Storage & Cooking

Summer Salads with Donal Skehan

Salads are a tasty and nutritious addition to any meal – especially during the summer. However, a sudden change in the weather or a cancelled BBQ can lead to bags of crispy leaves wilting in the fridge. In fact, around 50% of all lettuce in Ireland ends up in the bin!

A couple of years ago TV chef and Stop Food Waste supporter Donal Skehan gave us some words of wisdom on the joys of salads and, like all good advice, it doesn’t go off!

“Some cynics say ‘salad never sells’ and for the most part the sight of dry leaves are not going to whet the appetite much, but with a few simple recipes for salad dressing you can have your leaves glistening under the summer sunshine and guaranteed not to end up in the bin! The ingredients are very simple; it’s how you combine them that creates the magic.”

“Salads for me really go with any meal and the idea of having a bowl on the table regardless of what you serve up really drives home an element of healthy eating. One of the greatest kitchen skills I picked up was to wash and dry my own salad leaves. It’s a process which is far cheaper than picking up prepacked salads which have been sitting in plastic bags. Wash and dry your own salad leaves on a Monday and they will sit happily in the crisper drawer of your fridge for 3-5 days. Break a selection of lettuce heads into leaves and submerge in a sink of cold water, slosh around for a few minutes until any dirt has sunk to the bottom and then use the essential piece of kitchen equipment you need for this, a salad spinner, to whizz away the water until the leaves are dry. Wrap them in a kitchen towel, pop them in the fridge and you will have leaves, perfect for salads most of the week. Don’t forget to save the water you washed the leaves in to water your plants!”

Here are some lovely salad dressing recipes from Donal to make your salads all the more delicious.

Asian Dressing:

Dresses a salad to serve 4–6 vegetarian

3 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 tsp honey

Juice of 1 lime

 

 

French Mustard Dressing:

Dresses a salad to serve 4–6 vegetarian

1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

A generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

 

Herby Balsamic Dressing:

Dresses a salad to serve 4–6 vegetarian

1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

Fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Fresh thyme, finely chopped

Fresh basil, finely chopped

1 tsp honey

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

A generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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