Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Summer Salad Platter - A Hearty Meal for One or Side Salad for Four

If the summer heat is continuing to have an effect on your appetite and enthusiasm for food, this really simple summer salad platter may represent the perfect choice for your dinner tonight. It is served cold and the only cooking required is the boiling of the eggs. Alternatively, if you are in a similar position to me, (I am sitting typing this as the wind lashes the rain against my window on a fairly typical, Scottish summer's day) you may wish to prepare this salad and serve it as a side salad to a more substantial meal, for up to four people.

Ingredients per Platter

1 Little Gem (Cos) lettuce
1/2 red onion
4oz soft buffalo mozzarella cheese
12 pitted black olives
2 sticks of celery
1 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp canned red kidney beans
2 tbsp canned haricot beans
2 medium tomatoes
4" piece of cucumber
2 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley, or other herb of choice, to garnish

Note: You may not of course have a sectioned plate similar to the one I have used upon which to serve your salad platter. If you are interested in obtaining similar plates, I will include some available options at the end of this post.


Ensure that your eggs are at room temperature and not straight from the refrigerator. Place them in a small pot or saucepan and add enough cold water to comfortably cover the eggs. Put the pot on to a high heat until the water begins to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for seven minutes. Take the pot to the sink and run cold water in to it for about thrity seconds, until the eggs are cool enough to be handled. Crack the eggs gently all around on a hard surface, such as your worktop. Shell the eggs carefully under running cold water. Add the shelled eggs to a bowl of cold water to cool them quickly. Allow at least twenty minutes.

Wash the celery sticks and dry them thoroughly. Cut any damaged ends off and discard. Slice the celery across the way to a thickness of around a quarter inch. This should leave you small, kidney-shaped pieces of celery. Mix with the raisins and add to one part of your plate.

Strip the leaves from the lettuce, wash and dry. Shred the lettuce leaves and finely slice the half red onion. Mix together with your fingers, being sure to separate the onion strands. Add to a separate section of the serving plate.

Dice the ball of mozzarella to about half an inch. Half each of the pitted olives. Mix together and plate.

The beans should be of the type canned in water. Wash them in a sieve or colander under running cold water. Shake dry and plate.

When you come to slice the cucumber, do so at a forty-five degree angle. This will give you slightly bigger slices and make for better presentation on the plate. Thinly slice also the tomato and - carefully - the hard boiled eggs. Arrange the tomato, cucumber and egg slices alternately in the centre of the plate.

The parsley or other herb should be washed and roughly chopped. Do not chop and chop away at the herb until you lose all the flavour in the form of a green stain on your chopping board. Scatter it over the salad serving platter, season with salt and pepper and your delicious summer salad platter is ready for the table.

Salad Serving Plates or Platters

I have had the plate used in this recipe for a number of years and am not sure if any precisely the same will still be available. Below, however, are a couple of ideas you may wish to consider for serving this dish, from both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Click on any panel for further details or to browse the relevant section of Amazon.

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