Summer Salads: Your key to keeping a trim bin this summer
Today marks the longest day of the year! Let’s let salads take centre stage this season for hassle-free meals that will also keep your bin looking slim. Salads are great for using up any leftovers you may have or for vegetables that are looking a bit limp. They’re also a fab meal option in the hot summer months since they take advantage of all the delicious produce available that doesn’t require any cooking to taste delicious. Salads are quick and easy, so let us inspire you to get creative in the kitchen this summer with your fresh fruit and veg.
Don’t leave your lettuce to wilt
Almost half of the 1 million tonnes of food and drink waste that is thrown away whole or unopened is fresh vegetables and salads. Storing produce properly can extend its life by weeks. Try some of these savvy storage tips if you find you’ve bought too much or won’t be able to use it all up in time.
- Keep salad fresh in the fridge – break it into leaves, rinse in cold water, dry in a colander or salad spinner and wrap it in kitchen roll before popping in a plastic food bag or container. If you’ve bought bagged salad simply throw in a piece of kitchen roll and close with an air-tight clip.
- If your salad’s looking tired and wilted, chop off the stalk and place it in a bowl of cold water– it’ll become nice and crisp again, plus it’ll keep this way for a couple of days in the fridge. This also works well for vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, celery, broccoli, asparagus, etc.
- If you’ve got a small amount of spinach left throw it in with your salad.
- Grated cheese can make a salad more substantial. To store cheese keep it in its wrapping in an airtight container in the fridge or grate and freeze for sprinkling over salads and cold pasta.
On the sweeter side
From plums to strawberries, peaches to apricots there’s lots of fresh fruit bursting with flavour all around us. The sheer variety can make it difficult to pick just one, perhaps leading us to buy more than we can actually eat. Be honest, who hasn’t found a mushy nectarine in the fruit bowl at some point? Fruit salad is always a tasty and healthy dessert that works a treat if you have a few pieces of fruit that are no longer looking their finest. Here are a few ideas to keep your fruit fresh.
- Once ripened its best to store fruit in the fridge as it can last up to two weeks longer.
- Chop fruit that isn’t looking it’s best and sprinkle with lemon or orange juice to sweeten and keep pieces from oxidising. You can store your fruit salad in the fridge in a covered bowl or container to marinade and bring out the sweet flavours.
- Don’t be afraid to add fruit to your otherwise savoury salad. Apples, pears and melon all work well in leafy green salads.
- You can also set chunks of fruit into mini jellies for a fun dessert!
Top 5 summer salad recipes to celebrate the solstice
Keen to celebrate the summer solstice? Here’s a list of some of Britain’s top celebrity cooks and their delicious summer salad recipes. Why not give one a a try while you rejoice in the longest day of the year? Remember recipes are guidelines, particularly when it comes to salads so if you find you’re missing an ingredient simply substitute it with something you do have. If you don’t like something, don’t sweat it, just leave it out. Salads are versatile so it’s all about having fun and using up what you have to make the most of it!
Jamie Oliver’s Summer Chickpea Salad
Nigel Slater’s Melon Salad with Chilli and Salt
Nigella Lawson’s Greek Salad
Yottam Ottolenghi’s Rice Salad with Fava Beans and Pistachios
Mary Berry’s Classic Caesar Salad