We've had a few warm days this week - in fact mark is already beginning to worry about how dry the garden is getting - and warm days call for special salads.
My first is an American Classic - Cobb Salad. We first had this on holiday in San Francisco, and have re-created it at home many times since.
Underneath all those goodies there's a very deep layer of shredded Iceberg lettuce, although Cos or Romaine would be more authentic. It is topped with rows of sliced avocado, cold roast chicken, lambs lettuce (because we had no watercress), boiled egg, diced tomato, crumbled blue cheese, finely chopped chives and parsley and crumbled crisply grilled streaky bacon.
The dressing, served on the side and tossed into individual portions at serving time, is made from
60ml red wine vinegar
80ml light olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
all whisked together and then 30g of finely crumbled blue cheese worked into it at the last minute.
The high vinegar content gives the dressing a lovely sharp tang although if you are a fan of the classic 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar dressing it might come as a bit of a shock to the system, so taste it before serving and whisk in more oil if you really feel the need.
Now my second salad, which is a substantial side salad. I served it with a South African curry but it would be equally at home with a barbecue or a Mexican dish.
This was a "fridge raid" salad - I found a stump of cucumber, one large tomato, half a red onion, a rather sad looking lime that was turning brown at the edges and the parsley and chives left over from the Cobb Salad which we'd had the day before.
I chopped the tomato, cucumber, onion and herbs and tossed them with a drained tin of sweetcorn and a small very finely chopped red chilli, then dressed the whole thing with the lime juice.
I think I'll call this Spicy Sweetcorn Salad and share it at Kitchen Clearout at Madhouse Family Reviews.