Happy 1st of July everyone! This is one of my favourite months: the days are longer, school is nearly over and it’s my birthday soon!
I find that recently we’ve been lossening up on our (already pretty loose) bedtime routine. The evenings are so light and it’s so close to the end of term and I’d much rather be having fun than ushering Stink off to bed at 8pm sharp. Im pretty sure that all they do in the last few weeks of school is colouring in and watching videos anyway…
Having had a few weeks of really nice weather here in Somerset we’ve found ourselves edging away from our normal evening routine of chores, dinner, telly and bed in favour of impromptu mid-week dinner picnics and leisurely strolls along the canal to our local pub for a cheeky pint. I also find it so much easier to entertain guests at this time of year. We live in a tiny house which makes it difficult to have more than a couple of people at a time round for dinner. We are however lucky to have a good sized garden, and if you follow me on instagram you’ll have seen we’ve been making good use of it.
So I’m hoping for a sunny month with more balmy evenings in the garden, and with this in mind I thought I’d share with you three Simple Salads. All of them can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. They work just as well for barbecues and garden parties as they do for packed lunches and picnics.
- 200g dried couscous
- 350g boiling water
- 75g raisins
- 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, paprika, ginger and coriander
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- A handful of walnuts or almonds (or both)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- Place the couscous, raisins and spices in a large bowl and pour over the boiling water. Stir and cover the bowl with a plate to keep the steam in. After ten minutes the couscous will have absorbed all the water.
- Pour over the olive oil and vinegar, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
- Once the couscous has cooled completely add the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Store in a covered container until you need it.
Tomato, Basil and Butterbean Salad with Feta
- 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 1 can of butter beans, drained
- 1 small red onion, finely sliced
- 100g feta, crumbled
- A large handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of good quality balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rocket to serve
- Place all of the ingredients except the rocket and balsamic in a large bowl. Mix well and season to taste. Be careful with the salt as feta is brined and therefore very salty already.
- Store in a covered container until, ready to serve.
- To serve, gently toss the rocket and salad together, then drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.
Beetroot, Cucumber and Zaatar Salad
- 1 pack of pre-cooked beetroot, diced
- 1 large cucumber, cut into semicircles
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp of zaatar (a spice blend available in most good supermarkets)
- 150g thick natural yoghurt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.