Two of the top 10 winter salad recipes, lets get them done at home…
Citrus salad with fried rosemary and olives
The fried olives used to garnish this colourful ensemble just might make this side salad your new favourite. Try scattered over crostini, or serve with grilled oily fish such as mackerel.
4 x 2½cm rosemary sprigs
10 pitted black olives in oil
6 navel oranges
6 blood oranges
Salt and black pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Pour some vegetable oil into a small heavy saucepan to a depth of 2½cm. Heat the oil until small bubbles form around the end of a wooden spoon.
2 Add the rosemary sprigs to the oil and fry until crisp and bright green – 10-15 seconds or so. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season lightly with salt.
3 Add 10 pitted, oil-cured black olives to the oil and fry until the bubbling stops – about 4 minutes. Place on the plate with the rosemary.
4 Strip the rosemary leaves from their sprigs and chop them up. Chop the olives.
5 Using a small, sharp knife, cut the peel and pith from the oranges. Cut crosswise into slices about 1cm thick and arrange on a platter.
6 Season the oranges lightly with salt and black pepper, drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle over the chopped rosemary and olives.
Giant couscous, butternut and walnut
Giant (or Israeli pearl) couscous is a very quick and useful cupboard staple to throw into soups or salads and has a springy texture totally unlike the sandy grains of standard couscous. If you can’t find it, barley, spelt, or orzo pasta are good substitutes.
1 large butternut squash, deseeded and cut into small dice
Big glug of good olive oil
1 tsp chilli powder
300g giant couscous
2 handfuls of walnut pieces, roughly chopped
1 pomegranate, seeds and juices reserved
2 handfuls of mint, roughly chopped
1 Preheat the oven to 200c/400F/gas mark 6 and tip the squash into a roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil and add the chilli powder, using your hands to coat evenly. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until softened and crisp at the edges, and allow to cool.
2 Boil the couscous for 5-10 minutes in well-salted water, until al dente. Drain and refresh under cold water, drizzling with a little oil to prevent sticking.
3 When the couscous and squash are both cooled, add to a large serving bowl and stir, taking care not to knock the squash apart.
4 Add the walnut pieces and pomegranate seeds and juices, then turn gently to combine. 5 Just before serving, squeeze a lemon half through your hands over the salad, dress with oil and turn over again with the mint. Taste, and add more lemon if required. Scoop up with baby gem leaves, radicchio or hot pittas.