Healthy, summer salad inspiration

This week, the weather in the UK has been totally pants. Especially considering just a couple of weeks ago it was absolutely GLORIOUS. So today I wanted to share some stunning, summery barbecue food to remind us of the good old days… That might seem a bit far-fetched, but I’m very cynical when it comes to British weather, and I fear our summer may have been and gone already.

Who doesn’t love barbecue food?! I prefer charcoal (over gas) BBQs tenfold as you just can’t get a real barbecue flavour without it. On this hungover Saturday during the late May bank holiday, my friend’s brother cooked us up an absolute feast. Fortunately for us, he wasn’t hungover, so it really was faultless.

His house is in Haslington, where many of my school friends are from, a quaint village just outside Crewe. He lives there with his girlfriend and their little baby girl. They made her the cutest teepee so she could join us outside in the sunshine.

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Their garden is long and fairly narrow, with a concrete patio area at the top complete with authentic beer garden table. Full of lush green plants, an array of colourful flowers both potted and in the meticulously weeded beds – it’s very apparent they spend time keeping the garden in great form. Oh, how I wish I was green-fingered.

As we sat on the table in the sweltering heat sipping cold bottled lager, our host began to prepare the salads. The oil drum barbecue was at the bottom of the garden already in preparation for the feast, smoke sneaking out of the sides most likely making the neighbours envious of our impromptu lunchtime feast.

Salad One: ripe tomato, basil, mozzarella, red onion, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, hemp oil.

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Starting with the tomatoes, layer all ingredients in a shallow bowl (as above), season well and top with the fresh herbs and oil.

Salad Two: fennel, radish, cucumber, rocket, parsley, avocado, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, hemp oil.

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Again, layer up your ingredients in a shallow bowl and top with the herbs and oil. Prepare slightly in advance and leave out of the fridge for 20 minutes before serving, as this helps the flavours develop and the oil to soak in.

What’s grilling?

Fish – whole sea bream, whole mackerel.

Meat – lamb rump, beef rump.

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And on the side?

A simple but stunning potato salad with mayonnaise, hemp oil, fresh chives, sea salt, black pepper.

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food and lifestyle blog

food and lifestyle blog

As you can see it was a stunning, summery feast. Complete with great wine, wonderful company and of course – the best weather we could ever wish for (in this country!)

It was also a first to try hemp oil for me, and I really enjoyed it. It’s got quite an earthy, nutty flavour, but seemed lighter than olive oil. All in all, this was a truly healthy, stunning feast. Thanks, Tom and Sally for having us round.

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I hope this post has inspired you to do your sunshine dance, as we need more glorious weather here soon SHARPISH!

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