No barbecue is complete without a salad or two, and luckily most are incredibly easy to prepare. Unlike cooked recipes, the beauty of most salads is that you really can prepare according to your tastes rather than following particular measurements. Dressings can easily be fixed by adding more of the main ingredient (usually olive oil or mayonnaise) to lessen the effect of the overzealous ingredient! Whether you’re cooking for family and friends or a large business networking event, here are a few recipes that meet with the Cinders Barbecue seal of approval. They are all quick and easy to give you the minimum of stress and the maximum time to spend with your guests.
- Greek salad
With or without leaves, a Greek salad is perfect with just about anything and doesn’t suffer too much if you’re missing one of the components. Simply chop some feta into evenly sized cubes and mix with black olives, peeled and roughly chopped cucumber, beefsteak tomatoes and a liberal drizzle of olive oil. Add a little chopped, fresh dill for extra authenticity if preferred but remember, a little goes a long way.
- Classic Caesar salad
Crisp romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, croutons and parmesan shavings is all you need for the vegetarian version of this salad. Add crispy smoked bacon, wafer thin fried pancetta or grilled chicken to add extra flavour or protein.
- Quinoa Tabbouleh
Traditionally made with bulgur wheat, quinoa is a healthier, gluten free option to add to this classic Mediterranean salad. Simply boil a pan of quinoa (measurements depending on the size of your party) according to the instructions on the pack and drain with a sieve. While cooling, chop fresh parsley, salad leaves, tomatoes, black olives and peeled cucumber. Make a dressing of olive oil, a little maple, rice or agave syrup (optional), salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice and crushed or pureed garlic to taste. Mix together and serve at room temperature or slightly warm.
- Macaroni Salad
Pay tribute to soul food with this classic American macaroni salad. Measurements should be adapted to how large or small your group is. Cook a pan of macaroni in salted water, drain in a colander and toss in a little oil to prevent the strands sticking together. Create a dressing from mayonnaise, a little vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper and mustard (or mustard powder) to taste. While the macaroni cools, chop some celery, spring onions, green and red pepper and grate some carrot. Sweetcorn is another optional, crunchy addition, along with pickled jalapenos for those who like it hot.
- Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad
The corn in this delicious salad can be grilled on your barbecue while you prepare, and is a lipstick and teeth friendly way to enjoy it for those who prefer not to eat it from the cob! Simply grill several cobs of corn on the barbecue and cool until it is easy to slice away the kernels with a sharp knife. Mix with sliced avocados (taking care to sprinkle liberally with lemon juice to prevent discolouration), cubed or crumbled feta, chopped spring onions, diced cucumber and sweet cherry tomatoes sliced in half. Now make a dressing to your own taste with olive oil, red or white wine vinegar, salt and black pepper, a little garlic powder and chopped, fresh coriander. Toss the ingredients together and watch it disappear!