I thought I would start Birthday Recipe Week off with some healthy salads – practically the first salads I have ever made. I’m not really a healthy eater. As such, I think it is important to disclose that these are not my own recipes!! I wouldn’t know the first thing about making a salad (or anything at all, really) without my Bible, the Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook series.
For those of you outside Australia, AWW is an ordinary women’s magazine that publishes the most incredible cookbooks. They have been around for decades, and they are still the best. They triple test their recipes to make sure that you get the result you should by following the instructions – these are cookbooks aimed at ordinary, non-masterchef people. I can’t tell you how much I love them.
So without further ado, please enjoy!
Heirloom Tomato Salad
Prep and cooking time: about 10 minutes; Serves 6-10.
This is a visually stunning tomato salad thanks to the beautiful colours of the “heirloom” or “medley” (as they are called in my supermarket) tomatoes. The varieties I got were small enough to be eaten whole, if desired. While these tomatoes are more expensive than ordinary tomatoes, they are well worth it for their appearance and taste. Original recipe found in the Australian Women’s Weekly, Christmas Cooking with the Weekly (Bauer Media Books, 2013), page 106.
- 1 kg “heirloom” or “medley” tomatoes
- Fresh basil leaves, to taste
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp caster sugar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Combine the vinegar, caster sugar and olive oil in a sealable container; shake. Refrigerate until needed.
- Wash the tomatoes, and either halve them, slice them, or leave them whole, depending on your preference.
- Before serving, drizzle dressing over tomatoes and sprinkle with fresh basil leaves.
Jap Pumpkin and Pine Nut Salad
Prep and cooking time: about 1 hour; Serves 6-8.
This salad was a huge hit, with the sweetness of the balsamic perfectly complimenting the pumpkin and pine nuts. Jap pumpkins, also called Kent pumpkins, are a delicious variety that have a mottled green and grey skin that can be eaten once cooked. Original recipe found in the Australian Women’s Weekly, Christmas Cooking with the Weekly (Bauer Media Books, 2013), page 106.
- 2 kg jap/kent pumpkin with skin
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs good quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tbs pine nuts
- Fresh thyme leaves, to taste
- Slice pumpkin into wedges (thinner wedges will cook faster). Spray with a light coating of olive oil, and place on a lined baking tray.
- Roast pumpkins at 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit) for about half an hour, or until tender. Allow to cool, and then refrigerate if you don’t plan to serve them immediately.
- Combine the remaining olive oil with the balsamic and crushed garlic.
- When ready to serve, re-heat the pumpkin (if necessary) for 10 minutes in a hot oven. Serving the salad in an oven safe casserole dish allows you to take it from the fridge to the oven to the table with no hassle. Drizzle with dressing, and scatter the pine nuts and thyme over the pumpkin.
I hope you enjoy these recipes – I certainly enjoyed making and eating them this past weekend. I will see you tomorrow with some less healthy options for those who, like me, don’t really see the point in cooking unless you’re making something sinful! ;)
Love Tam xx