One of the great things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit and veggies just begging to be eaten. A summer salad doesn’t ever have to be boring, and we know that salads have changed dramatically over the past few decades. There’s a lot more to salads than just the usual lettuce leaves, tomato, onion, cucumber and feta.
There are so many interesting, flavourful ingredients that are available to us to make for an extra nutritious, tasty meal, whether your summer salad is a side dish to accompany a braai, or with an oven cooked dish as a main meal in the upcoming hot months.
With the weather getting hotter, why stand in a sweltering kitchen in front of a hot stove when a summer salad is always delicious, and doesn’t require masses of skill or effort to create a masterpiece.
The team of culinary artists at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa constantly create extra tasty masterpieces with healthy ingredients to super boost your summer salad ideas. Below is a beautiful pear and apple salad to make you a master chef in your kitchen – and it will certainly impress your guests and family alike!
Whipped Brie with Caramelised Pear and Apple Salad, with Strawberry Consomme
Summer Salad Ingredients
· 125g brie cheese, rind cut off
· 125ml fresh cream
· ½ a pear, peeled and de-seeded
· 1 x apple, diced fresh
· 50g granulated white sugar
· 50g butter (must be butter)
· 1x punnet strawberries, sliced
· 40g castor sugar
· 20g rocket or hand torn butter lettuce
Method: For the consommé
1. Place a pot on the stove filled half way with water and bring to a boil.
2. Place strawberry slices with castor sugar into a pan that will be large enough to fit comfortably onto the pot; wrap the entire pan in plastic wrap to form a tight seal.
3. Place on top of boiled pot and allow steaming until the colour has left the strawberries and a bright red liquid has formed.
4. Remove from heat and set aside and allow to cool.
5. Once cooled, strain through a fine sieve and keep the liquid – do not squeeze the strawberries.
6. The liquid should be clear and bright red.
7. You can also use frozen strawberries.
Method: For the whipped brie
1. Chop up brie into small pieces.
2. Add the cream.
3. Using a paddle attachment on a mixer, whip on medium speed until combined – don’t worry if there are lumps.
4. Push mixture through a fine mesh sieve so that the mixture will be smooth.
5. Season to taste, cover and set aside.
Method: For the caramelised pears
1. Melt butter in a pan on low heat – do not allow the butter to change colour.
2. Add the sugar and combine with butter.
3. Add the pear wedges and toss to coat evenly.
4. Increase the heat to medium.
5. Pay very close attention as the sugar turns to caramel. DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED.
6. Once caramelised remove from heat and remove pears immediately.
7. Set aside and allow to cool.
To serve your summer salad
1. Pour the consommé onto the plate first and plate everything else on top as desired.
2. Finish with the freshly diced apple.