There’s no denying the summer season makes us want to step into our swimsuits and head to a tropical location. Hot, sunny days call for long evenings spent outdoors with our loved ones, gossipping over the past day’s events – and plenty of food and drink, of course.
Spruce up your salads
Barbecues are a traditional summertime affair that are usually accompanied by a selection of fresh, homegrown side dishes like fruit bowls and salads. Some people might turn their nose up when they hear the word salad, branding it boring and unappetising – but this doesn’t have to be the case.
Salads can be exciting, colourful and delicious, not to mention the fact they are highly nutritious. When it comes to making your own, be as adventurous as you like. While two ingredients might not sound right together, you could be surprised by just how well they work when you try them.
If you’re stuck for inspiration around how you can spruce up your summer salads, then read on:
Who says salads are full of lettuce leaves? You can add pretty much anything to a salad, so make yours more exciting by adding fruit into the mix.
Pomegranate jewels and chopped watermelon are both great options, adding colour, flavour and natural sweetness to your dish. This will be perfectly refreshing on a hot summer’s day.
If you want to give your salad a tangy kick, balsamic vinegar works well. Simply drizzle the vinegar over your salad and mix with a wooden spoon. You’ll only need a few drops, as the strong flavour will carry itself throughout the dish.
Did you know balsamic vinegar also complements fresh strawberries? So add a few strawberries into the mix too.
Vegetables such as iceberg lettuce and cucumber help to give your salad a bit of a crunch, but sometimes these can become soft when combined with things like tomatoes. If your salad is missing that crunchy kick, toss a few croutons into the bowl.
These come in a variety of flavours, such as cheese and chive or garlic and herb, making your salad all the more delicious.
If you don’t want to add croutons, but are still after some crunch, breadsticks are a great alternative.
Soft cheeses, such as feta, halloumi and mozzarella are a wonderful addition to salads and really work to complement flavours such as tomato and cucumber.
Be careful not to add too much cheese, though, as eating a large amount in one sitting can be bad for your health.
Meat or fish
To turn your salad from a side dish into a meal, add meat or fish to the mix. Sliced chicken, steak, tuna and mackerel are all good options and will instantly bring your salad to life.
What’s more, such meats and fish are all great sources of protein, which helps to keep your muscles in check.