As most of you know by now, I love salads!! Favourites are always hard to choose but time and time again I find myself coming back to these two recipes so obviously I had to share them.
The bitter tang of feta with the smooth crunch of toasted hazelnuts make a simple broccoli and tomato salad sing for me. My second salad recipe offers you a taste of the Middle East with the addition of a simple tahini sauce to enliven a simple red cabbage slaw.
Both recipes will keep well in the fridge for at least 3-4 days once stored in a resealable container. I would regularly make these at the start of the week and refill my lunchbox daily from these along some simple salad greens and a protein source. Check out my food prep guide for more simple mealtime ideas.
Broccoli, Tomato, Feta & Hazelnut
Serves 4 as a side.
- 1/2 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 50g Feta cheese, cubed
- 2 tbsp hazelnuts
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp honey/maple syrup
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, remove from the heat and add the broccoli florets. Cover with the lid and allow to blanch for 8-10 minutes (you want the broccoli to still have a bite but not rock hard).
- Strain the broccoli and rinse under cold running water until fully cooled. Continue to strain any excess water until ready to use.
- Toast the hazelnuts on a frying pan or in a medium heat oven until the skin begins to loosen, remove from the pan/oven and allow to cool.
- Once the hazelnuts are cooled, chop in half.
- Whisk together the olive oil, honey, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice in a large bowl.
- Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
Middle Eastern Style Red Cabbage Slaw
Serves 5 as a side.
- 200g red cabbage
- 2 spring onions
- 2 medium carrots, peeled
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 3 tsp tahini paste
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 tsp
- 3 tbsp water
- Finely slice the red cabbage and spring onion. Julienne (or finely slice) the carrots.
- Place all the vegetables and seeds in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir through 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp of olive oil.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and water until you get a runny sauce (depending on the consistency of your tahini, your sauce may still be too thick or too thin – if so, just add more tahini to make it thicker and more water to make it thinner).
- Serve the salad in a large bowl with a drizzle of the sauce over the top.
Salad in my mind should be fresh, crisp and clean; this recipe combines all three. This salad is inspired by a side-dish in Campagne, Kilkenny where you should definitely experience the work of chef Garrett Byrne. The toasted hazelnut dressing adds a deep layer of flavour whilst not drowning the leaves.
- 2 tbsp hazelnuts
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 10 florets tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli
- 1 head baby gem lettuce
- 2 large fistfuls baby leaf spinach
- Handful veg crisps
- Place the hazelnuts in a frying pan over a medium heat & toast until the skin begins to detach.
- Save 1 tbsp for later, place the remaining hazelnuts in a food processor & blitz to a fine crumble consistency.
- Place the blitzed hazelnuts, oil, lemon juice & zest in a clean jam jar. Tighten the lid & shake to combine. Taste, if you want more lemon just add another squeeze of lemon juice.
- Bring a small pan of water to the boil, remove from the heat & add the broccoli. Allow to blanch for 5 mins, strain & refresh with cold water.
- In a large mixing bowl, separate the leaves from the head of baby gem, add the spinach, broccoli, toasted halved hazelnuts & 2 tbsp of the oil. Mix it all together gently with your hands.
- Transfer to a large serving platter & sprinkle the veg crisps over to finish.
This is a perfect dish to banish the winter wind & rain, full of warming spices & slow-release carbohydrates. The curry base is a lentil dahl that can be enjoyed on its own aswell. Prepare the curry over the weekend to keep you going all week or have on stand-by in the freezer.
- coconut oil
- 1 onion
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsap ground cumin
- 2 tsp black mustard seeds
- juice of 1 lemon
- 250g split red lentils
- 1 tsp vegetable stock
- 1 litre water
- 1 head of broccoli
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled & cubed
- 4 chicken fillets
- 2 tbsp creme fraiche
- Flaked almonds & coriander to serve
- For the dahl base: Heat a tsp coconut oil over a medium heat in a large pan. Add the thinly sliced celery and diced onion to the heated oil. When the leek has softened add in the spices and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and lift the spices from the bottom of the pan.
- Stir through the lentils, stock and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are cooked through and the mixture has thickened.
- Blitz the dahl with a hand-held blender until smooth.
- Divide the broccoli into florets and add to the dahl base with the squash and . Continue to simmer over a low heat for another 20 mins until the squash is cooked through.
- Cut the chicken into portions and brown on a pan. Add to the curry for the last 10 mins of cooking to ensure cooked through.
- Stir through the creme fracihe before serving.
- Garnish with flaked almonds and chopped coriander.
This marinade is super quick to create and adds so much flavour to the chicken. I stumbled upon the idea of broccoli rice whilst browsing through the Hemsley & Hemsley cookbook. I have added in some kale, scallions and creme fraiche to bulk it up; peas, spinach or leek would also work well.
- 4 chicken fillets
- juice of 1 orange
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 tbsp water
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch sized piece of fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp mixed herbs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large broccoli
- 3 large handfuls of kale
- 6 scallions
- 4 tbsp creme fraiche
- Make the marinade by finely chopping the garlic and ginger.
- Add the lemon, orange juice, oil and water to a bowl.
- Stir through the herbs, garlic, ginger and freshly ground pepper until well combined.
- Cut the chicken breasts into thirds and add to the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 40 mins.
- For the broccoli rice: chop the broccoli including the stalk into florets and coarsely grate with a food processor.
- Place the grated broccoli in a frying pan with 15 tbsp water. Once the water begins to bubble, cover with a lid and allow to gently steam for 5 mins.
- Roughly chop the kale and finely slice the scallions.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the kale, scallions and creme fraiche. Cover with the lid and allow the kale and scallions to lightly cook.
- Pre-heat a pan on a high heat. Add the chicken to the pan, keeping some marinade aside.
- Cook the chicken through, remove from the heat and spoon over the remaining marinade.
- Serve the chicken on top of a bed of broccoli rice.
This dish is a twist on Derval O’Rourke’s version. The sauce also works great as a gratin base to make a healthy cauliflower cheese type dish. Serve it alongside a green leafy salad, steamed vegetables or a baked sweet potato. The recipe includes the weight of cooked quinoa, just half this weight to get the uncooked equivalent.
Serves 4-6 depending on hunger levels.
- 300g cooked and cooled quinoa
- 4 chicken breasts
- 300g broccoli florets
- 200g cauliflower florets
- 300g yoghurt (natural or Greek)
- 100g creme fraiche
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp plain flour
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- handful of flaked almonds
- Gently steam the broccoli and cauliflower florets until tender and set aside to cool.
- Prepare the sauce by mixing together the yoghurt, creme fraiche, mustard, flour, curry powder, spices and lemon juice.
- Evenly spread the cooled quinoa over the base of a large oven-proof dish.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and gently brown in a frying pan with a little coconut oil.
- Place the browned chicken pieces in a large saucepan, add the broccoli and cauliflower and mix through the sauce until everything is well coated.
- Spoon the chicken and vegetable mix over the quinoa. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake in an oven at 180°C for 30-40 mins until it begins to brown.
As the days are getting longer and the sun has finally arrived, it means salad is in season!! The two recipes below work great on their own or as a side with any meat, quiche, frittata, sandwich or BBQ. The dressing can be stored in the fridge and added to any kind of salad.
Broccoli, Feta, Hazelnut, Tomato:
- 1/2 head of broccoli
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 pack Feta cheese
- handful hazelnuts
- 3 tbsp “The Frenchie” dressing
- Toast the hazelnuts on a frying pan or in a medium heat oven until the skin begins to loosen, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Cut the broccoli into small florets, quarter the tomatoes, cube the feta cheese and place in a bowl.
- Once the hazelnuts are cooled, place them in a tea towel and rub together until all the skin is removed.
- Add hazelnuts and dressing to the bowl and mix well.
Carrot, Courgette, Sesame Salad:
- 1 large carrot
- 1/2 courgette
- 2 tbsp mix of pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp “The Frenchie” dressing
- Lightly toast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds over a medium heat until you see the seeds begin to swell, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Coarsely grate the carrot and courgette into a bowl.
- Add all the seeds and dressing and mix well.
The Frenchie Dressing:
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- Generous squeeze of lemon juice
- Fresh pepper
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 5 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- Add all ingredients to a jar, put on the lid and shake until well combined.
- Taste and season with more pepper, honey or lemon juice as required.
- Keep in the fridge for up to a month.