Spring Salads

28 Mar

I always feel a bit of a fraud posting salad recipes as most of us conjure up salads from what we have in the fridge most of the time. Well, it makes sense.  But sometimes there are some really tasty combinations of ingredients just work so well together, it’s worth searching them out to make them specially.

The first one was inspired by a conversation with my parents at Christmas. We were eating some particularly good smoked salmon and they were reminiscing about their work in London in the 1970s and 1980s when they used to run some very funky nightclubs. I was the envy of the class having a young mum who wore silver platform boots and Green Mary Quant nail varnish to go to work but in typical fashion always wanted to be round visiting best pal Ria’s mum who baked cakes. There’s no pleasing young folk, as I am sure many of you will agree!

Their memory was of Ella Fitzgerald (oh yes, I’m shamelessly name dropping here) asking for English mustard to go with her smoked salmon, so of course we got out the mustard and I have to say, Ella certainly knew what she was asking for!

Smoked Salmon Salad (1)

Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Salad with a Mustard Mayonnaise

(Quantities are up to you, we ate this as a starter between 2)

  • Rocket leaves, asparagus spears (blanch the chopped stems first for a few minutes then add the tips for the last minute or so) slices of smoked salmon arranged to your liking on one of your favourite plates.
  • Drizzle a little olive oil over and a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
  • Serve with a dipping mayonnaise (homemade or otherwise) mixed in a ratio of about 5:1 with English mustard. Put on your favourite Disco collection cd and get on down.

If you enjoy asparagus, try this recipe out and see what you think.

Back in Spain here it’s orange season and we can’t get enough of them. They’re being sold at outrageously cheap prices for massive bags of them so we’re juicing them, eating them au naturel and in fruit salads and savoury salads. Here’s a favourite which we serve with grilled pork – the flavour of the sweet and sour oranges, the sharp onion and the creamy avocado contrast really well with the richness of the meat.

Orange & Avocado Salad (4)

Orange and Avocado Salad

  • Per person a peeled and chopped orange, half a peeled and chopped avocado, some thinly sliced sweet onion and a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley,
  • Sprinkle some coarse sea salt over and a drizzle of olive oil. If the oranges are particularly sweet squeeze over a little lemon juice and finish with a splash of balsamic vinegar. I used a Balsamic vinegar reduction which is not only pretty to look at as you can get all cheffy with it, it also has a very delicious intense flavour.

Go on, Spring into Spring and start to throw off those warming winter hotpots and give your favourite salads a chance again!

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50 Responses to “Spring Salads”

  1. cookinginsens March 28, 2014 at 15:49 #

    Wow! Both salads look good but I am for sure trying the salmon and asparagus!

  2. Mad Dog March 28, 2014 at 15:54 #

    Brilliant – that’s a great anecdote!
    I bet the salad goes well with your amazing olive oil 😉

    • Chica Andaluza March 28, 2014 at 19:51 #

      J As a youngie I was deeply unimpressed with all the old rockers and singers they used to meet – now, of course, I know better!

  3. thecompletebook March 28, 2014 at 15:54 #

    How cool am I – I know somebody who’s folks knew Ella Fitzgerald. Awesome! 🙂
    Absolutely love both your salads. SCRUMPTIOUS!
    Have a beautiful weekend Tanya.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza March 28, 2014 at 19:52 #

      Well, “knowing” might be pushing it a bit, but I know they had a pretty amazing time back then! Glad you liked the salads, although for you, it’s time for more warming dishes. Have a great weekend too!

  4. cecilia March 28, 2014 at 15:54 #

    Just wonderful, I am dying for salads! and name drop away we LOVE it! Did you score the silver platform shoes? Maybe your Mum still has them.. c

    • Chica Andaluza March 28, 2014 at 19:54 #

      Glad you liked the salads! Sadly, although we were the same size for clothes, my mum wore about 3 sixes bigger than me in shoes so whilst I could stagger round in her bedroom (getting told off in case I turned an ankle and broke the heels!) I could never wear her shoes L

  5. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward March 28, 2014 at 16:14 #

    I made a similar salad often when I lived in Spain. The lox there is amazing and so great with a green element and a nice, Spanish oil. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza March 28, 2014 at 19:55 #

      Yes, and we have our own oil which has just been milled so tastes extra good right now!

  6. Lynn March 28, 2014 at 17:27 #

    Look, you might be back up the mountain and enjoying salads, oranges and sunshine, but the rest of us back here may still need the hotpot etc.

    • Chica Andaluza March 28, 2014 at 18:18 #

      Sorry Lynn L You’ll have to turn the heating up to max and pretend it’s spring!

  7. 76sanfermo March 28, 2014 at 17:46 #

    That’s true, who hasn’t invented a new salade , gathering the fridge leftovers ?…….
    But your “creations”stand alone!
    Ciao, Tania!

    • Chica Andaluza March 28, 2014 at 20:18 #

      I suppose there are the really famous ones like Waldorf and Nicoise…but I can’t claim responsibility for having invented them L Un abrazo

  8. narf77 March 28, 2014 at 19:02 #

    SOOO Jel of your parents! Way to name drop by the way 😉

    • Chica Andaluza March 28, 2014 at 20:19 #

      😉 And I was so deeply unimpressed when I was younger!

      • narf77 March 28, 2014 at 20:23 #

        I know “MUUUUM could you pulEEZE stay in the car when you come and pick us up and DON’T TALK TO MY FRIENDS!” 😉

      • Chica Andaluza March 29, 2014 at 12:08 #

        You are so right!

  9. Lula Harp March 28, 2014 at 19:52 #

    These both sound lovely! I just got some beautiful asparagus and was trying to come up with a worthy use.

    • Chica Andaluza March 28, 2014 at 20:19 #

      I am having a bit of a love affair with asparagus right now!

  10. bitsandbreadcrumbs March 28, 2014 at 22:14 #

    So, you inherited some of this “cool” from your folks, I see! What a great story and I’m now going to have to try English mustard with smoked salmon… which I happen to have in the pantry. Oranges and avocado is one of my fave combos. I like to add some kalamata olives to mine, just for good measure. Lovely salads, Tanya.

    • Chica Andaluza March 29, 2014 at 12:09 #

      Olives – oh yes, olives and oranges are so good together!

  11. Eha March 29, 2014 at 03:23 #

    Love the salads, love the mention of the ‘funky nightclubs’ 🙂 ! OMG ~ that was my main ‘time’ spent in London and I probably have been to some of theirs!! Nah, the boots and the varnish I would have envied but not been allowed!! Lucky you!!!!!!

    • Chica Andaluza March 29, 2014 at 12:10 #

      My parents were pretty strict with me – so it was more a case of “dress up” in my mum’s stuff and no going out in it!

  12. Melissa's Menu March 29, 2014 at 10:31 #

    Asparagus and smoked salmon sound like a delightful combination. Maybe with Ella Fitzgerald in the background.

  13. Soup Guru March 29, 2014 at 18:55 #

    What a lovely memory that inspired this recipe! We love smoked salmon, and mustard is a great match, so I’m trying this. My auntie used to make an orange and onion salad for New Year’s eve (summer in Argentina) that the family youngest didn’t appreciate, but my taste improved and widened with age and just the other day I asked her to e-mail me the recipe! Avocado seems like a great idea to make it even better! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza March 31, 2014 at 19:25 #

      We love orange salads (and desserts) but like you, I probably wouldn’t have appreciated the savoury ones when I was younger!

  14. Amanda March 29, 2014 at 21:34 #

    No way. I love this post. There is something amazing about a good salad. You had me at smoked salmon and Ella Fitz. 🙂

  15. Tandy | Lavender and Lime March 30, 2014 at 08:26 #

    I love salad recipes as more often than not I get ideas for new flavour combinations, so thanks for these. They sound very light and tasty 🙂

  16. laurasmess March 30, 2014 at 16:44 #

    Beautiful. I love salads, there can never be too many salad recipes to add to the collection! It’s autumn over here now but I want to try both of these lovely combinations to add to my repertoire. Yum xx

  17. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide March 30, 2014 at 22:37 #

    All I need is Prosecco!

  18. Karen April 1, 2014 at 01:18 #

    I’m a salad girl and think one should be part of an evening meal if possible. Both of your salads would be very poplar in our home.

    • Chica Andaluza April 1, 2014 at 12:48 #

      We eat salad pretty much every day too ‘ sometimes something quite simple, but other times it´s a bit more elaborate and interesting!

  19. Ria April 1, 2014 at 14:38 #

    Mustard mayo and salmon sounds like a match made in heaven with smoked salmon. You’re right about your mum being the trendy parent of the class – my mum was always in her pinny or sometimes her housecoat!! x

    • Chica Andaluza April 1, 2014 at 16:48 #

      Yes, but scones and a Victoria Sandwich always trumped a pair of silver platforms in my book!

  20. ChgoJohn April 2, 2014 at 00:09 #

    Ella is one heckuva name to drop, Tanya. I had a few pairs of shoes that may have rivaled your Mum’s. Walking about wasn’t bad but going up stairs was another thing completely. 🙂
    I’d gladly sit down to either of these salads. Asparagus and smoked salmon work so well together. Even so, I love seeing orange in salads. They brighten up the salad in every way possible.

    • Chica Andaluza April 2, 2014 at 09:42 #

      Well, if you’re going to drop a name, you might as well make it a good one 😉 Can’t wait until the day arrives where we finally get to sit down over a bottle of wine (or two) and talk (and that day will come, I know it!). Can you imagine the things we’d have to talk about!

  21. Charles April 2, 2014 at 00:52 #

    Ooh, the bottom pic looks lovely chica! Is that some of your sourdough bread I spy in the first pic too?

  22. Calico Stretch April 6, 2014 at 05:11 #

    I’m particularly loving the idea of orange and avocado. I’ve just used up the last of the oranges for hot cross buns (well I ate the orange after zesting it!) so will have to save this taste combo until next orange proximity alert. Yum.

    • Chica Andaluza April 6, 2014 at 11:58 #

      Ooh orange hot cross buns sound marvellous!

      • Calico Stretch April 6, 2014 at 21:47 #

        Pretty darn good they are 🙂 …. zest of two oranges in with all the spices and dried fruit. Ate too many last night!

      • Chica Andaluza April 6, 2014 at 22:43 #

        But they were packed full of vitamin C so not bad for you!

  23. barbbamberrealty April 7, 2014 at 03:43 #

    Yes!! Let’s spring into spring!! I made a salad this evening, but not as lovely as yours:) We have a tiny bit of spring in the air, plus 10 today and sun! It’s not much but we’ll take it!

  24. Suci Purnamasari March 4, 2016 at 08:34 #

    food I think is very nutritious and healthy body 😀

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