Salads on the road
Salads. That’s what is on our menus in January. Because summer weather calls for lighter eating, the fridge is full with leftovers begging to be accommodated or if we’re lucky enough to be away, there’s a bounty of fresh produce to play with.
Mr T and I took an impromptu road trip to the mid-north coast earlier this month. It was a last minute decision, with not much time to check what provisions were in the truck. I grabbed a few fresh items from the house, knowing that I’d find them out of date on my return otherwise, and crossed my fingers that there was enough in the truck pantry to whip up easy meals along the road. Well, there was enough of everything except for olive oil to make salad dressing. Not wanting to make a special provisioning stop, I decided to go without and improvise. So here are 3 salads we enjoyed, using favourite pantry items for flavour packed dressings.
Bacon in lettuce cups with Caesar-style dressing
This started as a bacon and lettuce sandwich, which Mr T requested one evening, while we were parked by a beach. All the cooking required is grilling the bacon ( Mr T’s job ) and putting the Caesar-style dressing together. The rest only takes 5 minutes, and you can assemble your meal at the table. Bread is optional, I find that I can only eat one sandwich. On the other hand, the lettuce leaves make the perfect crunchy vessel to fill up the bacon, onion slices, anchovy bits and dressing and because they are such light and moreish bites, I ended up eating quite a few of them ( until we ran out of bacon! )
Serves 2 as main
6 rashers of bacon
1 head of baby cos lettuce
1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp mayonnaise ( store bought is fine )
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tin of anchovies in olive oil
All purpose seasoning to sprinkle
Sliced white bread and butter (optional)
- Make the dressing: in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, crushed garlic, anchovies and their oil from the tin. Season with the all purpose seasoning. Set aside in the fridge until ready.
- Trim and wash the cos lettuce. Set aside in a bowl.
- Grill or bbq the bacon rashers. Set aside.
- Butter the sliced bread ( if using )
- Assemble at the table and enjoy!
Wild Rice Salad
A little bit nutty, very crunchy and full of goodness. Use any vegetable you have at hand, a handful of herbs would be a nice addition too. Great as a side to BBQ lamb chops or a light lunch.
Serves 2-3 as a side
1/2 cup wild rice
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 lebanese cucumber, washed and diced
1/2 red onion, peeled and diced
8 cherry tomoatoes, halved
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Labne for serving
- Cook the wild rice in 1 1/2 cup of water. Boil for 30mn, drain and set aside.
- Combine the diced carrot, cucumber, onion and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl
- Mix the mayonnaise and vinegar to make a light dressing.
- Add the wild rice to the vegetables, pour the dressing over and mix the lot.
- Serve with a big dollop of labne on top.
Pickled carrot and cucumber salad
This is so quick and simple, it is becoming my go-to oil free salad both on the road and at home, The quick pickling is inspired by a recipe from Adam Liaw’s Asian After Work for Asazuke ( japanese pickles ). I have used this method with raw cabbage, as a light side to fatty wagyu steak but it also lends itself well to other vegetables served on toast as presented here.
Serves 2 as a side
1 carrot, peeled and shaved in ribbons.
1 lebanese cucumber, peeled and shaved in ribbons
1 french shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 avocado, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp fish sauce
Toasted sourdough slices
- Place the carrots, cucumber and french shallot in a bowl. Add the salt and fish sauce and stir well to ensure the vegetables are all covered in the sauce. Set aside in the fridge for up to 3 hours.
- When ready to serve, drain any accumulated liquid before adding the avocado.
- Spread on toast and sprinkle with all purpose seasoning if desired.