horrifically naughty. So I made a raspberry Eton mess with meringue (yes, shop bought. I can’t bake and make everything all the time!), fresh raspberries and organic raspberry yogurt. It didn’t last long!
The wine I chose to enjoy with this meal was – and please note that I am no exceptional wine connoisseur, just someone who likes what she likes as long as it falls in budget – a white rioja. I’ve been drinking white rioja for a few years now and picked up a bargain bottle in Lidl for just under £4. What a bargain!