Rich’s 3 salads
To celebrate the halfway point of my first Dunedin winter, I decided to celebrate with an impromptu team dinner - 3 different salads made up this meal, but each of these could easily be transformed into sides or main dishes on their own.
It was an endearingly haphazard affair, with not a lot of measuring (or planning), and heaps of on-the-fly ingredient choices and modifications. Salads are a great way to throw together, taste and adjust as you go. They’re also an easy way to avoid plating and presentation – I just piled everything in the middle and we all got stuck in. Casual and fuss free!
Serves about 8
- Orange & Chorizo Salad
- 3 oranges
- 4 chorizo sausages (you can swap these for any other spicy sausage)
- 1 handful sunflower seeds
- Lamb & Beetroot Salad
- 5 medium sized beetroots
- 1 red onion, halved and sliced
- 2 handfuls of walnuts
- 1 boneless/butterflied leg of lamb
- 3 sprigs rosemary, stalks discarded
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- ½ cup unsweetened yoghurt
- Zest of 1 orange
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Potato and Lentil Salad
- 2 onions, 1 halved, 1 finely diced,
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup dry puy lentils
- Salt and pepper
- 1 small bag of new potatoes (about 750g)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or smashed to a paste
- 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 to 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 generous handful of parsley and/or coriander
- Orange & Chorizo
- 1. Chop up the chorizo into chunks, and fry it in a little bit of olive oil until it just starts to crisp up. Save the oil in the pan.
- 2. Cut the peel off the oranges and dice them into chunks
- 3. If you remember (I never do), toast the sunflower seeds in a small pan
- 4. Toss everything together in a big bowl, and drizzle with the leftover oil from the pan.
- Lamb & Beetroot
- 1. Mix together the rosemary, garlic, brown sugar, mustard, yoghurt orange zest and a splash of olive oil in a bowl, and season with a generous grind of salt & pepper.
- 2. Slather the meat in the marinade, and let it sit for a few hours (covered) or overnight in the fridge.
- 3. Peel the beetroot (wear gloves!) and boil them in salted water until tender.
- 4. Now is a great time to preheat the BBQ grill to smoking hot.
- 5. Slice the beetroot into wedges, and fry in a hot pan with olive oil & the red onion until crispy and caramelised. You can throw the walnuts in as well to get them nice and warm.
- 6. Sear the lamb on the BBQ with the lid down. As it’s boneless, you can unroll it on the grill so that it’s relatively thin, and it will cook quite quickly. The goal is to get the outsides nice and crispy without overdoing the middle – this will finish cooking through while you rest the meat.
- 7. Rest the lamb for 5-10 minutes while you assemble the beetroot, onion & walnuts on a big plate or chopping board.
- 8. Slice the lamb thinly and serve over the beetroot, and drizzle with any leftover juices from the beetroot pan.
- Potato & Lentil
- 1. Simmer the lentils with the onion halves, thyme, bay leaves and a good bit of salt in 4 cups of water, until they’re just starting to soften. Drain (throwing out the extra bits) and put the lid on to keep it warm.
- 2. Meanwhile, chop up the potatoes and boil them in salted water until they’re soft in the middle (without losing their shape), and keep warm.
- 3. Soak the chopped onion in the red wine vinegar for a few minutes, then mix in the garlic, mustard, spring onion and the olive oil. Season well with salt & pepper
- 4. Pile it all together in a big bowl and garnish with coriander and/or parsley.