Celebrate summer in your kitchen.

Lisa2As the days start to stay warmer for longer, we can all safely assume that summer has graced Scotland with its presence.

To celebrate the sun Lisa Venter, ESPC Paper Editor, shares her favourite summer salads and gives you hints on how to toss them up at home.

Easy and quick to make, these salads with have you spend less time inside cooking and more time outside enjoying the sun this summer.

Sky blues and salad greens

I really love a good salad, and not those rabbit food ones with mainly green components in them.

I’m talking hearty salads made with the best locally sourced ingredients that you can make simply and in advance at home and then either devour at the end of a long work day as part of a homemade picnic.

These are my top three salads for summer...don't forget to share this link on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere with your top salad pick!


1. Greek galore

The Greek salad doesn’t get enough credit. It is only made up of a few ingredients and you don’t even need lettuce to bulk it up!

I like to slice whole mozzarella balls in thin slices and lay them on chunky sliced beef tomatoes; sort of like tomato sandwiches.

You can lay these out nicely on a plate quite quickly once you’ve got them cut up. Then by adding slices of red onion and some black tuna olives, you have an instant Greek salad for the dinner table! It goes great with ciabatta bread or a pasta dish.

My tip: I drizzle mine with lashings of olive oil (not extra virgin!) and a crunching of salt and pepper just before serving.


2. Fish please, hold the chips

A good fish based salad will never let you down, especially if it is served as a main dish. My favourite is a salmon and baby spinach salad or what I like to call ‘super salad’ as it has a lot of valuable nutrients like iron in it.

You can create a base with ready washed baby spinach leaves and toss these with a little olive oil and vinegar before layering on sliced smoked salmon and spring onions. It really is that simple.

My tip: I like to stuff this mix into a tortilla wrap for a quick lunch on the go.


3. BBQ salad with all the trimmings

There is nothing better than barbequing as much as possible during the summer and salads are a great way of incorporating this sort of dining more into every day meal planning.

Build a basic salad with shredded iceberg lettuce and an array of chopped mange tout, carrots, cucumber and onions and all you have to do is serve just-cooked, chargrilled meat or vegetables of any sort for the salad to absorb all those juices.

My tip: Try tossing your sliced barbequed food before you add it to the salad and toss it in a little lemon juice and chilli or coriander before you layer it onto your pre-prepared salad bed.


About the author

Lisa Venter spends most of her time at the ESPC office on George Street managing The ESPC Paper, engaging with fans and followers via ESPC Facebook and ESPC Twitter channels and looking at as many fancy new houses in Edinburgh on espc.com/tablet that she can during her lunch break. Watch out for more of her gardening blogs and blog posts on other lifestyle topics in the future.

Read Lisa's other blog posts on espc.com:

  1. The Editor unedited
  2. Mark Heyes: Why Edinburgh?
  3. Green fingers: Spring into gardening
  4. Young skier sponsored by ESPC...