A summer salad should be the centre of the main meal of the day, with any bits of meat, fish or grain only added on the side, if necessary. I’m on a lazy weight loss programme: lazy – because I’m taking my time about it in order not to go down radically and even more radically back up, and because time has slowed so much since March.
Salad then is music to my ears, especially that I have a glut of courgettes, beans and broccoli from the garden. You’d think none of the three is customarily eaten raw but you’d be wrong: they all can be, or used in salads when cooked very lightly.
Courgettes in their plenty are a whole separate problem: may I suggest a cake, a bread and a salad here, with the last definitely the healthiest option? And if it’s dished out for dinner, a plain beef burger could be cooked to serve with it on the side; you’d be surprised how well it goes together. Tip: make your own or buy good quality burgers in a large quantity and freeze for occasions like this and for barbecues.
Beans do usually need to be cooked or at least blanched, whether you’re making garlicky runner beans or bean and chorizo salad with bulgur wheat. Tip: thinly sliced beans are gorgeous in stir fries.
Broccoli also can be eaten raw, by all means, in this salad which is actually immensely addictive. It will be great with fried sprats or baked sardines on the side. Remember: salad in the centre, meat and stuff as an add-on; you can’t go wrong with it healthwise.
And then there’s fruit: fig and tomato salad maybe, with whipped feta cheese or baked scamorza? And if for you fruit firmly means dessert or breakfast, there’s blueberry cornmeal tart to be baked, and summer fruit and oat bowls to prep for breakfasts. Or a small jar of homemade glace cherries, just for a treat. Eat the season!