With spring well and truly upon us, the sun has finally returned and warmth is being restored to the Bridgetown farm soil. The warming rays mean that vegetable seedlings are springing to life in the kitchen gardens and soon there will be an abundance of fresh young vegetables to awaken the tastebuds.
With this in mind, it is time to think of quick and easy meals that are packed with flavour, energy and taste and to me nothing is more simple and scrumptious than salad infused with meats, herbs and a tangy salad dressing.
Many cultures of the world have variations of this salad form, be it the well-known Chicken Caesar Salad through to the Thai Beef Salad, the main requirement being a blend of textures and flavours rather than the actual ingredients.
Why not create your own warm meat salad following these simple steps:
1. Prepare meat – be it beef, chicken, lamb, pork or fish, season well and either grill/barbecue or dust with a little plain flour and fry. Then cut or break into bite size pieces.
2. Take a selection of fresh vegetables – lettuce, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, capsicum, tomatoes etc. Slice them into a variety of shapes and sizes from thin to chunky.
3. Take a handful of fresh herbs – coriander, basil and/or parsley and slice finely.
4. For the dressing combine zest and juice of 1 citrus (lemon, lime or orange), 20 mls of extra virgin olive oil, a good splash of vinegar and a good splash of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, salt and pepper.
5. Arrange vegetables in a large bowl, preferably in layers with lettuce/cabbage at the bottom. Scatter the herbs over the vegetables and then layer the meat pieces over the surface of the vegetables and herbs.
6. Drizzle with the dressing and mix well before distributing onto serving plate or bowls.
Very quick, very easy and incredibly tasty and filling. The variations are endless