Delaney Mes is a food writer and blogger.

Delaney Mes: Salad days (+recipes)

Make the most of the extended summer.

Delaney's delicious salads. Photos / Jason Oxenham
Delaney's delicious salads. Photos / Jason Oxenham

I'm still firmly in salad mode as this warm weather continues, and again I've gone with dishes that transition easily from dinner to leftovers. They all work well for dinner at home or as a contribution to a barbecue table. Happy seasonal eating and here's hoping the sunshine continues.

Super seed salad

Nutty rice salad with beetroot and feta. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Nutty rice salad with beetroot and feta. Photo / Jason Oxenham

This is great with lamb if you want to add a bit more protein.

Serves 2-3

½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
Pinch each of ground chilli, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne
Small bunch mint
Small bunch parsley
1 cup mixed rice (I used a mixture of wildrice, red rice, and brown rice), cooked according to packet instructions
1 cup grated beetroot
¼ cup almonds, lightly toasted
½ cup mixed nuts (I used walnuts and pecans) lightly toasted
2-3 Tbsp crumbled feta

Dressing
2 Tbsp good-quality extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
Small squeeze orange juice
Pinch salt and pepper

1 Toast the seeds with the spices in a frying pan until seeds are golden brown. Be careful not to burn them. Set aside.

2 To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small jug until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

3 To assemble the salad, roughly chop the herbs and add them to a large bowl with the rice, seeds and nuts. Spread on a serving plate, and add a small pile of grated beetroot to the centre. Drizzle over the dressing and scatter over feta to serve.

Raw broccoli pesto with noodles and thickened yoghurt

Raw broccoli with pesto, soba noodles and labne. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Raw broccoli with pesto, soba noodles and labne. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Raw broccoli pesto is a great way to get a large dose of greens in one hit. It's a forgiving recipe - add more nuts or parmesan or herbs depending on your preference. And stop adding oil when you have a consistency you're happy with.

1 head broccoli, cut into florets
100g almonds, lightly toasted
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
Handful of parsley and basil
Approximately 1 cup finely grated parmesan
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup olive oil
250g soba noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
Thickened Greek yoghurt, or ricotta, to serve

1 In a food processor, blitz the broccoli, almonds, garlic, lemon zest and juice, herbs, parmesan, and salt and pepper. Slowly add the oil and continuing mixing until you have a smooth consistency.

2 Cook noodles, drain and stir through the pesto. If you want a mellower flavour, stir through some yoghurt to the pesto before adding the noodles. Serve with an additional spoonful of yoghurt or ricotta and a drizzle of olive oil.

Crunchy raw vege noodle salad

Spicy egg noodles with raw veges. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Spicy egg noodles with raw veges. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Serves 3-4

Courgettes are still going crazy in my garden, and grating it raw into salads is a great way to eat it. I had it recently at a cafe simply grated, drizzled with good-quality olive oil and lemon juice and served with buffalo mozzarella - it was so good. If you have a food processor with a grating disc it will take about five minutes to prepare.

1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
2 carrots, grated
1 courgette, grated
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1 cup egg noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
Juice of 1 small lemon
3 Tbsp chopped peanuts

Place all ingredients into a large bowl and toss to combine. Garnish with some parsley or coriander if you have it.

Optional: Add 1 cup of poached and shredded free-range chicken or serve with a piece of fish.

- Spy.co.nz

Head over to bite.co.nz for more recipes from Delaney Mes.

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